This day last year, with about an hour of 2015 to go, I was 30,000 feet in the air going through what I can now say was tiny turbulence compared to the last 12 months and was told this would be the hardest year of my life. My only reflection on it is, “It f*ing better be.” I leave this year wondering if anything will work out (personally, nationally or globally) and hoping that I might be able to stop waking up in the middle of the night sobbing. I’m glad I’ve reached the age where a year feels like just several months.
Thankfully, I started learning German this year and they have a perfect word for this: Lebensmüde. Life-tired. From an article on the Book of Life: “We believe ourselves to be firmly attached to life, but a lot of our behaviour attests to something more interesting and troubling; an occasional longing to give up our hold on existence. It is deeply useful to have this word to hand on gloomy days when it feels like nothing will ever work out.”
2016 wasn’t really anyone’s year so instead of wishing you a happy new year, I’m going to say that I hope, for myself as well as you, that this incoming year will reveal and affirm why we’re still here.
There is a time to be peaceful, a time to let go of arguments and agree to disagree. This is not one of those times. Those of us who care about justice, equality and love more than power, vengeance, winning and getting ahead not only have a right to be outraged; we have a duty to be outraged. Those of us who are Christians not only have a right to be disgusted by claims that God appointed Donald Trump, we have a duty to speak out against such unbiblical falsities. It is not only the right of those of us who have been made much more vulnerable by this election, it is entirely appropriate. Continue reading We Don’t Have To Calm Down
The only response I have to America’s election results last Tuesday is this. Those who are against everything Trump stands for can show it by looking out for all who this election has just made much more vulnerable. On some level, who that is is obvious; these are people whom Trump has specifically targeted – pretty much everyone but straight, cis, wealthy, white men (which, no, is not “just as sexist and racist” as Trump. If I see only white men doing something, it’s not sexist and racist for me to call out white men; it’s speaking the truth. Also, reverse racism is not a thing and reverse sexism is not a thing. It’s the epitome of privilege to demand that the term sexism or racism be applied equally without fighting for actual equality among all). But, really, if we truly mean it when we say “we have to look out for each other,” we need to start paying attention to those who are silenced, endangered or invisibilized when: Continue reading Vulnerability, A Definition in the Trump Era
Picking up where I left off yesterday, these are scary times, and unprecedented ones in our national life. One presidential candidate has narrowly avoided a major investigation. Another candidate is temperamentally unfit for the office of the Presidency and facing his own serious legal proceedings. Their respective vice presidential candidates are, it could be argued, infinitely more qualified than their running mates in terms of character. The news and media make little mention of the other presidential candidates to be found on the ballot (for all this “get out and vote, get out and vote” pressure, I’ve been shamed for even considering voting third-party) and the public, largely, is either too awareness-fatigued, overwhelmed or unskilled at discerning the universe of information to be trusted to do their own research. Continue reading Defeating Trump and Trumpism is Defeating Fear – It Will Take Sincerity, Part 2
Just like “the most powerful factor determining a company’s performance is the condition of the marketplace in which it operates,” as Joshua Rothman writes, so, too, is the most telling factor determining a president’s or presidential candidate’s effectiveness and reach of that power is the demography in which they operate. Trump isn’t the problem, he’s the latest, most serious symptom. Just like we need people to somehow stay behind and rebuild not racist walls but a system that actually gives a damn about life and doing it well together (with each other and all non-human life that exists both now and in the future), we need people who are going to say no to self-interested power, to megalomaniacal racism, sexism, ableism, to fear-based governing. Continue reading “I Will Leave This Country If…” Part 2
Donald Trump has proved to be an extraordinarily polarizing figure – The UK has a petition to ban him from entry, Canada’s preparing for Trump refugees, Americans are bitterly bickering about politics and more than politics. Some still don’t take him seriously, thinking he’s as unelectable as Bernie Sanders is said to be (these people are just as dangerous as Trumpeters). Others are spending their energy fracturing the Democratic Party with arrogant and irresponsible arguments based more on personal preferences and ideologies than anything else. Millions, including Noam Chomsky, still believe there’s meaningful differences between the parties. But the most interesting debate to me, the one that is the most personal, is the “should I stay or should I go now” fight.
We’re at a point, culturally, where this is going to sound either priggish or puerile, but it’s worth saying straight up: It is well past time for love because, in the words of Maya Angelou, “Hate has caused a lot of problems in the world but it hasn’t solved one yet.” And that’s going to require us to get pretty uncomfortable – that is, if we want anything like the security our politicians promise will only come about by souping up our military and arming ourselves to the toenails.Continue reading Comfortableness, Part 2
My husband and I are 0 for 4 on the movies featured during our movie nights recently and I’ve been too unengaged by the badness of the first three to feel it worth any commentary on them. Our attempt last weekend to remedy such banality made me wish for boredom. And it was also too instigatingly bad in the far-worse-than-just-merely-not-entertaining-at-all way that I am, once again, prompted by horror to the old writing desk(top). We enjoyed the first Despicable Me movie enough to ignore the ever-lurking voice in the back of your mind that whispers how bad sequels usually are and how much worse they tend to be if their predecessor is a hit, though that could just be because comparison. In other words, we thought we were making at least a tolerable choice. Continue reading Despicable Me 2: Despicable Me to despicable movie