#077: Today

[F.U.C.K. is an e-zine that I started on January 24, 1993 and ended on January 24, 2000. One concept is that articles should be timeless if possible, so they were not released with dates. As such, the date on this blog is not exact but I will try to use a date as close as possible.]

As each day passes, the future grows dimmer. If you catch the news, hear radio talk shows, read the paper, you will always hear about a multitude of bad events that plagued the day. Almost every time you hear of some tragic event, you hear of some new legislation or some new science that will make events like that less frequent, or more bearable, or something positive. Who are we kidding though? Two years ago the violence was thought to be intolerable. More and more murders were being committed, more prisons were overcrowding, more violent crimes were happening, and overall, people were saying how it would get better because of tougher laws, better living conditions. Look around today. Same thing just a different date. More murders, more gun wielding kids, more overcrowding, more poverty, and like usual, more positive notions of things to come.

Today, I can walk out my front door, drive a ways, and purchase a gun. A 9mm will do, doesn’t really matter what kind of gun it is. From there, I walk to a place with a good amount of people, but kind of secluded. I break out the gun, and shoot four or five people. After that, I rape a woman, then kill her. I walk into a nearby store, commit armed robbery, then walk out and open fire on a few more people. I then drop my gun, sit on the sidewalk, and put my hands on my head. After the police arrest me for all the crimes that I will plead innocent to, I will begin my first trial a year or so later. One year in a county jail, eating three square meals, having a roof over my head, and relaxing with more free time than I have ever had. Three months after that, I am convicted of first degree murder on the first of my victims. I am sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole. A month after that I go to trial again, not appealing the first trial but instead, getting tried for the second of the murders. Another trial after that for the third, and so on. Probably after the second or so year, I will go to trial for the rape crime, then the armed robbery, and a few more murder charges. Doesn’t matter that I was sentenced to life without parole years back, but under new law, I am to be tried for each of my crimes, even if a lesser crime, even if I have already been convicted. Now, on top of the 25,000 dollars you tax payers are dishing out to keep me fed for a year, you are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for my trials, my public defender, my transportation to and from the court, and every other expense that I cause.

Today I belong to Generation X. What is GX? That means I am in-between the ages of 18 and 29. I am the generation after the Baby Boomers, and the generation before the unnamed generation running our streets right now. I am considered to be a member of the highest educated generation in America. Like many other members of GX, I blame the Baby Boomers for the hellish world I am forced to survive in. If I get a bachelor’s degree, I am no longer guaranteed a job when I graduate. If I get a PHD, or a Master’s, I face the potential of entering the job market ‘Over Qualified’. If I blame the generation before me I must hear something to the effect of “It was tough for us to survive and make a living, no reason it shouldn’t be for you too.” Throughout my education I have been taught not to be prejudiced, not to be biased, and not to stereotype. Yet I belong to Generation X.

Today, I must worry about everyone near me, no matter what they look like, or who they are. I know that at any time, my best friend, or a customer in the store I work at could pull a gun, and kill me. Urban violence no longer plagues the poor communities. Two days ago a man pulled a gun from his jacket enough to show the salesman and cashier that he was carrying, then proceeded to tell them “I am walking out of here with this notebook’. Indeed he did, he now owns a top of the line notebook computer. When I drive home, I must be careful not to make eye contact with anyone else around me. If I do, it might be interpreted as ‘staring’, and I must be punished. I can not yell at anyone for driving poorly near me. If I honk or give someone the finger, I am liable to wind up dead, just another statistic for the newspapers that will tell me things are getting better.

Today, maybe that newspaper is right. I am no longer here on this planet.

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