FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Inspiration for Us Assholes

by KATHLEEN WALLACE

Late winter has us looking for hopeful signs; it’s fairly universal that lack of sunshine and warmth has started to take its toll (sorry S. Hemispherians, that was rude of me to ignore you and your plentiful summer sun, but poor you with your vitamin D plethora, you know what….. fuck you). So I’m saying everyone is a little bit more short with each other. The snow that was sparkling and magical in December is now a deranged white menace. We need inspiration to keep going, but for certain elements of the population, inspiration is a little bit more difficult to acquire. I like to think we have a sophisticated palate. It isn’t as easy as turning on Inspiration TV and watching Matlock. If only. Let me try to help with this, as I try to help myself, searching for the kinds of incidents that warm the heart of the true asshole. The following is a story of spring—it stems from events of that season in 2013.

Do you recall the terrible tornadoes that Oklahoma suffered through last year? Exceptionally horrible, even for tornado alley. You may remember hearing that CNN’s Wolf Blitzer (What a name, such bravado for a man that should be named Pekingese Estradiol) happily stepped over wreckage, prodding survivors to thank God for their safety. Most complied, sure in their insistence that a heavenly father decided that they were more worthy than the kids who drowned in a local school, that sort of thing. One woman even declared a miracle in the safe location of her dog.  A very unself-aware group, saying things like this in the midst of others mourning unimaginable loss after that tornado. It’s what you always hear after disasters, and it’s what the news coverage salivates over. Well, Pekingese strolled up to one very sweet looking fresh-faced mom, a Rebecca Vitsmun. To complete the All-American image, she was toting a cherubic babe on her hip. Pekingese demanded the obligatory “Yes, I thank God for convincing me to take quick shelter with my 19 month old when the tornado was approaching.” She graciously hesitated and said that she was actually an atheist, but didn’t fault anyone for thanking God. A type of diplomacy from her “kind” often seen, but not appreciated, certainly an enormous level of bravery was required to say that on national television in such a setting.

Here’s the even more inspirational part. Doug Stanhope, one of the most acerbic comics working today took note of this exchange. He’s one of the truth telling stand-outs, and an heir to the sadly not with us any longer Bill Hicks. Hell, Doug Stanhope actually deserves a name like Wolf Blitzer, but I’m sure he wouldn’t have it. He recognized the true bravery that this Midwesterner exhibited. His next actions, he said, were fueled out of wanting to piss off Rebecca’s neighbors. He really wanted them to see her get a great big cardboard check delivered to her since she didn’t have  supernatural friends in her corner. So Stanhope started an indegogo crowdfunding account with a goal of $50,000. They ended up raising over $126,000 for Rebecca. “Hate can make you do real nice things.” he said. And they say Rebecca moved to another state after receiving the check. I’m only sorry that I didn’t know about this when it was occurring; I tell the story because when I found this out and told others, nobody else had heard about it. It’s kind of a secular sin not to tell additional assholes out there  like myself, others who are also in need of cheering.

I don’t care if people believe in God, don’t believe, it is not my concern. I heard one person say they were an Apathist. They really didn’t care either way.  But when you declare miracles when you survive, or have minimal loss, and say it is his will towards others when things go badly for them, like there was a decision who to hurt…..this is just a level of callous that convinces me humans are making no progress. Here we have all the information we could want at our fingertips, wildly amazing clarity that did not exist when these belief systems began, access to all manner of philosophies, yet minds still seem to want to work the same way they did in 1215. It’s cruel, speaking this way to those who have loss, and it sure opens up a rancid thought process that those with misfortune somehow deserve it, that they brought it on themselves. And I’d advance that it certainly hinders any true connections we could have with one another, call it a form of spirituality or just the decency of providing mutual comfort to each other.

Nature is indifferent; I don’t care what you consider to be the primary mover.  Magical thinking creates that bearded dude with a plan. He draws x’s and o’s on his big chalkboard in the sky. Okay, I’m taking out the Miller’s dog, their back porch, the new Honda and their 10 year old, but letting Mrs. Donovan across the street just have hay pushed into the bark of a tree (without being bent), so she will have something crazy and cool to show others after the storm.

I find enormous inspiration in bravery (like Rebecca’s) and amazing end results (hate can make you do real nice things). It’s almost enough to melt the ice that formed this season over my pericardium.

Kathleen Wallace writes out of the US Midwest and can be reached at: klwallace@riseup.net.

Kathleen Wallace writes out of the US Midwest and can be reached at klwallace@riseup.net

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
February 17, 2017
Friday - Sunday
David Price
Rogue Elephant Rising: The CIA as Kingslayer
Matthew Stevenson
Is Trump the Worst President Ever?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Flynn?
John Wight
Brexit and Trump: Why Right is Not the New Left
Diana Johnstone
France: Another Ghastly Presidential Election Campaign; the Deep State Rises to the Surface
Neve Gordon
Trump’s One-State Option
Roger Harris
Emperor Trump Has No Clothes: Time to Organize!
Joan Roelofs
What Else is Wrong with Globalization
Andrew Levine
Why Trump’s Muslim Travel Ban?
Mike Whitney
Blood in the Water: the Trump Revolution Ends in a Whimper
Vijay Prashad
Trump, Turmoil and Resistance
Ron Jacobs
U.S. Imperial War Personified
David Swanson
Can the Climate Survive Adherence to War and Partisanship?
Andre Vltchek
Governor of Jakarta: Get Re-elected or Die!
Patrick Cockburn
The Coming Destruction of Mosul
Norman Pollack
Self-Devouring Reaction: Governmental Impasse
Steve Horn
What Do a Louisiana Pipeline Explosion and Dakota Access Pipeline Have in Common? Phillips 66
Brian Saady
Why Corporations are Too Big to Jail in the Drug War
Graham Peebles
Ethiopia: Peaceful Protest to Armed Uprising
Luke Meyer
The Case of Tony: Inside a Lifer Hearing
Binoy Kampmark
Adolf, The Donald and History
Robert Koehler
The Great American Awakening
Murray Dobbin
Canadians at Odds With Their Government on Israel
Fariborz Saremi
A Whole New World?
Joyce Nelson
Japan’s Abe, Trump & Illegal Leaks
Christopher Brauchli
Trump 1, Tillerson 0
Yves Engler
Is This Hate Speech?
Dan Bacher
Trump Administration Exempts Three CA Oil Fields From Water Protection Rule at Jerry Brown’s Request
Richard Klin
Solid Gold
Melissa Garriga
Anti-Abortion and Anti-Fascist Movements: More in Common Than Meets the Eye
Thomas Knapp
The Absurd Consequences of a “Right to Privacy”
W. T. Whitney
The Fate of Prisoner Simón Trinidad, as Seen by His U. S. Lawyer
Brian Platt
Don’t Just Oppose ICE Raids, Tear Down the Whole Racist Immigration Enforcement Regime
Paul Cantor
Refugee: the Compassionate Mind of Egon Schwartz
Norman Richmond
The Black Radical Tradition in Canada
Barton Kunstler
Rallying Against the Totalitarian Specter
Judith Deutsch
Militarism:  Revolutionary Mothering and Rosie the Riveter
Nyla Ali Khan
Kashmir Evoked a Lot More International Attention in the 1950s Than It Does Now
Adam Phillips
There Isn’t Any There There
Louis Proyect
Steinbeck’s Red Devils
Randy Shields
Left Coast Date: the Dating Site for the ORWACA Tribe
Charles R. Larson
Review: Bill Hayes’ “Insomniac City”
David Yearsley
White Supremacy and Music Theory
February 16, 2017
Peter Gaffney
The Rage of Caliban: Identity Politics, the Travel Ban, and the Shifting Ideological Framework of the Resistance
Ramzy Baroud
Farewell to Doublespeak: Israel’s Terrifying Vision for the Future
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail