Thursday Reads: Darkness Is Rising; Time for Courage and DeterminationPosted: November 10, 2016
The light is fading; the darkness is rising. We are on the precipice of a national tragedy, a global cataclysm. We must take time to mourn and then gird ourselves for political battles. Young people are our hope for the future now. We must support them and use what wisdom we have to help and guide them. This is the what the electoral map would have looked like if only voters aged 18-25 had voted.
Watertown NY WIC provides services for persons over 18 who are physically or mentally impaired and who are in a situation where they are harmed or threatened with harm by the actions of themselves or others. This often involves the frail elderly and adults who are physically or mentally disabled, seriously ill or alcohol/substance abusers.
I’m not capable of writing much today. It feels like a death in the family. I woke up this morning and for a moment everything seemed normal. And then I remember the horror that has befallen our beloved country. At least there were people out in the streets protesting in cities around the country.
On the Boston Common:
Berkeley High school students on the UC Berkeley campus:
In New York City:
Outside Trump Tower in Chicago:
And in many other places.
This morning I talked to my brother on the phone and we both cried. I’m so fearful for my nephews, but I’m determined to do anything in my power to protect and support them. Yesterday an old friend called me to see if I was OK. She was sobbing. It’s going to take some time to process what has happened and figure out how to react to it. But I refuse to give up. I will keep writing on this blog and I’ll try to find some ways to volunteer and/or donate to help others.
I’m going to post a bunch of links and let you decide which ones you want to click on. Every time I think about posting excerpts I have a huge amount of resistance because I don’t to traumatize myself or anyone else with unwanted information. Dakinikat suggested that I post this letter from Aaron Sorkin to his wife and daughter, so here it is. I haven’t even read it yet, but I trust Dak’s judgment.
Well the world changed late last night in a way I couldn’t protect us from. That’s a terrible feeling for a father. I won’t sugarcoat it—this is truly horrible. It’s hardly the first time my candidate didn’t win (in fact it’s the sixth time) but it is the first time that a thoroughly incompetent pig with dangerous ideas, a serious psychiatric disorder, no knowledge of the world and no curiosity to learn has.
And it wasn’t just Donald Trump who won last night—it was his supporters too. The Klan won last night. White nationalists. Sexists, racists and buffoons. Angry young white men who think rap music and Cinco de Mayo are a threat to their way of life (or are the reason for their way of life) have been given cause to celebrate. Men who have no right to call themselves that and who think that women who aspire to more than looking hot are shrill, ugly, and otherwise worthy of our scorn rather than our admiration struck a blow for misogynistic shitheads everywhere. Hate was given hope. Abject dumbness was glamorized as being “the fresh voice of an outsider” who’s going to “shake things up.” (Did anyone bother to ask how? Is he going to re-arrange the chairs in the Roosevelt Room?) For the next four years, the President of the United States, the same office held by Washington and Jefferson, Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt, F.D.R., J.F.K. and Barack Obama, will be held by a man-boy who’ll spend his hours exacting Twitter vengeance against all who criticize him (and those numbers will be legion). We’ve embarrassed ourselves in front of our children and the world.
And the world took no time to react. The Dow futures dropped 700 points overnight. Economists are predicting a deep and prolonged recession. Our NATO allies are in a state of legitimate fear. And speaking of fear, Muslim-Americans, Mexican-Americans and African-Americans are shaking in their shoes. And we’d be right to note that many of Donald Trump’s fans are not fans of Jews. On the other hand, there is a party going on at ISIS headquarters. What wouldn’t we give to trade this small fraction of a man for Richard Nixon right now?
So what do we do?
First of all, we remember that we’re not alone. A hundred million people in America and a billion more around the world feel exactly the same way we do.
Second, we get out of bed. The Trumpsters want to see people like us (Jewish, “coastal elites,” educated, socially progressive, Hollywood…) sobbing and wailing and talking about moving to Canada. I won’t give them that and neither will you. Here’s what we’ll do…
Read the rest at Vanity Fair.
Here’s one more from Garrison Keillor at the WaPo: Trump voters will not like what happens next.
So he won. The nation takes a deep breath. Raw ego and proud illiteracy have won out, and a severely learning-disabled man with a real character problem will be president. We are so exhausted from thinking about this election, millions of people will take up leaf-raking and garage cleaning with intense pleasure. We liberal elitists are wrecks. The Trumpers had a whale of a good time, waving their signs, jeering at the media, beating up protesters, chanting “Lock her up” — we elitists just stood and clapped. Nobody chanted “Stronger Together.” It just doesn’t chant.
The Trumpers never expected their guy to actually win the thing, and that’s their problem now. They wanted only to whoop and yell, boo at the H-word, wear profane T-shirts, maybe grab a crotch or two, jump in the RV with a couple of six-packs and go out and shoot some spotted owls. It was pleasure enough for them just to know that they were driving us wild with dismay — by “us,” I mean librarians, children’s authors, yoga practitioners, Unitarians, bird-watchers, people who make their own pasta, opera-goers, the grammar police, people who keep books on their shelves, that bunch. The Trumpers exulted in knowing we were tearing our hair out. They had our number, like a bratty kid who knows exactly how to make you grit your teeth and froth at the mouth.
Alas for the Trump voters, the disasters he will bring on this country will fall more heavily on them than anyone else. The uneducated white males who elected him are the vulnerable ones, and they will not like what happens next.
To all the patronizing B.S. we’ve read about Trump expressing the white working-class’s displacement and loss of the American Dream, I say, “Feh!” — go put your head under cold water. Resentment is no excuse for bald-faced stupidity. America is still the land where the waitress’s kids can grow up to become physicists and novelists and pediatricians, but it helps a lot if the waitress and her husband encourage good habits and the ambition to use your God-given talents and the kids aren’t plugged into electronics day and night. Whooping it up for the candidate of cruelty and ignorance does less than nothing for your kids.
We liberal elitists are now completely in the clear. The government is in Republican hands. Let them deal with him. Democrats can spend four years raising heirloom tomatoes, meditating, reading Jane Austen, traveling around the country, tasting artisan beers, and let the Republicans build the wall and carry on the trade war with China and deport the undocumented and deal with opioids, and we Democrats can go for a long, brisk walk and smell the roses.
Read more at the WaPo. Revenge will not be so sweet for those of us who aren’t as wealthy as Keillor, but it will still be interesting to see the Republicans try to deal with their madman and watch the yahoos come to their rude awakening. But it’s a good piece and it gets better, so do read on at the WaPo link.
And just one more from fantasy novelist Saladin Ahmed: Fantasy and the Real World.
Let me tell you a few stories
Story #1: After years of abuse at the hands his foster family, a talented British boy escapes to private school, which holds challenges of its own.
Story #2: A small group of agents from several nations works to destroy a powerful weapon of mass destruction before it falls into the hands of the enemy.
Story #3: Terrifying creatures, neither women nor men, lurk near the privies, waiting to snatch unsuspecting children and turn them into similar creatures.
Story #4: Savages stand poised to destroy the Eagle Republic. Traitors threaten it from within. Only the Orange Man and his Great Southern Wall can protect us.
Which of these stories is fantasy? Which is a story from the real world? Which of them is “true?” Stories 1 and 2 are of course ‘real world’-toned descriptions of Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings, respectively. On the other hand, stories 3 and 4 are fantasies that millions of American voters have accepted as accurate descriptions of the real world around them. All of these fantasies have the power to shape not only our own realities, but the real lives of millions of other human beings….
Despite the best efforts of those who insist that we somehow –magically, one might say– keep politics out of the stories we tell, our fantasies are, inevitably, shaped by the world around us. And, perhaps more to the point, the world around us is shaped by stories. The stories we choose to live by, the fantasies we choose to believe in, matter.
“Why should a man be scorned,” Tolkien once wrote, “if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if, when he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls?” Fantasy provides us a noble escape from an imprisoning world, he reminds us, and we must not “confuse the Escape of the Prisoner with the Flight of the Deserter.”
That escape, however, is always temporary. Eventually we are dragged, kicking and screaming, back to prison. What then? “The night is dark and full of terrors,” George RR Martin writes, and at its best fantasy is not only an escape from those terrors but a bulwark against them. Magic glasses that help us recognize and counter the bad fantasies at work in the world around us. The best fantasies offer us true and beautiful stories that do battle with the ugly fever dreams of the real world.
More headlines in no particular order.
Charles Blow: America Elects a Bigot.
Daily Beast: Team Trump Struggling to Fill National-Security Jobs.
Reuters: Trump due in court before Oval Office.
Here’s a weird one: Trump Win Dashes Dreams of UFO Disclosure.
NYT: World Is About to Find Out What Donald Trump Really Believes.
Linda Greenhouse: The Choice Confronting the Supreme Court’s Chief Justice.
The Education Reference Desk considers students who enrolled in UWW online degree programs that do not come to campus for those courses to be Distance Education (DE) students.
The New Yorker: Hillary’s Powerful Concession.
Market Watch: Siemens warns wave of populism threatens business.
The Economist: What does Donald Trump’s victory mean for the world?
If you want to, please share how you are doing after this incredible shock to our political and cultural systems; and post any other comments and links you want in the comment thread. Courage Sky Dancers!