Sometimes we leap, sometimes we fall, sometimes we’re pushed…
I am continually amused at how strangely our minds work. For example, a few weeks ago a friend was talking about crime being up in his neighborhood. I expressed surprise and mentioned that just the day before I had listened to a story on NPR about how overall crime has gone down quite a bit during the pandemic, with a few specific exceptions, such as property crimes in commercial building that are mostly deserted because so many white collar workers are working from home.
This prompted the friend to specify that by crime what he meant was specifically people breaking into cars. Which of course is precisely the type of crime that the NPR story said was the exception: property crimes that are less risky than usual because people are staying inside. It took me a minute of thinking to realize that car prowls would also be up, during which time I rambled more about the overall crime rates being down, and how I would only use the phrase “crime is up” if it were multiple categories of crime—but then I am rather pedantic.
The next morning I was getting a cup of coffee while my work laptop was booting up in the other room, and as has become my habit, I paused at the dining room window to look down and confirm that our car was still parked in our spot, windows intact and so on.
Which is when I had to laugh at myself.
See, that specific habit started back in late March when I read a news story that the local police departments had found a number of abandoned cars that the owners hadn’t even realized had been stolen because people were staying home and many couldn’t see their driveway from most windows in their home. Which is when I started the habit of every morning looking out the window to confirm our car was there.
Checking the car every morning had become such a habit that the reason had fallen off the normal shelves of memory and then sunk into the mist in the back of my mind. Such that even when my friend had mentioned car prowls being on the increase, it didn’t remind me of that news story. You would think that one’s memory would correlate such things. But apparently not.
This made me think about something I was reading on an acquaintance’s blog recently. A couple weeks ago we learned that people in the White House made the explicit decision (and documented the discussion) that since the early COVID outbreaks were in Blue States, that the Feds didn’t need to do anything. All the people dying would be in states that will never vote for Trump, anyway, and Trump could blame the democratic governors of those states.
That’s genocide. That is a war crime. That is a decision to let voters you perceive as not yours die from a preventable cause.
And the President only changed his tune and started urging people to at least wear masks when the virus spread to Red States. There was even a graphic that showed that the highest COVID deaths were happening in districts that previously voted for him.
And while several of us commented on that at the time (some of us with great outrage…) it barely lasted as a blip in the national media consciousness. Let alone most of the public. Because since Day One this administration has done many illegal and immoral and outrageous things. Those of us who care literally can’t keep up. How do we expect people who aren’t already news junkies to keep up?
The outrage and the illegality became this constant stream and eventually all of it fades to just being white noise. Crap is pushed from our collective consciousness by the ever-growing stream of more crap.
And I wish I had a solution or an answer to this problem. I just feel like the person implied in the meme I attached above: laying on the ground damaged from the fall, looking up at the cats who pushed me, stunned and unsure how to proceed.