Thursday, January 19, 2017

FTT Off-Topic: Nothing To See Here

Desolation, Sans Drama
Not sports, you know the drill.

A brief note to anyone who might stumble upon these words... you really should do yourself a favor and learn to live without the United States, as you knew it, for a while.

Yes, I know; it's hard, what with our terrifying military, cultural imperialism and corporate hegemony. Even if our government wasn't in the hands of a gerrymandered minority that has managed, through remarkable persistence, a mostly compliant media and an utter lack of morality, to seize control of every branch of government. The guy who will occupy the office will also do everything in his power to not be ignored, because he's the worst embodiment of child; the kind that got everything he ever wanted, is still not happy, and is convinced that he deserves more.

Your only course for sanity will be to find other things to occupy your time. Some will protest, others will run for office, others will try to exact greater control over their local area; all are fine acts to save off madness, and all have only the good that you give them. Personally, I'd focus on donations of time and money to non-governmental agencies or good corporate actors to do the work that the U.S. should, and would have been better at. But your mileage may vary.

If that's not really your thing, create art, make music, write books; these are always better in times of crisis, kind of like how air pollution makes for better sunsets. It's not an equal trade off, but Green Day's "American Idiot" is a great record. No sane person would trade off the Iraq War for it, but it's a great record.

As for the folks who live here, and are either culpable for this disaster, will pretend that they aren't later, or have resisted it and will now live with the same pain and degradation, only without any kind of illusionary break-in period... well, I'm not really sure what to say to all of us. Mostly because I don't think anyone in the nation has the ability to speak to all of us, and be heard, because we really aren't one nation. We probably never were, given the way we've handled non-whites and non-straight males, but it's become even more apparent now.

There is no major city in the United States where a majority of the populace voted for the man who will occupy the office of President. There is no rural area that didn't vote for him. We have no blue states or red states or toss-up states; we have pockets of people who are either minorities or want to live in a world with them routinely. There are more of these people, but that doesn't matter. They didn't get what they wanted, and might never again, because democracies are actually fragile things, and once you cross the event horizon away from one, walking back isn't assured. This is not new; it's just more pronounced now.

We also have the greatest capacity in human history to destroy life, and we've put it in the hands of a man who rarely sleeps, fights with literally hundreds of people on social media, and has had over a dozen women accuse him of sexual assault.

This is not the hallmark of a country where the citizens feel any kind of, well, kinship with one another. This is, rather, the hallmark of people who just want them to hurt like they do.

So, at the risk of sounding unhinged? Well, I like to consider a broader perspective on many things, and go wider. I look out at the universe, and how much more we know about it now, with so many stars and exo-planets proven, and so many more coming every day.

All of those worlds, and yet none of them, to date, showing any sign of sentient life, of expression, of existence. We've been scanning and listening for over half a century now, and to the best of our knowledge, we are alone, have always been alone, and will always be alone.

Which, if you want to consider things from a fatalistic standpoint, might meant that civilizations can only get so far, before venality combines with technology to wipe the slate clean.

All of which seems crazy and over the top, especially for a figure that has been the fuel for comedic ridicule for my entire adult life...

Until you remember the nukes, and the cold, dead stars.


And how the planet is getting hotter every year, and how facts are going to be ignored, because they don't fit in the worldview of the child king.

Best, really, to ignore him, and think about, well, anything else. While we can.

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