So, about a week and a half ago I clicked on an article that was brought to you by Cafe Mom's The Stir. It was my fault for clicking the link. Normally I'm not a sucker for articles like this "90s Heartthrobs Who Look Awful Now" but the picture attached was one that I couldn't place and I guess I was just dying to know who the person in the pic was.
The joke was on me, though, because I never made it to said person's picture. I never made it past the first. Why? Well, the first picture was of Brad Renfro. Now anyone who knows who that is probably is wondering where exactly The Stir got their hands on a "now" photo given that Brad Renfro has been dead since 2008. Now, don't worry, The Stir didn't stoop to the disgusting low of showing a photo of the corpse of the late actor. Instead, they stooped to the low of showing a picture of Renfro near the end of his life, talking about his state at the time and the referencing his suicide.
To this I say, WHAT IN THE SERIOUS FUCK THE STIR?!?!?!
Are you shitting me?
Are you really for real right now?
Did you seriously fucking include a person who committed suicide over five years ago in a "people who look awful now" article?!?!?!
When exactly did all human decency leave the offices at The Stir?!
Who in the fucking hell thinks that this is even a little okay?
Well, Michele Martin is who. The "journalist" who authored this stunning masterpiece. The person who totally thought, "hey, there's nothing wrong with disrespecting someone's memory in this way." The person who thought, "there's no way anyone reading this will be even remotely offended by the utter lack of compassion and simple human decency it takes to know that you DO NOT fucking mock someone that is no longer with us and that had a pain in his or her life that made them reconsider their existence." Michele Martin and anyone up the chain of command that saw and approved of this piece of drivel.
And a week and a half ago when I read this, I just couldn't keep quiet. Much like I'm not keeping quiet right now. I sent The Stir a complaint. I felt like, for me, it was time to speak up about the things that just didn't seem right to me. Right now, in this country, we are having some real trouble accepting each other. There's a lot of anger and a lot of hate going on right now and even the steps we're taking that move us towards a country of acceptance are causing some real backlash.
And at a time like this, we need more than ever to realize that picking at each other, belittling each other, tearing each other down -- no one wins there. No one. Why are we even "writing" articles that basically just list people that we're not attracted to? What the fuck is that? We see it all the time: actors with ugly spouses; celebrities that are hideous without makeup; hot A listers that started out homely;
Seriously, what are we doing to each other? Why has hurting each other become a go-to? It seems like every industry, every company, every organization and so many individuals are making hurting each other a national pastime.
So, in an attempt to not stay quiet while watching something tragic and hateful was happening in front of me, I sent The Stir that complaint message. I was told, via computer-generated message, that Cafe Mom would be getting back to me in two days. Cafe Mom let me know that if it was a weekend or holiday, it might take longer. I was told to check my junk folder and spam settings.
I did that.
I'm still waiting for my reply.
So, instead of doing what I'm assuming The Stir would like me to do and forget about the thing that bothered me so much, I sent them another message. I reminded them of who I was. I let them know when I had written and told them of my pessimistic suspicions that their hope was for me to just forget. And I told them I wouldn't. I told them that I expected a response. I told them that my complaint was real and I wouldn't sit idly by and let them add to the pollution that's plaguing our country.
And now I'm waiting again.
We'll see what happens but until the day I either get my response or I decide it's time to send message number three, I've decided that I'm going to fight for us. Fight for us as people. Fight for a life where being yourself doesn't end in an insult. The only thing in life that really matters is how we treat each other. All of our accomplishments, all of our money, all of our possessions and degrees and status symbols, all of our power...it all means nothing if we didn't treat each other with respect. It's not necessary to always agree, it's not a must that we all be alike, and it's not life or death if the things we believe differ. But it's time to really understand that hurting and disrespecting each other is not a constitutional right. And being the person that exists to tear someone else down is only a sign of weakness and fundamental unhappiness with yourself.
It's time we take back our own lives. It's time we stop letting others get away with this kind of abuse. The courts decided a long time ago that abuse came in multiple forms and it's pretty plainly obvious that we're seeing an insane increase in the amount of abuse and hate we spew at each other. Whether it words out of our mouth, or words on an internet page, that's abuse and that's hate and it's time for that to be unacceptable.
It's time for someone's hair length or skin color or nationality or muscle tone or gender or who they love or degree of masculinity or femininity or what the fuck ever to only matter to the person it pertains to.
It's time for a person's opinion to be just that, an opinion. Not a reason to scream obscenities or hate speech or throw a punch or worse.
There's seriously nothing to be proud of in shaming each other.
The Stir is my first step in trying to do what I can to speak out against hate. Hate solves nothing. Hate is nothing but a destroyer and if you think it destroys the target of your hate, you're wrong. Hate only destroys the hater.