9 degrees

Now it is 9 degrees and I have to leave the house soon. I have given up all pretense of looking businesslike, professional or fashionable and instead am going for the “I may look crazy but I am warm” style.


Yesterday, while traveling on the bus, we stopped to pick up a young (20) woman who had been waiting out in the cold for an hour. She had a nuclear meltdown as she got on the bus and discovered that the driver could not make change for a 5 except to give her a change card. She burst out hysterically crying and said that she had worked overnight and overtime which is why she had to wait an hour for the bus and only needed the one way ticket and couldn’t use the change card and had been out in the cold for so long her tears were frozen. A man on the bus was able to make change for her and she got on. She got on her iPhone and called her BFF and cried about being cold and the mean driver who wouldn’t just let her on and demanded exact change.


This young girl, mind you, went to work when it was 13 degrees out. Had no hat, gloves etc and so forth. Was dressed in the latest sleek 20 something wear and would not put her hood up even because of her hair. Sympathy was fast fleeing into the cold air. She went on and on about how no one in her family would give her a ride and she was saving for a car and just started working. An older man tried to comfort her and gave her addresses of places to go to get help with housing etc and pointed out that everyone on the bus was making it without a car and perhaps she should focus on building up the rest of her life first. Not going to happen. It was an interesting scene to watch unfold. And I noticed that we all (bundled like fools) started looking around and noticed that the majority of people 25 and younger were so not prepared for the weather. Which is kind of important when you consider busses can be a bit unreliable and chances are, you will wind up waiting.


It reminded me of passing the Occupy Providence encampment and noticing that there tents were so not prepared in the least for cold weather. Then again, I found out that the OP people tend to go back home in cold weather and just leave the tents there or stay on a rotating basis only. It would be easy to say “oh this new generation, so unprepared – so out of touch – so entitled.” But children learn how to prepare themselves and think ahead from the families they were raised in (usually but not always). Whether or not, when they are on their own, they still use what they are taught is another thing.


But, it brings up the issue with the Marines who urinated on the corpses. I have seen both sides of the argument – one in which people want them to be excused because they are young and dumb and overwhelmed; and the other where they are considered wholly responsible for upholding the Geneva Convention because that is what a Marine is about.


Is any side right?


Here was my two cents on g+ in response to a back and forth between two gentlemen, each holding the opposite opinion:


” Funny, I agree with both of you even though I can see where both of you don’t agree, but I think that holds part of the issue. On the one hand, there is no excuse – no justification and nothing that can be said to diminish the criminality and responsibility of those soldiers. They are trained as to what is the responsibility and legality of their actions in combat. I am a vet, I had the same training and was in a combat area, as an MP we preceded the Marines, male and female. A part of maintaining your sanity in those situations is holding onto the rules that protect your human dignity and integrity. On the other hand, one of the real issues that is not addressed is the reason why soldiers are so young. It has nothing to do with being physically fit, it has to do with being morally undeveloped and malleable to accept that murder is viable if sanctioned and placing yourself in harm’s way the most honorable and intelligent choice of all . Soldiers are trained that enemy combatants are subhuman even as they are trained to protect and provide for them as prisoners. If they are not prisoners though, they are in a different category altogether. A child who has never had the experience of independence from authority and from having a caretaker (a provider of food, shelter and purpose) is not morally mature enough to be able to reconcile actions that violate the innate drive to protect their life. After constantly choosing to put themselves in harm’s way they will develop coping skills that can take a thousand different forms – some good and some not. We don’t address this issue, instead relying on a wait and see approach to see who gets psychologically damaged and send them to the VA. Punish the soldiers? Yes, but don’t forget to punish the others who were accomplices to the crime – and that is just about everyone.”


Funny, this was not at all the blog I thought I would be writing this morning.



c.2012. Cassandra Tribe. All Rights Reserved.


About cassandratribe

"There are few artists that can do what Cassandra Tribe does. Whether with her poetry, her videos or her blog, Cassandra examines the truths that most of us can never come close to realizing and shows it for what it is, both beautiful and frightening at the same time. She exposes our inner-most workings like the cross-section of a powerful but flawed machine, our gears and springs, nuts and bolts removed and laid out before us. She is a true artist. Her new video, Requiem for a God, is the latest example of Cassandra's willingness to tear open and examine the very things that make us human. Shooting the film entirely by herself, she also eliminates all the little excuses we come up with to keep us from ourselves and our truth. You see, even when she's not trying to be, Cassandra Tribe is a beacon of truth and humanity in this darkest of worlds." (Michael E. Quigg, The Culture Network, June 2009)
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