Outta Sight, Outta Mind

In our daily walk through the paths we choose, we all want to feel important.  This is as universal as breathing oxygen to live in the human condition.  It is the reason behind our rage and sense of victimhood.  It is the driving factor within our desire for connection with others.

To somehow find people in our lives who see us as being worth sacrifice and loyalty, commitment and love.

To be seen and treated as if we are of import.


A man decides, through a series of seemingly random choices, to buy an apartment building.  He scrapes together what money he can, borrows the rest with a huge interest rate, and buys a building he can afford in a neighborhood that might be 'up and coming' in a few years.  He becomes a landlord.  He charges the most he can per unit because he has that fucking loan to pay back and needs to make a few shackles for himself in the process.

A woman, with a job that started as just a stepping stone to something bigger but has become her career despite her being paid less than she feels she is worth, applies to rent one of his units.  Her credit is sketchy - whose isn't these days - and the man requires her to jump through hoops and lessen her already battered dignity to rent the place.

She sits in her apartment with the drafty windows alone.  She nurses a Bud Light because she can't afford better beer and wonders how she is in this life called her own.  When she asked earlier in the day - for the ninth time - for some help at work (she's doing the job of three people and is starting to feel like she's drowning) she's told that she isn't a high priority right now.

When her dishwasher stops working, the man - her landlord - ignores her texts and phone calls because she is obviously not his priority, either.


In a recent discussion with a friend at a show, I tried to boil down my new More Spocks, Less Kirks mantra.  In all of my writing about the rage of the Right and Left, the horrors of the ridiculous Trump Administration, the bullshit that is the 'call out' public shaming culture, and the Left's extremely poor job of communicating the better ideas and losing ground because of it, the best I could come up with is

Most people aren't against you but more just for themselves.


A young man graduates high school but can't afford to go to college.  He also didn't have great grades nor did he attend a public high school in a predominantly white (monied) neighborhood.  He gets a job at a local fast food joint but that offers so few opportunities for upward mobility  that he ends up scraping by at every turn.

One day he realizes he lost his Ventra card and can't afford the bus ride to his job.  He stands on the corner, asking anyone who dares to look his way if they can spare a few dollars to get to work.

The woman with the broken dishwasher and absentee landlord has been scammed by panhandlers before.  Last year she was conned out of five dollars for a man who told a tale of his ill child and a broken down car.  She felt moved by his story, gave him the sawbuck only to be greeted by the same man a week later telling the same story.

She sees the young man asking for bus fare and waves her hand dismissively at him as she hustles by as fast as her heels will take her.


A benefit (for sanity's sake I suppose) of most social media is my ability to simply ignore you.  I can unfollow your posts, mute your tweets, block you from my sight.  If I disagree with you or decide your point of view is askance from my own, I can simply make you 'outta sight, outta mind.'

The troubling aspect of this is that that means I can effectively only give my attention to points of view I already agree with.  No dialectic involved.  I don't have to listen to other opinions or facts.  In the non-digital arena, this ability to narrow down the field of voices has been extended to college campuses, institutions and public spaces but it isn't as simple as simply clicking on a tab.  To winnow down a public space to only include your own perspective requires bullying and screaming and public shaming.

Outta sight, outta mind.


Another woman, doing everything she can to make money. In a city designed to prevent her from succeeding as the male-centric workplace continues to marginalize her, pay her less and reward less qualified workers because of their genitals, she wears a bit too much make-up and a blouse that shows off a bit more skin than she feels is necessary.  This job interview is a big deal and she grudgingly understands the nonsense she needs to go through to be noticed.  "Look at my tits because that's all you see," she thinks.

"Hey, pretty lady!  You gotta a ass I wanna taste like a warm biscuit!" The catcaller is in a business suit and drips with the misogynist entitlement that having a limp piece of tubing with a mushroom cap between his legs endows.  He crosses the street and continues to harass her as she waits for that fucking Uber driver to pick her up. 

The young man nearby has his bus fare this time and, while he isn't even close to being late for his fast food gig, sees the asshole coming dangerously close to the woman.  He thinks of the dismissive wave of a woman when he was desperate who looked just like this one and turns away.  

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In our daily walk through the paths we choose, we all want to feel important.  This is as universal as breathing oxygen to live in the human condition.  It is the reason behind our rage and sense of victimhood.  It is the driving factor within our desire for connection with others.

To somehow find people in our lives who see us as being worth sacrifice and loyalty, commitment and love.

To be seen and treated as if we are of import.