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  • There's a problem with our dignity.

    OK, a rant is coming on.

    So here goes:

    I just spent the day at an advertising agency full of the most brilliant problem solvers in the world. Then, on my walk home, I passed some of the buggest problems in the world.

    It started as I walked along the highway. Scurrying erupted all around my feet, in the brush. Rats. I'm assuming they were rats. I really don't have any way of knowing. And it wasn't even the rats that were the problem. It was the low-hanging limbs of giants trees forming dark and imminent threats all around me. Countless bullets whizzing just behind a chain linked fence, pitch darkness, a guy approaching me from across the street asking me for the cigarette I wasn't smoking.

    Not major problems, but that's how the walk started.

    Walking up the long stretch home I pass a guy who asks if I have some weed to spare. "To spare?" Nope, sorry, dude. Fresh out of disposable weed.

    No more than ten steps later is a center for disabled people to do art. There's a gallery with dozens of little shelves. The shelves are full of various shaped and sized tomatoes. I assume the disabled adults who hang out here grew these tomatoes themselves. And then I start thinking about dignity, and how much dignity is pulsing in those jucy, far-from-rotten tomatoes.

    A few blocks farther I see a collective of a dozen women in a tussle outside their apartment building. By the looks of it, there's trouble. I immediately cross the street and keep walking, half-concerned citizen, half-voyer. Then I watch as one of the woman heaves another to the ground and throws a bike on her. The bike throwee gets up defending herself against drunkeness and starts riding down the sidewalk. She realizes she doesn't have her keys, and goes back to shrieking that she doesn't understand why the other woman threw a bike on her.

    So that's a wretched situation.

    I make it back to my street and head to the pizza place and there's a woman in front of me. She has 2" plugs in her ears, tons of tattoos and a really ugly mug. It kills me to candidly describe someone like this, but when she pulled 20 bucks out to pay for her food, all I could think was "Who the fuck hired you anywhere?". I get up to the front of the line, and without thinking, order the 4 hour-old slices that are half-price since I'm broke and want 2 slices.

    Then I arrive home and see the homeless couple that sit outside my apartment all day long. The wife is in a wheelchair and is sitting across the street, watching me type right now and the husband sits outside my door. She's dying of a terrible liver disease, but he's right there with her, helpless as anyone would be in his situation. What's so fascinating is that he could so easily leave her for dead at clinic somewhere. He could be a real tramp about the whole thing. But he loves her so much that he's just sitting there totally fucked with his dignity intact.

    Dignity isn't a judgement call. Your decisions establish it. But think about how we trample on it. What was the last lie you told? When did you last betray someone? When did you make a rediculous judgement call? When did you take more than your fair share?

    Eye for an eye for an eye et al.
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