First of all, yikes. The bad thing that happened was very, very bad. That’s a no-brainer. Was there a silver lining to it even? I don’t see one. Although we’ve heard some great, well-reasoned yelling that would not have otherwise happened had the bad thing not happened, surely we’d trade that yelling for the unhappening of the bad thing. In a heartbeat. But it’s not going to unhappen anytime soon, and so our only recourse is yelling, and listening to other people’s yelling, and then yelling about how their yelling contains ideas that should not be yelled, or said, or thought, because they are stupid, and wrong. That’s how we’ll fight back.
It takes guts to yell in this day and age. Everyone having access to everyone’s yelling means your yelling is open to criticism, criticism that will likely come in the form of yelling (not literal yelling; just typing, loudly, hitting the keys hard). But I’m no coward. My grandfather didn’t want to go to war, probably. But sometimes, when bad people do a bad thing, you have to put on your big boy pants and do things you don’t want to do, like go to war, or go on the internet and yell about the bad thing happening. It is now my turn to yell about this particular bad thing that happened. This is for you, gramps. You did not die in vain!
The first thing I’d like to yell about is the fact that the bad thing even happened in the first place. Because it should not have! If I was the guy in charge of what did and did not happen, this thing would go squarely in my “DO NOT ALLOW TO HAPPEN” folder. Forever. I cannot express how far in the opposite direction of being a thing that happened this thing that happened should have been.
Who’s to blame? First and foremost, I blame those directly responsible! Easy. Had those jerks not done anything that day, had they just read yelling on the internet about the previous bad thing that happened, like I did, this bad thing almost definitely would not have happened. Plain and simple. Oh, and how ‘bout those jerks who saw the potential for a bad thing like this happening, and DID NOTHING TO PREVENT ITS HAPPENING! Those guys are next on the chopping block for sure. May they read this and hang their heads in shame. “What do you want from us?” they’ll say. “These things happen,” they’ll say. Yeah, ‘cause of jerks like you! Wow, I’m getting into this. Grandpa always said the war was actually a fun time, and, I’ll be damned, so is yelling!
So, what now? What do we do now that the bad thing happened and won’t unhappen? And, mark my words: it won’t unhappen, probably. If scientists do have a workable time machine, they’re not telling us. Sure is nice to think about, though. All of us climbing into a big machine and going back to when this happened and making it not. But we couldn’t all go. Best case scenario, a few good men and women get in there and stop the thing, and then what? They make an announcement that they prevented a bad thing? That would raise questions: What thing, how? They’d have to confess that, yes, time travel is real, and then we’d all want to go back and make other bad things not happen and then the bad people who made those things happen originally would make their own time machines and go back and make the bad things re-happen. Sounds like a mess.
But that’s all useless thinking. I say no more thinking. I say doing. People need to get off their lazy rear ends and do things! Good things, not bad. People doing bad things, you’ll recall, is what got us into this pickle in the first place.
“Well, what should I do?” you ask. I don’t know. That’s your business. I’m already doing what I’m doing, and that’s yelling. Use my yelling as inspiration to do something. Then maybe someday you’ll email me. “Hey. Thanks for yelling, it inspired me to do something.” And I’ll write back, “No, thank you. You did something. All I did was yell.” And you’ll say, “Actually, no, I also just yelled. Your yelling inspired me to do my own yelling.” Which is fine! There’s no such thing as too much yelling. I hope your yelling inspires others to start yelling, and so on, so that everyone’s so busy yelling they don’t have time to make bad things happen. And if bad things do happen, may we be too busy yelling about previous bad things that happened to hear about the new ones happening. Now that’s what I call victory.
Brad Austin is a Brooklyn-based comedian and writer. His standup can be seen every Sunday at Beauty Bar at 9 p.m., and he frequently updates his blog, Routines Of The Greats.
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