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Chiken's avatar
2 years ago
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Chiken
Don't Let Your Walls Down
For the last two years, the wife and I have been living in the pretty sketchy neighborhood of Perry South on Pittsburgh's north side. Over those two years, we've had a couple of drug related murders, break-in's, vandalism, and gunshots nightly happen all around us but we never felt unsafe. It's always felt like we were in a bubble. Up on a hill, on moderately heavy traffic road (main bus route + emergency snow route), surrounded by home owners who are, to our knowledge, upstanding citizens. Literally a block away in all directions are dilapidated homes and rampant crime.

As I said before, we hear gunfire nightly, so we're pretty numb to it by now. Hell, we don't even call the cops anymore. As we were gardening, a block away and just out of eye sight, a double murder happened. We heard the first series of 7-8 pops, and looked at each other and debated whether or not it was gun shots. Then we hear a woman scream "No! No!, No!", followed by another series of shots. Again we kind of looked at each other and carried on gardening. Finally after a stream of police and ambulances drive by do we realize that we literally just heard the last words of a woman being murdered and we didn't do shit.

it just hit home. Hearing the womans voice made the gun shots we hear every night more human. Knowing that those gun shots could of just ended someones life, and not just some person shooting into a vacant lot. Fuck.
phi_'s avatar
2 years ago
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phi_
... and let the Earth be silent after ye.
Death is a fascinating and horrifying fact of life. I heard a cop get shot 15 times not even a block from my old house and saw the gore shortly after. I had met that cop before, but didn't know him, but I knew what his brains looked like.

Last week I saw the immediate aftermath of a pedestrian getting hit by a truck on the freeway. Skin flayed, body contorted. Had to sit and stare for 10 minutes while the cops tried to redirect traffic.
phi_'s avatar
2 years ago
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phi_
... and let the Earth be silent after ye.
I often find myself disappearing into myself, getting lost in reflection. It happens most often at work, but I also spend most of my waking time there so that makes sense. For the first time in my life I make more than I need to live. I frequently appreciate the position I'm in, grateful that money is no longer a crushing anxiety. Though my work situation is hostile and I generally just prepare myself for losing the job ... trading one anxiety for another, I suppose, but for now I can go to the grocery store and not worry about how much I'm spending in one trip, and I can get silly things like Arduinos. Then one of my employees came to me asking for more hours. She just had a baby a few months ago and desperately needs the extra money. Apparently 15 hours per week at $7.50 per hour isn't helpful enough. Her boyfriend makes enough to cover rent and utilities and just got a second job. She's trying to help. I had to sit her down and explain why I can't just give hours out. I had to explain labor targets and yields, how many hours I can even schedule per day. Holy shit, this girl has some troubles making sure her family can eat and I'm getting tanked watching movies I've had shipped across the world. What the holy fuck am I doing? I don't think there's anything terribly wrong or extravagant about the way I live my life, but doing my job actively supports a system whose principle product is poverty. I recognize that I am merely an interchangeable part and my participation has zero influence on the overall operation of, well, everything. I think it's time to check out for a while. But I have a lease until April, so I'm in this weird limbo. I just know I need to help people rather than serve them.
Carpetsmoker's avatar
2 years ago
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Carpetsmoker
Martin
> doing my job actively supports a system whose principle product is poverty. I recognize that I am merely an interchangeable part and my participation has zero influence on the overall operation of, well,
everything.

When I was a kid there was an advertising campaign on TV: "a better world starts with you".

I'm not sure if it was this ad or something else, but these works always stuck with me. I strongly believe in personal responsibility and stepping up. This is why I am a vegetarian, this is why I don't have a car, this is why I would never work in advertising.

On the other hand, it's easy for me, with my fairly cosy job and reasonably nice bank account :-/ Not everyone has the space to make the choices I do...
phi_'s avatar
2 years ago
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phi_
... and let the Earth be silent after ye.
Individual consumer choices are a very liberal concept and that causes a great deal of alarm with me. "Be the change you want to see in the world," is all well and good but it doesn't actually change anything. Real, systemic change comes from organization and collective action towards a common goal. But that's an issue for another thread.
phi_'s avatar
2 years ago
r1, link
phi_
... and let the Earth be silent after ye.
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lucas's avatar
2 years ago
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lucas
i ❤ demo
these types of issues also impact my day-to-day life. i sympathize.