Today is the third time I’ve put up a current events post related to gun violence (not including this post and this post about kids and guns). That’s a lot of depressing posts. After the shootings on Friday, I received far more submissions over the weekend than I anticipated, proving yet again that social media plays a very big role in how we all deal with tragedy of this magnitude. It seemed like everybody was chiming in on this particular story, and for obvious reasons. Friday and Saturday were so emotional, people craved the support of their fellow Facebook friends and/or Twitter followers. I watched the posting frenzy go down on Twitter, but it mostly just made me feel worse. Links to TV clips of young children being interviewed or websites posting misinformation about the shooter were so disheartening to watch and read. All the speculation, history of gun violence factoids, and constant updates were a bit much, to put it mildly.
In that sense, I wasn’t necessarily surprised that I received so many submissions. Still, it made me realize something: Everyone talks out their feelings online now, in real time, and I’m not sure how I feel about that. Sometimes it’s comforting. Other times, it’s overwhelming. I do think the people in today’s submissions are probably nice and well-intentioned, but I also think their updates reflect the current state of response to a terrible situation. There are a lot of meaningful ways that people come together during trying times, but every now and then, it’d be nice if people just stopped talking for an hour or even a day. I know it’s good that information travels as quickly as it does now, but damn, last weekend was a lot to process. Here’s a long and comprehensive round-up of submissions that were written between Friday and Sunday, broken into five main categories:
1. Making Tragic Events About Them
Thanks for that postscript, Kinzi, but unfortunately no one cares about your baby’s teething at the moment. Now isn’t the time to complain about a healthy’s baby’s developmental ailments. Take solace in the fact that we live in modern times with modern medicine, because according to Wikipedia, “Old remedies for teething include “blistering, bleeding, placing leeches on the gums, and applying cautery to the back of the head.”” Your baby won’t have to endure any of that, *and* he’s still alive for you to raise. Sounds like a win-win to me.
Is morning the loss of dead children something that occurs primarily in the early AM hours? Also, “love him to death”? Nice phrasing there, Green. ….seriously…
Rule of thumb: Don’t compare your baby’s fever to an elementary school massacre. High fevers are uncomfortable and potentially dangerous, but not as uncomfortable and dangerous as a school attack on first graders and administrators.
Thank you, VERY MUCH, Mr. President Obama Man, for being such a stand-up guy and coming to CT. Your giant fleet of helicopters is waking up the same sleeping babies who you’re supposedly so interested in nurturing and protecting. Irony, anyone?!? Hundreds of media personnel, reporters, camera crews, and news vans are one thing. But a noisy helicopter carrying the President? Talk about eye-roll-inducing. That guy is always looking for attention.
Just when I think there’s been an event so awful that it can’t be pottyjacked, I receive a submission like this. Louis L’Amour famously once said that “victory is won not in miles but in inches.” I suppose in this case, that saying could be applied literally. Thank you Lord for the blessings, amen.
2. So Blessed
Apparently, Kyle and Rachel have been posting about their blessed little blessing a lot. According to the submitter, “[The nickname] might be cute but it’s been overused big time. “Up early! We get to see our little blessing today!” “Can’t wait to see our little blessing.” “Got a crib today for our little blessing.”“
S/he added, “I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that I think its inappropriate to gush about something nice and happy, and then tack on “condolences” almost as an afterthought.” I hear that. The many blessings I saw in my newsfeed started to sound pretty formulaic. Some people even noted that they’re beyond blessed. Lucky them!
If you are Tana and you’re presented with two different subjects to discuss - an owl bib on a diaper cake OR a breaking news story about a gunman shooting up a kindergarten class - she’s going to choose the diaper cake owl bib every time.
3. Scary World
The world is a scary, scary place, something we’re all more acutely aware of after a day like last Friday. It’s also something we’re more acutely aware of when a massacre gets compared to SIDS and children’s cancer. I’d like to hope that the road to “curing” this country’s gun violence problems would be less difficult to travel than that of unexplained and deadly syndromes and diseases.
Awww. Lena’s baby is so cozy in her warm, safe belly; why does he need to come out, anyway?! He’s got plenty of room to stretch his limbs, he can’t get any cute girls pregnant, and he won’t get killed while innocently trying to get an education. A mother’s womb is like one of those “chill rooms” people have in college. Negative vibes not allowed.
If you’re not busy between 5-8PM, Danielle is looking for a few burly volunteers to assist in shoving her children back inside of her body. Pending the outcome of this task, she will happily purchase a few pizzas and some beer as a thank you. And before anyone starts up with the, “Eww, I don’t wanna push babies into my friend’s vagina! That’s disgusting!” type stuff, keep in mind how many times Danielle has helped you move or let you crash on her couch. It’s payback time, bitches.
Does it come as any surprise that Kourtney is just 24 weeks pregnant with her first child? Also, wouldn’t she rather think that by the time her daughter is the same age as the kids who died at Sandy Hook, there’d be less of a chance of this kind of thing happening? I know I would. But then again, I don’t think “random” gun violence comes out of nowhere like a tsunami or some kind of genetic mutation.
4. Crazy Gun People
The roar of the mama bears has been loud and strong over the past several days, but Myla stands out from the sloth with her nonsensical rant that levels gun control legislation with abortion. She also labels everyone in favor of gun control a “choice,” which I think translates to “former hypothetical abortions-turned-liberal arts educated, unappreciative assholes who want to strip Americans of their right to own assault rifles and purchase elite combat gear.” In other words, she’s probably super fun to sit next to at a dinner party.
Once again, when women give birth and become Mama Bears™, something changes (and I’m not just talking about their fangs coming in or their fur having that just-gave-birth shiny coat). They become ferociously protective, and by “protective” I mean “they’re strapped.” Even their terrifying claws and threatening growls are no match for a Bushmaster XM-15 semi-automatic rifle. Therefore, it’s in everyone’s best interest to have one, especially mothers. Proving this with comparative statistics would be next to impossible, but if you’re a Mama Bear™, you know that semi-automatic protection has more to do with a gut feeling than anything else. It’s about instinct. When you have children you are always thinking.
5. Miscellaneous Odds and Ends DaddyJacking:
I wonder what Jesus would think about daddyjacking? I have a feeling he’d be totally sympathetic, understanding, and supportive of a person’s right to hijack another person’s status update. Yet another thing that differentiates me from Him.
I hadn’t realized there was an upside to 27 people being murdered in an idyllic community two weeks before Christmas, but now, thankfully, I do! I always knew that running this blog would lead me to the answers to life’s tough questions.
Puzzling, indeed. I find it funny that we as humans are only able to truly focus on one task at a time, and yet our brains allow us to sandwich our thoughts on both school shootings and Christmas puzzles in the span of a four-minute conversation with ease. What’s next? A quick shift in conversation to Pam and Rebecca’s favorite oatmeal-raisin cookie recipes? In today’s fast-paced world, who doesn’t toggle between news articles about murdered principals and holiday craft tutorials?
I think Steven’s update was written with compassion for all parents and children, but it also sounds like he has a sanctidaddy complex and believes himself to be World’s Best Dad. And you KNOW he’s got the coffee mug to prove it. Isn’t the point of parenting to just do the best you can and try not to publicly talk shit about everyone else’s parenting? If the kids who exit those cars feel loved, isn’t that all that matters? I can think of plenty of legitimate comparisons parents can make to other parents, but “drop-off vs. walk-in” isn’t one of them.
Something tells me Dianne has been dying to vent about about not being able to whoop her kids’ asses in public, and now, that time has finally arrived. I’m imagining her celebrating by punching the wall a few times and then crushing a soda can on her forehead. FINALLY, she’s made her voice heard in this sick and twisted world we live in. America, Dianne would simply like to take her children to public places like malls, movies, and yes, DISNEY, and hit them when the time is appropriate without the fear of someone calling the Department of Children and Family Services. Is that so much to ask?!
Big, Beautiful Breaths
Be warned, parents: Breathing in your baby may result in horrifying and unexpected dog breath odors, as well as people like me gagging upon reading the words “breathe her in.” I don’t know how many times I’m going to read about baby smells and baby breath and moms breathing in their babies, but every time I do it just makes me think of wine sniffers.
#26Acts Of Kindness
Last but not least, let’s try to keep things in perspective, people. When Ann Curry suggested that people commit 26 acts of kindness to honor the victims of the tragedy, I don’t think she meant “by retrieving your child’s toy for him in the car.” Not that that isn’t a kind gesture (I guess), but how does picking up a toy off a floorboard make a difference in the lives of others or inspire people to pay it forward? Rather than focus our energy and status updates on ourselves, maybe we should just commit random acts of kindness for the sake of feeling good without seeking others’ approval. Why turn a heartbreaking massacre into an excuse to pat ourselves on the back? Gun-enthusiasts or not, what’s important is that we try to change the culture of violence and choose our self-praise wisely. But for what it’s worth, I’m assuming that the toy this woman picked up for her son wasn’t one of these.
(submitted by Anonymous)