• Melissa Volker

My Truth.

The world is a shitshow.

The media is officially little more than the magazine rags at the grocery store, headlines crafted for clicks, not to summarize the carefully researched fact-driven article meant to inform as opposed to inflame, incite, enrage. Hysteria breeds attention, breeds quick-clips/short memes/unresearched shares/out-of-context blurbs, breeds hysteria, breeds attention -- round and round we go in a media (social and otherwise) version game of Russian roulette.

I have feelings on that. I have feelings on all of it. I have so many feelings on each and every aspect, side, opinion that I could scream for a week, cry every minute of every day, and not be rid of the ache in my spirit over all of it. I have feelings on it that I’m sure will piss a lot of people off, will have some calling me a liar -- or worse -- (because they cannot fathom how someone can live in the head/heart space I live in for realz), will cause some to unfriend, and many try and argue/counter. I’m stating right now that I don’t care and I’m not interested in any of it.

Why? Why don’t I open it to “conversation”? Because conversations-to-understand are rarely had anymore. Instead we have righteous flag-planting, tantruming, accusations launched by assumptions, quick “snappy”, “clever” meme bits, heels dug in so far the dirt goes all the way to the ears, preventing any real listening/hearing -- all because we have become a society fueled by the snap-neck pace of imMEDIAcy created by the ever-present, always-on social AND mainstream media, none of whom seem focused on a search for clarity or truth. Just for clicks. Clout-chasers, all of them. And the public drinks it down, jumps on board, glorifies it.


The more intense a reaction you can create, the more knee-jerk a response, the faster you get the ‘share’, the follower, the ‘like’ the click.


The world is a shitshow, on fire, and I am engulfed in a pervasive, encompassing grief as all I see everywhere is gasoline being poured. No one actually looking deeper or truly asking questions. ALL the questions. Not just the questions that illustrate your point for your side. ALL. THE. QUESTIONS.


I agree -- amplify the voices of the oppressed. Yes. Call for justice where there is injustice. Yes, dammit. Blacks so quickly gunned down while armed whites calmly walk away from a shooting and arrested quietly the next day -- wtf is that??!! Call for change, call for dismantling, for the love of all that is holy, call for basic fucking rights and safety for EVERYONE ACROSS THE BOARD NO MATTER THEIR COLOR CUZ WE ARE ALL FUCKING HUMAN. Sit down and stfu if you disagree. You are evil.

But yea, maybe it’s me, cuz while I believe in raising voices, thumping chests, chanting, raising fists, marching, demanding -- I believe it can be done without immediately and haphazardly casting our own unhelpful stones (literally or figuratively). I believe in finding the whole story, as much of the truth as possible before leaping for the torches and pitchforks. I believe that not doing so amounts to little more than another brand of gasoline on the fire.


I know -- much of the thinking is ‘let it burn, it needs to burn, burn it to the ground and boo-hoo for the innocents that go down along with it’.

To me, then, I just see one part of humanity, in their pain and rage and grief, causing the same in another part of humanity, creating the same round robin the media shitshow creates. And then, yes believe it or not this is the truth -- I genuinely grieve for ALL OF THEM. Then I feel the pain of ALL involved. I stand here, fighting tears for the entire fucking mess raging out of control. Then I cannot stand to one side or the other -- not because I don’t care, but as I have said so many times before, because I care for ALL OF IT. I am suddenly awash with the pain of the enraged as well as the pain of those caught in the shockwave of that pain expressed. I cannot feel one without the other. My heart aches for the world. The whole world. What a fucked up place we are in. I am sad. I am devastatingly sad. I am sad in the deepest, aching-ist, darkest possible way. I'm sad and heartbroken, deep pervasive sorrow all the way through.

That’s not very clickable. But it’s the truth. My truth.

Maybe it’s that we are in the screaming-at-the-top-your-lungs stage and there IS no working toward solution right now. Maybe that’s it, and that’s the process, and only after the pained voices feel heard can solutions be sought. I just cannot be part of the screaming. I only see it creating more damage. I'm not judging it, I just can't contribute to it.

Maybe it’s me. But I don’t believe that ‘maybe it’s me’ because it is wrong -- it is just, apparently, uncommon -- this gray space I often embody. It is most certainly often unwelcome and deemed somehow unfeeling, deficient, blind. That I can hold two seemingly conflicting notions in my head and heart at the same time is often unfathomable. It is also, though, quite possible, and very much my truth. When a black man has a knee to his neck until he dies, when a woman is killed in her bed while she sleeps, when a person is victimized, when the oppressed try everything: take a knee (no don’t do that), speak out peacefully (stop being political movie star/athlete/comedian), and are therefore driven to desperation and outrage, I hear it, I feel it, and -- I see humanity...suffering. Clearly. Obviously. How is this even a discussion for chrissake??? But also, I am devastated we live in a world where our deeply empathetic son, (empathy that does not choose between sides) must walk on eggshells and censor his feelings because he will be vehemently vilified because of the aforementioned media-driven hysteria shitshow. I hate a world where assumptions are made and no one knows that he is upset and conflicted over the hyperbole and extremism from all camps that further fuels division and fosters the same kind of violence in reverse; where no one sees that he not only rages against horrific injustice, but also experiences having a good friend who is a game warden who he hadn’t heard from in a bit, and finds out it is because he was approaching someone to check on a fishing license and the person just turned around and shot him (he is okay, btw..in case anyone wonders), or that another (a POC, btw) who is an officer, will not park his work vehicle at his house for fear of violence against himself or his family -- NOT for his skin, but for his profession because the raging of the one side has generated the same blanket hate toward the other. I ache and rage that this is our world, and neither of us can separate the humanity. Because there is a human there, too. Though that often seems more easily forgettable. (Not for the bigots, the racists, the haters, the outright murderers, in case that needs to be stated -- there is no humanity there and may they get what they deserve and more.)

And yes, I get it -- the suffering is not even close to equitable (because I KNOW I need to clarify that...CLICK), the oppression only exists in one direction and I do not seek to equate/compare any of it. I also get that to acknowledge all of it risks shifting the focus from where it is so desperately needed. I get ALL of that. That doesn’t change the fact that I am affected by the pain and fear felt across the board -- because regardless of the source, the reason, it is, in the end, pain and fear suffered by a human being who does not deserve because the world is raging shitshow. And I am unable to not care about one under the guise of “serves them right” or “that’s what happens” or “welcome to the rebellion”. For the same reason I hate war, I hate this. I am unable to turn off my empathy for suffering anywhere. (again, lest someone balk -- save for the evil that deserves none).

I HATE this. ALL of it. I hate it. I. HATE. IT.

Because all of this -- the things that have to change, the people being victimized, the systems that perpetuate, the shitshow media that only feeds divisiveness, and the resulting explosion inciting the pain in reverse -- ALL of it needs fixing. Healing. All of it involves humanity, suffering, and I cannot separate it out. Sorry if that offends, it is not my intent. Sorry if it seems to diminish anyone’s pain -- it most certainly does not, and in fact I hope it illustrates how intense and real and valid I know it is. That, in fact, I cannot even truly imagine....that’s why it hurts me. I try to walk a mile in ALL shoes.

I’ve been called things as a result. I’ve been accused of not getting it. I’ve read those conveniently meme-centric posts that flat out tell me that because of how I think, the questions I raise, the answers I demand before voicing an opinion -- that I am racist. Part of the problem. Ignorant. The culture of imMEDIAcy has successfully created a population that will judge me quickly and abandon understanding.

Click. I am already anticipating the counters to things voiced here -- can hear them clearly, nearly tried to preemptively address them all but have decided against it. Been there. Done that. That’s part of my point. So please don’t bother. If you have a “but -- “ save it, I’m sure I’ve heard it before and it will all just prove that the gray space I stand in is at best unfathomable, at worst, abhorred. So -- this is my space to speak, and I don’t care to hear the dismissiveness. I’m full up on it. Nothing good to say? That’s fine -- keep it to yourself and move along. And I know, boo-hoo, but it’s not about me. No, it's not. All of this shitshow is NOT about me, not even close. This is to address the shitshow and my reaction to it -- these words are to explain why I bow out. Why I stand where I do. Why I fall silent, or why I sometimes say what I do. In case anyone wants to know. If not -- fine -- it's okay to just walk on by.

It’s too explain, for the last time, that I don’t care anymore. Or rather -- I DO... I care so acutely to my core that it sickens me, but you may not see or hear about it. Because few few few people really understand where I am, or care to think about it for a bit in order to seek understanding when I do speak. It’s just about the screaming. THAT, I don't care about anymore. Because that says to me that they really only care about the quick-click, the ‘either for us or against us’ (a stance which is also disinterested in conversation).


I abstain, remove myself from the fray because there is too much pain like crackling electrical sparks racing through it all, and -- without exaggeration -- I feel the anguish of all involved and it’s just too much. I literally feel an ache in my heart for a world on fire. And yes, if there was a full on revolution right now, I’d stay at home and wait for the smoke to clear and then come out to see how I might be of assistance in the healing and rebuilding. Hate me for that? Okay. I still genuinely and sincerely wish you well. I am devastatingly sad for all of us; I am grief-stricken -- for all of this, everything, every one of us. I'm just so very sad.

This is my faceless letter to the world-on-fire to say, “I see you, I care so much that I just can’t...but I’ll be here when it’s over.”

Believe it or don’t. Hate me, even. Whatever. It won’t matter either way for either of us because that’s all part of the shitshow.

Click But that’s also the truth. My truth. That’s MY meme-quote:

“My truth.”


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