I've been mulling it over all day, hemming and hawing about what I wanted to say. It's well into the afternoon now, so I'm just going to start writing and we'll see if anything comprehensible comes out. Here goes...
If you live in Tarboro you may have heard about the upcoming Hidden Shadows event. Now I'm not part of vampire culture, but I must admit knowing an event like this was being planned in quaint little ol' backwards Tarboro got me really stoked. Recently I've met really interesting, open-minded, forward-thinking people. It's like they've been coming out of the woodwork. Suddenly living in this small town hell-hole was becoming bearable, maybe....dare I say....enjoyable. *gasp* The fact that something so far out of the mainstream humdrum was coming to town was just....well...cool. Even if I had decided not to go, knowing there was something other than church barbecues and meetings of The League Of Republican Women going on, was encouraging. Yes, there are people in eastern NC that actually step out of the mainstream mire and resist that nasty status quo. Go Freethinkers!
But no. Sadly, my little bubble was burst this morning. No vampires coming to town. No really cool Goth fashion. No chance to wear black plyvinyl out in public. It seems the person coordinating the event also happens to be a public servant. He was advised (dare I say, "threatened") to cease promoting the event. Oh, and he'd better not even attend. Wow. But it doesn't stop there, because the same day the party venue (a local tattoo shop) backed out. It seems they were worried about bad publicity, losing business licenses, getting a hefty fine, yadda yadda yadda. (I sense some nasty threats are behind all of that too, but don't quote me.)
I just makes me so angry. Angry that someone in a position of authority would use it to stop a private party, to threaten employees and private businesses. I could literally pop a blood vessel. Why? Because people are afraid! They are afraid of things they don't understand, things that are different, things outside of white, middle class, go to church on Sunday kinds of people.
The definition of fear is "a basic emotional response initiated by an aversion to some perceived risk or threat." What's the perceived risk or threat here? I mean what do they expect these people to do? It's not like they are going to be roaming the streets of Tarboro looking for virgins to sacrifice. It's not like they'll be knocking over the local convenience store. It's a PARTY! I checked out their website and here's what I found:
"Our goals are to provide a safe and peaceful haven in shich a new type of club environment mixes all types of genres. Hidden Shadows uses the median of night life, music and fashion to create a world which exists inbetween fantasy and reality."
Sounds really threatening and dangerous, don't it? So they might listen to loud music and dress in black and have scary fangs. (That's a sign they're worshipping Satan, ya know? Everybody lock up your pets.)
It just reminds me of my neighbors being all in a tizzy over the rumor spreading through the historic district last year. The Webbs are practicing Witchcraft. *double gasp* We found out about it from a more open-minded neighbor who seemed somewhat amused by the fact others in the neighborhood were trying to decide "what to do about it". Stupid. I mean we've lived peacefully with these people for years now, but one little mention of something they don't understand (like Witchcraft) and suddenly something has to be done. Don't people have better things to do?
See it's all just like this civil servant I mentioned early. He goes to work and supports his family like any other upstanding citizen in this crappy little town, but one mention of something they don't understand (like vampires) and "something has to be done".
And this is why Keith works in Nash County people. Do you see a possible parallel in this story? No he won't be working at Tarboro High anytime soon. It's a shame, too. He's a damn good teacher.
Anyway...rant over. I'll just quote one very wise little green dude.
"Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering."