I love my gym, Lifetime Fitness. Except for one thing; all the damned TVs. There are banks of them on every wall. They play news channels, local channels, and sports channels, as well as a Lifetime Fitness channel. It is easy enough to block all of this out when I am using free weights and machines. But there is no where to go to avoid it on the cardio machines. I start my workout (and my day) with all of these images encroaching my thoughts and feelings. It is overwhelming. As I glanced at the TVs this morning, I caught site of:
The Election Saga
Alligator Grabs a Baby
And no doubt one or two pharmaceutical ads and some sports drama, neither of which quite registered into my conscious.
Why is this note worthy over any other day in the last couple of years in my life? It was a headline that I saw scroll across one of the news screens, "alligator victoriously snatches baby". . .or something to that effect. The word VICTORIOUSLY was in there for sure. Seriously? We are assigning emotional values to the actions of wild animals now. Really? It can't just be that this horrible thing happened, let's go ahead and sensationalize the crap out of it and try our best to turn it into a scandal, for at least a news cycle or two.
They tell us how to feel and what to think. . .and that is a hard enough pill to swallow. . .but to try to tell us how an alligator is thinking and feeling (and, no doubt, how we should feel about that) is just too much. I. Simply. Can't.
I can't care about the alligator. I can't wonder if Disney or maybe the parents were at fault. I can't. What I can do is feel awful for that baby and those poor parent. What they are going through is truly horrible. It is. There is no denying that. This does not mean that there is someone to blame here. The alligator was just doing what alligators do. He didn't invite the people into his space. The family was just trying to enjoy their vacation. They probably assumed it was safe. They don't need me to have an opinion of their parenting skills or love for their child.
I really just want to workout, hopefully have time for a hot tub soak, and go carry on with the so-called American Dream at my office. I can't carry all this baggage with me. I don't want it. I want those TVs to melt. I want those newscasters to shut up.
This morning as I slogged along on the elliptical machine, these thoughts were floating around in my mind, dancing with the song I was listening to, by one of my favorite angry girls, Melissa Ferrick. I took this screenshot so that I would remember which song was playing.
Didn't anyone teach you How to shoot a gun And if you keep your eyes that way They'll never come undone So look both ways Before you cross your heart And hope to die For your sins Go to hell And never come back again I've gotta go now... Mmm mmm mmm ... Freedom of speech is fine As long as you don't cross the line So don't move next door Don't pick up any whores And don't show anyone your sores They'll be no white sheets on my block But my daughter would never marry a black man So look both ways Before you cross your heart And hope to die For your wins Go to hell And never come back again I've gotta go now ... Mmm mmm mmm ... Women can work As long as dinner is done And if you let little girls play with trucks Their sexuality gets all screwed up And Polish jokes Are just for fun You know Jewish men make good lawyers And the Chinese know how to clean And the French are all full of themselves And who really cares about the Vietnamese So look both ways Before you cross your heart And hope to die For your sins Go to hell And never comeback again We wonder and then Walk away with disease Away with all of the Gays I've gotta go now ... Mmm mmm mmm ...
This song echos my thoughts as I sweat along and try to block out the TVs. I've gotta go now. I'm simply not interested in all of the suppose-to-be's. I could care less which expectation I am shattering today.