Whose team are you on anyway?

The good guys, the ‘A’ team, of course, right?

The tragedy in Boston is just another reminder how F’ed up some people can be. Unfortunately, things like this are starting to happen way too often; almost to the point we are becoming jaded.

I’m mad as hell and I won’t take it anymore.

I wish it were that easy. I’ve become a softy as I mature age and whereas I used to hunt, kill and eat animals at one time, I no longer do so (hunt & kill that is, I’m still a carnivore). Life is precious and I’m more apt to even relocate a snake in my yard than chop its head off, much to the chagrin of my wife.

However, I have zero tolerance for ass wipes like the ones in Boston who cowardly kill and maim innocent people. I would be perfectly ok with swift, brutal and public punishment for those found responsible, and if they were looking for volunteers to administer this justice, sign me up. Zero tolerance…

The reason I bring up the Boston incident is right after even the first bomb exploded and in the midst of the pandemonium and chaos there were people running toward the scene to help, not away from it. These people were on the good guys team and ran to offer assistance with little to no regard if the people they were helping were gay or straight; red, black or green; Jewish, Muslim or Christian; Republican or Democrat, Bostonian or New Yorker.

All they knew it was a fellow human being in time of need. The good guys…

Why can’t it always be like that?

I don’t know; you tell me. I try to be inclusive and less judgmental in my thinking, but I have my prejudices still. And it usually applies to groups and stereotypes; typically when you get it down to one on one interaction and you can see this is a person just like you, a lot of the prejudices will diminish.

But it can’t always be a kumbaya moment and at some time you will have to pick a side; you can’t always straddle the fence.

I’m old enough and deep south enough to remember white and colored drinking fountains. How messed up was that? That, is not something you should have to pick a side on however. And whereas it is significantly better, it hasn’t gone away by any means.

We will always have prejudices.

In the grand scheme of things, the Civil War in the US wasn’t that long ago and it didn’t take much for us to throw down and start killing each other. That was pretty messed up too.

And the beat goes on

Evil is out there, but is it any worse now than it has always been? It’s more publicized, that’s for sure and more conducive to be sensationalized. And now people can go online and find out how to assemble their own weapons of mass destruction, but does that make it worse than it was?

And we have a lot more people on this planet. In 1960 the world population was 3 billion people; today, it is 7 billion. Out of 4 billion more people to deal with since the good ol’ days, there’s bound to be a nut job in there somewhere, right?

But even with all the crap going on around the world and still dealing with religion vs religion, neighbor vs neighbor, and country vs country conflicts and wars; there are still some really good people and it is not all doom and gloom. And that’s a fact.

Is there hope for humanity?

Here are six reasons why Cracked.com thinks there is hope for humanity.

True stories indeed.

Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.


44 thoughts on “Whose team are you on anyway?

  1. I’ll tell you what I thought I knew and what I’m learning right now: common ground is the only thing that’ll help us. Finding that sweet spot where we can agree can take time and humility and self-control. I can get passionate about what I think and lose an opportunity to connect. Most of that happens in a nanosecond without me realizing it. I’ll be in the middle of a conversation and realize that I haven’t really listened.

    There are definitely times when the differences show up as rage and violence and then my only job is to protect myself or the innocent.

    I have a habit- good and bad- of seeing the good. When I saw the picture of the supposed suspect accused of carrying the backpack with the explosive inside it, my mind immediately went to “mental illness” and compassion for him. And I’m probably wrong. I probably have a lot to learn about good and evil.

    But I teach my children to find common ground instead of differences. In their own home they can set rules and have standards that make them feel a certain way. But when they are out in public I hope that they see that everyone they meet is on the same path that they are on…the human one.

    • It’s a fine line. Sometimes people truly can’t help from making bad decisions because of mental challenges. I know that all too well being a volunteer Guardian ad Litem and being exposed to some families who are extremely messed up.

      However, I see the person carrying the backpack and knowing what the end result will be, I see cross hairs and I’m pulling the trigger. Zero tolerance…

  2. Just about bedtime, I got a call from a friend. She had called me to tell me, ‘I told you so…’

    Yes, they had told me that something was going to happen in Boston – a week or so before the event. They had told me that this was a manuever to advance federal powers over civil liberties. That a white, young man would be identified, etc. The latter remains to be seen.

    And she wanted to know when I’m going to share the truth.

    “It’s a sophisticated problem,” I replied.

    “Ironically, Truth is elusive in the midst of overwhelming information, data, and opinion.”

    “But don’t you feel the truth?” she asked.

    The conversation suddenly reminded me of the conversation between Christ and Pilate.

    What is truth?

    You ask, “Is the world better or worse?”

    The opportunity for good and evil is greater than ever before in human history, Bill.

    In the insurance industry, I’d imagine that means that coverage costs more because of the higher risk- not less. Regardless of the positives.

    The opportunity for good and evil is multiplied by an increasing population as well as the conditions (better or worse) of that population. But their are force multipliers like tv, telephone and internets. Like weapons of mass destruction, super bugs, and malware. Like prayer, prejudice and fear.

    In the face of such opportunities, our responsibility as individuals, communities, etc. is increasing faster than we are accepting those responsibilities. Our responsibilities are growing exponentially – at a rate that is “faster” than technology and innovation.

    Exponential growth occurs when the growth rate of the value of a mathematical function is proportional to the function’s current value.

    Does a few “good” people offset that exponentially growing failure to take on the growing responsibility beyond their immediate interests and reach?

    A zombie apocalypse, may be the best metaphor, for what is going on. There will be “heroes” like officer friendly (Rick Grimes) and the Governor but they will not save the world.

    We all thrilled and blushed at the potential and opportunity to connect with the world via the internets, but we never imagined that the opportunity cost was beyond our merit and will.

    But the good news is that tomorrow is not the end of the world. That’s what I told my friend. We can go to Starbucks and have an iced venti caramel macchiato. Maybe a chocolate chip scone too. Or we can go for lunch and have some Pad Thai. Yum. And isn’t that what really matters to us?! That tomorrow for me and you is gonna be alright…

    The end of the world can wait. Or we can hope…

    • What is the truth? Is it as simple as two disaffected youth who have the ability to totally shut down the city of Boston, or is something much more nefarious that is permeating in our society and we can’t get our arms around it?

      I know you’ve struggled with how can you make a positive impact on a global scale. I sit here trying to do good one person at a time.

      All I know, is I am mad as hell and I don’t want to take it anymore, but ‘they’ won’t win, the good guys still have the upper hand.

      And that’s my story sir…

  3. Thinking more about your question, I’m reminded of a modern tale based on an old story.

    The boss is upset about a failed factory and plans to close it down. Abe, a worker, is like, “Hey, there’s gotta be at least 50 good employees there. I know these people. You can’t close it down – not even if the good people represent less than 1 percent of the workforce. Those few good workers got to eat. They got families, hopes and dreams. They’ve got mortgages. They’ve made investments in this factory – emotional and financial. ”

    The boss reviews the performance evaluations and he can’t find the 50 that Abe was so sure about. So the boss and Abe haggle. In the end, they can’t find 10 good workers. The factory is done and burned to the ground.

    And those who look back with longing at the good old days of the factory… well, some of you know the story.

    • And if they had really been good workers, the factory probably wouldn’t have had to shut down. But whose fault was it to not having the right players on the bus?

      The good ol’ days sure seemed simple and idyllic, but the reality is, that place is only in our mind.

  4. When you get bullshit governments who use politics & religion to program people for their own agenda – staying in power, seeking power, the pursuit of wealth and all of that other crap that goes with it, that brings ugliness into the world.

    If you just eliminated the world of the stupid ass power-hungry, political charged, attorney a_s-hole, blood-sucking, primadonna motha f___ers – we would live in a much more peaceful and tranquil world.

    For the most part, as demonstrated in Boston, human-beings are loving caring creatures. I blame the dip-shits running the world and their controlled-media nut cases who propagate and spread hate.

    Oops, sorry for letting loose here on your blog, Bill. I’m pissed too!

    Fact: there are far more good people on the planet than bad. It’s just the bad people are really bad and they have the worlds wealth backing their foolishness.

    • Just like politics and voting, sometimes the ‘good’ guys are in the silent majority and it just takes a few in the ‘bad apple’ minority to make things looks worse than they really are.

      Essentially, from what it appears, it was two kids who had the power to shut down the entire city of Boston. It’s not a country or somebody we can go to war with; two kids….

      That’s our reality today.

      • Indeed, it’s a crazy world we live in…

        But something set them off their marry way just wreaking havoc on innocent people. It’s the constant barrage of crap on television, the interwebs, etc. that gets youth to do the stupidest things.

        It’s the grown up conversations, news organizations and zealots who are polluting society at a rapid pace with their stupid a_s opinions about this, that and the other.

        And all of that crap was not invented and spread by two dumb-a_s kids; it starts at the very top of the food chain by the idiots I mentioned in my first comment.

  5. The media feeds on this stuff, like pigs at the trough.

    And Mark is so right … politicians are brilliant when it comes to programming the populace for their own agenda. I think many of them feed on the ugliness too. Like the media, they love to scare us.

    Most people are good, kind souls. Of that I am convinced, but we hardly ever see this displayed via media, ’cause it’s all fear.

    I made the mistake of reading many comments on some large media blogs and just about each one was reduced to an argument about democrats vs. republicans … racial hatred … gun control … it’s the President’s fault, etc, etc. Now I know why I’ve avoided these sites for so long.

    Do good. Avoid the media coverage. Donate. Share stories about the first responders. That’s all, Sir.

    • Because politicians are ‘elected,’ they feel they ‘speak’ for the people. The reality is, most have their own agenda and item # 1 is getting re-elected. Personally, I am about fed up w/ the divisiveness the two-party system seems to operate under now. Talk about something being broken.

      When this Boston incident is all said and done, I think we’ll find it was not some well planned terrorist plot hatched in the middle east somewhere, but just some stupid, misinformed, disaffected youth who still had the ability to captivate world attention and shut down the city of Boston. THAT is what pisses me off….

      Do good; how hard can that be, huh?

    • It was interesting that he was a school teacher and knew how to ‘herd’ the crowd; in time of chaos, you certainly need some order.

      It is amazing how people ran to the scene, regardless if there might be other explosive devices or not. Maybe not the smartest thing to do, but really the ‘only’ thing to do.

      Looks like we are getting close to the end with this thing; I hope there are not any more lives lost except the little douche bag suspect # 2….

  6. I read your post over at my email and came over here to join in… after reading the comments, however, all I can say is that I am on your team. I am on the RIGHT team. I will not waiver, I will not quit and I will give no quarter. We will end this shit. It is going to take a long while, I am aware of that. But unless we fight the right fight now and hard…

    “All evil needs to flourish is for good men to do nothing.” ~ Edmund Burke

    • Fight for the right, now and hard…I couldn’t agree more. The problem is, we will always have a society of the haves and have nots. And this can take many forms, just not economically. However, as long as we have this, it will always be the fuel to cause unrest.

      Having said that, I certainly am not proposing a socialist society as the solution; absolutely not.

      We truly do need to look for the good and praise it. Let’s be a beacon of hope, ok?

  7. I think people are what they have always been, a leopard never changing its spots and all that. Mainly, they are good…or at least they try to be good. The pressure that’s being applied is making some struggle quite a bit, and you know what happens when you are yours are threatened. It gets ugly. The alternative is that we all work to help each other out. I see a lot of that, too.

    • And when you say we are what we’ve always been, how much do you think the culture and environment you were raised in has an impact? I know there are cultures out there that are being taught every day to hate the evil Satan, the US of A. How do we change that?

      I don’t know what the world would look like if we didn’t think the US had to be the world police; but I’m willing to give it a try. Let’s get the heck out of all these countries and take care of our own; how does that sound?

      • You aren’t going to change those cultures. We have been the world police for a very long time and there are a lot of angry people out there. Plus while I agree with you completely on taking care of our own as primary, we don’t seem to want to do that. For whatever reasons. Goodness only knows what actually happens at the top, and why. In the meantime all we as individuals mainly will do is take care of what’s right in front of us as best as we can, one person at a time. I wish I had a better solution but they’re not likely to elect one of us to hold the reigns, and we don’t as a group seem to have any idea how to change those in power so we can actually fix the whole broken mess.

        • If everybody will just play in their own sandbox, huh?

          As the population continues to increase however, I think the tensions will only increase.

          We definitely need a real leader that teaches collaboration and not polarization if anything is going to get done, that’s for sure.

  8. This is why I am technically Buddhist. Children are innocents. I can not believe in a Yaweh (Jesus’s dad and God of War – look it up!) or Jesus (God of Peace) if they are so helpless inoccent people meet such tragedy. In fact I believe those two homies thrive on bloodshed (hey my people started it right?!)

    But Buddhists believe children aren’t innocent and that if you meet a horrible fate it is because you did something bad in a past life! Now that I can get with 8)

    And the Taoist in me knows that sadly unless there is Evil how do we know what is Good.

    Geez dude you messed up my whole Friday. Can’t we talk Golf and the Knicks?

    • Carmelo….ask Brian Vickery what he thinks of ‘Melo.

      The more I go outside of the Bible and study how religions started in the first place and which ones happened to stand the test of time and how others fell by the wayside, the more questions I have.

      Since it is all unknown, the best thing to do is just treat it like your birthday is coming up, and it you don’t want to get a bag of sticks, then you better be on your best behavior just in case.

      Rays and Mets, I have a feeling this is going to be a long season….

  9. One thing my mom always told me – The evil will always be there; it is the only was we value the good. But only if you do good will you be able to overlook the evil. I think a lot has been said in the post and the responses; let’s go out and do nice so that we are a part of the solution. Always.

    • Unfortunately good has to be measured against something and with as much evil that is prevalent these days, it sure makes a pretty effective measuring stick.

      Like I said in one of my earlier responses, look for the good and praise it; yes, it’s ok…

  10. There’s always going to be some nutter out there who does something stupid or wants to harm people. I worry for how it’s going to be for my kids growing up sometimes.

    Then again, I look back and remember all of the cold war things going on when I was a boy and all those nuclear weapons.

    It’s the London Marathon on Sunday; let’s hope there’s no copy cat and everyone stay’s safe.

    • That’s the scary thing, somebody always wants to top the last horrific thing. I mean, when two people can totally shut down Boston, that’s pretty effective terrorism, huh?

      The evil will always be there and sometimes there will definitely be collateral damage, but I’m confident it will never prevail. Never…

  11. Oh bravo Mark! I’m just going to say I couldn’t have said that better myself.

    Like he also said Bill, there are still some damn good caring loving people in this world and I believe that when times like these happen and they will continue to happen, those people will be the only ones who come to the forefront. It’s a crying shame really but thank God for them.

    I wish we could all come together as one but there are too many people whose ego are too big for their brains so that will just never happen. Sensationalizing these tragedies just makes these idiots want to do it bigger and better. Because of the media, this will be out downfall.

    If they spent more time talking about the heroes then maybe more of them would come forward. That’s where I’ve love to see us go in this world.

    What a horrible tragedy and I’m with you Bill, it just pissed me off.


    • I agree w/ Pam I am and if we cut the news coverage down it would quit glorifying these tragedies and maybe these nut jobs would quit trying to ‘one up’ each other.

      There can be too much news, that’s for sure.

  12. Let me go on a different tangent here, one that may make me unpopular. I hate that we glue ourselves to the TVs as the media glorifies these murderers, inspiring other murderers. I, too, believe most of us are good, that with huge population growth we should expect that bad things will increase in proportion, b/c human nature, differing cultures/religions remain. I believe we do good one person at a time, and pray for leaders with the wisdom to deal with all of this more effectively. But in the meantime, can we somehow quit watching this stuff, so that the news media don’t get their damn ratings and create folk anti-heroes out of these guys. Bombs blew up. Good guys caught bad guys who hurt good guys. Then back the hell away from the tube. Go do something productive (good) with all that time NOT spent complicit with the media.
    Rant over.
    Commence tomatoes.

    • You unpopular….nah, no way.

      Like I told Adrienne, I don’t disagree. The news coverage allows essentially two people because of their actions to shut down the entire city of Boston and puts ideas in other nut jobs heads. Gini Dietrich just got back from Paris and it really didn’t get that much play over there comparatively speaking to what we endured. Maybe we should treat it the same way.

      Unfortunately, I don’t see us going backward on the amount of coverage.

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