You Are Here

You are here and god doesn’t care what you think.

Not interested in your opinion, acceptance, denial, praise or even acknowledgment.


If I told you god was in the details, would you call me a Christian, a scientist, or a liberal? Be careful what you think of me. To say, ‘god is in the details’ could mean a lot of things.

There was a shooting on Friday, a terrible massacre at a theater in Aurora, Colorado. During the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises, twelve people were gunned down while they sat like helpless beer cans arranged on a fencepost. Hypnotized by the screen and mindlessly chewing their popcorn one minute, shot in the face by a lunatic the next. Did god save this one and not that one? No. Did god worry that allowing this to happen during the premier of a Warner Bros film may have a detrimental effect on that week’s offering plate? Nah. God is the laws of nature, nothing more and nothing less. Never underestimate the power of nature or the nature of power for that matter.

This story is about the idea of safety. First thing to know is that there is no safety, there are only odds. I’ll be the first to say that I lock my doors and wear my seatbelt in hopes of repelling death, but these things are not guarantees. Turn on the TV and receive minute by minute updates on all the things that go bump in the night: child molesters in the city, bears and coyotes in the mountains, rabid pit bulls in the streets, assailants in the bank, music in your ears, religion in the home, sin in your heart. There are infinite things to be afraid of, and we are so nearsighted as to think the world is chaos and that is our biggest fear of all.

To dispel the fear of chaos we’ve made up some funny stuff. Specifically that if we can win favor with god then “He” will save us from this disorderly mess, that it isn’t really chaos at all but all part of god’s plan, god so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son, whatever the fuck that means, to die for our sins and here’s the best part, that god made us in his own image. What? The creator of the universe is a self righteous, fat, bald monkey who is greedy, jealous and vengeful? Apparently, there is no prerequisite for being god but we take comfort in this idea nonetheless.

A lot of the same people who would tell you this god story is true also wanted Sarah Palin to be vice president of the United States, not because she was qualified but rather because she seemed just like them. She was a hockey mom with a limited vocabulary who didn’t know why there was a North and a South Korea, which countries were in NAFTA and that Africa is a continent as opposed to one big country. But you know, who has time for all that boring geographical mumbo jumbo? She did admit to believing in evolution which made me like her a teeny tiny bit but nowhere near enough to earn my vote. She was a pawn in a poorly executed publicity stunt, but she had a cute smile and a nice rack and she was just like them. Personally, I want to think that my elected officials are smarter than me, or at least possess a superior education, because I don’t think I’m qualified to be president. As we speak, I don’t have the skill set required to run a nation and I sure as hell don’t want someone who is no more qualified than myself to be out there making decisions on my behalf. I don’t want them to be just like me but, unfortunately, most of them are. They can’t keep us safe.

It’s easy to pick on Sarah Palin as she is a tall blade of grass but she along with a long, long list of others have worked hard at promoting the fallacy that we can keep ourselves safe and tame the chaos by arming the general public with guns. Legally armed citizens make the world a safer place because fear of retaliation will stop the “bad guys” dead in their tracks, once again fooling us into thinking we have the upper hand on nature. Perhaps due to the bias of the liberal media, there are precious few stories in which a Johnny On The Spot utilizes a legally owned weapon to step in and save the day yet the idea that everyone can be a hero is astoundingly pervasive because we’re scared and we’re gullible and that’s it. That’s the human condition: scared and gullible.

Seems ironic then that our latest public shooting took place during a movie that glorifies vigilante justice when, in fact, there were no vigilante heros on the scene that night and in reality, there rarely is. The man who was there, James Holmes, was perfectly within his rights when he purchased his 4 weapons and 6000 rounds of ammunition. Who was he protecting himself from? Oh yeah, “bad guys”.

Jared Lee Loughner was also legally armed when, on January 8, 2011, he attended a public meeting held in a supermarket parking lot and decided to go ahead and shoot 18 people. Six of those people died including Arizona District Chief Judge, John Roll, and a nine year old child. Among the survivors were U.S. Representative, Gabrielle Giffords, who sustained a gunshot wound to the head.

Of course, these are not the only two occurrences but just two that come to mind. The NRA will tell you that the reason these things happened is because there were not enough other guns present, that the legally armed bad guys had no reason to fear retaliation. Since when does psychosis fear retaliation? Fear of retaliation may, on occasion, deter desperation driven crimes like muggings or bank robberies but true malice only needs a vehicle. Armed civilians provide about as much safety as blankets infected with small pox provide warmth.

There was a time when the right to bear arms was deemed necessary to deter a tyrannical government, repel invasion and to facilitate a natural right of self defense. This probably made sense when a muzzle loaded musket and flintlock pistol were considered to be advanced weaponry but don’t you think for a minute that handguns are going to keep the government out of your house. An American army tank can level a neighborhood in a matter of minutes. Personal firearms are no obstacle for the weaponry of our military. With regard to repelling invasion, no one storms the beach until they’ve already blown up the city and the bases. If that happens here, we’ve got way bigger problems than can be solved with a .40 caliber pistol. If a robber breaks in to your house at night while you’re sleeping, then by all means, blow his head off.

But here’s the thing, our government has no motivation to control us by force. They’re not going to invade our homes personally because there is no need. Why should they exert effort when there’s church and football and beer commercials keeping us dumb and placid? Do you really care about the economy when there’s gay marriage to be up in arms about? How important is the cost of health insurance while the Superbowl is on? Our society, yes our society, the one that we created through inactivity, allows men who toss a ball around to be paid infinitely more than the people who educate our children. There’s always plenty of money for war and Bud Light but for some reason millions of Americans go without needed health care because they can’t afford insurance. Do you think guns are keeping you safe from the government? Think again suckers, they’re fucking us every which way they can while we watch football and scrap over women’s reproductive rights and gay marriage. Senators and congressmen, they don’t give a fuck about those things but they want us to care so we won’t notice what they’re really up to; working tirelessly to promote their own business interests. Get this shit straight people, there is a circus going on, full of god and guns and unwanted pregnancies, and it’s there solely for our entertainment.

As a god fearing nation, we the people, we’re a bunch of ungrateful mamma’s boys assuming that someone or something will come along and pick us up, compare our score cards, wipe our boogers and cook us dinner. God doesn’t work that way. God is science. God is the laws that govern the universe. You can study and learn to use the laws or you can sit around arguing over bullshit and waiting for Armageddon. God doesn’t care which path you choose because the laws are the laws, a system with infinite variables, set in motion to play itself out any which way. It saddens me to think that something as spectacular as planet Earth could be left in the hands of human beings but this is the truth. Mamma didn’t save the dinosaurs and she’s not gonna save us either. Our safety and survival are contingent on only one thing: our ability to preserve the systems that sustain us and if we can’t do that…

When the music’s over turn out the lights.

Author: d. Nelle Vincent

I write stories about wine and the human condition because the devil, as they say, is in the details.

2 thoughts on “You Are Here”

  1. Fucking greatness, all of it, the whole damn thing, but I like this best:
    What? The creator of the universe is a self righteous, fat, bald monkey who is greedy, jealous and vengeful? Apparently, there is no prerequisite for being god but we take comfort in this idea nonetheless.

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