In Times of Unrest

I sometimes wonder why I do the things I do. I definitely look at the world that way. This week has been a mixture of both wonder and awe, terror and despair. The bigotry and hatred revealed with each new episode of violence has scarred our nation and clouded my spirits. As a humor blogger, I struggle to find the balance between tasteful observation and knee slapstickery. I hope this manages to reach that slippery peak.

I am reminded of a morality fable I heard once (which apparently it turns out is a fabrication, but you can find out about that at the link for Two Wolves.)

It goes something like this:

The Two Wolves

A grandfather was talking to his grandson:

Grandfather: “There are two wolves inside you. One is evil–always fighting, angry, and hurting others. The other wolf is good–caring, honest, and kind. They are fighting a battle inside you every day.”

Grandson: “Who will win, Grandfather?”

Grandfather: “The one you feed.”

I’ve heard this before, but not as the link above tells it. And never knowing that the wolves were described in terms of Black and White.

(Official Sidebar: You can just guess which is the ‘bad’ wolf. The internet is helpful in peeling layers of meaning behind the over-simplified and trite.)

When I watch the world burn and can do nothing about it, I am anxious. I feel the compulsion to do something and, conversely, nothing at all. I am torn between two wolves: outrage and apathy. Why does this keep happening? Why can’t things change for the better instead of the worse. Maybe it just depends on where you want to focus. Which wolf you choose to feed.

Before the world went to hell in a hand basket, I signed up for another round of GISH. So, as the horrible week’s events unfolded, I wondered whether participating in a fun-fun charitable activity was, perhaps, a selfish and clueless overindulgence and a slap in the face to everyone who struggles and suffers in the world. In particular, was it kind of like dancing at a funeral–morally repugnant and questionable behavior that should get me unfriended/shunned? (That said, I invite dancing at my funeral. Joke telling. Maybe a clown? I think you will need to find excuses for joy when a light such as myself leaves the world.)

So, given a choice between morbidly watching the world burn or dancing…I think you can guess what I chose.

BUT FIRST…I did something moral and uplifting.

I watched a terribly earnest live stream discussion about race relations; a topic that has not impacted my very-white life much before but maybe it should:

As a result of listening to a panel of experienced activist, I tried my best to…

DO THE HUNT

(while being conscious of injustice in the world burning around me)

The first item was my most successful–probably because I had energy and my son to help add flair–and height–to the performance.

Item 20. The Summer Olympics got canceled, but that doesn’t keep a focused athlete like you down. Show us your entry in the Socially-Distanced Games.

I was trying to synchronize our toilet paper rolls mid-air. (The last image was the winning shot, but I loved all the pictures taken with the help of my son’s ABA aide. He is unnamed for his privacy, but shout out to a very patience guy.)

And then…this

Item #___ (Oops, didn’t copy this one) Take a time lapse recording of yourself sculpting a monument out of a playdough and smashing it, or something edible and eating it.

As usual, I missed the part where you had to sculpt AND eat at the same time. And I froze my sculpted spuds so I could recreate a Winged Victory feast.

I call this potato-y beauty: Winged Victory–on Ice

In a fourteen second recap, you can watch me munch on my icy statue:

I was darned proud of the art I created. But freezing them makes mashed potatoes sad eats.

You’ll note my rather spacy behavior increases the later the event runs. (As does my very blue eye shadow.) I only managed 4 hours of sleep and I would pay for it later! Oh, would I pay!

But before that bill comes due…there are more GISH-y items to fulfill.

Item 37. Create a Fundraising page for your team, and get family, friends, and others to donate. (Highly abbreviated description)

This was one of the serious but important items, as GISH is intended as a fund-raiser as well as a fun-raising time. We joined the GISH sponsored Racial Justice and Equality Fundraiser to support the NAACP. Which I have never done before this weekend. We didn’t make the 10 donor minimum required, but we did raise $230. And that isn’t bad for a 24-hour time period! I would thank everyone personally, but most people gave anonymously. So, to all you all, you know who you are, thank-you! You give me hope.

Which leads to my biggest and most embarrassing endeavor.

Item 32. In the style of Eurovision: write and perform an original, uplifting song of hope using instruments of your own creation.

I had no idea what Eurovision was before I picked this challenge. I watched about an hour of eye-popping performances and did my best to replicate their…um…energy. I opted not to dress as a minion of hell only due to time constraints and a lack of lycra.

(Warning, this ‘song’ is both painfully earnest and shatteringly bad. I recorded it at four in the morning because I couldn’t sleep thinking about it. Might I recommend a tall glass of alcohol–or maybe shot glasses. You can take a swig whenever I say “Hope,” Peace,” or “Justice.” I had NO alcohol beforehand, more’s the pity.)

Like red wine, you may never get the stain of those lyrics out!

In case you couldn’t understand my exhausted 4:00 a.m. warbling, here are the lyrics–which I slaved over, so stop laughing, damn you!

JUST US

We need Hope, Peace, and Justice
And it starts with me and you.
We need Hope, Peace, and Justice
And here’s what you can do.

Listen for an answer
In their cries of pain
If you can’t feel, then you can’t heal
I’ll tell you once again.

We need Hope, Peace, and Justice
And it starts with me and you.
We need Hope, Peace and Justice
Here’s what you can do.

Pain pushes back
Against unreal attacks
You can’t see the future
If you’re always looking back.

We need Hope, Peace, and Justice
And it starts with me and you.
We need Hope, Peace, and Justice
Here’s what you can do.

Consider possibilities
In what the other person sees.
Don’t debate or interrogate
Dialogue is a two-way gate

We need Hope, Peace, and Justice
And it starts with me and you.
We need Hope, Peace, and Justice
Here’s what you can do.

Change happens in uncomfortable spaces
Who’s gonna win these human races?
The only hope we have for peace
Is just…us.

We need Hope, Peace and Justice
And it starts with me and you.
We need Hope, Peace and Justice
You know what you can do.

Wow. I’m sure that’s going to win lots of awards, but before you are quick to condemn my words, know this, I borrowed them from the speakers of the aforementioned “Racial Inequality and Injustice” live stream. A lot more qualified people than me recommend that, instead of hiding behind our white privilege, we use it to make things a little more fair out there.

I am not good with conflict; I actively avoid it whenever possible. But, (*heaves a huge, uncomfortable sigh*), apparently that is part of the problem. A lot of good, earnest people have stood back and let the angry, hyperbolic, asshats speak for us all. Perhaps the bigots and racists just need to be told that they are bigots and racists. Is it possible they don’t know?

Oh, I’m sorry. *Gets down off soap box*

Now, back to GISH!

I loved the idea of this next item, but my execution was more along the lines of after Marie Antoinette meets the guillotine–a bit choppy.

31. GISH keeps you so busy, you need to clone yourself to get the List done! Create a single image compositing at least 3 iterations of yourself working to completing a GISH mini hunt Item

Making the art was a labor of love…and bad photo editing. My printer was running low on ink.

After finishing almost all of my assigned tasks…and abandoning one…I decided to use all my many years watching forensic programming to try my hand at carving up a human being…

Now that I have your attention. I give you…a tasty lesson in anatomy:

Item #: ???? Sorry, I threw this thing together as a last-minute project and did not copy the verbiage. But, I think you can guess what they asked for.

Here’s a few staged photos with the body.

Brains! They’re what’s for dinner.
It’s Take Your Kid to Work Day at the Morgue!

This body was a kidney donor–as I ran out of room to put any in.

The hardest part was figuring out how to dispose of the body! (If I ever become a spree killer, we will know the moment I started down that path.)

I always enter GISH with high enthusiasm and end up crawling across the finish line, one arm outstretched, to get the last thing in before collapsing.

The One Last Thing:

Item 13: Celebrate the gift of virtual travel by creating a internationally recognized building or monument out of Amazon boxes.

The Washington Monument is to scale. The artist is not!

My biggest challenge was I HAD NO AMAZON BOXES. None. I put them in out for recycling last week. LIKE AN IDIOT!

So that was GISH, slam bam, thank you ma’am until 3:00 O’clock p.m. (our time)….and then they added an extra hour! Unheard of! But my kid knew he was getting a trip to KFC after GISH was done and he was having none of this, “But, son, can mommy play one more hour?” nonsense!

Honestly, my kid was so fantastic, it was unbelievable. I had help with him for only two hours and then rest of the time, he was good…until…

IT’S PAYBACK TIME

I was absolutely fried waiting for bedtime to roll around. That’s my excuse for not noticing how odd the kid was being about staying in the basement.

I try to drag him up at 9:00 pm but give in and let him get a little more time downstairs…

10:00pm rolls around and he’s apparently drawn a line in the sand over what he wants–and he wants to sleep in the basement. Which is a no-no because it has no egress.

He refuses to come upstairs. I refuse to let him stay there.

Cue Krakatoa explosion.

My kid melts down like he’s a glacier under global warming. He vents. He fumes. He hits and bites himself. He tosses a giant bin of books like he’s a member of an ultra conservative cult that loathes reading. He breaks my heart. Every time.

I spend the next TWO HOURS calming him down and figuring out he’s got gas! We finally crawl into bed after midnight. I sleep like the proverbial dead. The next day, the kid wakes up happy like yesterday never happened and asking for bacon! Kids.

So, if any of you were feeling a bit judgy about my decision to employ humor, art and theatrical creativity to survive this week, now you know, I experienced the riots in my own special way. And for me, they never end. They can come at any time. And I just have to stand by and wait for the fires to burn down before putting my kid back together again. It’s a co-dependent, Humpty Dumpty kind of relationship, but it works. Mostly.

Stay strong my beloveds. It’s a cruel world and you don’t want the wrong wolf to win!

_______________ You Made It Through Bonus_________________

I forgot one:

If you have excellent eyesight, you might see my RICEWORD entry!

8 thoughts on “In Times of Unrest

  1. (1) You have forever ruined with Winged Victory giggles the Close Encounters pathos of Richard Dreyfus at the dinner table.
    (2) Your Eurovisions song–both lyrics and “melody” * –easily equals, and may exceed, the quality of past winning entries.
    (3) You are so entirely mad, brave, creative, and capable it strikes one with awe.

    * Apologies! No matter how many times it was retyped, those air-quotes kept reappearing around that word.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I too thought of Richard Dreyfus while sculpting. But, I must say, he worked on a scale I didn’t dare attempt to match. I can only eat so many potatoes. So, of a necessity, my victory was a small one.

      I think the internet knows what it is doing by adding the quotation marks. The “melody” is questionable at best. But I was very proud of the idiotic lyrics I managed, considering the time constraints and the subject matter.
      You are a very responsive reader who has always been enthusiastic and positive. Where have you been all my life? Thank you for finding me at long last. My ego was in great need of adulation without moderation!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s