Shit.

I know shit’s bad right now, with all that covid bullshit, and the protests, and we’re running out of hand sanitizer and toilet paper. 2020 has turned into a right bastard of a year for the human race. We are pretty much living Idiocracy meets 28 Days Later.

And I’m tired. Pretty much all the time.

2020 was supposed to be a fresh start; the year we all got our 20/20 vision and could finally see what we needed to see to put the past behind us, finally get our collective shit together, and get on with our lives. Instead, we got a global pandemic and civil unrest.

Erik Mclean | Unsplash

We went from joking about toilet paper shortages and Cornholio memes to actually struggling to find basic supplies we need in our daily lives in the course of, what, two weeks? Barely three months later, tens of millions of people are unemployed. 100,000 are dead. And the rich get richer.

Covid-19 is an invisible killer we can’t fight and can’t escape. Our fight or flight instincts are on fire right now. All the time. And a couple months of semi-voluntary self-grounding has us all more than a little stir crazy.

Even if you’re not worried about your own health or the health of those you love, you’ve still got to worry about job security. You can wear a mask and gloves to the grocery store—but how well are you wiping everything down with disinfectant when you get home? This would all be so much easier if we could just send the kids to school—but is that the right thing to do?

Speaking of the right thing to do: The Gearhead Project supports Black Lives Matter.

Koshu Kunii | Unsplash

I refuse to believe all cops are bastards, but the institution—one of MANY in what we consider civilized societies—is broken. This is not the place to engage in political debate. In fact, the only rule we’ve got here at TGP aside from don’t be an asshole and make it time well-spent is no politics or religion.

If playing with cars has taught me anything, it’s that the things we have in common are what brings out the power in our differences. When we’re playing cars with each other, all that other stuff fades away. Not because it isn’t important—it’s all CRITICALLY important—but because we feel connected to our fellow human beings. When we feel connected to others, we feel safe. We’re social animals.

We used to have communities. Now we mostly have isolated echo chambers where anything slightly different is labeled a threat to our way of life, and a target for all the frustration and fear and anger we’ve had bubbling up for months. The extremists are amplified by the need for click-driven ad revenue.

Remember when we all used to mock clickbait headlines? YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. They’re not using those exact words as often, but I’ll be damned if that hasn’t been pretty much every single day so far this year. Simple greed is wearing us all down, one fear-mongering, extremist headline at a time. Forget about them. How does all of this affect YOU?

A few bad apples…

We’ve all heard this repeated over and over—as if it in any way excuses the atrocities committed in the name of the cause. The bad apple spoils the rest of the apples. Hey. We get it. There are going to be bad apples—but the whole point of the proverb is that WE HAVE TO GET RID OF THE BAD APPLES. Not move them to another store and let the buyer beware.

Part of you wants to drop everything and fucking march. March every day and show those rat fucking bastards we’re done with it—even knowing that means we have a lot more to do, ourselves. But we can’t just drop everything and go. Or can we? We can’t, right? Or can we? For as long as it takes? Should we? Could we? What about coronavirus?

WTAF. It’s draining us by the day.

Joshua Koblin | Unsplash

Harsh realities.

I could go on. But I can’t. We all know things are fucked up right now. We’ve seen the double standards in broad daylight. Domestic terrorism in protest of public safety measures are somehow protected by the Constitution, but peaceful protesters marching against police brutality are met with tear gas and rubber bullets.

Bullshit. Both groups suffer from bad apples. There are going to be rioters and looters in BLM protests. Just like there are going to be racist nazis in the police. We’ve got to stop excusing the bad apples AND we’ve got to stop using them to stereotype entire groups of our communities.

If you want to shut down BLM protests because of looters, but don’t want to shut down the police because of racists—or vice versa—you’ve got some soul searching to do, my friend.

Damn. That’s harsh. But if we’re unwilling to consider harsh realities, if we’re unwilling to take a good look at our own (in)actions, we’ll never get anywhere.

The bad guys win because they don’t play by the rules. They lie, they cheat, they steal, and when caught, they get loud and do everything in their power to drown out the truth with bullshit. Regardless which side of these intentionally antagonistic wedge issues you consider yourself, the only way we little people are ever going to change things for the better is by showing up, day after day, week after week, year after year, applying constant pressure in pursuit of change.

They know this. They don’t have to preserve their paid time off. They don’t have to worry about paying their bills. They simply have to wait it out. When we get tired and walk away, or phone it in with another online petition, or fight amongst ourselves, or just can’t deal with it anymore, they win.

Refuel. Recharge. Repair.

Esther Wilhelmsson | Unsplash

We gotta find ways to fill ourselves up with goodness and light. We’ve got to keep doing the good work and chasing the positive vibes that keep us feeling human and live. You know, sunrises, fresh mountain air, craftsmanship, a job well-done, and hanging out with real, actual community.

The faster we can refill our personal energy, the more we can turn on the taps. Maybe we can help refill others. Breathe. Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.

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