The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get used to the latter.
EPISODE ONE HUNDRED FORTY EIGHT: POLLUTION…
“There are people who take rumors and embellish them in a way that can be devastating. And this pollution has to be eradicated by people in our business as best we can.” – Bob Woodward
I have never smoked. Unless you count the time I tried to smoke a cheap cigar that a friend of mine gave me because he and his wife were going to have a baby. I got about two puffs into it and it fell apart. I knew I wasn’t destined to smoke. So, except for those two puffs, that’s it. Of course, I have inhaled my amount of second-hand smoke in my life. Even as a child of the seventies and riding in the car unbuckled with my mom as she smoked on her way to the ‘beauty pallor’ or to the store.
But I never was a fan.
Today, I try and stay as far away from people smoking as I can. It bothers me. It makes me want to throw-up. I can be riding in my car on a nice day, the windows down, and waiting for a red light to change and smell somebody smoking or ‘vaping’ and it causes me to start coughing or making that ‘Where the hell is that coming from?’ face.
Again, I’m not a fan.
And I never will be.
That smoking just adds to the pollution we all put into the world. I’m not without sin. I drive a car that burns gasoline and oil and I have done my share of damage. I’m not proud of it.
And saying this, I think we have come a long way since those buckleless days of the seventies. We have more ‘green’ cars and fewer people smoke than they did. Most places don’t allow it inside their businesses. And big businesses get fined huge amounts of money if their containments are over a certain amount. A big change since when I was little.
Of course, we need to do better but it seems we are finally getting control of that kind of pollution.
Did you think this blog post was going to be about that kind?
I’m here to talk about another kind, in some ways, a more killer kind, a more addictive kind of pollution. We see it every day on the news and on social media and it gets inside our minds and rots it.
It’s the love of bad news.
We crave bad news. We want to hear about the murderers, the rapists, the thieves, the arsonist, and all of the evil-doers of the world. In our hearts, we want to know how the most horrible evil deeds are done. There is a part of most of us that are like the crowd in the Roman Coliseum that is crying out for blood. We want the gore and the steaming pile of excrement that comes from the bowels of heartache and pain and rage.
It’s hard to admit, I know. We see the news and what politicians have done or not done, what the police did or not do, what the guy we thought we knew, do or not do.
And we watch it on TV. Good old trash television. It used to be Jerry Springer or Geraldo and all of the shows that copied them. But for that time, with its lack of seatbelt laws for minors and smoking around your children was just a part of life, the trash on TV was limited. You had to search it out.
But today… today it’s EVERYWHERE. It’s considered multi-million dollar entertainment and mainstream. Because they know, deep down, it’s what we want to see.
I have to admit, I have seen my share of Springer with his Neo-nazi’s confronting normal people who find their way of life to be horrible. I did enjoy the chairs being thrown and the blood pouring from faces when these racists got their asses handed to them. I admit, I pretended to somebody on the other side of them and punching them out, giving hate a concussion and being cheered for doing so. It felt good to have my blood turn hot and want to right some wrongs… standing in my pajamas… punching and kicking in the air…
(OK, I probably looked stupid.)
But changes came to my life. Now when I see these horrible injustices shown for the sake of entertainment, I want to vomit, like that smell of cigarette on the wind sitting in traffic.
There are channels that make a living selling these shows to the public. I won’t name them here, that would give them promotion. One comes to mind most of all. But, anyway, it’s all mindless no matter how they try and spin it. And people can’t get enough.
And that kind of stuff transfers over to social media. As I scroll through like a mindless zombie, I see the most horrible, depressing things. I see news stories posted just for the sake of wanting to cause a reaction. And when we see them, most have the need to comment, a fly finding their way in a hungry spiders web. They get wrapped up.
Not anymore for me, buddy. I have decided to never make a comment on these social media posts, even if I have a strong feeling one way or another. I’ll keep scrolling by… or better yet… turn it off and do something more productive, like… writing.
And the news, when it gets to be too much, when local news starts pulling in news stories from places that aren’t local just to have something horrible to show, I’ll turn the channel… or better yet, turn off the TV completely and listen to music or do something more productive, like… writing.
It’s all got to be too much, hasn’t it? We do live in a world where a lot of bad things happen. Some of these things we need to know about or keep up with. This world is a community, I believe that. And social media can be a good thing. We can tell people how we feel and show the wonderful things have happened to us. And if we need somebody to think about us and throw us a good thought or a prayer, it’s can be a positive thing.
We just can’t let it all become polluted. It’s time to buckle our kids in and if you have to smoke, go do it somewhere else.
-Loyd Elmore Jr
May 3rd, 2019
I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else but it might help me.