12 December 2016

December is cold

Hello Readers,

It’s 12.12.16.  Wow.  Almost halfway through the last month of the year.

November was… difficult.  First, it was NaNoWriMo.  This year marks my fifth win.  I’m happy about that, and I will have more to say about the writing output later, but… November.

Second, well, you know.  The Travesty.

It’s been hard to make sense of our country and our people.  It’s sad knowing how many people live with hate and fear in their hearts, leading their actions.  It’s also terrifying knowing how little they regard anyone but themselves and their kind.  The terror comes from being one of their targeted ‘others’.  We made so much progress as a nation during the last eight years…  it’s heartbreaking to contemplate it all going backwards.

So, where does that leave us?  Clinging like tsunami victims to the scrap lumber of our sinking ship? Maybe.  Maybe for a little while.  But, really, we’ve got to fight back.  I don’t know how, but I know that we must hold our ground.  I know a lot of politically savvy people and I hope like hell that they are formulating plans.  I’ll help.  Whatever it is that we are doing, I’ll help.  (Usual caveats.  Not killing anyone.)

When we look at the voting patterns, we see the same thing that has been happening for years: polarization of opposing views, and much of it geographically aligned.  This behemoth of a country has stood despite such a strongly divided population, but it is shaking, tipping, teetering now.  Could it fall apart?

There is a long held desire in my neck of the woods toward secession. Free Cascadia!  Cascadia is the bioregion that includes the Cascade Range and everything west to the ocean.  Cascadians would like to have Oregon, Washington and British Columbia (and the SE peninsula of Alaska) as our own country.  There is a small region in far Northern California that would like to join us – they already refer to themselves as the State of Jefferson.  They could be our southernmost boundary – our banana belt, if you will.

I know there are other idealistic secessionist notions in our country.  US out of Vermont was a popular rallying cry a decade ago, and probably still is.  We all know that Texas has been talking secession for generations.  I mean, who didn’t contribute to the Great Wall of Texas?  California has the gross domestic product of a fairly large nation and could, easily, be its own country.  New York certainly has the population for it.

I guess what I am saying is that… maybe it’s time.  Maybe this behemoth isn’t serving enough of the people anymore.  It is turning into an oligarchy before our very eyes.  Do we have to stand by and watch?  I don’t know about you, but I didn’t think that I would see the collapse of the Soviet Union in my lifetime. That happened with breathtaking speed.  Can it happen here?  We didn’t start as diverse nations united by force, like the Soviet Union.  But our diverse regions are becoming more and more estranged from the center of government.  And, this trend will continue, I think.

Now, the ultimate breakup of the United States is a pipe dream at this point in time.  I believe that it will happen eventually.  But, probably not for a very long time. [But who the hell knows? The Travesty should never have happened either.]  One thing that can and should happen sooner than that is the breaking of the two party stranglehold on our government.  Just imagine if there were no majority.  All parties would have to compromise and work together to get anything done.  This would be a boon to the people of the country.

Besides the need to work together, a plurality of political parties would also ensure that real people are truly represented.  For my part, I do not feel represented by the Democratic party.   My concerns, my demographic, is a footnote to the larger party, and we are most often told to wait, that this isn’t the right time to address our issues.  True, President Obama made good on a lot of issues, and I thank him wholeheartedly.  Without a strong populist in the driver’s seat, the rest of the passengers on the bus will be out of luck.  And, that’s just those who were allowed to get on the bus in the first place.  Oh, who am I kidding, the Hate Monger would never be caught dead on a bus.  It’ll be a limo and it only stops for the wealthy.

I’m discouraged.  I’m tired of rhetoric.  Even more, I’m tired of lying liars and the lies they tell.  I’m tired of the disingenuousness of the mainstream media.  I’m tired of the 24 hour news cycle.   I’m tired of social media.  The world is changing and the rate of change is increasing.  I know I’m getting older because I am often left feeling that I’ll never catch up, that I’ll never understand the new order, that I’ll never even be able to work the fucking remote control for the tv!

 So, where does that leave me?  I cannot spend the next four years in despair.  Depression is my frequent companion; I can’t invite her cousin to come along.  That means that I need action.  Action!

I’m talking about two kinds of action.  One is meaningful political activism, the other is physical.

For the first, money and time.  Right now my time is limited, but I am going to partially retire in the summer (!) and I will be able to devote actual hands-on active time to a cause.  There will be many to choose from, a plethora, sadly.  As far as money goes, no I don’t have a lot, but I can make an extra $50 donation to some of my usual charities.  I’m getting my brother’s family a donation to the ACLU for the holiday gift.  That kind of thing.  That is something that I can do right now.

The second kind of action is physical.  You know it.  I know it.  We all know it.  Physical activity, exercise, whatever you want to call it, has a great capacity for decreasing depression.  When I am working out regularly, she really does sit in the back seat, sometimes even in the trunk.  I have put my bike on the trainer in the unheated sun porch.  I need to pump up the tires (at least the front one).  With the Goddess all around us as my witness, I will ride that bike TODAY!  This I swear; witness my hand this 12th day of December, 2016.

Now, there’s my positive note!  Pollyanna smiles and breathes a tiny sigh of relief.  You see, we need something, some positive thing to cling to, to hold us up against the downward pull of the tide.  We’ve got to hold the good thought, people!  For our own salvation as much as the saving of our country, we have to keep the light shining.  Apparently, for me, it’s all tied up with the damned bicycle.  At least right now.

So, thanks for rambling along with me.  I know every single one of you is as gobsmacked as I am.

Don’t give in to despair!  We are in this together.

Peace and Love, friends.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Ride that bike! Fight the good fight! Keep the hounds at bay.

8thday said...

Funny, I have always lived in a place that wants to secede. When I lived in the NYC metropolitan area, they wanted to secede from the more conservative "upstate". Now living upstate, here they want to secede from the City which they feel drains their resources to pay for mass transit and such. And living in the northeast, there has always been the desire to (except for a few gay friendly places in Florida) let the south go their merry bible belt way.

I don't know the answer but do fear that the fallout from this election is going to be far reaching and irreparable. But maybe a huge shakeup is exactly what we need to wake up. For now there are plenty of ways to prepare for the call. Just keep swimming. Or in your case - pedaling.

e said...

I did it. I got on that damned bike! And, I'll do it again today.

Em said...

There's been a movement for awhile in Cali to secede. Sort of like Texas', but quieter. We are the 7th largest economy in the world, all by ourselves, and raise quite a lot of food. I haven't heard people talk about becoming Calicascadia yet, but all the west coast states seem to be in a very different place from huge parts of the country. In California we voted 2 to 1 for Hillary. (So did Hawaii by a slightly bigger margine.)

I was not shocked by the racism exactly, it's been too blatant for too long. But I was shocked by how wide-spread it was. I am never shocked by homophobia and never shocked by how wide-spread that is. And I feel like I shouldn't be as surprised as I am by the level of gynephobia. I was really shocked that so many people really didn't give a damn about their neighbors and making people vulnerable. Although I think it's important, too, to remember that that is true for 1 out of 4 people, not 2 out of 4.

I think step one is to get a bike too.

e said...

Caliscadia. I hadn't heard that one before! Really, when you look at the maps, it's a wonder that we are still holding together our republic. I think the US will lose significant real estate in the coming years. I think that might be inevitable globally. Maybe geographically giant countries are not stable in the long run. I am certain that Canada will lose real estate as well. I mean, Ottawa is only holding on to Quebec by a fingernail. Once Quebec goes, my prediction is British Columbia will be next. It is so far from the center! When that happens, Oregon and Washington will be poised to act. Or so I pray! Or, it could be a coalition of the Maritimes. I can imagine the Maritime provinces aligning with Maine, NH, and Vermont.
Well. All things are possible. We shall see.

The hate is discouraging. I'm trying to combat it by being extra ... appreciative, I guess, is what I'm getting at. Thanking people. Calling the bus driver Sir. Opening a door for someone. You know, being civilized. That's it, I'm combating hate by being more civilized. But, civil dissent is legal, and it is patriotic. And, it is our duty as citizens to dissent. We have to bear witness to what happens around us and stand up to hate when we safely can.