Orlando

Hi all,

I’m busy working (it’s almost summer for me, for real), attending music concerts (Public Enemy at Canalside in Buffalo, Weezer and Panic! at the Disco in Canandaigua and Cage the Elephant in Rochester), and finally working on my comprehensive thesis project, “Birth of the Authors: Digital Collaboration, Electrate Invention and the Dissenting Voice.”

I’m reading Jonathan Franzen’s “The Corrections” as well as re-reading chapters of a Walter Benjamin collection and Jeffrey Nealon’s “Post-Postmodernism,” perhaps my single favorite academic critical study.

I’m listening to D.R.A.M. (Does Real Ass Music) and Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment’s critically-acclaimed album Surf from last year, which I originally dismissed  but now jam to daily.

I’m longboarding and running each day and eating guacamole.  I’m applying for jobs. I’m Yelping pretentious coffee shop reviews, and writing in the e-mail and apology note genres.  I’m camping for at least one weekend each month, and I’m quoting Thoreau.

Briefly, I wanted to weigh in on the tragedy in Orlando a few weeks ago.

Plenty of people will focus on the roles in the events played by homophobia, Islam, gun control, even iPhone app technologies such as Tinder and Grindr.

I want to hone in on the mental health aspect of the event- why is mental health such a secondary concern in this country, a luxury of the bourgeoisie cultured middle class, a stigmatized attention-seeking pill-popping measure?

Frankly, mental health- like many things we systemically ignore- is expensive.

How many people have suffered (and will suffer) because of the perceived luxury that professional attention to mental health has become?

The Orlando shooter was a security guard at an upscale housing development.  He dreamed of becoming a police officer.

What is the cost, and is it too much? Who is to decide? Do we care enough to sustain this conversation, or will it join the archives of past tragedies?

The time for extended gun control measures, for certain, is here.  Happy summer 2016, friends.

JD

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