…in honor of the screaming Anarchists, in no particular order, things that have been occuring to me the last couple days like the angry ceaseless waves of a storm sea…
1. We wanted people to vote for "anything but [X]", and they did, but they decided that the worst thing, the thing that needed to be voted against no matter what, was the establishment; the continuation-of-things-as-they've-been. SOME of that, definitely an election-swaying amount, is in response to the ongoing failures of all the recent US administrations, including out-of-control war-profitteering, pathetic response to climate change, and outrageous levels of inequality and corporate control of government. Some Americans believe that ousting the government that's currently killing our middle class is more important than all the many downsides of electing fucking Trump. I may not agree with those people, but I am also not going to dismiss them; they're Americans, they voted, and when I do the same, I expect people to respect my right to do so based on my real opinions. I can vehemently not share the opinions of my fellow citizens — to me, protecting the basic rights of vulnerable populations is more important than making sweeping changes to our government; even though I completely agree those are needed, I wouldn't sacrifice individual freedoms for them — but I can't just declare *everyone* who made this decision to be an idiot and slam the door.
If anything, it's pretty imperative that the door not be slammed, especially now. We are going to need each other, to get through what's coming. The near future is going te be a true "united we stand, divided we fall" time, and people on ALL sides are going to have to swallow a lot of rage and fear and reach out their hands to people they don't like, if we want to survive as anything like an America.
2. It's tempting to look for all the racist, sexist, xenophobic and other horrible acts going on right now and to immediately blame them on fucking Trump and those who voted for him (or didn't vote against him), but that would be disingenuous: All of those problems have always been here, and they've always been terrible. If that stew of shit is boiling slightly harder now, since the election turned up the heat on it, it's still stupid to blame that extra three degrees for everything: The pot was on, loaded, and boiling hard long before this. Bigotry, hate-crimes, and discrimination are long-term problems that we ALL own, and every one of us, regardless of politics, is responsible for standing up to them as hard as we possibly can, now. We must do this to save ourselves. Blaming each other for the state of things is worse than useless at this point — we have to find things to agree on, and fight for them together.
3. This kind of stress and anxiety is HELL on the brain. I'm proud and happy to report that mine is stll functioning, still making it to work and taking showers and feeding the robot; but holy shit has it not been an easy run. My heart goes out to everyone who struggles with mental illness at a time like this…having the outside world upend itself on you like this, having things legitimately go dark and scary, is rrrrrrrrroooouggggh. Whew.
4. Being a parent puts a whole thick layer of fear and anger on shit like this, that I hadn't expected and wouldn't have understood before, but holy gods, I cried as the news sank in enough to start thinking about my daughter's place in all this. At thirteen, she's old enough to be paying attention, and knowing she was hearing any of the vile talk this election season was hard enough; but now? Now she's going to spend her formative sociaopolitical years hearing that shit from every loudspeaker, seeing all the ugly hate and ego-driven uncritical thinking and unmitigated greed and assholery that times like these always spawn? Oh god. I still don't know what to say to her. I know I have to think of something (and probably I will) supportive and useful, but all I *want* to do is fall down and tear my hair and apologize for the world she's inheriting until I lose consciousness.
5. I've slept a little extra (~2.5h Wed and Thurs), because the anxiety's just been burning me out, and there's nothing I can do about that; I know when, for health reasons both mental and physical, I MUST take some extra time out. I'm hopeful that I can get back on Dymaxion without paying too harsh a price, but if not, I will take an E3 break and plan to do it again later. I like this schedule, overall, and want to give it a longer-term chance, whether that's now or at a more auspicious time.
6. Speaking of auspicious times…this isn't one, of course; these are very grim times in many ways; and there are proper ways to handle both. In grim times, especially when the problems are huge and unreachable, un-affectable by one directly, the correct action is not to run around crazily trying to push the cruise-liner with your bare hands. That's totally my inclination: To look for ANYTHING I CAN DO, because I know that at least DOING SOMETHING will salve this high-pitched hum of inner panic that I'm desperate to not feel right now. But the *correct* thing to do is to *wait properly* for an auspicious time, a time when one can act, to return. Waiting properly means self-care, and also taking time to re-assess, to make or adjust future plans, and to set up emergecy measures that may be needed to take care of self or loved-ones should the excrement really contact the rotating blades. That's where I am now: Beyond continuing my stated commitment to stand up and yell about bigotry and discrimination when I encounter them, for now I'm staying away from throwing wads of my time and money at activism. I've always been a supporter of such things, and I will continue to be, and maybe a lot more in the future: But now, right now when things are so up in the air and so many immediate dangers have just reared their ugly heads, I need to fortify my everything. …As I write this, I haven't made it out of the woods of shock enough to really begin this work, but I've made a faint wiggle here and there, and that's my path going forward.
7. HEY YOU. INTERNET. THANK YOU for being there for me the last couple days. Being able to read and study the words and thoughts of excellent thinkers all over the world has been super helpful, though not half as much as being able to contact, converse with and comfort my friends and family, just by flicking my fingers. You aren't perfect either, but holy shit am I grateful for you right now.