Saturday, November 12, 2016

FTT Off Topic: All Space Is Unsafe Now

Moments from Processing, because Writing is My Process. Play me in, Bob Mould in your moodiest Husker Du days...

> Having lived through Presidents that I've thought very little of for cause and eventual absolute approval by history (i.e., Bush 2, aka the man who pretty much set up the world for failure due to lying us into war)... I keep blaming myself for staying hung up over this. Local officials have much more sway over your life. Dwelling isn't my style. My state went the other way, and was always going to. The virulent racists live, for the most part, in other areas. As a white male, I can pass if I like. So many more people are going to have it so very much worse than me. I work in what might be one of the most recession-proof areas of our economy, and one that will benefit greatly from the election going this way. I pride myself on being able to compartmentalize and get things done, and have a genetic predisposition (yay, Germany!) that makes all of that happen.

And yet, and yet, and yet. Processing.

> My political party, thanks to gerrymandering and the vagaries of the Electoral College, got the most votes for President and the Senate, and though I haven't checked, probably the House as well. We control no branches. That's fun. And by fun, I mean one more area of borderline gasligthting that drives people into quietism or insanity. (Oh, and the other side's close wins in states where they suppressed the vote with fewer machines in minority areas, since the Voting Rights Act was gutted by the GOP-leaning Supreme Court? Yeah, the gaslighting just never gets old, honestly.)

> If you want to find small moments to feel good about, there are plenty. Trump's public utterances, with the notable miss of nothing about how he wants nothing to do with the acts of violence from celebrating supporters or the gloating of the KKK, show he's going much more down the path of Thief, rather than Dictator. World markets may keep him in relative line, and selling out his supporters is a lifelong pattern. One of the easiest ways to lose money in my lifetime has been to invest in a Trump scheme while not being Trump, after all. (The man lost nearly a billion dollars running a casino. There are people who consider him to be a business genius doing this. There's so much that's insane here, I can't even begin. Or, seemingly, end.)

The historical pattern of American progress is breakthrough, backlash, lather rinse repeat, shows that this move towards white nationalism does not have to be a permanent one. There were multiple Senate wins and ballot referendum that showed the nation continues to have a true north of center-left, rather than batspit right wing backlashery. There's a very real chance that this win will eventually be seen as Pyrrhic, especially with the 2020 race aligning with the next Census.

> If you want to engage in darker musings, you can wonder why, exactly, there needs to be any more elections after this one. Strongmen don't tend to do more elections, especially ones that run against media, don't show any inclination to follow laws (and Trump's got ties to organized crime, thousands of lawsuits from unpaid bills, rampant tax cheatery, no release of tax returns to show that he isn't in the tank to the foreign interests that did such Wikileaks. There's a not zero chance that we all just voted in our last event, that we'll go into the strongman, then strongman's kid, aspect of post-democratic government. I realize that all sounds quite paranoid, but we just elected the worst major party candidate in our nation's history, and the people get the government they deserve. Look at the history of nations beyond ours; democracies are more fragile than easily understood.

> Finally (finally? I'm now into the +96 hour mark of depserately wanting to think about something else, and despair that it will never stop), one small point. As a stickler for language and reality on reality's terms, the concept of a "safe space" has always rankled. There is no place in this universe that is safe. Nature and a Beavis-esque God can end any of us at any moment, from health mishaps to concentrated weather, and that doesn't even bring into account all of your countrymen and women with mental issues and access to murder tools. But I get why you wanted to pretend, because a relentlessly realistic view of life would just lead people to logic-driven suicides that would litter the streets with bodies. ("Fun" fact? Depressed people are much more realistic than optimistic ones. Moving on.)

So, this.

We just elected a man who keeps insane grudges on people who have wronged him. Who was aided and abetted in his rise to power by the other superpower with extensive nuclear arsenals. Who pledged to restrict immigration on grounds of religion, to murder innocents with clear war crimes, to engage in mob-style shakedowns of our historic allies, to run negotiations as if he were running a failing casino instead of the most powerful nation on earth. He was elected by people who were on some level fine with racism and sexism, so long as they got something out of it, and for a portion of the audience, that racism and sexism may be the draw, rather than the drawback.

So it should be obvious now, to one and all, that No Space Is Safe. I have people in my social feeds who are now buying guns despite being morally opposed to them, who are teaching their kids how to use them. That's going to end well. These aren't "I'm going to move to X" wealthy dilettantes and idle threat types; the are people with daughters who aren't terribly interested in having backlashes roll over them. People are buying abortion pills in the mail, because they most definitely should. Pot is a winning ballot measure everywhere, and the nation wants meth and heroin more than it wants to live. Especially if living means moving near people who don't look like them, or that someone who does not look like them might be getting something from being a citizen.

There's nothing good about it, nothing to do to bargain with it, no benefit from quieting down about it or from remaining obsessed about it. I just find myself not wanting to do anything, not wanting to celebrate any holidays while the country is in thrall, not wanting to produce anything of artistic merit, not wanting to think anything but ill of my fellow citizens. Depressed people, realism.

Play me out, Bob...

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