Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I have to say that it gave me a perverse kind of pleasure to see the FBI in full battle gear approaching Roger Stone’s house the way they would a drug dealer. Because truth-be-told, the kind of white-collar crime that he stands for, the kind all the other Trumpies are being indited for and the kind “Individual 1” hopefully will be is so much more damaging and hurtful to people than the worst drug dealer. They all hide behind their big money and privilege and get self-righteous about dangerous Mexican immigrants while continuing to thrash around with their heavy shoulders of power like the proverbial bull in the china shop—and getting away with it all. But for some of them at least, their day of reckoning is coming. One hopes it will continue. 

If the news is a mirror to what human beings are or could become, it’s not looking good for us. By any elementary standard of common human decency, the people making the headlines —and the Foxy people spinning the headlines as well—are despicable people run by greed, prejudice, cynicism and small mindedness, trying to grab more than their share in a world of great affluence and knocking down anyone who gets in their way. Nobody I would want to present a guest session to my 5-year-olds or 8thgraders. Beyond all the scandal and intrigue and party-lines and fake outrage, simply looking at the humanity (if you can call it that) of a Mitch McConnell next to the integrity of say, Stacey Abrams, is a study in both the depravity and the exaltation of the human spirit. The two extremes of the good and the ugly and then all the bad folks who excuse the latter and use precious votes to defend lying, cheating and purposeful ignorance. 

Seeing these folks every day in the news, listening to Sarah Huckabee Sanders dance around simple questions thinking she’s so clever in her constant defense of what is indefensible, takes its toll on the human psyche. How can one have hope in “the intellectual, imaginative and humanitarian promise” (from our school Mission Statement) of people in the face of the constant assault of the opposite? 

And yet I do. The children I teach daily, the colleagues I share this worthy mission of education mind, body, heart and soul, the musicians and music teachers I encounter, family and friends, are a constant reminder of what human beings might be—imperfect and flawed, to be sure, as am I and as are we all, but within a proper proportion. None of us are pushing others down in Walmart or using our minds to concoct schemes to scam our neighbors so we can buy another personal jet or waving MAGA hats and shouting mindless things just to feel part of something, however ugly it might be. 

Most of my days I spend wondering how I can be at least a slightly better version of myself and how I can help, encourage, inspire, others to be the same. I refuse to be pulled down into Roger Stone’s ugly world and that helps make it all bearable. But every once in a while, I just wonder what the hell happened to these people. And feel just a little bit happier knowing the FBI are out on their lawn. Just sayin’.

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