© Isaac Ramos
It’s nothing new, really; injustice surrounds us all. It’s been like that for the entirety of history. We have become so numb to it, in many ways unimaginable to those well accustomed to their own lives, that it’s sickening. You already know where this piece is going — another one of those random arts majors indiscreetly unburdening himself of his woes. And you are disinterested about what I have to say when I tell you that the system is flawed. I see it in you, the moment you thought this piece would be boring and decided you didn’t want to keep reading. That is how the system is flawed. Sometimes you see the flaws yourself. You notice flaws during the course of your day, and you notice how most of them are so foolish and dumb you wish people would have a little bit of common sense to see them too and fix them. It’s a cycle, but how the cycle works is decided by perspective.
You see it in your neighbor, with every different hooker he brings home during lunch while his wife is at work two hours away from home. You notice this, so you ask yourself, has she?
You see it every quadrennial, when suddenly the road in front of your house has been magically repaired after years of abandonment. You question if the fact that it is almost time for elections has anything to do with it, and realize the hundreds of people marching behind some lawmaker wannabe already answered your question.
You see it when you go visit a family member; one of your cousins comes up to greet you and very excited tells you about a new friend she made on the internet. She goes on about how good he treats her and the many types of princess he calls her. You don’t need to ask her more before you realize this is no friend she should be talking with.
You see it on the news with every new story about someone somewhere being killed for something. Then, more than half of the times, one or more of those three things are left unanswered. You feel unsafe about it when you imagine yourself or someone special to you dying without a killer, a place, or a reason. It just happened because it did — the life of a human being taken for granted.
You see it when it is time to welcome the New Year and you see countless campaigns encouraging people to stop firing their guns at the air once the countdown reaches zero, because any person with the least amount of common sense can comprehend why this is a bad idea. But people still do it. At which point is it viable to think less of these people when their own impulses affect innocent lives so tragically?
You see it when you go shopping, and buy that shirt from the popular store everyone goes to even after you see the price tag on it. The thing is obviously made of the same material the one you are already wearing is made of — you even check that detail. The only difference is a small fancy logo somewhere on the shirt, but it still costs twice as much. You can’t seem to grasp the reason behind it, but you never really think about why you don’t go into that other store with regular priced clothes and rude employees while you put on your new shirt.
You see it every Sunday when you visit the church your parents have been taking you to since you were a kid, and listen to thousand-year-old stories of people long dead, written by minds irrelevant to our times, and reproduced by mediums that purposely choose which of these stories will influence the minds of the believers, ignoring most of the time the stories clouded by discrimination, misogyny, xenophobia, racisms, male chauvinism, rape culture, homophobia, and other things most people would think are vile for society because, well, who needs to think about all of that when you are somehow the offspring of a loving god? But you know those stories are there, and they’re real, crude stories disregarded over fantastical lies.
You see it during summer vacation, when after a great family day on the beach you walk behind a family of four to the parking lot. The drunken father of two very young boys keeps pushing and yelling to the older boy as the wife and mother walks ahead a bit faster holding the younger boy close to her. You reach your car while they continue walking a bit further, and as you pass by their F-150 you can see the father mercilessly beating his son inside the car while the mother hugs her other son outside the car sobbing scared.
You see it on the streets, when heading back from work you see a really pricy car pass you by, driving irresponsibly and blasting loud obscene music. There’s a police car that seems to be chasing it, but just as it gets close it decides to stop you instead, who are driving a ’00 Toyota Tercel, for having “heavily tinted windows” and a small crack on your windshield.
You see it when your daughter comes home after school, looking sad and troubled. You give her a hug and a kiss, help her with her backpack and ask her what is wrong. She asks you why is it that her favorite teacher has started going to school with a new bruise every day, her hair made a mess, and her face marked by lazy make up and dark smudges on her cheeks. You muster the courage you need to tell your daughter that there are evil men in this world willing to inflict such damage on a person they once confessed love. She doesn’t seem to understand, but you tell her you will talk to her teacher and see how you can help. Still, it’s not enough to relieve your daughter of her worries.
You see it after every catastrophe in the world, with the way a third-world country gets hit by something and suddenly everyone needs to help that poor country, but after a couple of months that poor country seems to become a nuisance, and help slowly diminishes. There’s just a handful of souls that are genuinely committed to their cause and stick around when the ‘leaders’ of the world go back to focusing on getting wealthier. Those who can. Those who have. Those who ignore. Those who don’t really give a fuck.
You see it every time you hear about a woman being raped by multiple men, in cases where there is numerous evidence like pictures, videos, confessions, and obvious physical and mental damage done to the woman raped. It just so happens that the men are sons of other wealthy men who claim their sons are innocent, blaming the woman’s body and clothing choices for rendering their sons defenseless and prone to desire. The sick bastards get five months tops, the woman gets scarred for life.
You see it every year right after Thanksgiving Day, after people recite their well thought out thanks and invocations in front of a well prepared dinner, and enjoy a well deserved time with their family and friends. They stuff their bellies just in time to reach the nearest shopping mall before the lines start getting too long. They spend the entire year criticizing how bad the economy is, and it all adds up to this night. They wait long hours to be the first ones in. They bring their kids along late at night to wait amongst a crowd of hundreds. They become animals when the doors open at midnight. They disregard everyone around them; just for that 10% off a flat screen TV they could buy any other day of the year.
You see it when you walk in on your fourteen year old son holding a bloody knife with his right hand, struggling with an open wound, his face dazed and pale, about to cut his other wrist. He falls on a puddle of his own blood before he can slice it, and you throw yourself shocked on top of him with teary eyes. You take a hold of the knife and throw it to the other side of the room as if it could do more harm, spraying blood all over the bed sheets and curtains. You tear off a piece of your shirt and try to hold the blood from coming out of your unconscious child’s wrist. As you carry him up to take him to a hospital, you’re astonished to see the walls are written with blood, and the only thing you can read before running out of the room with your son on your arms are the words: “blame the bullies”.
You see it while in school you study about slavery and racism and how supposedly we’ve progressed so far from it that an individual of color can become President of the ‘free world’. But we still struggle to understand how an individual that loves another individual unconditionally cannot posses the right to live a happy life the way they please merely because we are too prejudiced to accept what we don’t understand, and actively reject learning about diversity. There’s no use in thinking well of ourselves for not being racist if we are going to try and rule over a couple’s lives basing our arguments on nothing.
I see it in you when you tell me that racism and homophobia are not part of the same issue.
I see it in you every time you’re out running errands and you feel uncomfortable when the teller in charge of your insurance case is a young male with long hair and a full sleeve of tattoos, and you don’t trust him because his appearance seems unsettling. You ask yourself, how did a person like him end up with such a job, or rather, how can he even have a job. You are unable to look past his appearance to acknowledge a smart, polite, productive, successful young man doing his job like anyone else would.
I see it in you when you go on supporting the same political party all of your life, as if it were part of a family tradition you must follow without question.
I see it in you when you reject a cancer patient of better and safer treatment under cannabinoids, subjugating them to hazardous chemotherapy instead, because you are unaware and uneducated about the use of cannabis to treat cancer patients, and patients suffering from many other terminal and non terminal illnesses. You reject the use of these organic drugs for medical purposes while you hold a bottle of whiskey on one hand and a pack of cigarettes in the other and tell me straight up “marijuana is the door to worse drugs”.
I see it in you when you disregard any of these as irrelevant just because you can’t relate to them.
I see it in you when you think any of these has nothing to do with the system. And to that I tell you, do you understand what system I am referring to? “That’s just how the world works”, I hear every single time. Who exactly decides that this is the way the world has to function? It is evident that the system is made by everyone. Every single person living in our society influences the system. Everyone sees the flaws, and everyone decides to live in a world dominated by them. Who cares about the flaws? We all get what we want. Or so we think. Is the way we think also another flaw in the system? Maybe is depends on the perspective we view our cycle with.
© Isaac Ramos
La verdad es que no soy feliz, y me levanto todos los días con una molestia de que estoy perdiendo el tiempo estudiando algo que, además de que le he perdido todo el interés, no me va a brindar una vida feliz ni prospera en el futuro. Es un sentimiento que ni yo logro entender bien aún. Sufro en el presente pensando que no quiero sufrir en el futuro.
Master-post of some pictures of my Vaas Montenegro cosplay from Caribbean Entertainment Expo [ Sept. 21, 2013 ]
Thanks to all the awesome people who stopped me for a picture :>