Stay Positive: Week 4 by Ted Pettingell

Hello friends. Another week and another late article.  This time it was because last week… when I was supposed to be writing about two weeks ago, I was deathly ill for several days and couldn’t get this done. 


This week’s article isn’t really going to follow my normal format because man the week I am writing about was a real bummer.


Vigil Held For Victims of Charleston Church Shooting (

Vigil Held For Victims of Charleston Church Shooting (


Normally, I use this column to write about my feelings about my own life and use my other column to write about my feelings on current events. Well, the week I’m writing about was one of those weeks where who the fuck cares about my life when such shitty things are going on in the world. I’m not going to write a comedy article about a mass shooting so if this funny, its not on purpose.  I just feel like this is the honest article to write about my mental health that week.


Goddamnit, the world is fucked up.  You know what is a really great reminder of how much life can suck?  Racially motivated mass shootings.  Oh, they are the worst.  And I know this one was racially motivated, but we are all the victims.  I’m not saying that to co opt other peoples grief or something like that.


I’m saying that crimes like this are crimes against everyone who is trying to live their life as decently as possible. Everyone is a victim of life. No one has a choice in the matter. 


We are all born into a situation that we had no control over.  And no matter how good a situation you were born into you are still going to be bombarded by the adversity and terror this world brings with it.  The only choice you have is what you do with your life, with your humanity.  And for some reason that escapes me, people are constantly choosing to give up their humanity and just do horrible shit to other people for no reason.


I know in this case this guy gave a reason, but that isn’t real.  I know racism is real, but racism isn’t why you shoot a room full of people who just spent an hour being nice to you.  Its something much deeper and more fucked up than just racism.  This story brings a lot of issues up, issues that need to be fixed.  Racism, gun control, and mental illness are the big ones, but I feel like there is something deeper.  Something much more troubling.


We need to fix the black hole in our society that causes people to think that the only way they can affect things is by being awful to other people.


Racism is a devil that haunts us but it is still just an idea and ideas only have as much power as you give them. I know I’m a white person so my thoughts aren’t going to be the same as everyone, but I try to take the power away from racism by finding it laughable. There is nothing funnier to me than people who can be that wrong about something.


Comedy is tragedy plus time. The tragedy is still being full of hatred and the time is the entirety of human consciousness. Racists are clowns. 


It is beyond me why people need to pick what team they are on at this point and that they choose based on something as arbitrary as skin color or gender or sexual orientation.  I don’t believe in teams… or at the very least let’s all be on team not murder one another. The terrifying part of hate though, is when people act on it.  And this case someone really acted on it.  He took what should be a powerless idea and gave it power by adding a gun and bullets to it. Those are things that have a very clear power that people seem to get there hands on far too willy nilly.


I’m sorry, I’m really all over the place. Let me try to tie this all together. I started writing this column to deal with my own mental health and be open and honest about things and to get them out there.  It was purely a selfish endeavor, but in the short time I’ve been writing it I’ve already found out it helps others, so thats a good thing.  I know the feeling of really wanting to hurt myself because I felt it was the only thing I could do to feel like I had control over things. Lots of people feel that way. And if you have ever had a psych evaluation you know its a two part question, “do you feel like hurting yourself, or other people?” 


Now, I have never felt like hurting another person (in the sense they are asking the question) but I totally get why they ask it.


Because if you are so far gone that you would be willing to kill yourself and make the choice to give up your humanity, it isn’t that much further to go to be willing to take some people with you. 

Now, I’m not writing this to try and make anyone feel sympathy for the shooter. Fuck that guy. He should be in jail forever because he had a choice and he chose the worst one.


The point is, we need to fix something, because all to often people have a choice to make and instead of choosing to help themselves they choose a gun, or a knife, or their fists, or even their words. 


It is embarrassing how much time in my life I wasted not trying to help myself because I thought people might think of me differently. It is embarrassing how someone would buy a clearly troubled person a gun before they would try and get them the help they are clearly in need of.  And it is embarrassing that we live in a world where people still feel the better choice is to pick up a gun than to help themselves. 


So, I know this is a week late, but I’m glad you read it anyway. Take a moment to mourn for the dead, and to mourn for the massive wound in our society that is racism, and mourn for all the lost souls who will never try to help themselves, but also take a moment to be thankful. 


Be thankful you are still alive, be thankful you still have your humanity, and be thankful you still have the ability to make the world a better place for yourself, by making it better for someone else. 


Stay Positive.

Ted is a contributor at Ted loves comedy. He hates writing short Bios about himself. Ted is very good at comedy. He is not very good at writing his Bio. Ted is constantly working on his comedy. Ted rarely works on writing his Bio. Ted tell his jokes at all the major clubs in Boston. Ted writes his Bio on his home computer. Ted has appeared in several comedy festivals. His Bio has not. Ted was the Comic in Residence at the Comedy Studio in December 2010. His Bio took the month off to spend time with family. Lets review Comedy Good, Bios Bad.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *