It is an odd thing having a public venue like a blog. I constantly vacillate between my very private nature and this public face I’ve chosen to project. I tell myself I began this project two years ago to express myself, share my art. The few friends that know I write constantly encourage me to share more of myself, my life. They prefer my more personal pieces. How much to reveal is something I continually vacillate on. Then during weeks like this I find myself in an existential crisis of sorts.
My niece was critically injured. I haven’t seen her in nearly 10 years. I am the estranged one, the baaaah baaaah baaaad black sheep of my family. None of my family even knows I write a blog. Nor do the majority of the people who really know me. It’s my private, and oddly public, oasis. I realize the inherent contradiction.
But when I got the call from my Dad a protective lioness rose up from the depths. I heard my brother was upset by the way my niece was being portrayed in the media. A storm was brewing with sanctions on fraternity’s and the University circling the wagons to contain the mayhem. I went to the internet to read and watch the news coverage and then to the social media sites. I quickly became incensed.
Frat boys tweeting if you “can’t bang, don’t hang, stupid girl”. Another young woman wrote a blog piece, guised as comedy, where she joked about her dancing in the “slut box” and taking a drunken swan dive off a stage onto concrete. 100+ people had tweeted or shared her words. The rage I felt was intense. The sudden awareness of the lack of sensitivity human beings have for one another in this day and age, the inane hubris of youth. I wanted them to be publicly flogged, shamed. In that moment making me no better then them.
Instead I appealed to the young man to remove the tweet and to the website to remove the post. I realize there is a little thing called freedom of speech but there is also decency-at least I hoped there was. An ongoing police investigation is not something I suspected they want to step into. The young man has since modified his tweet and the website has also removed the post. On both accounts I am thankful.
But why write them to begin with? Because you can’t party on a weeknight? My utter sadness at the state of our race was palpable. This face of evil I was confronted with. That’s the danger of the internet. I have no doubt snide comments have been made for ages, we simply didn’t have the venue to see them. So perhaps it is a gift of sorts-bullies are revealed. But my own hope for humanity already dwindled took another hit.
Here’s the thing. I can’t say if my niece was drinking but she’s 19, at a college frat party, dancing and enjoying herself. If I had to guess based on my own youth it would be an easy conclusion to draw, as it would for most of us. Regardless this is not what led to her injuries. She was pushed.
So perhaps alcohol use was involved in the crime. In a split second the lives of two young women were irrevocably changed. That is how quickly life can turn on you. How quickly everything can change.
There is no humor in this situation. It is grave. She is lucky to be alive at all. And the road ahead for my niece will be long. But she has a tenacity of spirit that no one can rob her of- So look out world.
And if we want to talk about these moments perhaps we should learn to think critically and have a dialogue about life and the youth culture. I too went to a University where the indiscretions of student’s and athletes were white washed, covered up. Crimes went unreported. But a University is simply a microcosm of society at large. So perhaps we need to expand our view towards human nature.
Life is fragile. Time can disappear quickly. I have done risky and foolish things in my youth for which I am lucky didn’t have darker consequences. So I know first-hand that stupid split second decisions can have grave irrevocable consequences so be careful before you act rashly. (Or cook fried wantons at home in hot oil. Sorry Louis. I truly wish I could turn back time on that one).
Like most of us age affords wisdom and hindsight as they say is truly 20/20. And when we are young we think we’re invincible, indestructible. I know nothing a grown-up says is likely to sway the course. But if it could I would want you to dream big, live out loud but be careful and conscious because life is fragile. And it isn’t worth losing early.
To my niece, my brother, and family I send love.
Blast from This Blogs Past
The Weekend Reading List
- The Last Time ~The everlasting nature of last times.
- Understanding You and Me ~ This might just be the best tribute to love I’ve ever read.
- The secret Lives of girls
Hallelujah ~ Jeff Buckley
For Carsy The Eye of the Tiger by Survivor