America. What does it mean for you? For me it's an inherent part of my identity. It's not really a deliberate choice, more like an intangible tangible. I can't change it, no more than I can change my revulsion at the road this country is going down. The candidates are just symptoms of the illness. The real problem is we have become much too lenient with every type of misbehavior, other than of verbal slurs (unless its on social media - in which case anything goes). The rights of the few take precedence over the rights of the many. This is evident in everything from schools to public spaces. Students who have severe behavior problems have the right to totally destroy a class and stop the teacher from teaching and the students from learning. In public spaces, self cleaning toilets were removed from NYC some years ago, because they weren't completely handicap accessible. As I'm writing this, there's a guy with his pecker out, peeing between two cars on 172nd Street. All in view of everyone walking by. The cops won't ticket him - partly because they can't be bothered and they hate the mayor (who has downgraded the offense). I don't entirely blame the urinator - he appears to be homeless and there are no toilets to use - self cleaning or otherwise. As an ATR, I know the feeling. No restroom key and no one to open the restroom door. How many of us have been tempted to urinate in the back stairs? Save not for the cameras and the students back there having sex, some of us may have. What an embarrassing hearing that would be! The daily papers would read, "Subpar teacher urinates in back stairs!". The TV news would show endless clips with the warning, "What we are about to show you may be disturbing".
Every time I walk around this city I'm disturbed. Homelessness, selfishness, materialism, incompetence, and downright meanness are there. My right to blow your head off with my gun takes precedence over your right to have a head, especially if I perceive you as a threat. Most people that carry guns perceive everyone as a threat. If they get in a fist fight and start to lose, they will pull out that gun and use it. How likely is it that you can get into a fist fight in this city? Very likely, especially if you are young. (Don't have a gun - then a knife will be used.) Every weekend and after every holiday, I open the paper to read how many people were shot the night before. How many people were shot in NYC, last night on the 4th of July? 10. I don't know how many were intentionally targeted. Many of the kids that have these guns learn to shoot by watching videos and movies in which the gun is held and shot sideways - insuring that everyone, except the intended victim, is shot. Violence is glorified in movies, video, music and gaming. Getting a gun for many young people is like what getting our first bike was for us (with an extra added pleasure of being illicit). Schools are a microcosm of society - keep metal detectors in schools. Have a peaceful summer.