Worst Than Thou

How We Gloat When
the Evil Clown Is Not Us

Careful, now, for we’re about to point fingers at people caught doing the despicable. So, let’s get this out of the way, first: we don’t like it one bit. But oh it feels so good that here’s hoping we’ll all come out of the experience better human beings. Kidding, of course.
When someone pays a fortune to shoot a wounded lion, we delude ourselves say we could never do that. Or kick refugee kids. Raise money for a cancer we never had? Shoot a puppy? We. Would. Never. Right? Oh but it must have felt so good to them. Despicable.
To be sure, we hate Internet mongering, and trolling, and public shaming, exactly because it lends everyone but the accused that phony, sanctimonious feeling they’re somehow above the rest. Which no one is, period. Besides such bullying is often on the account of someone’s hidden agenda.
That being said, the devil always reminds us of callous traders of human gullibility, ever eager to profit handsomely from our empathy juices, by sucking them dry. And who’d mostly walk free and sleep well if not caught on the randomness of the Internet. You know who you are.
We’re supposed to learn and grow from those experiences, nourishing ourselves with their cleansing powers, all along singing the praises of this imperfect world’s innate ability to provide opportunities for us to fulfill our highest aspirations. Not a fat chance in hell.

So, just as if on cue, comes news about that monument to good personhood, Petra Laszlo, a TV camerawoman who was caught on video kicking refugees fleeing the police in Hungary. Among ‘beneficiaries’ of her kicks, there were children and a father carrying his kids.
But what’s less in evidence is her employer, which has just fired her, a channel known for right wing ideas and intolerance. Among its latest tactics, is the deployment of crews to record clashes between migrants and the police, which it then broadcasts to instigate hatred against foreigners.
Not letting his 15-minute disperse into oblivion just yet, beloved lion Cecil’s killer, Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer, went back (more)
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May Daze

The McCormicks Riot, When the Police Opened Fired on Striking Workers, May 4, 1886

Three Quick Takes on May
(While You Run the Clock)

Eight-hour shift? Check. Overtime pay? Check. Banned child labor? Check that too. What started as a Dionisyan fête became an affirmation of humanity in post-Industrial Revolution years. Pity that First of May now is mostly an occasion to mourn the demise of unions and workers’ rights.
But don’t get discouraged; the original Labor Day is still big everywhere but in the U.S. It may still fulfill its original purpose, of reminding powers that be that employees are well, people too. Check for today’s rallies around the world. Meanwhile, though, we’re keeping the distress call, just in case.
May 1 marked a pagan celebration of the season’s first crop. Free from the religious guilt that singed human sense of joy for good, just consider how hard ancient people partied with moonlight bonfires, sensual dances, and songs of forward gratitude for a bountiful harvest.
Cut to 1886: U.S. workers held a strike demanding enforcement of an eight-hour workday resolution, established two years earlier by the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions. When police fired at an unarmed crowd at the Chicago’s McCormick Reaper Works Factory, killing four, and arrested union leaders and anarchists, the modern organized labor movement was born.
Mayday, the distress call, on the other hand, has nothing to do with what’s stated above. It’s an anglicized version of the French word m’aidez which means help me. No wonder it’s a keeper. But let’s clear up once and for all an enduring, albeit, senseless query: no, mayonnaise has nothing to do with it. Neither it’s advisable listening to the Bee Gees‘ song at this time. Or ever, for that matter. Enjoy.

(Adapted from the original, published on May, 1, 2011.)
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