I’ve been thinking for some time now that I’d post something about the election, but it really seems like we have all woken up in one of the less sophisticated interpretations of Wonderland, and I don’t think there’s anything I can say about it all that hasn’t been said better elsewhere. For me, your typical misanthropic hermit tech-working white progressive, the slow nightmarish unfolding of election night led into a slow nightmarish dawning of awareness that if I want society to be enjoyable long enough for any children I spawn to enjoy it, I am going to probably have to leave my apartment and engage in my very own community in the flesh to some extent, and I don’t want to, and haven’t yet, but I have been reading some books about how to write effective emails to my representatives.
This one is good. It’s like an expanded version of this sort of thing. I live in Texas now, and it is very likely that if I thought the election was to go the way it did, I would not have moved here, but I am here now, and so, this being Texas, all three of my federal representatives are the proud possessors of every awful sort of belief you could possibly imagine. With each email Ted Cruz’s office sends the electorate, I feel less inclined to start a family at this point, because we are all doomed. The more attention I pay to things, the more I hate things. I always suspected I hated things and now I am learning my suspicions were correct.
But we have to engage more with each other. Everyone has said so, and I agree. At first, after the election, I was very surprised to be lectured so much about how I and my ilk (private citizens who lean progressive) had failed to convince “ordinary Americans” of our views — I am not a journalist, an educator, or a politician, and I hadn’t realized that when I talk about what I think with my friends and family and sweepingly address the entire international community online that I was meant to be modeling good behavior or convincing anyone. What a very odd thing to be assumed to have been attempting all this time. I am pretty sure I’ve gone to no little trouble to never, ever be in a position of being expected to convince anyone of anything, especially politically — that is precisely why I only talk about politics with people who I know agree with me. It’s stressful otherwise, and I already have a big job and a rapidly closing fertility window, so I’m all set, stress-wise. People use social media to emote, not to convince, no matter what side of things they tend to land on, but apparently liberals are expected by everyone to be diplomatic representatives of our political opinions at all times, like we’re converts knocking on doors or something. This was surprising news to me.
But then I thought about it a bit more, and at the root of it, conservative people enjoy the status quo and think it works well enough or at least was intentionally created for reasons that they either do not think were terrible or else do not think about, and progressive people believe the status quo is insufficient and should be changed entirely. So really, the people saying ‘let’s change this’ are the ones who ought to be making a good, convincing argument for it, even though it’s not fair that they’re the only ones expected to, and everyone else can just say “common sense!” and nod firmly and are felt to have done their bit.
So, fine. I will attempt to be more convincing and winning, I guess.
Another thing the more ambassadorial liberals are saying a lot right now is that we surely cannot believe that fully half the country is horrible, that surely if this many people support a horrible person, there must be something subtle we’re missing. Who are these people who are surprised that half of all people like a horrible person? Almost everyone likes almost entirely awful shit. This has not changed, and will not. 97% of all humans existing are nearly entirely the worst. I can despise people and still be a liberal; if only good people deserved decent lives and human rights, we’d all be fucked completely sideways.
But I was meant to be trying to be more winning. The thing is, you need a lot of awful people to better recognize the five or six special people who are so very worth knowing. Otherwise, you don’t realize how lucky you are to have those ones.
See? I express nice and hopeful sentiments sometimes.
I haven’t posted much here lately, but you see, I am going out more these days, trying to mix. Shortly after the election, my neighbors hosted a potluck in the central patio of the eight-unit apartment building I live in now, and I went, and I brought a cornbread, and I tried to be good company, and now when I see them in passing, I wave and smile instead of acting like there’s something very important on my phone I have to deal with. And I have started playing Magic the Gathering with a group of women who meet at a comic book store a couple of times a month (although I haven’t made it for the last two months). I signed up for every online dating service under the sun, and went on one date that went really well, and then I deleted my profile on every online dating service under the sun because every time I go on a date, all I can think about is having to change the diapers of the man sitting across from me in my sunset years instead of finally writing that novel, and how every human person makes some sort of small, repetitive sound and gives off a certain odor, which would both become part of my sensory landscape for the rest of my life were I to partner with anyone, and I think I simply am not cut out for long-term pairing. Some of us are not! The world is vast.
I have also joined OrangeTheory and in a given session, I earn anywhere from 15-18 splat points.
Moving to Austin has been eye-opening in that it sort of jolted me into the realization that I really did move out to Albuquerque, New Mexico three years ago for no real reason and then basically didn’t leave my house for three years. Who does that? I do! Why did I do that? I quite honestly don’t know, it just kind of happened. I do these things, and they’re not really things or doing, but they become reality and then I look back and see all the not things I didn’t do and it’s shocking.
I had a really fantastic time! But I know that I shouldn’t have enjoyed it so much. Solitude is my favorite drug. I go on these benders, and then I come around suddenly, and I’m like “I did it again, whew that was a long one, I really monked out that time!”
So, with that in mind, in 2017, I plan to venture outside of my house and engage in some sort of social activity at least twice (2 times) per week. I’ve been resolving to do this every week for the last six months or so and have accomplished it exactly never, so I think that declaring it here and blogging about it each time will give me some accountability.
And too, then I’ll blog more.
I have a super sappy quote for you on the topic of love and everyone sucking: “We’re all seeking that special person who is right for us. But if you’ve been through enough relationships, you begin to suspect there’s no right person, just different flavors of wrong. Why is this? Because you yourself are wrong in some way, and you seek out partners who are wrong in some complementary way. But it takes a lot of living to grow fully into your own wrongness. And it isn’t until you finally run up against your deepest demons, your unsolvable problems—the ones that make you truly who you are—that we’re ready to find a lifelong mate. Only then do you finally know what you’re looking for. You’re looking for the wrong person. But not just any wrong person: the right wrong person—someone you lovingly gaze upon and think, “This is the problem I want to have.” I will find that special person who is wrong for me in just the right way.”― Galway Kinnell. This post made me chuckle mainly because I can relate to parts of it. I never thought about how it really is expected for liberals to win people over. Now that you say that, it makes sense (it also explains some of the D&I stuff I’ve run into).
From one hermit to another, I wish you the best and will send you whatever leftover emotional energy/positive thoughts your way (warning: it won’t be much). In the same way, it’s easy to “enjoy the status quo and think it works well enough” it’s easy to stay in the same old routines.
Can’t wait to read the novel 😉
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Awww, Galway Kinnell! He could get it.