I was born pissed off. I admit it. While I have no recollection of why I popped out angry, one can assume it was the tight living quarters, the heat and the stink. It'd be like nine months in a Manhattan studio apartment with no electricity, bad plumbing and a terribly small sleeping area. You'd pop out pissed off, too.
Things got better the minute I discovered that none of my toys made noise as pleasant as my grandfather's 45s. Throw some records on the floor and drop me in the middle and you can watch your damn television show or have company over. Take the records away, or tell me it's time for bed, and I become Regan MacNeil, screaming and kicking violently, without the pea soup puke. It was an amazing transformation, a killer circus trick. Take the record? Screams. Give it back? Smiles.
I haven't changed, though it seems I am angry most of the time these days. One friend likes to remind me, "You want answers! You always want answers! And sometimes, there aren't any." I argue that. I believe there are answers, it's just sometimes, people refuse to supply those answers. That makes sense to me. I am not a happy person when things don't make sense.
This year, quite frankly, has sucked balls. And while I believe we are responsible for our own destiny, every once in a while, someone will make a cameo, like a classic Bob Hope, Tonight Show walk-on and help things along. Lately, things in my life haven't made sense. That same friend tells me, "Just get beyond it. Stop relentlessly going over everything!" If things made sense, I would. But when I add 2+2 and get 5, I know I won't sleep until I go over it, again and again and again. When 2 + 2 = 4, I move on. Lately, it's all 2 + 2 = 5.
I believe the cartoon below is an accurate portrayal of exactly what I feel like most of the time.
I'll be encouraged to apologize, and it will get rejected. I am encouraged to give an opinion, and then I am punished for that opinion. I move on, and others don't. I'll watch my temper and tone down my sarcasm, and I am handed anger and sarcasm in return. I am self-deprecating, and it's portrayed as weak. I am encouraged to reach out and the football is pulled away. "Oh, poor you." No. Poor everyone.
The one thing I have always done is take responsibility for my actions. I recognize when I am not the brightest bulb in the room, and I am the first to say so. I shut up and listen. I recognize my flaws and recite them daily, like a mantra. But when none of this seems to work, I can also recognize, with the help of great friends, that it just might not be my problem anymore.
Burning Wood will be 9 years old next month and for 9 years I have discussed music almost exclusively. Allow me please, this one time, to make it about something else.
There is a lot of anger in this country. And the worst thing we can do for this country, is misdirect our anger. A good portion of this country is drunk on anger and there is not a soul with a working brain, who would argue that drunk people make better decisions than those who are sober. We are headed for the dark ages. As an American citizen, your right is to vote for anyone you'd like. But please, have your vote make sense. Do some reading, other than headlines and memes. Have your vote make sense. Take a deep breath and ask yourself, "Why do I love my country? What does my country stand for?" Do the math. Remember, 2 + 2 = 4. Don't vote angry. Vote sensibly. And for the love of Mike, if your record is skipping, try a different record. Broken records are annoying. (I am taking that advice, too.)
As for everyday life, well...good luck with that. Remember, there are always others involved.