Rants and Whimsy

2016 is a fucking mess

November 12, 2016

2016 has been a tangle of personal grief and disaster combined with a hefty helping of grief and disaster on a worldwide political scale. In the aftermath of the US election I decided to shut up and just read, though in truth this has actually been my social media strategy for much of the year.

Gotta tell you, it was a little weird to see so much of my feed still devoted to people gushing about their glass of champagne, or their “haul” of frivolous crap. That’s not shade. I’ve left my automated blog tweets on, and fuck, if I’d had pre-written posts full of whimsical frivolous crap scheduled to go out, I probably would have left them to go out too. But it was a weird juxtaposition to see the luxury crowd still luxuriating amongst the howls of agony.

Making myself sit down and write new posts full of frivolous crap has been much harder. It’s gotten to the point where I feel I must acknowledge 2016, the year of the monkey flailing about the room hysterically throwing shit at us all. But that’s hard too because there are so many angry people determined to see things as black and white, to hell with the shades of grey; determined to force their memed-up, badly researched, frankly violent opinions down our throats and newsfeeds; determined to replace arguments backed up by truth and facts with hateful name calling and threats.

When those people stop being nameless Twitter trolls and start being people you know and even respected, well, that’s some scary shit. It’s time to submerge our fucking heads in coconut oil and hope like hell when we come up the world is soft and shiny again.

Except we know that won’t work. But what will work? A giant fuck off chunk of the western world feels powerless and left behind. Hell, I can include myself in that. The gap between rich and poor has become anxiety inducing and everyone wants a simple solution. Everyone wants a “saviour” to step in and fix that shit. We want change and the voting opportunities of 2016 seemed to offer the most obvious big fuck off change to the status quo.

Let’s think about that though. We want a saviour to help us, but we’re unwilling to help anyone else. I’m driven to tears reading some of these comments online. A poor person wants basic healthcare: FUCK OFF AND PAY YOUR OWN WAY YOU FUCKING SPONGE. A refugee wants a place to reside without the threat of imminent death: FUCK OFF YOU’RE DESTROYING MY CULTURE YOU FUCKING FREELOADER. A person who isn’t white, or straight, or male or whatever the status quo is makes a comment on society: FUCK OFF AND DIE IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT YOU ARE NOTHING BUT PARASITIC SCUM.

What the hell? The people screaming loudest against the “status quo” are damn well trying to uphold it when it suits their narrow-minded world view. Well guys, we didn’t get here overnight, we got here over years of incremental inching in shitty directions. It’s unlikely one person can swoop in a save us all over one term in office. This is not a movie. We can’t vote out the big, bad, single oppressor and sit back and watch as the hero ties things up nicely in the third act. Sorry, life is messy and I don’t have the all encompassing answer in this one blog post. I do have some further reading/listening though, if you’re interested:

 

Amanda is kind, sensible and American. Read her thoughts on the recent election.

The Lady Vanishes. A wonderful podcast from Revisionist History about the “token”—the outsider whose success serves not to alleviate discrimination but perpetuate it. I listened to this accidentally an hour after hearing the election results and it was apt as fuck.

Master of Her Domain… Name. This American Life podcast gives a pretty good account of that Hillary Clinton email scandal. Bonus squirrel story at the end for the love of all things rodent. Then listen to every other episode of this podcast that you can download because it’s bloody amazing.

Aaron Sorkin wrote a letter to his daughter that everyone has shared on social media. You’ve already read it, but read it again.

Feel free to point me in the direction of anything inspirational you’ve found. Also, be kind. It’s all we have left.

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