This blog needs a category foryou just blew my tiny little mind:
We are so risk averse in this country, so afraid to settle on something that might not be the right thing, we hedge our every fucking step. Drive giant tank SUVs so we can walk away from unforeseen disasters, watch picture-in-picture televisions so we don’t miss what’s on the other channels. We do not like the unknown, we guard against every possible contingency. We assume any choice might be the wrong one, so we don’t choose anything, really. We do not trust the world around us. We do not trust ourselves. We have seldom been asked to do so by the current administration. We’ve been asked instead to be afraid, and then we were told outright, over and over, that we must be afraid. And as if there wasn’t enough in the real world to fear, they invented and hyped new stuff and force fed it to us, straight into our lizard brain.
And we sucked on it.
So here we are. There are plenty of us, including Clinton voters and for that matter, Republicans and Independents, who are weary and beat down and ready for change. The thing is, people want the change to be quantifiable and recognizable, they want to know what they are getting into before they jump. They want their change to look familiar and welcoming, and above all, safe. And if possible, easy.
The thing is, we are miles past that being able to happen.
Go read the whole thing. I mean it, go. NOW.
I’ve been having this conversation a lot, with everybody in my life lately: colleagues, friends, allegedly supreme beings who may or may not be tempting me back to their parties. You do not lose people because you ask too much of them. You lose people because you ask for too little. I know this because I’ve seen it, anybody who’s read that book up there top right knows what I mean when I say it’s not too hard and you can in fact beat back the inevitable with your bare hands and it can happen, and all you need is the example of someone telling you, instead of sit down, shut up, stand up, start yelling. Fight, for the love of your immortal souls. Fight.
In the aftermath of 9/11 they could have asked us for anything. Anything. Enlistment en masse. National service. Financial sacrifice. Put your pantyhose in a drawer and draw a line down the back of your legs with an eyeliner pencil; they could have asked us to build 100,000 airplanes and we would have done it, because we can. But they asked us to go shopping, they told us to take off our shoes in the airport, they lied to us about Iraq. They asked us to be angry and they asked us to be scared and they asked us to turn on each other, and wouldn’t you know it, that’s exactly what happened. They asked us for nothing and that’s exactly what they got.
And the irony is that in our whole life as a country we were never stronger than when we reached out and held on to one another. When we have been weak, when we have failed, it is only because then we let go, turned our backs, hated and feared and strung up garlic and picked up stakes. It is only because then we forgot ourselves, as we have now.
Is it any wonder we want something like our own strength back again? It isn’t even a Clinton-Obama thing, necessarily: we saw a little of its beginnings in 2004, with the crowds Kerry drew, which up until then were like nothing you’d ever seen in all your livin’ life. Kerry, though, said he and Edwards could help us; Obama’s saying it’s not me, it’s you that can help us. Take it to my crazy sci-fi place, as I’m wont to do on the weekends, not “God helps those who help themselves” but “the gods lift those who lift each other,” that’s the formulation of the message. It’s easy to sneer, it’s just stories, just speeches, just words. It’s just poetry, but come the fuck on, people have died for worse things than poetry.
Countries have died for worse things. We’ve watched it happen in front of us, going now on seven years.