I am continually amazed by how absolutely stupid the general population tends to be.
I want to let that sit for a moment. Go grab a coffee or tea and think for a moment. Ask yourself, “How stupid is our general populace?”
Far more often than I’d like to admit, I find myself asking the same question over and over again. Over time, I have learned that in order to not go completely crazy I have to shake it off and just get on with my life. Every once in awhile I come across something that forces me to confront and consider the implications of our shared stupidity.
Like the fact that it is now, apparently, a crime to be in a playground without accompanying children.
Okay, let me get a few things straight before I really get upset and lose my ability to form complete sentences: yes, it was against park rules; no, I don’t fucking care what the rules are or are not.
So, two women in the city got summonses to appear before a judge because they sat on a bench in a playground and ate doughnuts.
My rage from this incident isn’t about the stupid legal issues or anything aside from the fact that the very means by which we are attempting to protect our children is making them far more vulnerable than they ever were before. These sorts of incidents work to destroy community, limit communication and place barriers and walls between us so that we hardly ever see, let alone have a conversation with, our neighbors and fellow members of the community. NYC seems to be par for the course with criminalizing behavior and pushing rigid concepts of social acceptance. All the way back to the cleanup of Times Square, the city has been engaged in a double-talk war on the undesirable. Push the homeless and hopeless into worse and worse neighborhoods out of the public eye; criminalize smoking while reaping tax benefits from the sale to addicts (myself included); and now we’re seeing a deliberate and horrific stomping of basic humanity in the form of this anti-pedophile law.
I don’t know, exactly, but I would think that the more adult eyes there are in an area, the less able an individual would be to conduct unsavory or harmful behavior. This is where my far-Leftist brain takes over and says: “Aren’t we capable of pretty much taking care of ourselves and determining what is best for us?” Let’s not take that statement as an absolute, but as a guideline. My experience with individuals is that we usually work together to make our lives better when we know and connect with others. That’s one reason why I was in-part enamored with the city of Springfield, MA when I lived there: that everyone worked together because there were few opportunities for the low-income population to individually thrive. People knew their neighbors and both offered and asked for help when needed.
And in that article, if you dare, breeze through the comments. They range from the (sorely lacking) rational “What?!” to the immensely stupid “Rules are rules and if you don’t follow the rules you’re obviously a pedophile drug-dealer”. I truly hope that we can get past this and put ourselves back on the track to treating each other as human beings.