Hate propels us forward to new heights of hilarity and doom. The show that we watch and listen to every night and day won’t stop. We feed it. We need it.
It’s a national hate. It weakens us. Patriotism means something different now. So does compassion. As Americans, we walk around bewildered in our certainty. We are sure that our side is best. I wish I could share in your certainty.
It’s the middle of the night. You’re sleeping. I’m not. This is the rhythm of our lives. I just watched.
1. Real Sports with Bryan Gumbel about a surfer who got his leg bit off by a shark.
2. a documentary about Chris Farley.
3. Eric Bana as the Hulk.
And then there’s you. I wrote you a poem.
is how we live.
A condom would help with
for our lost souls.
The thing that worries me is local hate. It is different from national hate. As the three or four who return here know, I write this not just for you but to preserve the life that is me for broadcasting students 50 years from now. I’ll be dead by then. So will radio.
Radio is part of the hate. So is TV, podcasting, youtube videos, facebook rants, Instagram posts and twitter ramblings. And conversations at Walgreens.
To some extent, the national hate propels us forward. I love watching the national show. If you’re on the left team, hate starts with Trump and ends with white racists. If you’re on the right team, the media tells a lie every day and until that stops America will never be great again. There are all sorts of gradations in between, but you get the gist… now and 50 years from now.
There are two things I worry about. You are sleeping. I am not.
1. Archduke Ferdinand
2. local hate.
Let’s discuss the latter. Local hate. What is it? Where is it? What will it add up to?
Maybe nothing. It’s just people spouting off on social media and the radio, in bars. They’re letting off steam, grabbing for power, self esteem, a reason to get up and go to work in the morning. Local hate propels us forward. We need it.
Forgive and move
forward. Or die
falling backwards. A breeze
on a sunny day in
the Region waits.
I look forward to coming home after a long day of trying to build a media company for the next 95 years – it’s a tall order, by the way – and plopping into a chair to watch the national show. It never disappoints. And you can choose.
You can choose CNN with Chris Cuomo or Fox News with Sean Hannity. Usually, I choose both. It’s not a purposeful choice. I really do wish for certainty. Forgive me this, but I really do love the entertainment.
I know, I know. Danger lurks. If someone shoots Archduke Ferdinand, the smaller countries of the Balkans will revolt. We could have nuclear war by Christmas. That wouldn’t be entertaining at all. We’d all be dead or maimed.
Still, for the most part, the national hate and danger are externalized. The hate comes through the television and the radio and the podcast and the Facebook post. Once in a while you run into an alcohol-fueled national hate discussion at a graduation party, But for the most part the national hate exists outside of us. It’s a cloud that hangs over America but doesn’t rain.
But what of local hate? Once again, I come back to Eric Krieg, the pipebomber. He’s serving a 29-year sentence in federal prison.
Eric Krieg lived in a house on a street with a family and a good job. He held strong opinions about local government and politicians, sometimes expressing them on my show. But a lot of people hold strong opinions. One day on his lunchbreak, Krieg drove to the East Chicago Post Office and mailed a pipe bomb. It went off before it could get delivered, injuring a postal worker.
This topic came up on my show 19 hours ago. The mayor of Hammond mentioned it.
“The last time someone came after my family we wound up getting a 60,000-dollar judgement against him,” the mayor said, or something like that, referring to Eric Krieg.
Was Krieg pushed too far? Was he mentally flawed? Did he get influenced by those around him? By social media? What was the breaking point? What does Eric Krieg mean for the future of local hate?
I don’t have answers, but somehow Krieg and the Archduke Ferdinand are related in my mind. I can’t figure it out. And when I can’t figure something out, I obsess. Just ask my mom, who’s been dead for 30 years.
“If the world is infinite, ma, what’s on the other side of the end of the world?”
“It just keeps going.”
“But if you get to the end of the infinite world, and there’s a cloud, what’s on the other side of the cloud?”
“So God goes on forever?”
“Yes. God goes on forever, just like your questions. Go out and play.”
Like 45 years ago and a few blocks away, I’m up in the middle of the night trying to figure something out. What turns local hate into a terrorist or killer? The three or four of you don’t want to think about this. Neither do I. It’s a fool’s game to look for a root cause. And since we can’t find one, danger is always near. Good night and have a pleasant tomorrow.