The First Day: Advice

First things first. I think it’s important for people to know what to do. For me, it’s about communing with truth and reality, and actual people in actual communities.

The reality is that I am heartbroken, shattered. I’m angry and baffled and outraged. What I am not, absolutely not, is willing to engage in the trivia of the daily Facebook feed; I am not willing to listen to the little rationalizations and justifications. I am not willing to hear “Oh, it won’t be that bad” or “Hey, so-and-so, who is *not* a psychopath, is in the running for the cabinet, so maybe it will all be ok.” I am not willing to engage with the denial that many people will start to create.

In order to feel better. In order to feel in control.

I do not feel in control.

This election is a death. Even if the worst never comes to pass — even if we don’t get embroiled in a massive military escalation by a man who likes to pick fights (and who has terrifying views on nuclear weapons) — this election is still a death.

We have elected someone as president who mocks cripples, insults women, brags about committing felony assault, swindles small time businessmen, denigrates a large number of races and religions, and incites mob violence — and that’s not even saying anything about his policies. This is horrific. It is a catastrophe.

So my advice is to do whatever you would do if a close family member died. Retreat a little bit from the world. Read books that give you comfort, or stoke your fires, or give you truth. Watch old movies if you like, but don’t watch the news. Remember how awful it felt watching the news after 9/11, and how little actionable knowledge you gained? This is like that, only what’s crumbling and falling apart is happening, this time, from the inside out.

Don’t watch the news.

Don’t listen to NPR, don’t spend lots of time of Facebook. Every Apocalypse has its silver lining, and this one is reducing the amount of pleasant distractions that keep you from getting actual shit done.

Today’s media list:

– Comforting and inspiring: “On Being: The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi

– Very much not-comforting: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

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