Pomp and Greed
This morning, I'm thinking about humans and how they need the definition of circumstance. Humans love to build a ritual, a standard, a set of rules or actions, that define how things are handled in the world. We see it everywhere and when it's not followed, people notice.
Like taking a knee during the anthem.
Or, say, not placing your assets into a blind trust when you get elected.
If only one of these inflames you, and it's not the second one, why are you here? What is it about America you want to protect and admire?
Think about it... when you have access to all the keys and you have a business empire, there will be conflicts of interest. The people who are on the other side of the issue WORK FOR YOU. There is no way, if you are in a dispute with the GSA over the rent on a building you rented and your are the GSA boss's boss, that there won't be pressure and you don't stand to gain.
Who loses? Taxpayers. We get to pay and pay and pay.
There are a myriad of ways to loot the Treasury and none involve a Fast and Furious dream team.
Tax troubles? Hire the right guy and they're gone. Stupid environmentalists messing up your bottom line? You're fired! You're hired! Done
. All of these entities are there, in some form or another, to preserve the nation's wealth and keep it for the people. This is about to change.
We're racing towards a fuck-you
to the good old days and ways to a level never ever
seen. Literally, everything that is our ritual and circumstance for how we conduct our government is about to get tossed because some of us picked a President who never cared about any of it... unless there was an angle he could play. We are leaving the land of measured response and jumping blindly into tit-for-tat, outright stealing, graft, and corruption. It breaks my heart that our venerable super power government was so easy to break.
We need rituals to check greed.
Everything I believed we were, solemn, intelligent, patient, capable and strong, is breaking apart. I thought Trump was a buffoon but I thought he was an American. Turns out, he is quite willing to take down a superpower in a single election. The world is right to be appalled.
I understand people were feeling unheard. I do. There aren't going to be any take backs here, though. The depth of your anger is now matched by the world's despair, and neither will see respite. You'll stay angry that the America dream is dead, and our interconnected global economies will free-fall taking all of us along, angry and lashing. WWIII just opened a sleepy eye and smiled.
America has no ritual to stop this march. Pomp and circumstance, meet chaos and greed. They're here to stay.
Labels: greed, politics, ritual, super power
Thinking Out Loud
Today I read that our President-Elect added an Ant-Semite to the Nazi and the Former RNC Chair who make up his cabinet. World policy is not my long suit, but I'm not unread, and for the life of me, I don't see the end game with this guy.
Piss off Israel? Make Europe irate? What is the purpose? Cause rifts with our Allies, pony up to Russia?
This is not our usual rodeo.
Usually, my gut reaction is to question who benefits from the action. I know none of this would be happening if Trump didn't see a benefit to himself and his enterprises. I wish I knew the connection.
Comments are on for this one. I'm willing to listen to any theory.
Labels: cabinet, politics
I crossposted yesterday's post to Facebook. After all, that's the platform that was under siege, so it seemed appropriate to push it out in that arena. Expectations were low... I was writing about angry people. I highly doubted that the response was going to be positive, and I wasn't entirely sure I wouldn't get my ass handed to me by a mob.
Each of us is a pebble, though, and it's easy, in the turbulence, to forget your power to ripple.
I did. And, I'm ashamed that I didn't think the people in my life were thoughtful enough to hear me and to say, support, self-reflect, and choose loving responses. This is what swirling in negativity does... it changes how and what you see, and mutes who and how you love. It changes you in a million little angry ways; it crowds the air right out of your chest and darkens your view of humanity.
My friends and acquaintances are generous with their respect and acceptance. I'm blessed to have them and am glad I threw my pebble out there so this lesson could be re-learned.
Mostly, it's amazing how much nicer my feed is today. I think a lot of pebbles are sailing, and that feels pretty great. Sometimes, we just need to reset one another after we get angry. Calm in a storm, or right after, when ire is high and stamina is low, is difficult; reminding each other that we care for one another is the burst of glory, shining across the ripples, in the morning.
Labels: Change, friendship, hate, joy
I like facebook. It keeps me connected with music and bands that I support, let's me promote and plug local venues that support live music, helps to make plans with friends on where to go and who to see, and talk about current events, dog videos, and my kids.
During this election, it got pretty politicky, and I'm ok with that... because I walk those paths with some insider knowledge. Bernie Sanders appealed to me and my core values and I supported that campaign. When he didn't win, I knew, because I have kids, I would vote for HRC. I had zero
interest in discussing that so I posted that I was not going to discuss politics on facebook. For the most part, I didn't. For me, other than the down ticket races, the election was over.
Doing this kept it social.
As I wrote before
, my plate is full, and I need to stay aligned with a peaceful, grace-filled path. Yammering over ugly political positions will spill over onto my mother and my kids, and that's not fair. Now that this election is over, the sheer amount of vitriol on facebook is killing the site for me. I have unfollowed many, in the interest of limiting how many nasty screeds and gotcha comments I read, trying to avoid the foot on the head of my enemy
mindset that leaves the conversation dead and the feelings red hot.
Today I read how to take my account down. If this is the new definition of social, this joyless shit-pile of hate, I may just fade away for awhile.
You see, I equate social with interaction that edifies, lets your endorphins rock, and your laugh bubble up. Social is sharing, and connecting and helping and emoting. Social is finding something wonderful and telling others about it. It's celebrating all the cool groovy things that rock your world, and giving that information, that beauty, that hilarity away
. It is, at its core, a giving
It's why there's a share
button. So you can push more beauty, laughter, and your joy out to your ever growing circle. If we get back there, we'll be better for it.
I may tough it out, I may close up my shop, and if nobody notices, then that's probably for the best. In the long run, living gently and with positive optimism is best, and I can do that anywhere in the real world.
In the social realm, not so much.
Labels: facebook, hate, politics, Sanders, social media
Weather and Feathers
A couple of maxims are taking up space in my head. Fair weather friends, and birds of a feather.. and it's fairly obvious, in these days of division, that both are pertinent.
I'm single, and currently dabbling in dating, but not really. My marriage was one of unlike minds and during the debut and meteoric rise of talk radio, Rush Limbaugh, and the hating Rush wannabees, we left the arena of support and traveled a path of mockery for my ideals. This is not a good recipe for marriage. Mine did not survive it.
I grew up in a home where unlike minds (politically), got along well, enjoyed the debate and exchange of ideas, and supported differing ideals. It was, perhaps, a bit unusual for husbands and wives to be like that in the 50s and 60s... I have no other marriage of that era to compare it to, but it worked, for a long time, in my family.
Personal norms and in-the-world norms are different birds.
In this heyday of America polarity, dating is sketchy. Especially if your background includes a bomb crater like mine. I don't have it in me to step around ideals that appall just to make it work, and I resent the inference that I'm the one that has to step. In this newly charged atmosphere, it'll be a time of long deserts and short oasis.
Which, frankly, cheats everyone.
The avoidance of strife means there is no seeking of the middle. Without that movement, the new and bitter stereotypes of what one's politics equates to in terms of their belief system is never tempered with gentle discussion and listening. Stereotypes are built off behavior extremes and easy labels; they do a colossal disservice to being a better human.
Beyond dating, I sense a drawback from friends and acquaintances that I suspect is wholly politically driven, and this sucks. These are the spaces where the best conversations, ones that promote thinking and contemplation, middle ground and growth, happen. It's sad that they're leaving, but they can if they need to. Friendship is valuing another's essence. It doesn't require one of the parties to chase and change in order to stay friends. Love, friendship, and simple human interaction are not political acts; you can pollute them with that... but their true form is based on love and appreciation of the individual.
I'm choosing to remain thoughtful, fully liberal, and loving. I don't know how to be anything else. But I will not tamp myself into someone else's mold, nor will I embrace fear over love, or practice mockery and derision. I know the pain of that path, first hand.
WYSIWYG, in all things, including weather and feathers.
Labels: dating, division, friendship, politics
So, today I am cooking. When the kids were smaller (and money tighter) I could get a pretty awesome groove on in the kitchen. Masses got fed with good healthy food, and there was dancing, bad puns, and worse song parodies to keep it interesting.
Feeding young adults is different. Their schedules are insane, they like all the crap I never dreamed of feeding them when they were small, and they cook until my kitchen looks well bombed.
Eventually, they'll be out in the world, the dishes will be theirs to deal with, and efficiency and economy will reign. Until then, why not chocolate chip pancakes at 10 pm and everything brownies for breakfast? (Well, not everything, I suppose. We're a long road from the 70s, in more ways than one.)
I'm a bit more organized when it comes to the sustenance plan. Yesterday I made a ham, and today I've got split pea soup and a pot of lentils with tomatoes, carrots, celery, and onion simmering down that will go into the freezer, and there will scalloped potatoes for supper. I need to feed my family, but I also need to feed me, and the simple pleasure of cooking does that.
Sometimes, all you can do is strip down to the simple. There's a point where nothing is better than something. Declutter the house, declutter your mind, feed the body, tune the soul.
The path to well begins in the kitchen. Let's dance, and taste, and laugh, and heal. Hallelujah.
Labels: family, Health, sanity
Balance is important. Where I walk currently, I carry three kids, a parent, a job, a house and myself. My mother has been in my care full time for five years, and another three were me propping up her independent existence by driving 25 minutes to her home and doing everything, at least three times a week, For the past two years, she's been bed bound. This is much harder on her than on me, and I am grateful that she is home and we are making it work.
But, this plate of mine is pretty full.
One of my coping mechanisms is swimming and another is dancing. I rarely care if I'm the first person on the dance floor if the band is good. When I dance, the music changes and charges me. The beat drops into my hips and a joy permeates throughout my body. I never dance for anyone but myself. Checking in with myself on this intimate level resets me. When I dance, I joy.
So last night, I went to my usual haunt and their reliable house band, ready to joy....no, needing
to joy. Emotionally, I was whipped, This has been a hard week for idealism. I suppose I should take a little segue here to mention that places have vibes and I sense and value them. My favorite hole in the wall had joy de rigueur... its vibe grabs you and lifts you to a wonderful, comfortable, beloved place. But, last night, it was different. There was a film of something not quite sad, not quite like regret, that covered the place.
The band played.
Beer flowed, dinner consumed, chatting occurred...
and it felt
surreal as hell.
It wasn't just me who noticed it. Several friends shared they felt it too. A few people I am fond of came up to me and talked around politics without saying anything about politics. I wondered if seeing it in the micro, via the kinds of conversations happening in social media, was driving their desire to reconnect, but with disconnect.
So fucking weird.
But the casualty of the night was joy. I never reached my Nirvana place, where I'm reset, sweaty and beaming. It felt like puppet dancing. No Pinocchios, hard strings. I woke up this morning and thought, I did not joy last night.
I don't think anyone did. This is not a pain of losing an election, but of sensing, in real time, what the true cost of embracing our divide will take from us. While we process this, and perhaps decide the cost is too high and some middle ground must happen, we are not tuned, not playing with passion, and not connected. We're letting situations drive us, steal our celebration of one another, shape our view, and tamp down our humanity; all to feed an anger that is insatiable and like most anger, unkind.
We are joy, on mute.
Labels: disconnect, division, joy, politics