Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Color of Hate

Usually I dedicate this blog to the writing beast, but today another beast crept from its place in the muck forcing me to waver in more ways than sticking to my usual. The incriminating ugliness called "hate" surfaced to such a degree, and spit so much acid in my usual peaceful Sunday, that I couldn't ignore it any longer.

The hate didn't suddenly appear. It has simmered since the passing of singer Whitney Houston, a music icon of our time who set the bar high for similar songstresses to aspire. And now the legend slowly becomes the base for sick jokes and complete disrespect, as if she were the Bin Laden of pop culture.

Her passing brings to light what lingers within people's souls, a darkness I never would have recognized by merely looking at their faces. From an Associated Press reporter who said, "I'm not shocked that she died, just sad," to the Facebook accusations implying that Ms. Houston was a bad mother, and onward to the tasteless jokes. Current society is on the downward spiral with no recourse.

Does anyone try looking beyond their own darkness anymore, or could it be that their darkness pushes their caustic button? Perhaps modern society is unable to recognize darkness, blurred in the blinking paparazzi bulbs and glaring headlines of the supermarket rags.

I recall seeing a story years ago about NHL player Derek Sanderson. He played center for the Boston Bruins back in the late 60's, early 70's I believe. A gifted hockey player, one who hit the ice without today's protection, he suffered injuries that required heavy-duty pain killers, the kind today's middle-school kids steal from their parents' medicine cabinets and sell during lunch break. As the story went, addiction found him; he lost everything and eventually lived the homeless life. As luck would have it, and I can't remember the turn of events that led to rehab, he entered a facility and turned his life around.

He was the lucky one. Or maybe since he fell from fame in a different sort of way - injuries removing him from the ice, people forgot about him - paparazzi rarely follows a broken down hockey player. But they will always follow the falling and rising star as if waiting for failure to find them. Cameras ready, snapping pictures, taking video and recording speech, who can hide from public execution - convicted without a defense?

And then I recall my story, a recent one that came in the form of an unexpected, life-changing experience. But I'm lucky. I'm not famous. No one followed me around with cameras, shot videos or recorded my speech, as I stumbled, barfed, and slurred my words. Sudden weight loss; dizzy spells; reactions to stress. Depression. Heart break. Who cared?

Did anyone open fire on my strife via Facebook? Was I the brunt of really bad jokes? And if my journey led to my demise, how many would have been saddened but not shocked? And would anyone take the time to utilize simple critical thinking and get the facts before offering opinion?

This is the world we live in. People waiting for the fall of another and later having something to joke about, criticize and form uninformed opinions.

Rest In Peace: The new oxymoron of today's society. It makes me wonder if the Four Horsemen have taken new shape.

And may Ms. Houston rest in peace eventually.

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