In the course of my lifetime, I’ve developed what could be called an odd sense of humor. I am clearly unqualified to determine the source of this particular aspect of my personality, but I would bet that it was the result of circumstances which were ultimately beyond my control. Subjected to the whims of what amounted to an unstable parental authority, I’d suppose that I have developed a deep appreciation for morbidity in self-defense. Even as a child I detested the moments in which I felt powerless. I disliked the idea that I was not in control of my life, and I took control with humor. This is not uncommon in those whom have experienced such abuse; we become defiant to those that seek to control and dominate us with violence.
What I expected as a kid was relatively mild. I was subjected to pain in order to correct what was believed to be unacceptable behavior. I was never injured nor made to feel that I would be. I was never attacked nor made to feel that I could be. It could have been worse, and I will always know that.
That does not alter the fact that a man in his twenties routinely beat his step-children for what amounted to bullshit.
Perhaps it was reasonable to find humor in that situation. To exacerbate it in order to demonstrate that I would not be dominated by that dickhead. Perhaps this amounted to a little more than the invitation to suffer more than would otherwise be necessary. Was it counter-productive? Absolutely.
Sometimes a Pyrrhic victory is better than defeat.
This is hardly a unique experience. I’ve been made to feel powerless in so many aspects of my life since that I’ve been pleased as punch that I have developed a calloused perspective toward the human condition. I learned to dismiss the stripes of pain created by a belt or switch. I learned to tune out the shouts of an abusive prick and a mother that never put a stop to it. Since then, I’ve learned to dismiss the horror which accompanies a mass-murder spree. I’ve learned to tune out the pleas of those which are made to suffer for the profit of others. At this point, I see little other choice at all.
I have accepted that we, as Americans, will not have an adult conversation in order to prevent violence with firearms. We will not have an adult conversation in order to alleviate the circumstances which creates a permanent under-class. We will continue to further our mistaken belief that the interests of few are to be placed above the interests of all. We shall never demand more from ourselves, and will be content to continue our decline.
You should keep this in mind when you choose to take offense at humor directed toward events in which we cannot control. The humor directed at the deaths of celebrities is not inherently callous toward the hilarious misconception of the so-called sanctity of life, or even an attempt to strip the humanity from those which have been elevated and then destroyed by the fickle nature of our society. The humor directed at the massacre in Aurora, Colorado is not an implicit approval of the actions of the shooter, or complete dismissal of what the victims were subjected to. There will always be humor to be found in the aftermath of disaster whether it is found to be tasteful or not. You cannot nor should want to prevent the humor. Some of us become defiant in the face of those who seek to control and dominate us with violence, whether nature or human monstrosities.
Until we treat celebrities as people and not commodities, their deaths will be just as their lives were: another story on TMZ. Until we take steps to develop a reasonable approach to the acquisition and ownership of firearms, the misuse of them will be little more than statistics. Until we cease to place tax breaks for those who do not need them or frivolous applications of our bloated and overly-expensive military above the necessary funds needed to provide alerts of natural disaster and disaster relief, each hurricane and tornado, each flood and dry-spell will be assisted by our perfidies.
I will not sacrifice a part of myself for those killed in terrorist attacks when it is our own behavior that causes them. I will not sacrifice a part of myself for those killed by people whom should never have had access to firearms when we refuse to limit their ability to obtain them. I will not sacrifice a part of myself for those subjected to vicissitudes of disease when we refuse to make the effort to cure or treat them. I will not consent to impotence.
Until we strive for better, we’ll always be those assholes that complain and whine about the poor victims while never lifting one finger to help them.