A Cautionary Tale of Our Times

I've been thinking lately of everyone's tendency on the innertubes to trash other people's ideas, opinions, hobbies, likes or whathaveyou if they perchance do not share them. Methinks it's totally Not Cool. I don't mean if you have a legitimate gripe--say, you truly cannot endure a particular political candidate and you wish to convey that emotion, preferably in an articulate, calm fashion. Even if you want to scream and fleck spittle all over the place, you certainly have the right to say or write whatever you wish. I just mean the pointless bandwagon-jumping the internet is so famous for. Can't you people maybe give it a break for, say, five whole minutes?

Case in point: As some of you may or may not know, Mojo occasionally hangs around with nuns. Not due to any sort of overt or latent religiousity--heck, I'm not even Catholic, and never once was, and indeed, my Favorite Mother sometimes seems to look at me somewhat amazed that while hanging out with nuns I haven't spontaneously burst into flames yet, what with my smart mouth and all--but I happen to like this particular group of Sisters, since collectively they spend most of their time actively trying to help people who need help. And while Mojo herself is as cynical and selfish as they come, deep in the embittered husk of her desiccated heart she cannot help but privately admire people who get out and actually *DO* stuff, aside from posting Helpful Inspirational Memes on Facebook. (Privately I am of the apparently minority opinion that, if you require *inspiration* to get you to treat other human beings decently, there's probably something way wrong with you. But I digress.)

These Sisters have a motherhouse (what I suppose used to be called a convent, but it's more of a campus with various do-goodie endeavors all housed in one good-sized set of buildings) in a not-so-great-but-not-the-worst-section of a similarly not-so-great town. It houses, among other things, a couple of low-income elder housing buildings, a nursing home, an old day care the Sisters used to run, blah blah blah. This complex of buildings is surrounded by a sea of driveways and parking lots, and then the exterior ring, so to speak, is a series of mown lawns. One corner has their cemetery, where all of their friends and loved ones and fellow Sisters through the years have been buried. The whole complex, as you may imagine, is a fairly quiet place, particularly at night.

This one Sister friend of mine recently got one of those apps for her cell phone that measures the number of steps she takes each day, and she has accordingly set herself a daily goal of how many steps she wishes to walk. And frequently finds, at the end of the day, that she is short her goal, so has gotten in the habit of walking aimlessly around the entire complex to get in her requisite number of steps. Because when you get right down to it, Sisters/nuns are pretty much just like you and I, with the exception that Mojo is totally lazy and does not keep up with her fitness goals as well as she should, whereas Obedience is one of the Three Big Vows that nuns agree to when they become nuns.

So last week, at twilight, my Sister friend is walking the circuit around the complex, staring at her phone, when she suddenly becomes aware of a small group of young men who are following her. She keeps walking, but starts to move in a little closer to the complex instead of being way out on the outer rim of the driveways. They are still following her. So she cuts through a parking lot and walks around the building. They follow her. She rounds the corner, and she is approaching the entrance to her building--a low-income elder housing complex where she lives, because trust me, no one is more destitute than a nun; poverty is actually ANOTHER of their Three Big Vows--when she notices there are MORE young men hanging around the gate of their cemetery.

Now this is where you and I might high-tail it into the safety of the complex and peek at them from behind the curtains and perhaps call the cops on the hoodlums, but, if I may indulge in some stereotyping, nuns aren't the sort who do that. Some of it, I think, is because they are traditionally willing to do all the crappy, crappy jobs that no one else will do, like teach your worthless, rotten kids or clean up after your Alzheimery grandmother or ride along with the police to help out in domestic violence situations, often for little or no pay. Another thing they have going for them is--I don't actually KNOW this from firsthand experience but I think you will agree it's a plausible theory--if you are new to prison and eager to establish yourself among your fellow inmates, I assume bragging about beating up a nun probably isn't going to earn you much in the way of street cred. Even Billy the Kid knew enough to leave the nuns alone. So my Sister friend decided to march right down there and see what in heck 'n' tarnation is going on.

As you have probably guessed by now, the young men were all playing the new Pokémon game. Someone somewhere designated their cemetery as a gym or some place to catch some monster or however the game is played. Whatever. Anyway, they were all super-polite to Sister, and explained the game to her (much better, I am sure, than I am trying to explain it now to you). She immediately grasped it was a harmless diversion, and wished them well, and merely asked that they treat the cemetery with the respect that private property and cemeteries both deserve. She then bid them to have fun, and continued her walk, and called the complex's security specifically to ask them to let the young men play their game in peace and not be total jerks about it, since she surmised it would be a nice, safe place for well-meaning young men to hang out.

So okay, I get it: like me, you don't play Pokémon Go. Perhaps you think it's stupid and pointless. In the grand scheme of things it seems pretty harmless, so why harsh on people who are enjoying themselves? Is it really going to ruin your life to shut the hell up for once and just let people indulge in the hobbies they wish to indulge in, without having to endure your editorial comments about how stupid and pointless it is? (My one indulgence in pointless wastes of time is four-suit Spider solitaire, which is a freakin' card game. And the best part is, unlike the new Pokémon game, I don't even have to EXERCISE WHILE PLAYING IT. Ahhh!)

So lay off people if they are doing something they enjoy doing. If a nun can do it, I think you could give it a shot. Unless your *thing* has something to do with "reality" television. That truly IS stupid and pointless low-denominator tripe, and you should be ashamed of yourself for ever getting involved in such a terrible, ignorance-promoting, society-destroying thing. But video games--eh. Not so bad.

Mojo