Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Haters, Repent!

JCL Blogger's note: tonight's post is inspired by my brilliant sister-in-law, B, who just spent the week here in The Hood, and headed back to her chilly igloo in Canada on Sunday. Crazy but true: she loves it here. She spends nearly ALL of her vacation time right here in T-Town (and as a Canadian, she gets way more v-time than we do)! She has a message of peace, and it is The Dove of Hate. Read on for details.

Maybe...
  • you're wearing a "Who's Sporty Joe?" shirt...
  • you're saving up to order one of my oh-so-fine JCL t-shirts...
  • you loiter over at The Star Ledger Forum (yeah, yeah, I KNOW it's The Times, but it's not, really)...
  • you write down license plate numbers of drug buyers who come to your area...
  • you complain at your CPAC meetings about slumlords who rent to knuckleheads who are ruining the quality of your life...
  • you even (egads!) have a webcam (or regular cam) recording the goings-on in your neighborhood...
  • you asked for information from the city and then were threatened with a defamation suit...
  • you had the simple misfortune of coming into this life elsewhere...
...and for whatever reason, found yourself here tonight, in Trenton, reading my blog.

Hello, haters.

You're angry because you know, in your heart, your brain, your gut, that things shouldn't be the way they are. This city is the old rug in the corner of this state, the finest state in the nation; a rich, colorful state, with a high standard of living; one that boasts many beautiful, distinct geographic areas in such a small amount of space. A state populated by the well-educated, a state so often represented in popular movies. A state practically bursting at the seams with history and landmarks and cuisine and cultures and people. Yes, people! There are nearly 9 million of us in this state for one reason: we rule. But Trenton is the state's dirty little secret -- Trenton is the rug under which all the state's nasty is swept.

Nasty is a by-product of life; as a JCL, I've lived in and traveled to other places. I know that there are town dumps and county landfills, and the occasional dirty pocket on the other side of the tracks, but it's rare for an entire municipality -- not to mention a freakin' state capital -- to pretty much completely go to hell. There's an entire generation of kids in this city right now without any role models, without any guidance, without any kind of accountability, with NO OPTIONS in their future. Yeah, I know it's not all up to the politicians, or the community; many of the kids in this generation have been abandoned by at least one parent, physically, and the other emotionally. So, Haters, we can sleep because it's not our fault, right? No. Being faultless doesn't mean you'll get any sleep in this city. Faultless doesn't mean dink when you're up all night because there's some girl out of her mind on crack who won't stop banging on your door because she KNOWS you were the one who fed her lasagna two years ago and solved all of her problems and maybe you have some more of that magical lasagna and sage advice for her (I wish it were me, but it wasn't); or there's some knucklehead in an old boxy mercury without registration who thinks it's cool to squeal his tires all night long, and then, oopsy! hits 6 or 7 cars on your block and then reports the car stolen the next day. I digress. It's a complicated problem, and faultless or not, we could all probably do something more. The city could too. But with its current "bring on the nasty, we'll just put it over there in that neighborhood" philosophy, things can't improve any time soon.

So what's a hater to do?

According to B, my Canadian sister-in-law, we need to take a deep breath and stop thinking about the self-serving, egomaniacal, lawsuit-happy politicians as well as the self-centered, short-sighted, self-destructive knuckleheads in this city, and instead think about how our own anger and disillusionment are adversely affecting our lives. We must envision our negative emotions as a small, football-sized object, in our hands, tangible. We must hold that imaginary parcel in our hands and see it as "The Dove of Hate." Hold the Dove of Hate for a moment with respect. Understand what it is, what makes it. Raise it to chest level. And release, palms up to the heavens, eventually allowing your arms to gently fall to your sides. You have released the Dove of Hate; now watch it fly away!

You, in your anti-establishment t-shirt; or you, whilst you wait for that communication from Dennis Gonzalez's lawyer, are probably doing what I did when B first told me about this: you're smiling because "Dove of Hate" is clever, but you're scratching your head, too. You, like I did, will probably ask, "Well, I've released the Dove of Hate. Now what?"

Well, B says we should first try to get a good night sleep. Your over-burdened brain should enjoy the vacation, and your heavy heart should rest easily. And in the morning -- if the knuckleheads in your parts have cooperated -- hopefully, you'll wake up rested, with a clear head and lighter heart, at which time, you should wish with all your might that the Dove of Hate finds your object of dismay. And if there's any order at all in the universe, the Dove of Hate will find that object (or person) and defecate mightily upon it (or him, or her), thus restoring balance, if only for a little while.

Sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? But reasonable action and commentary hasn't worked for us haters. So go on, give it a try. Release the Dove of Hate.

Epilogue:
B tells me she is fixin' to start blogging herself. I'll be sure to link her up when that happens, as I'm sure she'll have plenty to say about Trenton, her dysfunctional home away from home.

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