Plots and Plats

During the past few days, I’ve seen movie trailers on Facebook that are all about guns and killing, seen ads for games focused on killing one’s opponents (both human and cartoonish monsters), started a movie that began with a cyborg war, and I read a so-called romance that was nothing but a guy manipulating/abusing a woman because even though she repeatedly said no, he knew she really loved him and keeping after her was the only way to get through to her.

At the same time, whenever I’ve gone on Facebook, I’ve seen many anti-gun rants, anti-men rants, anti-everything rants. Well, anti everything but violent movies and books and games. Those seem entirely acceptable.

And yet people blame guns alone for real-life killings. And yet they say the violence people see every day, the violence their lives are steeped in have no affect on what they do.

How can it not have an effect? If an impressionable youngster (or oldster) sees how easy it is to get rid of a problem by blowing it away, why wouldn’t they attempt it? Especially since, in the violent fictional world, those blown away never truly die. They are resurrected for movie after movie, or game after game.

And how can young folk believe they have the power to say no (and that others have the need to heed the “no”) when they so often see that no means yes?

There is a growing movement in our culture today toward all dark and light without shades of gray, though one person’s dark is another’s light and vice versa. (This sentence is a graphic example of the dichotomy I am talking about. I originally wrote our world today is “all black and white,” but I feared some would see in this rant a racial slant that wasn’t intended, so I had to change my wording.)

It used to be that the two sides of a political or cultural discussion were more about ways to achieve the shared goal both sides wanted, but today, the goal itself is up for grabs. Making things more confusing, many of the folk (for example) who are attempting to make guns illegal are the very ones who are cashing in on the gun-ridden movie business.

I’m not sure I would even have noticed how truly bizarre and confusing all this is if I hadn’t been spending way more time off line than on. Maybe my life, my world, is so much less confusing than it’s been for the past decade that I am more aware of the confusion in the not-me world. Maybe I’m seeing a bigger picture and am not so swayed by those who wish me to focus on a single aspect of a situation. Maybe . . .

Maybe I should go back to talking about my house — which is still a sheer joy — and ignore the confused signals being blasted into the ether.

My neighbors and I have been trying for the past two months to figure out where our property lines are. (Apparently, the county assessor’s office knows how big the various properties are, but have no indication of property lines.) It wasn’t a big issue because we are all rather easy-going, but still, I needed to know where to put a fence. So I had my property surveyed. When I got the finished plat, all confusion was gone. We now know exactly where we stand. (Two feet to the north of where we thought we stood.)

I find the plat fascinating. At a glance, I can see every aspect of my property and how it fits in the whole, which made me think how nice if every confusion or dilemma were resolved so easily — if instead of political and cultural plots, we had plats.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

7 Responses to “Plots and Plats”

  1. Kathy Says:

    Truth. But I also might say that FB (and other social media) gives you a skewed view of life. When I stay away I see far more of life that isn’t conveyed online or is conveyed in a more human way. For example, your fearing “black and white thinking” would be interpreted as racial so you rewrote it. That’s the social media influence. In real life people know what “black and white thinking” is. Btw, love your plot line/plotting situation. That’s what you focus on. 😍

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      You’re right about the skewed view of life on FB. I don’t think I’ve ever lost so much respect for and faith in my friends as fast as I have the past couple of years. My offline life is so much more pleasant! (The reverse of the early years after Jeff died when off line life was unbearable.)

  2. Judy Says:

    Glad all is resolved! That’s one less thing for you to have to worry about!!

  3. Joe Says:

    The loss of respect and faith in friends that you mention is one reason why I don’t do Faceborg. Early on I saw what it it was becoming, by looking at the account my partner used to have (I still maintain his, for now, just to post a photo and/or a quote, in March if I feel like it). I just don’t want to know what people think about this or that sensitive topic unless they tell me themselves. A long time ago, I told an aunt to stop sending me political emails because, I informed her, she would not like my responses one bit. If people in my family have trouble with my personal life or politics, they can say it to my face, or else act as though I am air, as several of my uncles do. As for the rest of it, there’s this thing called “predictive programming” that seems to steer the collective mindset in a desired direction, vis a vis all the movies about the segregated South (“The Help” comes to mind), or that miniseries “Underground” that featured Southern plantation masters beating slaves escaping to freedom. It made me wonder if someone wants to keep picking at an old scab, so as to keep people divided in the present. I wonder about a lot of things nowadays. And now I’ll stop before I stir up trouble. 🙂 You can edit this if you want, I really would understand if you chose to.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I see no reason to edit anything you’ve written — you’re right on all counts. I didn’t know the term “predictive programming”, though I did know the process was happening. One of the reasons I lost respect for some otherwise intelligent folk is that they let themselves be manipulated without ever realizing the truth. 

      (Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.”)

  4. snakesinthegrass2014 Says:

    I like what you did here. Good on you and your neighbors for figuratively and literally building good fences. – Marty

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      It turns out that if I put my fence on the property line, the next door neighbors won’t be able to get in and out of their cars. So I won’t be putting up a fence after all. There’s more than one way to build good fences!

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