Is it so hard to wait your turn? Where do we get off imagining that the rules don’t apply to us? (I say “we” and “us” because I’m as guilty as anyone.)
Entitled douchebaggery. Insert eye roll here.
I witnessed this on my exhausting day of doctor appointments and re-scheduled madness. There was a section of road with one lane traffic. There was a flagger, huge pieces of construction equipment that would have captivated my nephew, plus neon orange, green, and yellow in abundance. We’ve all been in this scenario: wait patiently while the oncoming traffic uses the safe side of the road then the waiting side gets a turn to go. Simple.
Simple unless the rules don’t apply to you, and your life is way more important than the lives of others around you.
I had already been through this bit of roadway on my way to doctor visit number two and survived the experience. However in my haze of exhaustion from blood sucking and fat weighing, I went on autopilot and used my normal route home which took me back to the section of road construction.
All was well. It was my side’s turn, but we were abruptly halted midway through the safe side of the road. The problem became evident in slow motion. Another driver had decided that it was HIS TURN. He had bypassed the flagger, huge pieces of construction equipment that would have captivated my nephew, plus neon orange, green, and yellow in abundance at his end of the road and was driving on the under-construction side of the road.
I watched from my car window as he slowly rolled along the road with the entire construction crew marching menacingly behind him. The burliest crew member was walking within reach of the car’s driver side door and repeatedly commanding the driver to stop.
Mr. I Have Places to Be in My Hawaiian Shirt and Pompadour (Seriously, this guy was done up like Ace Ventura Pet Detective. Tone Loc may have been cuddled up in the backseat with a monkey.) had his window down and just kept saying, “What” while shrugging and waving the arm that wasn’t slow motion piloting his car.
But not like “What? I’m a bit deaf in this ear.” Or “What?!! A bunny! Where?”
This was an entitled “What.” The “what” that teenagers use when you call them out on shit that they know they have done,and they know it’s shitty shit, but they don’t feel like admitting to it. Because admitting to it means admitting, “I have been a douchebag and committed ‘heinous fuckery most foul.'” (Thanks, Christopher Moore.)
I got to start driving again, as the lead burly crew member was walkie talkie-ing to someone that “We’ve got a driver who refuses to stop.”
I don’t know how this roadside drama ultimately played out, but as I try to assess the events of the election this week, I fear that entitled douchebaggery and heinous fuckery most foul will be the status quo. I’ve tried all week to get my thoughts together. I had the perfect wording linking my thoughts on the winner to eating my feelings and the Arby’s sandwich that I vomited at 2 a.m., but it was 6 a.m. and I couldn’t pause the getting ready for work process to write anything down. At this point, the entitled driver is the best link I can make.
I’ve backed the losing pony before, but I’ve never felt this disheartened even in the Bush years when I couldn’t listen to the news on my morning drives to work because every day brought new anti-gay rhetoric or another step towards further destruction of the environment. I suspect I’ll be going news-less for the next four years as well. I feel like this election and its results have made it okay to voice whatever evil thoughts are in your head. Americans are now entitled to spew hatred and respond with the entitled “What?!” when somebody calls them on it.
It makes me think of another teen behavior; saying, “At least he’s being honest!” when a classmate cops to the shitty shit that was committed. I so want my response to be, “Being honest doesn’t absolve you from being an asshole 5 seconds ago,” but you know there’s the whole professional thing I’ve got going. Being a halfway decent human means recognizing that you’ve done something wrong and being sorry for it instead of indignant. Or recognizing that some thoughts are evil thoughts and don’t really need to be voiced in the name of “being honest.” (Trust me, there is plenty of evil in my head that I would barely be willing to voice much less document in writing.)
I fear that we’ve elected a large, poorly behaved teenager who has signaled throughout his campaign, perhaps intentionally, perhaps not, that we are now entitled to voice our hatred of all that we do not see as “us” as if we live in a live confessional booth on a reality t.v. show. (Did the The Apprentice have a confessional booth? I never watched it because the main character was so deplorable, if you will.) I understand that all who voted for him do not support such rhetoric, but you still made a choice after watching the madness.
Never have I come in to school the morning after an election to emails asking teachers to be present in the halls during class changes because hateful words had already been exchanged between students. One student sobbed off and on all day at the mention of the election results. During a discussion, a Muslim student blurted through tears,”I don’t understand why this country hates me.” There were chants of “build the wall.” How do you tell students that this is inappropriate when the President elect is backing it? There were so many conversations among parents and teachers trying to figure out what to say to their own children as well as their classrooms.
The dystopian novels that I love have the common thread of a ruling class sorting people by WHAT they are, and creating hate and division between the groups through media propaganda, privileges, and lack of communication and information. The Hunger Games, Divergent, Red Rising, The Maze Runner, and Ready Player One all hinged on this concept. I love them because they are adventures with strong characters, and fantasies with a message. This post-election week has not been a fantasy and the things that I witnessed at school have been mild compared to other news stories pitting one faction of the population against another. I feel sad. I feel worried. And I keep waiting for the tightness in my chest that feels like grief over what we’ve become to ease.
Here is a therapeutic kitten to help alleviate any sadness or anger you may be feeling as a result of this post. She is not a pussy who likes to be grabbed, but would prefer a gentle cuddle.
Also here is the awesome Kate McKinnon performing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” This made me weepy for a good 24 hours, like crying in the Giant Eagle produce section type of weepy. I think the last verse is particularly poignant.