Same Cake, Different Frosting

Evidently, it is human nature to do the same thing and expect different results. Einstein defined this as the definition of insanity; however, I think it applies to everyone. There are areas of our lives that we need to learn hard lessons, and even then it doesn’t mean it will prove to have any effect on our way of life. I say this because yesterday a bakery in my own hometown declined to bake a cake for a gay couple’s wedding day because it was against her religion. I get enraged for a number of reasons, not just, because it’s discrimination (no matter how you cut it) but I thought we had moved on. Clearly, we need another round of lessons. So, settle in class.

The thing that hurts me the most is that this is happening in my very town. No matter how liberal or crazy someone outside of the state of California views it’s residents it doesn’t apply into my pocket of bloody red that resides at it’s heart. This town is bleeding republicans. Which is why I am not surprised that it happened, but at the same time in shock. I get so comfortable in my own bubble surrounded by people that love and accept me without question. So, hearing that someone else has refused a service to one of my community members resonates on a whole other level because I know that I could very well have been in their shoes. It also makes me feel guilty, because I have very rarely come across any kind of hatred.

One of my good friends posted how he understood but it made him uneasy that government should have a say over private businesses. You mean, like laws? Where businesses have to have disclose all things in their food or how they have to abide by cleanliness? I’m confused. Where do we draw this supposed line?

My thought is that if you open a business there is a legal and social contract that is understood and accepted; unless the patron in your establishment is acting irrationally, you have to serve them. “The customer is always right,” has been echoed in retail since it was coined (by JC Penny I believe…). And unless you’re establishment offers a niche service there is no reason to say “I can’t do this.” For instance, if I went to a vegan restaurant and demanded a steak. Well, they don’t serve steaks. Or If I go to a Christian book store and demand the latest Stephen King novel. Those things don’t exist in that realm. So, when I walk into a bakery and ask for a cake, unless I don’t have the money or am calling you every filthy name under the sun (and speaking to a man that isn’t there), then the owner has to serve them.

It’s petty bull shit. “My religious beliefs….” Okay, what if this is that person’s third marriage, after she has been divorced twice for adultery? Are you still going to serve them? What about a couple that has had multiple children out of wedlock and is only now getting married? Their morals don’t exist then. They just see dollar signs. But, God forbid (pun intended), that they make a cake for a gay couple.

Now, in this event in my own hometown the baker at least was a “good Christian” and directed them to a bakery that does. Bless their heart. Doing the good Christian thing. However, here is how I see the situation. Let us say I have a coffee shop. And this same faithful baker comes in wearing all the trappings of a “Christian” and upon seeing them I pull her aside and say “I’m sorry. I don’t serve Christians here. However, there is another coffee shop across town that does. You’ll have to go there. Sorry.”

Everyone and there cat knows that woman would be infuriated and raise all kinds of hell. (Pun, again, intended.) Moreover, she would have every right to. No one should experience discrimination for any reason. Ever. At all. No matter what. Unless they’re just an outright asshole. Then let the denial of services commence.

So, if one has a hang-up about making a goddamn cake for a couple of homos on their wedding day then don’t make cakes. Make muffins for a coffee shop. Sell JUST cookies. If your morals are “so strong”, do not go into a job that would infringe upon your beliefs. It is common sense.

If this couple had gone in and lied about what the cake was for and they had made it, the woman would have done just that and they would have taken the cake to their gay wedding. Has this woman now participated in their unholy matrimony? Has she tarnished her “spotless” soul and barred herself from the gates of heaven? No.

The mental gymnastics must get exhausting.

To quote their own faith at them, what about the parable of the Good Samaritan? It was told by Christ to his followers and it detailed how a man lay beaten and bloody in a ditch and was passed up by all these holy men and strangers and wasn’t tended to until a Samaritan (a group of people who were seen as disgusting) finally came to his aid because he saw a man in need. They would say, oh, well the story is about helping out someone in medical need. True, but that’s not how parables work. They are miniscule lessons that impart an overall message. The thing you learn from the parable is HELP YOUR FELLOW MAN NO MATTER WHAT.

So, like most of everything that is happening in our country, here we are, once again. Same shit, just a different day.

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Right Wrongs Make it Right

This prompt was a tough one.  It took me more time than it should have to come up with a “coherent” story that wouldn’t require an exorbitant amount of explanation or plotting.  I’m actually rather proud of myself.  It’s not too bad.  Granted highly, HIGHLY, unlikely to ever happen, but that’s what makes it fiction.  Right?

A Year of Writing Prompts by Brian A Klems and Zachary Petit
January 7
High Time
“Write a story that takes place somewhere extremely high-space, an airplane, a tower-but that features two characters doing the lowest things for what they believe is a worthy cause.”

The earth fell away from the small two man airplane and turned into a quilt stretched out unevenly over the land. Ferris had studied the aerial night and day the past few months, studying landmarks to guide him on his journey. Sloshing noisily behind him was a concoction of his own making. It was a combination of pesticides one more potent than the last. Very soon he would drop it onto the largest pests of all, mankind.

The plot had hatched in the wee hours of the night, like all good ideas. At first he was hesitant and fearful to adopt his epiphany, but with each passing day he inundated himself with scientific studies of the harm man was doing to the earth. The sea levels were rising, the ice melting, and the climates were shifting from what they had been for millennia.

There were claims that this was the natural way of things. It was just the earth evolving into a new age as it had done ages ago when the earth cooled and it was an ice age. Regardless of their theories it was evident to Ferris that the statistics didn’t lie. The end was nigh if he did not do something about it.

For a moment he had contemplated a nuclear bomb, wiping out the major cities, but there was no easy way for him to even get a hold of that technology. If it was someone would have done it long ago. Ferris even contemplated getting someone to hack into the government mainframe and find out the launch codes. Yet again, he was dreaming bigger than he could actually achieve.

It wasn’t until one day, when he was driving down the San Joaquin Valley when he saw the agriculture plane, with it’s elongated pipe, pouring pestisides on some grapes, that it became crystal clear.

The only problem was the money. To buy a craft of that size it would take some hefty change and he wasn’t really rolling in it, while working at McDonald’s. It was good pay but not for taking down a blight on the earth. That’s when he came up with the idea of crowdfunding. The only question was, does he put his true purpose on the site or create a rosy fantasy? In the end he thought, no one would really believe he was building a weapon to exterminate human kind, so he put it up there. He figured, people would think it was a joke and donate for the laugh. Like the homeless that stand on the side of the road with the cardboard sign “let’s be honest, I just want beer.” In certain circumstances he knew people who deliberately gave the man change because of his humorous honesty.

Within two days of his scheduled end date he raised the money. Now, he just had to find a plane. Despite having nothing really to stimulate the mind, the San Joaquin Valley was the cradle of agriculture in California and many farmers were willing to sell an old plane to upgrade to a new one.

Equipped with a plane all that was left were the pesticides. Yet that was the easiest thing to acquire more than anything. Plus, spreading out his purchases over the course of the year raised no such suspicion. Although, just to cover his tracks, he created a fake agriculture company to buy the deadly chemicals.

Ferris wanted to go big for his first outing. He wanted to attack the largest of all the polluters in the nation and luckily it was just two hours south of home.

Los Angeles was a glimmering destroyer of the earth and the logical choice for destruction.

Ferris kept a steady altitude until he crossed over the Los Angeles National forest and when he got closer to la-la-land he began to descend. His mouth began to salivate as he thought of all the good he would do for the earth. If only he had gotten a group together and form a coalition to save the planet from ultimate destruction.

After this, he thought.

He descended dangerously low over north Hollywood where he pulled the lever and filtered the poison through the air. In time they would all pay for what they’ve done. The snooty low-lifes who call for action but fail to act themselves. They were hypocrites. He was doing something. He was making a difference.

He arched his way over toward Santa Monica. On this mid-July it would be an absolute guarantee that he would find sun worshippers at the beach. There he could claim so many lives for mother earth.

When the beige hem of the ocean came into view, with the people laying scattered like blisters he pulled the lever even further, pouring out as much as he could.

It was then that he realized the major flaw in his plan. His months of plotting had failed to realize that this would have to be a one-time thing. Soon he would run out of fuel. The likelihood of an airport allowing him to land was highly unlikely.

Panic ran through his body like ice in his veins.

I have to get home. He turned and pointed the propeller north, pouring the earth saving potion until every was spilled.

As his plane sailed gently over the mountains, guarding the valley a fighter jet screeched toward him, launching a missile and ending his flight in a cloud of black smoke.

By the Power of Meds I Command You, Begone Insanity!

I expect entirely too much out people. I know it. I’m owning it. But regardless of how self-aware I am about this character flaw it still doesn’t change anything. Basically at this point all I can do is just create a mantra of ‘it doesn’t matter.’ Although, no matter how many times I may or may not say it I won’t believe it. Especially now, as I have reached a peak I did not want to climb with my mood stabilizers.

I have arrived after three rounds of different brands of mood stabilizers that I really don’t need that type of medication. I guess I am just a strange human being that is, as my husband puts it, “easily excitable.” The first round made me super irritable and I hated people and life with a passion that made no sense. So we moved onto the next. That one made me apathetic and I cared nothing for anyone. Thus, we moved onto the third. This one, only halfway into the recommended dosage, I am irrationally cantankerous. I find myself getting angry about and over the slightest of things. To give you an idea of the breadth of my insanity: my friend invites another gay to lunch. My friend’s boyfriend (my self-professed blatant lover) plays OUR card game with someone else right in front of me. At the base of these tsunami of emotions I know, KNOW, that I am being irrational, but even with that understanding it does not dispel any of the emotions. And at the base of these thoughts, lies my high expectations from people.

After three trials, I have concluded that I just do not need them. Maybe I do in reality, but after these failed attempts it just doesn’t seem possible to quell my shifting moods. Instead, it seems to roil that constant storm even more than usual. So, I’ll pass on any further suggestions from my doctor; unless he offers anti-anxiety pills. Those I am all over.

So now instead of getting angry I can go back to burying my emotions and hurt deep down. And maybe then I can lower my expectations and not care. Because in an un-medicated state my brain is far more acceptable to suggestion. And maybe, JUST MAYBE, I can find peace in not caring.