Wednesday, June 15, 2005

You can't order courage on the internet

With yet another celebrity trial over and done with, we the public are left to scratch our heads and ponder just what the fuck happened. Again. I know we weren't in the courtroom, and our information is gathered from outside sources and shoved down our throats with news bias. But you have to admit, this is not a human being behaving normally. And more importantly, in my opinion, are these parents who are handing over their children on a silver platter. WTF?

Oh, by the way, I'm talking about Michael Jackson, just in case you haven't been saturated with that shit show enough.

Since I'm sure the blogosphere, TV, papers, ad naseum, are inundated with Whacko Jacko right now, the specifics of the case are not what I'm intending to comment on today. I'm not the political sort. It's not something I get into or enjoy discussing, nor do I have much knowledge in that area so I'm a smartypants and keep my mouth shut.

I picked up on something after hearing the jury speak the other day and it struck a nerve. A very important nerve. One that I'm sure we all deal with in a plethora of situations all the time. Keep in mind that these are my opinions, and I welcome feedback, since I think this is a very important multi-faceted subject and I'll fully admit I could possibly be narrowly sighted about it.

Juries in America, as a whole, are not qualified to judge anyone. Plain and simple. If you've ever served on a jury, which I have, you've probably experienced the frustration, change of beliefs and personal agendas found among your supposed peers. People who answered all of the lawyers questions then switched gears in the deliberation room. People who promised to listen to the evidence then discarded it all and went by feelings and their own past experiences. These people are not qualified to hold someone's life, future, and well being in their hands, whether guilty or innocent.

The Jackson jury solidified my bitter opinions on the matter. I heard them all say, over and over, that they decided in the very beginning that there wouldn't be any arguing among them. No disagreements. No strife. That seemed to be their main focus and goal. Not the evidence but their relationships to each other. It would be heavy on the bonding, amiability and sunshine enemas.

They mentioned again and again how they hoped to stay in touch and how close they've all gotten. They had many negative attributes to mention about the victim's crazy mother. How they didn't like her finger pointing and eye contact, never saying a word about this young boy with the fucked up parents and the crap end of the stick constantly handed to him. Yea, the mother is a nutball, but did you vote against her or for MJ?

And guess what fuckers? It's not about YOU. It's not about your feelings and it certainly isn't about how you all get along. It's about the case and the defendant and the witnesses and in this situation, little boys who were probably fucking ruined for life. It's not about forged friendships and getting together for bar-b-que's and backrubs.

I know some people can't stand confrontation of any kind. But there is a time and place for it and one of those is a deliberation room. I'm not talking about climbing over the table and punching someone in the face if you disagree, but for someone to change their vote because they don't want to hurt someone else's feelings, or go against the tide, or for fuckssake, because they don't have the balls to stand tall for their own convictions, then we might as well become a Stepford society and not bother with this ridiculous jury system we have now.

If I was on trial I'd want opposing viewpoints and people who are willing to challenge each other and use their fucking heads. To think that a guilty person got off because 12 people were too wimpy to butt heads or speak up makes me want to puke. And I'm sorry, but I did enough of that last weekend. We need professional jurors. Now.

I post on a couple of message boards. Well, one now, but I can tell you one thing that drive me shithouse batty. And I'll try to do in the hopes that I'm not insulting anyone I'm personal friend with because that is not my intention. I share cyber space with some very good people whom I adore even though I'm not afraid to disagree with them, which is what this is all about.

One thing that I cannot stomach is people afraid to offer their honest opinions and individual thoughts because it's going go against some false grain of lubricated affinity. When every conversation relegates into 50 threads of "I like you" "I like you too" I can barely stand it. There is a balance to everything and when something is lopsided it gets boring real fast. Conversely, constant crap and unvarying venom is no fun either. Trust me, I don't support that for a minute.

When someone is purposefully being an asshole, ignoring isn't always the best approach. If you had a turd floating in your punchbowl would you scoop around it or fish it out and flush it?

Debate is healthy. I'm not talking about arguing for the sake of fighting. Devil's advocates are usually annoying merely offering an opposing view just to be a stinker or get a rise out of someone or whatever their reason is. It's usually coming from a place of complacency and not sincerity. Usually, not always. But when someone is legitimately giving another side of the coin, it can open your eyes when you didn't even realize they were closed.

There are delicate lines everywhere. We must tread carefully every step of the way. But when you see something that is glaringly wrong, when someone is poisoning the waters with intent and malice, it's our obligation to do something about it. And you bet your ass I'll go right down to your level to do it. I don't have a problem with that.

Life is riddled with uncomfortable moments and we can't be afraid to burst through them for what is right. There is no pill for apathy and a select few should not be saddled with the burden of action. So the next time you see some jackhole giving someone a rash of shit they don't deserve, do something. Say something. At least once. Don't let another fucker get away with it, again.

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