Tag Archives: politics

Remember John Brown

A snippet from Morning Joe regarding Trump’s declaration that the media is the “enemy of the American people”–

 

The commentators are right about the danger of what Trump is saying, but equally important, I think, is the point John Heilemann makes at about the 7:35 mark, that Trump’s language is an incitement to terrorist acts such as the Oklahoma City Bombing, still the worst domestic act of terror in our history.  It’s a point that I think needs to be repeated over and over again– we are in dangerous waters, and it may take just one latter-day John Brown to set the ship on fire.  The danger exists from both the left and the right– the respective ends of our political spectrum are overheated, and it’s possible some fanatic or deluded individual will do something so awful that our political discourse, or what’s left of it, will completely disintegrate.  What happens then, God alone knows.

Pray.  Stand up for the helpless.  And don’t let anybody, left or right, blather about doing something radical, even if you’re sure they’re not serious.  At this moment we just do not need more gasoline on the fire.

A little perspective…..

As Inauguration Day arrives, I find myself in a strange mental state.  At the most basic level, it is still a matter of incredulity to me that Trump is going to take the oath of office and become President of the United States.  If I stop to think about it I start rehearsing in my mind the utter absurdity of it.  Teeth get gritted and steering wheels death-gripped.  It’s like the universe has played a practical joke on humanity (because who POTUS is at any given moment affects most if not all of the people on the planet) and we’re just waiting for the sumbitch to bust out laughing and tell us it was all a joke.

At another level, I am trying to think what I can do.  Writing, for sure– this is one time I wish I had the gift of satire, because, by all the evidence, a good satire gets right under Donald’s skin in a way that really highlights his narcissism and self-centered ways.  Contributing to progressive causes and groups and being the best citizen I can possibly be are other things I can do.  Oh, and if the Clown-in-Chief actually implements a Muslim registry, I intend to register as a Muslim, which will at least tell El Bozo that his little plan to scapegoat a religion isn’t going to slip by unnoticed and unremarked.

At the same time it is strange how  everyday life still makes its demands on you.

I still need a job.  I still need to lose weight (not helped by all the comfort eating I’ve been doing in the last two months).  I am in the midst of figuring out how to end a very long relationship.  I’m worried about my blood-pressure and diabetes and trying to remember to take my medication for both.  I am adjusting to the consequences of a long-distance relocation, some of which I anticipated and some I didn’t.  I worry about my daughter, from whom I am now physically separated but still as close as a text.

I still have to brush my teeth and shower and (at least once or twice a week) shave my face.  I still have to do laundry (note to self: today is probably a good day for that).  I have books to read and items to pick up at the store.

I am still trying to write fiction– I’m attempting to serialize The Horseman on this blog, and Princess of Stars, about which I haven’t talked a great deal in the last few months, is still an active project, at least hypothetically.  Part of me wonders if fiction isn’t a frivolous distraction right now, but then I remember that fiction can be a powerful vessel for truth.  It’s an open question whether I have the talent to make my writing as effective as it could be, but I am still possessed of the impulse to write stories, even as the house burns down around me.

And then I find myself, just for a moment, wild with happy excitement at a new Logan trailer (careful, it’s got splashing gore in it, but then, it’s Logan, waddaya expect)–

At one level, you might expect this to be far off my radar, but on the other hand, I suspect in the next year or so we’re all going to need moments of down-time, of allowing ourselves to be distracted from whatever disaster is unfolding.  Logan is not the only movie I’m looking forward to this year, and then there’s Season 7 of Game of Thrones.

This is an important point– for all our fear and uncertainty, and despite the necessity of resistance, we will still need to tend to our ordinary, workaday lives.  It’s essential we take care of ourselves and our loved ones, to make the lunches for the kids to take to school and to get the car lubed when needed.  If we don’t we won’t be able to sustain our effort to speak truth to power, to stand up for the helpless, and to preserve the Republic.

So, take a deep breath, everybody.  Take care of yourselves and your loved ones.  Do what you can, and stay together.  And we will get through this.

Later.

I want to scream at Congress, and I have no mouth

(with apologies to Harlan Ellison)

I was about to go off the reservation with my blog.

In creating this blog my chief intention was to use it to help myself with my daily writing process, while making connections with other writers who might be going through some of the same struggles. Since then, however, I have strayed into movie reviews and a few other topics that struck my fancy.

But the last few days I’ve been tempted to really go off the deep end and blog about one of the two topics I never talk about at work– politics (the other topic is religion, which means that in some company I am left totally speechless)– in particular, the current three-ring-circus/inexplicable dumb-show/unbelievable cluster-fuck known as the US government shutdown and looming debt-ceiling crisis. There are times when it is just embarrassing to be an American. You find yourself wishing for a comparatively effective parliamentary system, like, say, Liechtenstein’s. This is one of those times.

But I suck at writing about politics. I mean it. I’ve tried it before in a couple of different venues and I always come off sounding like a pompous bloviator– and God knows we don’t need more of those right now. I can do fiction, but current events, uh-uh.

Besides, other people have already basically said what I would have said, only better. This is Bill Moyers from October 4th–

http://billmoyers.com/segment/bill-moyers-essay-shutdown-showdown/

“Secession by another means” about sums it up.

So I’m going to leave the current political train-wreck alone. Suffice to say we live in interesting times, when I’d much rather be living in some quiet Golden Age. The only problem with our stupidity is that it ripples out to affect the entire world.

Now, as a writer of fiction, I have thought that I should be trying to express myself on this subject through stories. I have written one novella that relates to what is essentially the ongoing breakdown of American democracy, but it has gone basically unsold (I guess people find the topic off-putting). I have in mind a couple of ideas for novels, but they are far, far back in my project queue. Part of the problem is that I have a feeling that the different sides have become so polarized that they essentially stopped listening to each other years ago. I doubt any fiction right now would change anyone’s mind.

It leaves me depressed, and I wonder what’s going to happen next.

Later.