Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Refuse to Spread Vitriol

with 9 comments

Folks, the last few days have sorely tested my resolve to refuse to spread vitriol.

Why? Well, we had an officer-involved shooting less than ten miles from my home; worse yet, the officer shot a man who appeared to be unarmed seven times in the back. (Yes, I live not far from Kenosha, Wisconsin. And the videos of this horrific event are prevalent, so I will not link to them.) And worst of all, three of the unarmed man’s children witnessed this.

I have no words for expressing my frustration, my outrage, and my anger over all of this. I don’t understand it. I definitely don’t like it. And I wish very much that this hadn’t happened.

The only good thing about it is that so far, the man — Jacob Blake — is still alive after surgery. I pray he will have a full recovery, and that truth and justice will prevail in this matter.

Anyway, that’s not the only thing upsetting me (though that would be more than enough in a more “normal” year). But the Curse of 2020 lives on, and thus, we have to keep on going in a time that seems incomprehensible after so many bad things have happened in a short space of time.

Those bad things include:

  1. Covid-19.
  2. Shutdowns.
  3. So many murders of Black men and women, including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, for what surely appear to be no justifiable reasons at all. (Black Lives Matter. Which you’d not know after all these shootings. But I digress.)

Then you add in the governmental dishonesty, the ridiculousness you see on television or the internet, and the naked partisanship that has divided friend from friend and hurt the United States as a country and the world at large, too…and it all adds up to a big, fat, smoking mess.

That said, we have to somehow refuse to add to it. Yes, demand justice be done. That is the bare minimum we as reasonably enlightened humans should insist upon. But do it through the rule of law. Peacefully.

For that matter, I want to add the following to the above: Find out the facts. Don’t just pop off and insist you’re right, la-la-la, and hear no evidence to the contrary. Learn, grow, change, develop into a better person, and try not to be an ass.

(Really, these things should be blindingly obvious. But apparently, they are not. So I am writing this blog, again, in the hopes that someone out there will realize things have got to change — for the better — and assumptions must be challenged along the way as I’ve said many times previously on this blog. But going on…)

I’m frustrated, too, by things I’ve seen closer to home.

For example, at the senior citizen housing place my mother lives at, one of the other residents was told to give up her dog — a big, goofy-looking, sweet and loving guy named Ollie. Ollie’s about fifty-five pounds, can be a little mischievous, but loves everyone. And his “crime,” which got him banished after three years of living with his owner, was that he got out one day and ran down the hall. He didn’t bark. He didn’t jump on anyone. He didn’t bite anyone. And he came when he was called by name.

Apparently, they have a “one strike and you’re out” policy at this place. And that worries me.

You see, right now with Covid, senior citizens are being told to stay indoors. Stay away from people. Don’t go out unless it’s essential. That means the love of a pet is even that more important.

Unfortunately, that is not what the apartment complex felt.

Ollie, who is over ten years old (though he doesn’t look or act it), had to be brought by his owner to her nearest relatives in Kentucky. By all accounts, both are miserable.

This happened despite a petition with over 80 names on it (in a complex that maybe holds 200 people) saying Ollie should stay. And despite the doctor’s note for the owner saying Ollie was essential to the owner’s mental health.

Nope. The apartment complex didn’t care. So poor Ollie and his owner are now separated, for what appears to be no reason at all.

This is nonsensical, ridiculous, and hurtful in the extreme to a poor, innocent animal and his poor, innocent owner. I have no words for how angry this makes me.

Otherwise, the heat and humidity and air quality where I live have all been bad again for about a week. This has not helped my mood any, either.

As I said, all of this has tempted my resolve not to spread vitriol.

But I’m still doing my best to avoid being a jackass, and help as many people as I can. I try to listen, learn, educate myself, and do the best I can to make the world a better place.

Some days, though, it seems much harder than others.

Do not give up the fight, though. I promise, I won’t, either. (And do say a prayer or think good thoughts for Ollie and his owner, will you?)

9 Responses

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  1. Poor Ollie. Out of all of us, he’s least likely to understand any of this or know what he did wrong. And he can’t even speak for himself. The children born in this year will never know life the way we knew it. Some of that is good. Most of it (IMHO) is not. To paraphrase a famous quote, 2020 is a year that will live in infamy.


    August 26, 2020 at 6:16 am

    • I am with you, Kayelle. I honestly don’t know why this happened at all to poor Ollie. And the rest of the year has just been Godawful. Dreadful. Terrible. (Fill-in-the-blank with your own favorite “bad” adjective/adverb here.)

      Barb Caffrey

      August 26, 2020 at 2:29 pm

  2. These are very sad tidings Barb.
    The worse thing is having worked in ‘Public Service’ I can comprehend how these things happen. Having said that the fact they happened does not mean they are right nor justifiable by any means.
    History suggests we always live in testing times…the ones which ‘test souls’.
    Would that we would learn.
    Take care of yourself


    August 26, 2020 at 7:11 am

    • Thanks, Roger, for your comment. I was wondering where you were! (I thought I hadn’t seen you in a while, and was hoping you and your wife were doing well.)

      Yes, I wish we would start learning. Somehow.

      Barb Caffrey

      August 26, 2020 at 2:31 pm

      • We’ve had one of those freaky times which would be the good start to a sinister SF film.
        Firstly our Fridge/Freezer start to fail, an engineer turned up, after a couple of days no improvement, so the next engineer will arrive on the 2nd September (Covid affect). Meanwhile I have invented an ice pack solution to keep the temps sort of effective.
        Then I lost my phone, found it again, but without sim card, lost one new sim card, next one I can’t fit in.
        Meanwhile with the laptop gone beyond hope I had to get the sluggish old one out of hibernation and oh my it is cantankerous! (Waiting for a new one on order)
        Thus inspired by the mass failure of the mechanical devices I had a spurt of creativity on writing (final re-write of Pt III of my fantasy trilogy).
        All is chaos, in one way or another.


        August 27, 2020 at 3:13 am

      • I’m glad you’re making the best of it, Roger. It sounds like a very frustrating time. 😦

        Barb Caffrey

        August 27, 2020 at 3:18 pm

      • What with the Pandemic it seems like ‘Just another day’ 😏🤷‍♂️


        August 28, 2020 at 3:01 am

      • LOL, Roger! 🙂

        One of these days, the pandemic will be over. But the mindset it has inculcated in us will probably be with us forever.

        Barb Caffrey

        August 29, 2020 at 6:11 am

      • We will be entering a new age Barb.
        Into our lexicon have passed the terms ‘Post War’ ‘Cold War Era’ ‘Post Cold War Era’ ‘Post 9/11’. Disasters are always the most evocative of sign-posts where marks are left.
        If we do manage to minimise Covid’s spreads and effects we will have a ‘Post Pandemic’ or something similar .


        August 30, 2020 at 6:34 am

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