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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Mad-Dogging

I've been sitting at the coffee shop for about an hour trying to think about something to write about. It's not to say that I don't have things to write about. I listened to some ideas/topics I recorded onto my cell phone, but a few of those I want to take the time to write about, in a more thought out way and possibly in a style that leans more toward fiction, and I don't think sitting here in the coffee shop for a couple of hours writing about those things, then posting them on this blog would do those thoughts in my head any justice. And the things that I feel I can, or should write about, I'm hesitant, because I feel I don't have enough to write about. Or maybe it's just my mind runninng on fumes, my program might be getting to me along with all the other external pressures that exist. Nonetheless, my mind keeps drifting to the thoughts of how a look can get you killed.
Mad-Dogging Can Make You a ^

Last summer (2011) when I was visiting home for the summer, there were 3 drive-by shootings. One of those shootings occurred in the early evening, in the parking lot of the local Target. A couple had walked out, an 18 year old male exchanged looks and words with a couple of men in a green honda. The men in the green honda had circled back around and and shot the 18 year old, dead. The woman was injured, but survived. I'm not sure who initiated the confrontation, because eventually on the news, there was footage from surveilance cameras that recorded the incident. I'm not sure if it was the 18 year old that started maddogging the men in the honda, or if the men in the honda were the ones that first started maddogging the 18 year old, but it's clear from the footage that it was a petty fucking thing to die over.

It's easy to forget how easy it is to get into in altercation in my hometown, all it takes is looking at someone the wrong way. This is prevalent amongst us males, our eyes lock, and all of a sudden we're behaving like dogs in a ring, ready to pounce on one another to see who can rip out the other's throat first. I realize that when I fly home, my demeanor changes, I go from feeling relaxed, comfortable, smiling even (which is believed to be a rarity for me), to getting the serious look on my face, the angry "don't-fuck-with-me" look. It's not like that so much anymore, I've grown to relax, and transfer the feeling of comfort I have while I'm in school, back to my hometown. If someone gives me a dirty look or locks, eye, I smile, nod, and keep walking, because I feel like I have too much to live for, I don't want to end up in jail, nor do I want to end up six feet deep. I'd probably end up in heaven or hell, wondering- "Man, I fucked that one up, I shouldn't have played the mad-dogging game. Who would have thought that fool had a handgun that he was going use on me as soon as I turned my back?" At least if you're in jail, you can reflect and regret, but you have the possibility of getting out an regaining your freedom, as long as you're not doing life for having killed someone over a staring contest. When you're dead it's a little harder to regret our decisions and hope for a second chance.

Sometimes we don't stop and think about these things, we're so caught up in maintaining our pride, that we don't realize that mad-dogging someone can get someone killed. Confrontations such as this can lead to the death of one or the other, the person kills you, or you kill that person, as is evidenced by the shooting at the Target. Whether either party was in a gang or not, doesn't matter, the police are going to assume automatically that because it was brown on brown violence, that it was gang related. They don't realize that sometimes we're stupid enough to kill each other over a look, a mad-dogging competition without the necessity of gang affiliation. We grow up in the environment and use it as a defense mechanism, some might think it's stupid or idiotic, but for those of us growing up there, it's normal. A norm that we need to break out of, without a doubt. I've seen veteranos, grown men, slow down their car, and hit up some kid, high school aged and ask him what he claimed, I'm guessing because he was wearing a rival color or because they were bored. They let him walk, because I'm guessing they believed that he didn't claim anything when he told them so. Others haven't been so lucky. It just comes to show, mad-dogging and whatever machista bullshit we're dealing with doesn't discriminate based on age or class. You could just be getting out of the fields, and if you look to your left and lock eyes with a person that plays the mad-dogging game, you might become their unintended target if you don't look away quickly. It's that easy, it's that quick.

It's not to say that this is an everyday common occurrence in my hometown, but it is to say, that when it does happen, it has an impact on the psyche of the community. I was in my hometown when the shooting occurred, and it obviously reverberated with me, because here I am, over a year later writing about it. I'm not in my hometown currently, but when I hear about the latest news whether it be an assault or a death, it stays with me for some time. And I guess being in a college town where that isn't normal, it's difficult to talk to some people about it, because they think it's stupid, or they try to relate to it with some stupid shit, like how fans of rival college football teams get into confrontations. They can't relate, so I think, and I write to relate to get those thoughts out of my head, because I obviously have something to say about those thoughts that involves those incidents. Over the years, there have been deaths in my hometown, mostly amongst young men, and the shooting at the Target last year, reminded me that mad-dogging can still get you killed.

Target Shooting
Target Shooting 2

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