I wanted to write something really great tonight. Something about how Robin and Maiana and I went to the International District for Chinese food this afternoon and how that sparked all kinds of memories and how the smell of hoisin sauce is still in my nostrils and I am still twitchy from the crowds and the lack of parking and the way that one fish in the bottom of the tank at the resturaunt just sat there, planted himself on the bottom.
But when I got home tonight I ran through my usual routine: check voicemail, check work email, do a little work, check personal email. Read the news.
And it’s in the last step of this process that my stomach began to turn.
In New York, a 34 year old man was trampled to death in a Wal-Mart yesterday. He was trampled to death by dozens of greedy, horrible people. I cannot stop thinking about it. When Robin called to tell me good night, we talked about the news story and she told me to stop reading it. Stop thinking about it. But I can’t. I am so, so very angry at the people who trampled the man, and at everyone who stood outside a retail store yesterday morning, waiting to get a good deal on something they didn’t really need.
I haven’t paid too much attention to politics since the election, but I have caught glimpses of quotes of people calling Obama a socialist. And I think about how capitalism leads people to want to get up in the wee hours of the morning and crowd outside a store and fight and even kill others. And I think about how I ashamed I am that I live in a country and an era when this sort of thing can happen. And I think about how much I would like to do something, though I’ve no idea what that something might be. All I know is that I am angry and horrified and hoping for a change much, much larger than our President Elect can bring.
But even with a major political or economic shift we will still be the same, wouldn’t we? I will still be a person who chooses not to buy into such ruthless behavior. And some others will still choose to force their ways into stores very early in the morning, to shove one another out of the way, to throw each other down on the ground. All for the sake of buying something that they will likely wrap in paper, stick under a tree and give to a child on Christmas Day and tell that child that a kind, magical man named Santa brought it for them.