Monday, April 22, 2013

~Support Our Troops & Screw The Five-O: It's The American Way (...But It Shouldn't Be)

I find myself a bit perplexed when people tell me how much they love, respect and support our military.

They're always so impressed by these men and women who take an oath to put their lives on the line in order to protect us and to serve us, often with split seconds decisions with life and death consequences.

'Hero' is a word quickly tossed about when military members are being discussed. Parades and community gatherings are organized when they leave/return home (for) from duty to show our respect for their commitment to our safety and the service they provide to help ensure our way of life. They are so beloved that literally millions of Americans sport one of these on their car, t-shirt or hanging in front of their house:

I find it so perplexing because so frequently those exact same folks have no compunction about spoutin' off about what assholes the police are.

You know the Po-po, aka: those cats and chicks who took an oath to put their lives on the line in order to protect us and serve our communities, often with split seconds decisions with life and death consequences. (tap, tap, tap)...sumthin' seems familiar Those people who as soon as one of them does something heroic that gets picked up by the news know that his/her label of hero will come with an asterisk to a substantial percentage of the population.

As in; hero* -- '...yeah, but s/he was only doing their job.'

Or, another popular variation of rationalizing belittling LEO's; hero* as in -- '...yeah, but listen to this one time I had a bad interaction with a police officer, and because I can't admit that I was in the wrong, or reacted poorly to the situation and made things worse for myself, so I'm pretty sure they're all dicks, and if you think otherwise, you're a dick. So I won't give anyone with a badge any amount of respect, I will always think the worst about them, and I will never admit that what s/he did was actually heroic.'

If you're not that guy, you know that guy. We all do. So ubiquitous is the Madonna/Whore-esque Military Hero's/Coppers Zero's complex in our society that I can't believe that it's taken until now for someone to name it. 'Military Hero's/Coppers Zero's; is the legal intellectual property of BBG, BBGWorld, BBG HQ, et al and requires prior BBG approval for rebroadcast. It's something I never understand. As I'm not a moron, of course I comprehend that, military folks are off enforcing rules, generally, outside of our borders, so the average American doesn't come in contact with them when military personnel is telling them they can't do something, or are gettin' ready to get lock 'em up for doin' wrong as part of their mission. On the other hand, it doesn't take a MENSA member to extrapolate that your city five-O is performing some of the exact same missions on a local level. Curiously, what we respect and adore our military professionals for, we denigrate and ridicule our LEO's over. That's the part that is such a conundrum for me.

I'm not real sure what it says about someone who would ostensibly believe that it's a noble calling to serve ones country by enforcing order, upholding our way of life and providing for our security on a global level (and be available domestically when hinkey shit goes down), but not so when ones calling brings them to a badge and service their neighbors on a local level?

I find that kind of thinking extra fucked up weird given the fact that there's a good enough chance that the Police Officer you just referred to as a 'lazy pig' is fairly likely to be a vet/active MOS. Not exactly a little known phenomena. (But if this comes as a surprise to you, you should know that, for instance in '11 the Topeka PD reported that about 60% of their incoming academy class had military experience) So now it's time to admit that subscribing to the Military Hero's/Coppers Zero's mindset 1) is non-sensicle and disjointed thinking at best, and that practicing it B) means that you refuse to acknowledge not only the similarities of their professions and duties, but that you're purrrrfectly comfortable being the person who would degrade a person while in one uniform (lets say, LEO garb), but you would pay for their beer in another (fatigues). Which by pretty much anyones measure smacks of douchebaggery.

After this past week, seeing in large part, local law enforcement (in conjunction with State-ies & Feds) handlin' their 'bidness like a boss they did, I don't know how anyone could look at their local forces with any less respect than they would afford the American Badasses who work at the local military base. But they will. And I hope you will call their asses out.

I have written a few things in honor of the boys (& girls) who's blood runs blue. (In fact, I have a BBG favorite 5 and  'May St Michael Watch Over 'Em'  [click link] is definitely one of them.) Usually, such musings coincide with National Police Week (the week of May 15th) but after seeing sights like this:

Now seem like a perfect time to point out that while there's no doubt Boston, Newton, Watertown, etc., PD's are nothing short of professional law enforcement badasses who deserve, and should be heralded for their heroics and hide-y and seek-y victory over a dangerous criminal who presented them with unusual and devastating circumstances... And I'd bet they'd be some of the first people to say That there's not a department dotted across this country that hasn't trained and prepared itself for worst case scenario situations. God forbid one should ever pop up in your town, but if it does, there is no question that your local law enforcement professionals will put in the same efforts to ensure your safety. Just because they haven't had to yet is a sorry ass excuse for treating them like shit in the meantime, wouldn't you agree? If it almost seems like you own them something, it's because you do...

I'm not asking that you greet each day with a nod to Mr. Sunshine and a round of applause for the police officer in the coffee line with ya. But maybe ya decide that today is the day you stop badmouthing them? Maybe today you start to show people with a badge a lil' respect, or a kindness like a full five fingered wave? Maybe today you start to act like you understand that the only difference between this guy:

and this guy:
Is 5 minutes.
...And that the difference between this guy:

And any of these guys
 is often nothing more than who's signing their paycheck.
Of course the military men and women who serve our nation deserve our gratitude. But so do the men and women who serve our neighborhoods.

Closing Note:    Since Friday night when MIT Officer Sean Collier was murdered on duty two more law enforcement officers have lost their lives in service to their communities, bringing this year's sad total (to date) to 38.  (32 members of the military have been KIA during the same time frame.)  In 2012, another 120 law enforcement officers died in the line.

"There are three kinds of people in the world. There are wolves and there are sheep.
And then there are those who protect the
sheep from the wolves."
                                                                                              --Christopher Shields

For the complete works of BBG 'Po-Po Love' posts, click here.



Thursday, April 18, 2013

~5 Reasons To Feel Better About This Week

It's been one of those weeks that tests our ability to stiff upper lip it.  Much of the news has been full of pain and suffering.   As a staunch, ya gotta have some yin with your yang-er, I feel like the best way to counteract the misery that we've all been focusing on is to highlight some of the amazing, beautiful and just plain kickass things this week brought.

If you've seen this photo you may have, like me, assumed that they were on site as part of a security detail.  Wrong.  These American Badasses (aka:  BBG code name for U.S. military members) were actually completing the Boston Marathon.  Not only were they in the homestretch of a 26.2 mile run, they were also haulin' 40 lb. rucks while they did it as part of Tough Ruck in honor of their fallen brethren.  Imagine doing any of that.  Let alone all of that.  Hardcore?  Hoorah.  I count it as a blessing that I breathe the same air as these cats.
And then there's this guy.  I have great admiration for people who are able to use their smarts to overcome assholes.  Me?  I tend to go for brute strength and brawn over brains and finesse, I want to pick up a brick to deal with an asshole.  I wanna shank 'em.  I'm not sayin' I'm proud that that's my initial reaction to most things, I'm just sayin' it's the truth.  I want to watch them go crawling to their mama with tears running down their cheeks.  This time.  Next time.  Every time.  Luckily, there are better people than me in the world, and Jaimie Muehlhausen certainly qualifies as one of them with this one thoughtful action from the comfort of his computer: 

(One person can't accomplish anything meaningful?  Bullshit.)
When public transportation was shut down in the hours after the bombing, knowing that the Boston Marathon brings 25,000+ runners, many from out of town/state/country, unfamiliar with navigating the area, THOUSANDS of ordinary people hit the interweb to offer complete strangers meals, rides and lodging.  Not a couple of good people doing a good thing.  Thousands
Here you can see some kind and generous people from all over the nation who sent pizzas to Boston area hospitals and to first responders.  
Even the Yankees, the BoSox nemesis paid tribute with a Sweet Caroline-y shoutout during a game against the Dbacks. 
It's easy to get overwhelmed by the horror of weeks like this.  To get tainted by the tragedy.  To let bad things hijack your perception of our world.  And the people in it.  I was reminded of this when my Nana said, "it makes you afraid to go anywhere, do anything."   I heard my internal voice say, '...No, ^^ these ^^ people are out there, every place and all the time'.  It made me remember:  
I hope you will too.


Friday, April 12, 2013

~Good Deeds (Bad Positions)

Generally, I believe all good deeds should be done as absofuckinglootly quietly as possible. 

(I so firmly like to operate on under this mantra that this is gonna be a wee surprise for an awful lot of people.)

Ok.  This is gonna sound religious-y.  For anyone new stumbling on this post, please note:   I don't give a wiggly rats ass about your religious beliefs.  Or non-beliefs.  And I sure as shit don't expect you to give a crap about mine.  What I am about to share is not a call for your conversion, in fact in reality it only serves to underscore how my faith plays a very active role in this particular aspect of my fuckedup'dness.

You see, my favorite mass of the year is Ash Wednesday.  One of the readings is about how you're supposed to do your 'good works' on the down low.  So much so that your left hand shouldn't know what your right hand is doin'.  Basically the passage says if you're making a big show and/or tell in order to let others know how fucking awesome you are, you're a dick.  Obviously, I'm paraphrasing.    

‘Be careful not to parade your good deeds before men to attract their notice; by doing this you will lose all reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give alms, do not have it trumpeted before you; this is what the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win men’s admiration. I tell you solemnly, they have had their reward. But when you give alms, your left hand must not know what your right is doing; your almsgiving must be secret, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.  ‘And when you pray, do not imitate the hypocrites: they love to say their prayers standing up in the synagogues and at the street corners for people to see them; I tell you solemnly, they have had their reward. But when you pray, go to your private room and, when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in that secret place, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.  ‘When you fast do not put on a gloomy look as the hypocrites do: they pull long faces to let men know they are fasting. I tell you solemnly, they have had their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that no one will know you are fasting except your Father who sees all that is done in secret; and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.’

I don't know why, or when I decided to take those words to heart.  Or when they started putting me in a position of feeling like nothing other than hiding my good deeds seems appropriate, ever.  But they've become the prism through which I use to guide almost all of my decisions and actions (excluding, of course, alcohol based decisions and actions, which while not historically 'nice', or 'do good-ery', are usually specfuckingtacular, but I digress.);  Do good.  Be as sneaky deaky as possible about it.  Don't be a braggart.  Don't be a hypocrite.  Don't be a bellyache-er (aka: complainer).    

Because this is how I try to live my life, (Am I always perfect?  Oh, hell no.  But at least I'm tryin'.  I doubt it will take you very long to look around to find someone you know who ain't even doin' that much, so suck it.)  my plans for this project were until now mostly unknown.  I didn't mention on Facebook or weave into conversation with everyone I've come in contact with, but a handful of family and friends knew of my plan.  I suspect because I generally don't talk about my good works that people don't always initially, or surface-ly (yes, I am making up words) perceive me as someone who might be wandering my part of the world doin' wee deeds of good.  This perception may also be based on my propensity for turning the phrases; "suck it", "fuck (you/that/it/off)" and "no".  Ya know, hallmarks of bad people.

While I recognize that misrepresenting oneself is wrong, and feel like I should feel bad about purposefully misleading people about this side of me.  But I don't.  Even though I realize how at odds it is with my otherwise, 'keepin' it realsies/be who you are-ness' nature, I can't seem to resist doing it.  Clearly, I have "issues", which I believe in some circles are known as, 'Catholic guilt'

Honestly?  If I could have achieved this and moved along without it being noticed I wouldn't be sayin' squat about it now.  As it's quite obvious, and bound to be noticed--  and that now I find myself putting more effort into actively avoiding lying or telling the truth puttin' it 'out there'  ( much so?  Well, it's been 4 days and I haven't posted a picture... I just told my Nana today-- which brings the total to 3 people who know that this has happened...  And last night I actually found myself mopping the kitchen floor and running the sweeper in an effort to delay finishing this post-- and I'm too lazy to be doin' unnecessary chores(!)...) than a well adjusted person should, I'm taking it as a sign that it's time to act like a 'normal', grown ass girl and spill the beans before anyone starts drawing their own conclusions to the change at hand.  Ya know, 'self-made truths' (I can't be the only one who makes those up when I don't have the real details, can I?) like:

1)   People thinking that I think that I've been rockin' a good look all of these months.  (I have not.  I have been well aware that long, unmanageable, locks have been doing me no fuckin' favors, looks wise.) 
B)   People thinking that I've cried uncle in my personal quest to out Crystal Gayle, Crystal Gayle

III)   People thinking that my application to a certain Mormon sect was rejected and I've been forced to chop my hair and burn up my homemade, full-length, pastel prairie dress.

The real truth is that a few years ago, due to a medical condition and its treatment, someone I love ended up wearing a wig for a while.  It made days when she was already felt like shit a bit more bearable.  It's when I decided that if I could do literally nothing notice how I didn't sign up to run a marathon and be able to help give a girl who's fighting for her life or enduring a hair losing medical issue, a modicum of normality, for lack of a better word, that I couldn't not do it.  I chose to Locks of Love it (but there are other organizations like Pantene Beautiful Lengths).  10".  It's the longest my hair has ever been.  It is the longest my hair will ever be.  Suffice it to say, I am not a long hair girl.  But I am happy to be a girl who once grew some for someone else.


(As she prepared to make the first cut my hairdresser checked
to see if I was ok and quite gingerly asked if I was ready. 
Um, yeah.  "Whack away.  I'm not attached to it.  It's attached to me.)

So there it is.   Who, what, when, why & how.  Whew.  Now I don't have to side step/fib/dodge the subject any more to avoid slipping the secret that I'm not entirely a terrible person.  (I do probably need to explore why I'm more comfortable having people think I'm not nice than thinking I am.  Baby steps start here today, I guess.)   And you don't have to think I'm engaged in a beef with Crystal Gayle.

Moving on.

(**For the Official Record: I'm not making a judgement on how chicks who face such bald-y circumstances should handle it [to wig or not to wig]. I'm a staunch your head, your choice-er. I will say this. When I see a bald chick, even when I don't know what medical condition she's dealing with, I think, 'now this bitch is a warrior' [in the most reverent and respectful use of the word, 'bitch'] and just the sight of her makes me proud to be a skirt too. I suppose I don't think the same thing of a girl in a wig, mainly because 99.44% of the time I'm not gonna notice she's sportin' a wig.)   

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