Yeah, fuck, the election.
Nothing more depressing than waking up in a world where the efforts and victories of the past eight years are swept away. The same-sex couple down the street? Their marriage is in real danger now. The freelance writer I know at NationalGeo? Her heathcare will likely be ripped away (leaving her with a pre-existing and no insurance). My Muslim friends are concerned; who wouldn’t be in this sea of rising rage.
I mean, fuck.
So that Wednesday was pretty gray for me. On the bus-link to work, the black riders and driver talked about it, very subdued, almost funeral. Yeah, I can see that too. At work, I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do. I had no focus. I don’t want to say that I no longer recognized my own country, but, well, yes, that was pretty much it.
At work, one righty-tightie smirkingly offered me a conciliatory pop-tart. On Facebook, it was either outrage or gloating. No succor there. Then I followed a link down to the New Yorker and read a number of articles by staff writers observing the right’s sweep.
Oh, there were some angry ones, of course. But there were also hopeful ones. And insightful ones. Instead of the social media hash and the office opinions, their comments were true conversations, as comforting as sitting in an Amsterdam coffee shop, looking out at the passing cyclists and chatting about the ramifications of far-away events. Unlike every other positioning dialog washing over us this day, here were a series of thoughtful pieces that could speak to me in the way only written language can. It was comforting. And internal. In the blare of the geopolitical world, it was a quiet refuge of understanding and thought.
Really, they were good pieces – I wish I could link to them but they’ve washed away in the torrent that is Facebook – can’t find them. But that’s the thing. The written word can provoke a rise to action. It can even be the tool of demigods (though, with its more deliberate pace, sound-bites are better suited). But on the positive, it can offer the thinking man a place to reflect, to internalize and digest. And from these pieces I found my own opinions of what I would do and how I would face this new world.
And so, yes, if you are reading this and you are sympathetic, you are not alone. Those who read and think, those who enjoy stores of men standing on principles and fighting injustice, you have a silent yet understanding multitude at your back. We might not be able to effect positive change over the coming years. We might see our progressive efforts and liberal gains pushed back. But there is still a spirit of good and purpose in writing. There is a home there for us.
Tip your head back and stand against the wind!