All I Want For Christmas is an Asteroid the Size of Texas
Although, God, if you're listening, I'd really, really appreciate it if you could send it flaming into earth's atmosphere before Halloween.
In case you don't keep up on LGBT news as I do, the picture above is of 15 year-old Canadian Jamie Hubley. That's his dad, a city councilman, on his right. Jamie was a lonely, tortured, openly gay kid and this picture was taken about 48 hours before he committed suicide last Saturday (A Facebook page, inevitably, has been set up in his memory and it has just under 3000 members and growing. Go join up if you're so inclined.).
It goes without saying that Jamie, a kid who eventually ran out of that life-saving courage that inevitably dries up, was a victim of homophobic bullying. Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring may have stolen the year's spotlight and be named by Time Magazine as the Year of the Protest. But the rash of teen suicides this year has reached epidemic proportions and, in my not so humble opinion, hasn't gotten nearly the press and publicity it should get. Every time we hear of another 13, 14, 15 year-old child like Jamie succumbing to unrelieved bullying and bigotry, the media treat it as a tragic but isolated incident, not part of an intolerable whole.
Look at the lead picture again. Maybe it's just me, perhaps my own blue devils of late have made me more empathetic and sensitive to the plight of other depressed people. But I can easily see the desperation in his eyes, the forced effort behind the smile. That's not the smile of a kid just embarrassed to be seen next to his dad while wearing a dorky shirt and bow tie but the put-upon rictus of a kid the tip of whose nose was tickled by the loose fibers of hemp at the end of his rope. That's the look of someone who gave the world his best shot and just realized it simply wasn't even felt.
Like the Kevin Klein character in Silverado, you never know what I'll care about next, what cause I'll take up no matter how hopeless or disconnected from my outer life. But I have to say this kid's suicide bugs me more than even the others. It bugs me because he was by all accounts a sweet, handsome, funny kid who always put the needs and wants of others above his own but finally succumbed four days ago because he couldn't find a boyfriend and, like me these days, he could no longer tell the difference between wanting to actually die and simply not wanting to live and hurt, anymore. And when you can't make that crucial distinction, you're irretrievably lost.
It's of a piece, how we treat our fellow human beings, especially those whom we can't or won't understand, the ones who love those of their gender or both. We fear that which we do not or will not understand and allow ourselves to be mere automatons of a system or an upbringing that was tragically short-sighted and misguided whether it be by greed or bigotry or just a primal urge to hate the unfamiliar.
This bleeding heart liberal's own tattered and battered heart bleeds for this kid and his family but in some way he's become synecdochal of an evil world that somehow had shifted off its axis, rendering everything we'd ever learned about the world and human nature irrelevant and redundant.
It's a world in which dividing lines are slowly but inexorably being drawn collectively by employers, literary agencies and publishers, anyone who's in a position to pick and choose whoever for whatever purpose. And kids like Jamie are being excluded from a human community that more and more is deciding who's worth or not worth keeping.
This is why I'm hoping and praying in my own dog-legged fashion for a fucking meteor or asteroid the size of Texas to just wipe out everyone on this Godforsaken, squirming, fetid mudball. Sometimes, as the lady once said, the best remedy is to break everything. Government has failed us, industry has done more than just failed but they've victimized us. Religion has failed us (I keep going back to what Jonathan Swift said 250-300 years ago about there being just enough religion in the world to make us hate one another but not quite enough to make us love one another), the human race has failed itself.
Those least deserving of running a bordello in Mexico City are running Wall Street and the government. The most hateful and ignorant people in the history of carbon itself are given the book contracts negotiated by scumbag literary agents just out to make a quick buck and we have to see their pixilated pusses on television Sunday to Saturday and every day in between.
The most rapacious sociopaths who can destroy the most lives are the ones we charitably call captains of industry but, contrary to real captains, do not go down with the sinking ship but expect those in steerage to bail out the sinking ship of industry.
People like Rumsfeld, one of those war criminal "authors" who'd published a highly lucrative "memoir" this past year, once referred to the people drafted during Vietnam as "human intake", dead flesh that clogged up the machinery of the military-industrial complex and lost the Vietnam war for us. Here's what Rumsfeld said in 2009,
“(W)hat was left was sucked into the intake, trained for a period of months, and then went out, adding no value, no advantage, really, to the United States armed services over any sustained period of time, because the churning that took place, it took enormous amount of effort in terms of training, and then they were gone.”
Those astonishingly heartless words were uttered by our two-time Secretary of Defense as a means of explaining why the draft didn't work in Vietnam. He was basically reducing the 58,000+ Americans who'd died in that war to geese that had accidentally flown into the engine of a 747.
But what was shockingly heartless less than three years ago is now commonplace. One fully expects bullies who'd harassed gay teens literally to death to be given air time on CNN and Fox "News" as a means of explaining their very legitimate counterpoint that teh gays are evil just as we did with the Swift Boat Veterans for Truthiness.
And despite the fact that 0 bankers and executives on Wall Street who'd contributed to the Alice Cooper nightmare of an economy in which we're trapped without reprieve had gone to jail, well over 1000 people have been arrested by fascist cops, people who'd committed the unpardonable sin of calling attention to the greed and corruption that made them and all of us pull double duty in our ongoing victimhood.
Because the poor, powerless, the unconnected, those who don't have high-priced lobbyists with $500 Guccis and gelled hair don't stand a chance in this world. Too many kids like Jamie Hubley fall between the grand Canyon-sized cracks that only a few dedicated people try to fill in. The old lady thrown out of a Kaiser Permanente and again out of a cab in front of a free clinic never had a chance. Those of us who somehow didn't draw that elusive Powerball bonus ping pong ball in the secret and rigged drawing that made us one of the elite never had a chance.
It's very easy for those of us who now suddenly find ourselves expendable and irrelevant for the first time in our lives can easily say that the world had failed us but the plain fact is, we have failed the world. We reproduce and bring gay and straight children into a world that we have no clue how to go about fixing.
For the first time in my life, we're no longer producing a generation that's actually positioned to leave the world a better place than how they'd found it.
Yeah, the world sucks. We live on a greaseball of a planet in which the sons of Hannibal Lecter are running the roost, those who produce gas and cancer drug "shortages" that inevitably result in bloated prices and fistfights in the cockpits high above the Ivory Towers the minute necessities get scarce. We live in a world in which the world's real consumers, the ones who literally eat the world and hollow it out physically and financially, men who chop off the tops of mountains, see just enough consequences to make them see that pinprick of light at the end of the tunnel before they scream to Congress to make us bail them out.
We live in a world in which, when we call attention to that sociopathic avarice, we get arrested, beaten, maced and harassed. Yeah, the world sucks, fucking A, enough to provide its own Goddamned gravity.
But it sucks because we have let it get this way.
And pretending to occupy Wall Street without a clearly articulated set of demands or the means to impose penalties if those hypothetical demands are not met is not the answer. Nonviolent, faux occupation tactics with no exit strategy save for that provided by the chilling climate will not work. Violent resistance will only make matters worse.
And only a Pollyanna fool would entertain for a minute that a solution is within our grasp.
So we need an asteroid the size of fucking Texas and a winter that'll last for 100,000 years in order to get this world back on track. Hopefully, just enough history will remain to show us the errors of our ways for those lucky few who were fortunate or well connected enough to be selected for survival.
Because, sometimes, the best remedy is just to break everything.