There is an unfortunate difference between life and Unlife.
It feels really weird writing a blog to go with this page right after the shooting in Orlando. It’s even weirder, even more devastating that I have to specify which shooting I’m talking about. Here we are again, the familiar memes and well wishes and all-too-predictable responses to this tragedy rolling out across Facebook, twitter, and Instagram feeds, and it feels so utterly routine that it’s almost as heartbreaking as the event itself. When something so horrific becomes the norm, what hope is there to see the cycle broken?
It felt wrong not saying anything, considering the recent depiction of this type of violence in Unlife. I’ve never had a direct confrontation with this horror myself. I am moved and distraught over the concept, but I know that the reality is worse than I can imagine. And I don’t even really know what to say, because I want it to have weight, but every sentence I write feels like just another turn in that same cycle we seem to be caught in. And the words become empty.
I wanted the struggles of Unlife, this adventure and those to come, to have the silver lining of a happy ending. The hope that even though things are shitty now, and there are shitty people out there, one day it’s all going to be okay. I have to believe that we’re on a path, you know? That things are going to change.
But change needs to be approached to be enacted. It’s not just something that falls from the sky.
I like fictional universes because they’re so much neater than reality. They distill life into something that can be examined and understood, with lessons that flow logically and naturally from every event. They promote a sense of good and order in a world that feels terrifyingly without either. Real life doesn’t have a convenient deus ex machina to allow terrorism like the violence depicted here to work out just fine. I have a certain level of control in Unlife: how the events come together, what is taken from their shape, and ultimately, when it’s time to walk away and move on. With real life, you can’t make that choice in a vacuum, and more to the point, you shouldn’t.
What can I say? What can any of us say? Can any one tweet/sentence/paragraph/essay/law/alien takeover really change the fabric of a nation that doesn’t want to change? Is there truly a set of words so perfect, so unmistakable, that it can bring us all together? If the repeated cries of disapproval from the masses hold so much weight, then why is nothing happening? Why can I write 4 pages about how fucking angry and upset I am, and yet not come up with one single viable and usable solution that can be explained as simply as it can be enacted? I’ve argued with many, many, many people today (regarding gun laws, religious extremism, mental health, and even anti-LGBT rhetoric), but we all remain unconvinced. And of course, even if I were to find those magic words, words can’t make change.
But actions can.
My heart and sympathies go out to the LGBT community and all those who are affected by this. But we should all be affected by this. We should all be working towards breaking this cycle. Our actions need to have purpose and meaning in this. We need –
I’m sorry if this blog is a mess. It really is because I don’t want to be a presumptive asshole, claiming to have the solution, or that you should listen to me, or that Unlife’s some kind of example or… I don’t even know. I’m just upset and heartbroken. And I truly believe we all deserve to be saved, you know?
Can we just get past all that other stuff and at least agree on that point?