Someone shot people at home/work/school/a theater/a mall
“Thoughts and prayers!”
Shouldn’t we address gun violence?
“Where is your compassion for the victims? Now is not the time.”

The forests and plains are burning,
Smoke blotting out the sun and making it hard to breathe
Hurricane ____ has blown down/flooded the coasts
Glaciers are melting
I dreamed Antarctica has trees
Storms and droughts are becoming more severe
Shouldn’t we discuss climate change and our role in it?
“Now is not the time.”
And we will rebuild our cities with the same buildings in the exact same spots, over and over again.

A police officer shot a black/brown man/woman
They had their hands up
They were unarmed
They were holding a book
They didn’t signal a turn
They were driving/walking/minding their own business
Shouldn’t we discuss racism?
“There is no racism. It was the black/brown person’s fault and/or they deserved it.”
Injustice accompanies the white person’s lack of self-knowledge and introspection. It’s scary in there.

A girl/woman/trans person was raped/beaten/killed by an acquaintance/boyfriend/husband/ex/stranger
“She was mine. I’ll show her.”
Shouldn’t we discuss misogyny and violence against women?
Not in church
Not at home
Not in the workplace
“Smile!”
“You’d be more likable if…”
Let me paint a target on my back and make it easier for you.

People are hungry
People are cold
People are thirsty
People are sick
People are homeless
Shouldn’t we help them?
“I work hard! They’re lazy.”
Cold, sick bodies pile up around the doors of the wealthy.

We invaded/attacked/liberated/retaliated against _____ because of terrorists/insurgents/communists/bad guys/oil
There are always more terrorists
It has been 16 years
Nothing has changed
Everything has changed
Except the war
Shouldn’t we try something different?
“We just need more troops. Then we’ll win!”
Poppies grow forever on fields of blood.

Our society/civilization/government/economy is falling apart
No one has noticed
Everyone has noticed
Shouldn’t we change some things?
“We have always done it this way. It is the best way.”
Nothing at all to worry about
Have a cup of tea, watch TV, and let us soothe you
Inertia speeds collapse, but there is nothing to do
Let us do nothing and watch Caesar fiddle
Something will probably come after.

Tap, tap. Is this thing on?

Writer, painter, cat fancier, troublemaker, democratic socialist, & antifascist.

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