Thursday, May 14, 2020

This is Real

A Surrealist Shit Show, but it's real.

I am not in a "good" mood. Perhaps this is nothing to do with mood, perhaps what I am feeling and thinking, trying to comprehend, can exist in parallel with good moods, with hope, optimism, idealism. Also, I am scared to say anything. I am uncomfortable with standing out, being labeled, being laughed at, dismissed. I am afraid of hate and denial, of trolls, of armed men, and racist terrorists, of offending a neighbor or disappointing a friend. My state of being is frustration and an achey-ness of the brain. Even more so than back in February, when we began discussing what was coming, a pandemic, a shut down of familiar, daily life, I feel my brain, now, debating with itself, about the inordinate unrealness of reality. In the briefest bursts of synapses firing, I go from incredulity, doubt that we have lost 65,000 people to COVID-19, that we don't have enough tests to track the virus in the general population, that armed citizens can march and confront law enforcement, without penalty, because they want haircuts, happy hours, but a jogger is hunted down and murdered, a woman is killed in her own bed by police officers... from doubt to the sickening awareness that it's true, real. How can this be? How could we have dismantled so much of our infrastructure and safety nets that basic services are failing? Why are we debasing intelligence, education, research, the integrity of our sons and daughters, bothers and sister, who are learned and tested, and listening to a troll, radio personalities, the highest bidders? Our own money, paid in taxes, is being handed out to corporations, to line shareholder pockets, and here at home we are trying to make and supply hospitals and clinics with essential protective equipment... unreal. One football player, to protest injustice, kneeled during the anthem, and people lost their shit over his "audacity" but now we live with open terrorism, white men threatening and raging, even killing because they object to wearing a mask, and the outcry, the indignation over their audacity? The silence is ringing in our ears, but I think we are worn thin, over-exposed to a daily shit show, endorsed and promoted by the so-called "conservative" government, by the President of the United States, by elected officials, appointed, anointed men and women who have no moral compass, no sense of decency. Everyone is losing.

After the 2016 election, people I know told me "he was elected, respect the office, he's not that bad, he has some pretty good ideas, he's a Christian, buck up buttercup, you libtards have it coming, I had to suffer Obama, and now you get what's coming to you." Is this it? Is this what they, those conservative friends, die-hard republicans, never Hilary voters were after? I wouldn't know, because they've gone quiet. Sure, some of them fume, "Well, I didn't vote for him!" But they still post rants upholding the party line, the memes and conspiratorial garbage, they still make divisive remarks, and lol over "libtards." There are plenty of democrats, libertarians that dismay me, too. I am far less concerned with left and right, than the fundamental destruction of our society, a country that was flawed, but capable, imperfect but functioning, and with the potential to progress. Progress, operating in practical, serviceable ways, is daily eroding on a scale that could be irrevocable, and not just for libtards, and buttercups. Now, instead of working to make better systems of healthcare coverage, to feed, educate and support children, to improve roads, bridges, and infrastructure, to shine lights on injustice and raise standards of living for all... now we are just trying to get through this, and we are all losing.

This isn't the new normal, this is a fall, a crashing collapse. We aren't going to be saved by corporations swooping in with ventilators, or by Betsy DeVos making up new protections for sexual predators. The federal government, our government, is withholding personal protective equipment from the states, picking and choosing who can have favor, and protection, supplies and funding... by rights, by law, by reason? No, by who has not hurt the President's feelings, been contrary, had a different opinion. When our governor asks me to wear a mask, because it's been shown, empirically, to reduce the spread of viruses, I do not feel my civil rights imposed; I feel a civic duty to be kind to my neighbors, to reduce the number of patients in Intensive Care Units, dying at home, suffering. The oppression I see, the alarming concerns I have are when the President shuts down discourse, stifles journalists, scientists, nurses, experts, dissenters, citizens. We are living in his television program, and when he's not happy with the ratings, or the cast, or the gaffers and lighting crew, he fires them, he throws a tantrum, shuts the mic, changes the script. One minute he's a "very stable genius" addressing the nation, but if that speech doesn't get him the results his precious ego lusts for, then he tweets, "Plot twist! I was joking, kidding, being sarcastic. You are liars, fakes." Pardon the guilty, cage children, exchange love letters with dictators, cheat, mock, hoard, crave, defile, and keep twisting the truth, distorting reality... it's all he does, and we are all suffering for it. Why? Why are we tolerating this? Why is this the New Normal?

Please vote in November. Heck, I hope we can vote in November. Please see that there is a difference between the candidates... not that one is flawless, or blameless, but that one is not deliberately mean, purposely destructive, greedy, stupid, vain, a liar. An actual liar... this isn't okay. We can try for better, for imperfect yet earnest. I can live with that. I can live with a candidate that means to surround themselves with intelligent people, caring people, capable people. Vote for a candidate that at least would like to try to make the world better, work with constructive purpose, listen, reason, engage.


Anonymous said...

It’s like you read my mind. And this year, we have two more voters in our house— one of whom was 18 in 2018 and was able to vote our rep, Mimi Walters, out of office— instead we now have Katie Porter. And a 17-year-old who will be 18 this summer. But we’re in Orange County— our local votes matter a lot more than our national vote because of the stupid Electoral College.

My husband’s parents were Republicans, so he registered dutifully with the Republican Party when he was 18. I can’t remember the last time he voted for a Republican candidate— certainly not 2008 or 2012, because we sent money to the Obama campaign both times, and he was as choked up as I was in 2008 when we got our first African-American president. So he was a RINO— he’s a teacher, and the party of ignorance and xenophobia didn’t appeal to him— but he kept talking about voting for decent candidates in the Republican primaries, changing the party from the inside. Until 2016, when Trump became their candidate, and he couldn’t let himself be affiliated with the GOP anymore. I know a fair number of people like him. Biden is far from perfect, but Trump is a nightmare— as is what he has unleashed.

Anonymous said...

Well said Natalie. You're right on. Hang in there and don't let the haters get to you. I love reading your blog and respect your opinions. Stay safe.

Anonymous said...

You've really gotten to the core of the matter, Natalie. It's sad and scary. You're right, there are no perfect candidates, but there appear to be some who are not totally lacking a world view, who are not ignorantly and blatantly corrupt. We must hope for a decent outcome in November.


Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

To both anonymous readers: Thank you. I wasn't sure I would keep the post up, because it's a bit raw, but gosh it felt good to have my say, and it feels even better when someone shares with me that they 'get it.'
I really appreciate that you took the time to comment. Be well, stay safe. I worry about everyone, and feel such a weight from concern.