Anyone who forcefully says #AllLivesMatter says it only as a sardonic, hostile response to #BlackLivesMatter.
Invariably, in the same conversation they try to convince me (or themselves) how someone deserved to die without due process of law, which suggests that they don’t really believe that all lives matter.
“#AllLivesMatter. I hope if you ever need the police that they don’t show up and you die or get raped or something.”
Come on, now. This isn’t about hating or not wanting the police. (I’ll keep it real, though. I have seen a few black people saying crazy things but those things are crazy. And sometimes ignorant. And sometimes conspiracy theories from wherever conspiracy theories come from.)
I assume that during the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure #AllLivesMatter activists show up to shout, “WHAT ABOUT DIABETES? WHAT ABOUT LIVER DISEASE? #CureAllDiseases! Not heart disease, not hyperthyroidism, ALL diseases!”
Of course, everyone’s lives matters. I’ll even say #WhiteLivesMatter, #BrownLivesMatter, #WomensLivesMatter, #QueerLivesMatter, #BlueLivesMatter” and #PoliceLivesMatter even though an occupation isn’t the same as an immutable physical sociocultural designation but okay. I’ll say it all day long because I believe it. It’s not mutually exclusive to my belief system. It’s a part of my belief system.
The difference is, I’m bleeping outraged and heartbroken when cops are killed, too. Not only when people who look like me or share my socioeconomic status, whatever that means, die unjustly and unnecessarily.
I’ve started a YouTube channel named Blackout Doors. Or BlackoutDoors. Or Black Outdoors. I’m still finding my groove and figuring out the technological logistics – POV video and quality sound are my biggest challenges right now – but I’m getting there.
My goal is to bridge the gap for people who are interested in camping and hiking but don’t have the know-how, gear, or inspiration.
We live in a time and culture where everyone can have a voice, which is wonderful. Great. We have access to instant information, facts, and each other’s thoughts about them. All of the information. All of it. We live in a time and culture where we select the information and facts we want to hear and believe. We abuse this gift of knowledge and connection by using it to self-affirm and self-radicalize.
I’ve mentioned before that I’ve unfollowed people on Facebook for various reasons, some of them ideological. I generally don’t follow anyone on social media that is aggressive with their beliefs. But if we all did that, what are we left with? Cliques and tribes of faux-blissful ignorance. (That’s why I do re-follow every now and then and occasionally attempt to have a level-headed conversation, which is a fruitless endeavor, lemme tell you.)
It was like standing next to Niagara Falls or at least an underground cylindrical Niagara Falls. A dark, brackish, mud pushed through the upper opening with a wet splop and slapped against the ground and the lower opening. Silty water followed directly behind roaring and blasting from the ceiling above.
The two monstrosities slowed their charge to a hesitant, probing advance. My sight dimmed a little as Shadow reacted and then calmed. Thank God for small favors.
“Now what?” I yelled as loud as I could.
“What?” Gabriel yelled back.
This went on for too long. Comically so. So many questions. How deep did that hole go? Given an unlimited source of water, how long does it take to fill an elaborate, man-made network of tunnels? How far would the water reach? Would it inundate everything below sea level, more or less? How many people were still in the tunnels? Talk about collateral damage. The metro would take forever to recover. Most of all, how was I going to not drown and/or get eaten by hell hounds? That was actually the burning question in my mind at the time.
“Hey look, a fish!”
Gabriel pointed at me and pointed at the hole in the tunnel floor. Aw, hells no. He repeated the gesture emphatically. I crossed my arms in defiance. He shook his head in disappointment, glanced at Lily, and she picked up our unconscious prisoner and threw him into the waterfall and down the hole without a second thought. She looked at Gabriel with a “What?” Shoulder shrug.
Gabriel held his flaming staff up into the gushing, ersatz waterfall and it vaporized before hitting the floor. The resultant steam was definitely about to be a problem. Lily, showing her usual initiative pushed me into the hole. I may or may not have screamed. The details are unimportant. I fell through wet, panicky darkness, figuring I’d get stuck at some point and drown unceremoniously with lungs full of murky stank water.
Inside: Social media; Why we unfollow; The gun show; Life skills
Confession. The other day I refollowed everyone that I’ve unfollowed on Facebook. I’ve unfollowed a lot of people. The sound of no one caring is the appropriate response to that. There were a bunch of people that I just plain forgot to re-follow after, say, the culmination of sports seasons.
Why is it that a person posting something completely innocuous and even mildly enjoyable becomes a negative solely due to their prolific nature. Baby goats are cute. Someone posting five baby goat pictures a day has the same effect as someone sitting next to you and saying the words “baaaaa-by bump” literally every time you see them. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with doting on your baby goats. It’s not rational for it to be annoying and yet it quickly calls for censoring (in the benign sense of the word).
Something in our brains turns that into, “Jeezus Cripes! It’s all baby goats! Every damn second of every day, baby friggin’ goats! I can’t take it! Not one. More. Damn it, another one! Why is this happening to me?”
I think it’s our mind’s way of filtering information. There’s so much stimuli and information being broadcast — there’s a threshold — where a stream or channel of info becomes a nuisance. Who knows what Facebook does to manipulate our feeds and determines what we see and don’t, not to mention why. If videos of baby goats appear to increase sales for Amazon something tells me we’re going to be seeing a lot more of them.
I did meet her and hiked with her at least once. It was the Old Rag Summit Sunrise overnight hike back in December 28, 2013. (Please correct me if I’m wrong.) Remember? I bonked and cramped, didn’t have the proper gear or clothing, and so on. And Debbie P. rocked it. And Erick played sweeper, which meant sweeping me, from the summit back to the parking lot. Thanks for that.
I posted this photo of Hua on the MAHG meetup for this outing. She responded with “Photoholic!”
After I wrote about her dying of hypothermia in the Adirondacks, Jim, one of the hosts of the Washington Backpackers Meetup Group, with permission from Hua’s family, released a statement. It provided insight into how such a bright light met her end doing what she loved.