Kenneth L. Hardin: I’ve earned this tired old man rant

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 25, 2022

I’m getting close to the six decades mark and I accept that I have more years behind me than in front.  I don’t waste precious time giving people the benefit of the doubt, deciphering what they meant to say or expend cognitive energy trying to figure out what their facial expressions and body language actually mean. I’m too old and tired for that.

I’m really tired of all the nonsensical verbiage offered up as truth by lazy, shallow and simple minded people who think they’re unique and special.  These people drain my soul to a point of exhaustion like the “Green Mile” movie character who expressed his weariness with his fellow man by saying, “I’m tired, boss…I’m tired of all the pain I feel and hear in the world every day. There’s too much of it. It’s like pieces of glass in my head, all the time…Can you understand?”  I don’t think people hear me, so I’m going to go on a hard earned old man rant to explain why I’ve thrown my hands up in futility trying to reason with those of lesser intellect.

I’m so over hearing about how much people love and care about veterans, but then make them jump through hoops for that same love and respect once they take the uniform off for good. No one who put their hand up and took that oath to fight for, protect and defend this country should have to beg for a roof over their heads, a job, mental health treatment or medical care.  I hope no one sitting in the high back Council chairs is taking a victory lap or patting themselves on the back over voting to place an American flag in the downtown park.  The veterans should’ve never had to stand on a hot street corner for weeks to protest and show their love for the flag they were willing to die for. Tired

I’m sick of professional politicians declaring war on things like poverty, guns, drugs, hate, homelessness and other low hanging fruit to get elected and re-elected, and then actually do nothing.  Everything they supposedly have focused on has not improved, lessened or been made better, but their commercials and PR mileage has gone a long way for them. Tired.

My tolerance level for businesses crying about being short staffed as an excuse to provide less than optimal service is gone.  I understand operational efficiency can be impacted when you don’t have enough employees. Two years after COVID, if you haven’t adjusted, you’re just an awful business and a poor manager. How do you account for poor employee attitudes and the dismal level of customer service your business offers with the minimal amount of employees you do have working?  I was at a local grocery store chain recently and the cashier was on her cell phone while she was scanning my groceries. It did not go well.  At a local furniture store, an employee locked the doors and was asleep on a display couch with customers at the door trying to get in. I’ve celebrated birthdays waiting for food in drive thru lanes. It’s pointless to report your frustrations to senior management because the patented short staffing excuse is the new get out of jail free card.  Tired

I wish Black lives mattered as much to Black people as it is supposed to matter to everyone else.  I understand people kill people who look like them and who live where they live. I’m tired of answering my phone to hear about skinfolk killing other skinfolk.  We can’t pray this deadly scourge away, blame the system or the white man anymore.  We have the tools and resources within our culture and community to stop this problem.  No more begging, finger pointing or waiting on someone else to fix the problem. Tired.

There are phrases that are only useful and convenient for those who use them as a crutch to prop up their fragile overblown ego or deep seated insecurities.  Those who profess to abhor and steer clear of drama are the ones whose spoon stirs the pot the most.  Everyone is busy in their own way. Unless you’re performing brain surgery while balancing spinning plates on all your appendages, I don’t care to hear how busy you are.  You’re only as busy as much as you allow yourself to be exploited and taken advantage of.  Stop bragging about making history as a “first or only.”  It’s not an achievement.  It sadly shows that you possessed the ability to achieve, but 157 years after the end of forced servitude, you’re finally being allowed to show that ability. Can we stop being angry about fictional movie characters being Black. The Little Mermaid, hobbits, elves and James Bond aren’t real people. Tired, disgusted and annoyed.

OK, my rant is done.  I’m tired.

Kenneth L. (Kenny) Hardin is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists.