I hear the words. But they have little relationship to the kids I work with. All abused. All HIV. All hauntingly suicidal. All school failures. All prostitutes. All. All. All. I used to think WOW tech could really help us. Maybe, maybe, just maybe we could even get them to COMMUNICATE. Holy Moses, it could happen. But it never did.
What actually happened.
The focus is greed.
It doesn’t take a team of scientists to fathom that tech does not mean them.
They tell this to my face every friggin’ day.
“It don’t mean us.”
We have failed these kids.
We continue to fail them.
I thought if they saw me blogging every single day (are you tired of my shit by now, Medium) with ALL the tools of the trade, they would want a piece of that, too.
Getting them to communicate is a matter of LIFE and DEATH.
“It don’t mean us.”
I could bang my head against the wall until it’s mush.
It DOES mean them.
“It don’t mean us.”
The computers mean them. The software means them. The cameras mean them. The sweat and the learning mean them. The videos mean them.
When a kid makes a video about chopping ice, you see boring old ice.
I see a kid who is trying to chop through his numbness so he might COMMUNICATE.
Which is some very deep water.
YOU CANNOT PROTECT AN INDEPENDENT VOICE WHEN THERE IS NO FUCKING VOICE!
They break my heart.
“We want our own blog.”
So. I had to think hard about it.
How much more vulnerable can a kid GET.
My allowing them to blog means they are out there.
With their issues. And they have a lot of them.
My allowing them to have a blog put a monkey wrench into everything they know.
They argue over what so and so should say.
I articulate: It’s about what YOU want to say.
“Can I say my dad hurt me and he fucked me, too.”
“You just never let me say anything.”
This isn’t true and they know it.
“Why don’t we talk about arts and crafts and what’s for lunch.”
“I was a whore and lived on the street could be my blog, okay.”
They haven’t touched their blog in about a week.
They walk around it like it’s an animal they are afraid of. It might explode.
Because THEY might explode.
When someone blogs, there’s a huge audience looking over his immediate shoulder. His mates. His partners in crime.
Their blog is on the Medium but you can find it on your own.
I’m not interested in you reading reading it. Read whatever you want. I blog for them. I use the tools for them. I’m interested in the videos they make. I’m insterested in what they have to say. I’m interested in how they FEEL. I’m interested in what they steal.
I don’t really care what you think.
THEY think they’re stupid.
“I can’t blog because I’m just stupid.” I hear it morning, noon, and night. I’m tired of hearing it.
Callan’s hands couldn’t stop shaking after he broke the ice.
Trig had to go hide under his bed after he wrote something quite as desperate as a grocery list.
Under his bed with the dust mites.
Carter vomited on the floor after he wrote about being a pimp.
Ryan had to brush his teeth all day after writing about eating shit.
Abuse is where you find it.
The junkies are only mildly interested. Then, they fade.
Blogging could change all their lives.
All the things that are so hard for them to say in family meeting (used to call it group).
Fully 99 out of a hundred photographs they took cannot be published. Those photographs identify where they are.
My job is to see that they are safe. Not just from your average predator. But from criminals who want to find them.
Perhaps there’s an argument to be made for stuffing them into a little room and never letting them out kind of like the alligators in the sewers of New York.
What is safe. I think it’s the audience who is safe, and who never has to read THEIR ENORMOUS PAIN.
Dead after you hang yourself is pretty safe.
Most suicides in these settings are from hanging. Or at least that is what the scientists will say.
I SAY: MOST OF THEIR DEATHS ARE FROM HOLDING ALL THEIR SHIT IN.
They won’t read this.
Reading itself is a chore when you are illiterate.
I will not tell them this. But I am here to tell you that, they’re right. They’re right.
“Tech don’t mean us.”