Segarini asks, “What the F**k is Wrong with Us”?
I am a cat person.
I prefer cats to dogs, but not to people. Oh, don’t get me wrong…I think puppies are adorable, and some dogs (hi there, Irish Setters and Golden Retrievers) are beautiful and fine companions, and I believe that like all living things, they have a soul and sometimes you can see it in their eyes and in their actions.
That said, even though a cat is much more interesting and personable and independent, a dog can be equally lovable and endearing…but you will NEVER hear a human being say that they prefer cats to people.
You will hear dog lovers say they prefer dogs to people.
I always thought that was a cynical, arrogant, and stupid thing to say.
Now I’m not so sure…
You have my over-active brain to thank for the thoughts above. They have absolutely nothing to do with what I am trying to write about…except to point out how oddly we, as individuals, view the world around us…and even that is a stretch.
I cannot turn off my brain. At least, I can’t control its 24/7 ability to keep itself occupied, even though it sometimes distracts me, keeps me awake when I am trying to get to sleep, or interrupts a current train of thought.
Last week, for example, when I was trying to remember why I was suddenly standing in the kitchen staring into the fridge, and wearing only one sock, clutching the other in my left hand. Even though at the time, I was trying my best to focus and stay on point to recall what led me to that moment. my brain, already bored with the puzzle, took control and without warning, made me wonder if I remembered to flush the toilet before I left the bathroom earlier.
Simply stated, I have trouble believing that my brain is the only one that refuses to shut up. …which is why, if I ask someone what they’re thinking and the reply is “nothing”, I find it impossible to believe them.
My brain tells me that they are lying, either afraid to tell me what is going through their mind at that moment, or embarrassed to share the thoughts…and who can blame them?
I have been asked “What are you thinking?” more than once in my life, and yes, I find it intrusive and, depending on the context in which the question is asked, annoying and unimportant. I do, however get a kick out of answering the question when it gets put to me….
“What are you thinking?”, a foolish person will ask me, unaware of the glee I experience in telling the truth….
“What am I thinking?, Well…is Caitlin a lesbian waffles are better than pancakes pop tarts are strudel we need Cito and Joe back with the Jays too old now Modern Family sucks why am I holding a sock I loved my first car there goes my baby movin’ on down the line sometimes Pepsi tastes better Klaatu Barada Nicto hamburger…no…cheeseburger Della, have Paul meet me downstairs in 10 minutes”
They never ask again.
…even though that is exactly what I was thinking..
…In other words, what is actually going through my head at the time.
The people in Pixar’s Inside Out may have a team of adorable emotions in their heads making decisions and doing their jobs, but my brain seems more like a drunk tank full of belligerent assholes who can’t think in a straight line and don’t give a damn about what I’m doing, or trying to do.
It should come as no surprise to me or anyone else why the world is such a screwy, and getting screwier, place to be these days.
What is surprising is how far-afield the perceived reasons for the screwy-ness are based, considering the constant bickering between you and I and the rest of the populace in our quest to figure it all out. We tend to clutch at rumours, outright lies, and half-truths, stories posted on Facebook credited to This magazine or That TV network, or This scientist, or That politician…we are quick to embrace that which justifies our own theories, and even quicker to dismiss those that do not. When faced with immutable facts, we disregard them almost entirely, bat them away, and continue to blame This, That, and the Other, for our present, crappy, woes, real, or perceived. We are fond of blaming everything from wealthy individuals, science, corporations, and nations, to guns, fast food, sugar, and the Internet. We must have something to blame. Pure and simple.
That is what keeps us from assigning the blame where it belongs. That is what keeps us from the truth and from the solutions.
WE are to blame.
You and me.
The Public at Large.
…and until we admit that to ourselves, the screwy will not only continue, it will escalate. And we will keep blaming everyone and everything except those who are responsible for the situation…and the only ones who can fix it.
…and because I feel it needs repeating, once again I will ask you…who is to blame for our present damn-near-dystopian socioeconomic tailspin?
Why, us, of course. You ‘n’ me, Aunt Mildred, Uncle Bean, Sally and Betty and Fester, and Gordon…damn near 7 billion of us, gumming up the works while pointing fingers at those people and institutions we chose to point our fingers at.
Seg’s Simple Solutions to Society’s Suckage
Things we can ALL do to make the world a better place.
Don’t shoot anybody and quit talking about those who do.
If you’re overweight and don’t like it, see a real doctor and find out how you personally can lose weight, and quit talking about it.
If you want to eliminate a product you don’t like or trust, or believe has been foisted on you by evil aliens/Communists/Conservatives/Satan/Religious Zealots, don’t fucking buy it and quit talking about it.
If you don’t like something, avoid it and quit whining about it.
If you read or hear about a cure for cancer, impending catastrophe, 9 ways to improve your outlook, the healing power of avacados, the threat of bananas, or the latest idiotic statement made by a celebrity or politician, check the information from multiple sources to discover if they did, in fact, say it…and quit talking about it until you do.
…and a perennial favourite voiced often by many; Stop Making Stupid People Famous.
Thank You for Making Me Famous
…because if you do that…they will go away.
The trouble is…ALL of us have to work in concert to make changes that benefit us all.
…so how do we get people to set aside their egos, agree on a solution, and act as one?
Damned if I know…but I do know this:
Love is not the opposite of Hate, ergo, Hate is not the opposite of Love. Love and Hate are two sides of the same coin.
Indifference, the opposite of Love and Hate can remove someone or a product from the public spotlight.
…but when it comes to facilitating change for the better, Indifference works in the opposite way.
If something is bothering you and you wish to remove it from your life, Action is what works.
…and in that context, Indifference means Not Doing Anything Positive. Whining and railing accomplish very little…because they are just the result of the frustration caused by not working toward a positive solution.
I am just as guilty as the next person when it comes to getting off my ass and doing something positive in the way of contributing to a better life.
I don’t mean whining in social media or marching in the street or screaming about the ills of the world ad infinitum from every soapbox on every street corner.
Those things just add to the cacophony and negative energy we find ourselves inundated with every day.
I mean actually doing something.
Here in Toronto, we are about to see a shit ton of OUR money spent on hosting something called the PanAm Games.
We were not given a chance to decide whether or not this is a good idea or not, but we can still do something about it if, as seems evident from all the shouting and complaining, we don’t want our wonderful city thrown into chaos yet again by the kind of outside event that not only disrupts our lives, but don’t have any point to them other than bragging rights for a handful of politicians and businessmen whose goals tend to leave out the very people they depend on for their livelihoods. Read This
That thing we can do?
Spend our money on the abundant LOCAL events that are running concurrent with the intrusion.
Boycott the damn thing.
…and maybe they will reconsider the next opportunity that comes along and realize that this fantastic city doesn’t NEED to brag about anything.
You would think that the last road apple (the G20 Summit) dropped all over our city streets with its attendant financial burden, mistreated citizens, and ill will, would have had some impact on the short-sighted Powers That Be, but no…they didn’t seem to notice.
There are so many ways to utilize the great spaces of this fair city to accommodate marathons, bicycle rallys, and the like without inconveniencing the majority of the populace, it boggles the mind that none of the options ever get considered.
They are indifferent to the needs of the people who live here.
It’s time we were indifferent to them.
Vote for someone else…but PICK ONE as not to split the vote and let the bad guys walk in again.
Can we set aside our egos and ill-informed political views long enough to do that? Do the research, ask the right questions, and demand answers?
And the same applies to businesses.
Don’t buy the products.
Don’t shop there.
We only have two ways to affect change, my friends…
…with our votes, and with our wallets.
The people and entities who are negative influences on our day to day lives only understand those two things
Nothing else works.
…but can we ALL agree on a solution and work together?
…because until we can, we only have ourselves to blame for the shit that we are knee deep in…and it is rising.
(Editor’s Note: Please read this companion piece. This is not the first time I have tackled the subject of the Public’s compliance in today’s problems.)
Segarini’s regular column appears here every Friday
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob “The Iceman” Segarini was in the bands The Family Tree, Roxy, The Wackers, The Dudes, and The Segarini Band and nominated for a Juno for production in 1978. He also hosted “Late Great Movies” on CITY TV, was a producer of Much Music, and an on-air personality on CHUM FM, Q107, SIRIUS Sat/Rad’s Iceberg 95, (now 85), and now publishes, edits, and writes for DBAWIS, and continues to write music, make music, and record.