Checking In

I haven’t posted about politics in a while. Some readers may be relieved, while others might miss my ranting. I’ve avoided the topic as an act of self-preservation.

Since November 2016, I’ve been angry, depressed, terrified, and disgusted in equal measures. The world is burning, Nero is fiddling, and the one percenters just want the rest of us to eat cake and shut the fuck up. Or die. They’re not that fussy, really. Just so long as they aren’t inconvenienced, we can do whatever.

Anyway, I spent most of 2017 and a large part of 2018 deeply engaged in social media, following each twitch in the news obsessively, and ranting about the state of the world. And I learned I can’t get any creative work done if I’m walking a knife’s edge of despair.

Since I cut off access to social media, I feel calmer. I’m able to concentrate on my writing, reading, and research for longer periods. I’m not bogged down in the virtual mudslinging that happens all over Facebook and Twitter. And I don’t feel quite as emotionally fragile as I did.

That doesn’t mean I’m feeling positive about the future. Again, see the second paragraph of this post. None of those factors have changed.

I’m still pissed about all of the things that I was pissed about before. I still want the world to undergo a sea change where we learn to respect one another, love each other, and give a damn when insects thousands of miles away die out, signaling that their ecosystem is in jeopardy.

I want us to care about starving polar bears. I want people to care that trees in the Andes are migrating to higher elevations in an attempt to survive climate change. I want us to actually take steps to fix what we’ve broken.

But I can’t wish for solutions. I have to work for them.

The way I can do that is through my writing. I can craft my stories to reflect the things I care about. I want my words to lift readers up, to make them ask hard questions, and give them a new way to see their world. That only happens if I can write.

So, I’ll continue to avoid Cohen’s testimony and any “press conference” offered by the Trump regime. I’ll do what I can to be an informed voter, and I’ll exercise that right. I’ll donate to worthy causes and political groups when I can. And I’ll stay focused on my writing, in hopes I can craft something that brings someone comfort, insight, or just a good chuckle. We need all of that these days.

(Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash)

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