where I ask you – what do you do when you feel terrified? What did you do?

fear and panic at a crash site (circa 2007)

Huh. This is actually more ‘soul-crushingly scared at the potential devastation that, but for the briefest of moments, did not happen’ than ‘terrified’.

what happens when you are stupid and the ocean tries to kill you (circa 2000)

Ah, this time was quite a bit more like ‘terrified’ – with the thought “I’m not going to be saved like in Baywatch am I?” crossing my mind, I think that counts.

Terrified. Terrifying. How did I get here? Via this line from the Durham PD’s briefing re: the investigation into the death of 17 year old Jesus Huerta, who while handcuffed in a police cruiser shot himself in the head.
“The trip … is approximately a mile and typically takes around three minutes travel time by car.”
“How terrifying must those minutes have been for Mr. Huerta?” I thought.

I’ve been reading about Aaron Swartz and his fight with the US Attorney’s bully office and today is the anniversary of his death – he hung himself. He faced felony charges surrounding access to JSTOR via MIT’s network. Quite a fucked-up story. Again, I’ve wondered, how terrified did Mr. Swartz feel?

Boo offered that perhaps I’m pondering the trajectory from despair to terrified. She’s good like that.

I’ve felt scared. I’ve felt pummeled by the universe with sand thrown in my face for good measure. I’ve felt lost, alone, broken, angry, sad and completely dead inside over these past decades. I’ve felt despair, fleetingly, completely unsure of what was gonna happen next; how much damage was going to fall from the sky and destroy my life and my world. Phoenix in the springtime can be brutal.

These two young men, separated by a decade and a universe, were both very much terrified of what was to come it seems.

Terrified. Terrifying. Terror leading to or from despair … despair of the known. Despair of the unknown. Despair. Despondent.

Terrifying moments. Moments where the sureness of the future’s “everything’s fine Scott” was out of focus, or clouded, or downright broken into many many small shiny sharp edged pieces. See ‘Driftwood 2000’ and, since 2000 was an oddly rough year, ‘RIP, Wolfie’ … but those were just physical terrors for a 30 year old.

Wolfie got killed – I was fine (circa 200)

Crumple zones. White. Male. Homeowner. Air bags. Speaks English well enough to say ‘lawyer‘ without a Spanish accent. Anti-lock brakes. Years of experience looking under the bed. Insurance. Friends & family that will show up, even if I don’t call them.

I’m 45 now, pretty much over the illusions of a terrifying world out of my control (ah, is this where ‘delusion’ comes in?) I know there’s nothing under the bed at the sleep-away camp. I’m pretty sure we’re in less danger of ‘jihadists’ we’ve spawned than we are of the common bully under color of law.

Truly it’s the guys with the perfect hair, perfect smiles, wallets full of campaign funds on their way to their elected offices to do “our” bidding that terrify me the most, but hell even they’re just thieves and whores pursuing their natures – nothing too terrifying there.

Looking forward at the unfolding paths of chaos – how the many facets that can (and should) provide launching pads for change are going to be noticed, embraced, discarded? How to accomplish effective, productive, progressive change in a society that’s still hurting and angry?

Changes to the Durham PD – if only we had leadership to take this moment and truly impress.
Changes to the American society where having a handgun is so … alluring.
Changes to the police vs. citizen balance – we outnumber them, right?

Mr. Swartz’s untimely death cut short a life that contributed several times above his weight class. Our digital lives are better because he contributed awesome things – Really Simple Syndication (RSS), Creative Commons (fine folks who give us ‘CopyLeft’ mentality that sharing is good), Reddit (where cool things can be found) … and if we can grab the opportunity to get leaders to make Aaron’s Law the law of our land, then something something ‘not in vain’. It seems he was in the fight to win – suspect we’d do him an honor to keep the fight alive: “[We defeated SOPA] because everyone made themselves the hero of their own story. Everyone took it as their job to save this crucial freedom. They threw themselves into it. They did whatever they could think of to do.”

xx
On January 19th there will be a vigil for Mr. Huerta’s family here in Durham.
On February 11th there will be a day of action in Aaron’s honor – everywhere there’s a computer connected to the internet.
xx
Today, however, there’s someone who is terrified. There’s probably too many who are terrified – what are they going to do? What can I do to help?

ciao,

:: s :: | vivere militare est |

“Keep Calm and Carry On” or “Keep Calm … and Cupcakes!”

//11:38a+11Jan2014=Saturday morn||”Book of Love” by Peter Gabriel//