On Friday night my family went to a rainy and chilly football game at our local high school. I wanted to do that about as much as I want to sit in a room with Donald Trump, or see his photograph or hear his voice – or have his campaign label Hillary Clinton a liar while nearly every word that comes out of his mouth isn’t remotely close to truthy, let alone the truth. I’m getting tight in the chest just writing about it now.
And for the record — so don’t send “helpful information” to set me straight on Donald Trump — I don’t want to sit in a room with any political candidate. Not one. I’m tired of their names. I’m tired of their voices. I’m tired of their bullshit and their games and their bullshit games. But mostly, I’m tired of the effort of being sold the “fact” that America isn’t already a pretty damn good country. A thriving democracy. (And no, I don’t live under a rock. I know things are a fucking mess for all kinds of people, across the board, in all facets.) But my god. Have we forgotten that the right to voice our dissent, to send a letter, to write a blog, to stand up, to speak up, to write down, to criticize…these rights do not exist in all places. That our right to disagree makes us stronger, better and keeps us moving forward?
We seem to have arrived at a place of expecting and taking for granted these rights, and that is a thorough shame.
Now I don’t care if you agree with me, and I don’t care if you don’t. All I have is my one vote, and all you have is yours. Well, my vote and this blog, where I have the privilege, and still the right, to think through how I really feel about things. I’m not here to convince you of anything at all. That’s the beauty of art. The beauty and the blade, of course, as some of you are itching to respond in disagreement. I urge you not to bother. I didn’t come here to incite you.
So back to Friday. On the way home from work, I told myself I’d turn off NPR at the first political mention. It was thirty seconds. I rode home in silence.
When my family had left for the game, after a high energy dinner and making sure everyone was wearing enough layers to not freeze to death, I sat in my favorite chair and turned on Netflix, wanting to just escape. I didn’t want to think about anything at all. And I don’t watch television normally – I don’t follow any shows – but sometimes Netflix is enticing and helps me get out of my own head for awhile.
I watched an excellent comedy show called Bo Burnham What. He’s good. For over an hour I listened and laughed. So I’d like to say here that if you’re needing the same – a get out of your head without the use of substances card – take a look. He has other specials, too, including Words, Words, Words and Make Happy. But don’t watch if you’re offended by swearing – you’ll certainly be offended.
Here’s one of my favorite clips.
I’m going to go walk my dog along the river and think about my dog and the river, and nothing else. I hope.