A year after the election. It feels like much more than that. So much has happened and yet so little has happened. What I mean by that is that there has been so much chaos and news about what he does and does not do, nothing seems to have been accomplished except maybe social unrest, which can be directly linked to his tenure in office.
Here’s a list of shit that has been going haywire in just the past few months:
He’s issued multiple travel bans to prevent Muslims from immigrating to this country
Sort of tried to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (he recently signed an executive order to discontinue subsidies that would allow lower income folks to attain affordable care)
The Dreamer Act is being ended. This leaves Dreamers (young people who were brought into the US illegally but have grown up in the US) to try to figure out how they are going to stay here in the country they grew up in. These are people who are now important contributors to our communities
There’s the constant thread of nuclear war with North Korea because he keeps instating Kim Jong Un, who has working on their nuclear weapons and testing missiles by shooting them out toward Japan
Oh, he’s going to speak at an anti-LGBTQ rally. Yes, a president is speaking at an LGBTQ rally. So many things wrong with this but first of all, ISN’T THERE A MORE PRESSING ISSUE THAN THIS?!
He’s being publicly racist against Puerto Rico, which is in dire need of assistance in the wake of Hurricane Maria, which also ripped through a lot of southern states (those states are not being spoken out against by the president, and being asked to pay back any emergency funds)
It’s absolutely insane.
Tangentially related things that are happening because he is in office is that that now neo-Nazis are coming out of the woodwork and holding rallies, speaking publicly (at universities that will take their money), and also inciting violence. More black people have been killed needlessly by law enforcement. That was always happening but it’s definitely more prominently featured now in the news, which is something that we probably need. About 50 people were killed by a domestic terrorist (a white male) in Las Vegas, about 300 more injured, and still nothing has changed in the way of gun legislation. Of course, if it didn’t change after young children were murdered in Sandy Hook, why would it happen ever?
On the personal side of things, I got a raise this year, finally, after three years of working there. So that’s good! I’m still living with P and that’s been fun. It’s not that big a transition for me, what’s actually making it hard is that I am again in a home where there’s a lot of outside noise from people (not machines or cars) and that makes me very agitated on the regular, especially in the early mornings. It’s not a relaxing home life.
Ashima moved to Portland this month and I drove up with her and Juno. Got to see Joss, Jeremy and Avery while I was there. Portland seems nice but probably too relaxed and slow for me. Most of it anyway, aside from maybe the urban city center areas. I hadn’t been there really since that time I stayed with Arley in mid or late December. I remember it snowed lightly and I was not sure if that meant we would be “snowed in”. We weren’t, of course, but having grown up in Southern California for most of my life I didn’t know how much snow was too much snow.
In the aftermath of the 2016 election (Does that sound dramatic? Hopefully it does because I’m trying to be.) I’ve read lots of articles about the election, about people, about how they voted, who they are, etc. Not all of these are from journalists, some posts on Medium are from every day people just talking about their experiences.
Tomorrow it will be two weeks since the 2016 presidential election. Donald Trump is the president-elect. He ran against Senator Hillary Clinton. If she had won (she won the popular vote, btw) it would have been a historic election. As it stands now, it’s still pretty historic.
It has been almost two weeks since that night and I feel like it has already been months. The fear and dread has manifested physically and my body is so tense and I feel over-caffeinated.
I have a copy of the Do Make Say think album Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn. But I can’t listen to it because the CD is super scratched. I just remembered that through the magic of technology and sharing I can listen to it on Google Play.
I haven’t listened to the album in awhile because it reminds me of an ex boyfriend who introduced me to this band. We even went to a show to see them at the Troubadour. I was hesitant to go to the show because of the venue. I like it because it’s small, but it is mostly just standing room. As someone who is 5’4″ I have this condition that prohibits me from being able to see over anyone who is taller than 5’6″. Still, I wanted to make it seem like I was a normal person, like I was cool. So I went and decided to act like I was having a good time, but not too enthusiastically.
Anyway, my big takeaway from this show was remembering a feeling of belonging. This was mainly created by the band themselves. Their rapport with the audience was a welcoming one, they created a safe space. (There was one other time I felt like this at a show and it was when I saw Broken Social Scene in San Francisco.) At one point a member of the band spoke to the audience and recalled a Buddhist saying/concept on being born a human:
Imagine there was one life preserver thrown somewhere in some ocean and there is exactly one turtle in all of these oceans, swimming underwater somewhere. The probability that you came about and exist today is the same as that turtle sticking its head out of the water — in the middle of that life preserver. On one try.
I had to Google that, BTW.
Basically: everyone here at this show tonight is special and we should, collectively, appreciate that we’re all here together, today. What a fucking miracle.
I took the bait. I thought, “Yes. This. Is. Awesome.” That lasted for maybe just the rest of the night but it gave me a great feeling about myself and the world I live in.
Nowadays though, when someone says something like this on Facebook, I look at it, I think, “must be nice” and then I move on. Why? I’m starting to think it’s because I’m afraid of giving in fully. I do have one foot in the door of being a big hippie, but my other foot doesn’t want to leave the world that everyone else is living in. Mostly for fear that I’ll never be able to find my way back. I worry that I’ll loose consciousness of how I’ll sound and appear to those who aren’t also big hippies. I’m not sure if it’s because I don’t want to lose that self awareness or if it’s because deep down, I really care what people think.
David Bowie died this week. Cancer. He was 69.
Lemmy from Motörhead died a few weeks ago from cancer as well. I’ve only heard one Motörhead song but a lot of my friends were very upset by this news. I was also sad by proxy.
A few days after David Bowie, maybe even a week later, Alan Rickman also died. At age 69, of cancer.
Currently I am too far past the point of sleepy to put together succinct thoughts about either so I will just leave it here for now. I hope, one day, people will remember me for the contributions I’ve made and be a person they admire.