The last week has been awful.  I’ve waited to see what would happen through these protests and the various discussions around the country before I commented in full.  Unfortunately, I don’t have anything good to say.
               The song is depressingly repetitive, formulaic and frankly the bridge lacks anything the bring us back to the chorus.  We are wasting our time and, in the process, our lives.
               Where we sit is a disgustingly old place.  The walls and the floor and the ceiling are soaked in centuries of blood.  We just keep painting over it but as we have done so the room has gotten smaller and smaller.  Little by little.  We are being forced to recognize that everything around us is just blood and paint.
              
               I find no enjoyment in these times.  Watching as our youth and our greatest minds are drowned out by the voices of those intent on protecting something so clearly corrupt.  I wish I had solutions but even if I did no one would listen.  I wish I had a plan, but no one would follow.
               The truth is everything in our lives is incremental.  Everything is shaped by the will of very large sums of money put forward by a scant few people.  If you’re willing to sell out your community, your family, your own history… the money is just waiting for you.
               There’s never been much of a living to be made speaking for yourself.
              
               Do I like guns? 
              
               Not really.  I don’t hate them either.  I grew up around guns, but I don’t own one.  I’ve won shooting competitions, but I don’t see that as a point of pride.  Guns are a tool, but tools are inert, and it’s people that imbue them with power.  So, does that mean that I blame people?
               The truth is I blame both.  I blame excessive access to guns.  I blame people for not making access to mental health care more affordable and ubiquitous.  I blame us.  I blame myself.  We comprise the government.  This red vs blue debate will only lead to further fighting.  We are a single country.  We are one community.  We are the problem.
               To say that guns or mental health alone result in mass shootings is insane.
               It’s economic deprivation, poor education, social dysfunction and isolation, glorification of violence, hate filled rhetoric, the numbing effect of news saturation and about a thousand other reasons.  Each has some deleterious effect on our capacity to care for our families and ourselves.
               We are always looking outward and never inward.  Blame the other, protect the self.

               The cold, dispassionate defense of accepting NRA money, of arming teachers, of being justified in allowing massacres and lawless violence is a stark reminder of just what happens when democracy is allowed to rot.  We must accept this burden as our own, as our fault, as our mess to clean.  Casting blame on those that were elected to have no conscience is ultimately of no material use.  It is our duty, those that wish for a better – more perfect union – to do the hard work and shoulder the weight.
               That isn’t to excuse them, it is instead to illustrate the fact that they function as intended by those that put them there.
               They are some of us.  I may not have voted for them or given them legal blood money, personally, but not spending everyday fighting against them makes me liable.  And I do not like being liable.       
               The truth is I don’t know if these things will ever stop.  Will war end?  Will hate die?  Are we doomed to recycle old mistakes forever?  I don’t know.

               My daily struggle is one very few really comprehend.  One so many vilify and are disgusted by.  The very fact of my current predicament of being trapped between genders means my opinions are already suspect.  Will I remain so?  I work, as diligently as I can to change my future.  Toward a better outcome.  Toward a more perfect union with myself.  That goal is both daunting and frightening.
               What will life be like when I am whole, at long last?
               What will I feel like?  All I know for now, in all respects, is there is great – enduring – pain, pain the likes of which few truly recon with.  It grips me.
               As I write this the FCC has officially rejected net neutrality.  The states that have preserved it now exist as internet green zones.  These days grow darker as the brightness of snow descends around my home.
               I’ve been dreaming a lot and eating a lot.  Stress and depression make me sleepy and hungry.  I feel very alone, very isolated, very useless.
But there’s ice cream and blankets.  I guess that’s what counts.
              
               Cheers, Cupcake.