Death, politics, plus other happy topics

trump-house-plane1I don’t know about you, but I’m STILL recovering from the election. Oh, maybe it’s not just the election, maybe it was Leonard Cohen’s death, and Leon Russell’s and, interestingly enough, Gwen Ifill’s. When I heard the news about the PBS newswoman, I sobbed for twenty minutes, and I’m not even sure why.

Maybe it was because the electoral process often missed Gwen Ifill’s sagacity as she, mostly quietly, fought the cancer. Surely, it’s because, at 61, she was younger than I. Maybe it was seeing how her death affected others. Pete Williams, reporting on MSNBC, could barely get the words out without choking. Or maybe it was her calm in rough seas.

What I have noticed is that people before the vote had different points of view. But it has NEVER come out so vigorously, post-election. Some folks in my circle got into a bit of a Facebook tussle over Donald Trump, which was largely about how his family seemed to monetize everything in the transition, from “as seen on 60 Minutes” bling to the greatagain.GOV website seeming to hawk Trump businesses, to a potential conflict if his adult kids were to get security clearance.

As this quote from Hot Air notes:

If Trump has real estate in the UAE and the Trump kids discover that there’s a developing terrorist threat there, and they decide to sell that property because of it, they’ve used secret national intelligence made available to them by their father to avoid a financial loss for the family. It’s as far from a blind trust as you can get: Instead of the managers of Trump’s wealth being completely independent of him, they’d be exploiting him to see things on the global financial landscape that they otherwise never would have known. It’ll be a “superhuman-sight trust,” not a blind trust.

And even if they’re scrupulous somehow about keeping business and government separate, just by pure chance they may end up selling assets or buying assets in a place that later coincidentally turns out to be strongly affected by some Trump administration policy. The public will assume corruption even if it’s not there, which will damage Trump. For the sake of his own credibility, he should stick with a blind trust.

Of course, the request for clearance “never happened,” I’m told; I suspect it was a trial balloon. And “Trump isn’t taking a salary” though he ought to. And “the Clinton stole the silverware.” And it all got rather testy after that. But in years past, who we and they voted for just would not have come up. And, for the most part, it didn’t matter; one didn’t think less well of the other.

People being disenfranchised saddens me as much as it angers me. There’s hate mail, and a lot worse out there. This is interesting: in the same month the movie Loving, about a white man and a black woman winning a Supreme Court case about getting married, is being released, SMU is flooded with fliers titled “Why White Women Shouldn’t Date Black Men.” So maybe I’m mourning.

I shan’t mention the white nationalist champion the Prez-elect picked as his chief strategist or the climate science denier who’s heading his EPA transition team or his anti-gay potential SCOTUS pick or Rudy Guiliani.

The only things that make me happy, and only mildly, seem to involve Vice President-elect Mike Pence. He’s dealing with his own email controversy, ironically. Lots of people are donating to Planned Parenthood in his name, which I love! He’s leading a transition that may in discord, which, in the short term, might not be too bad for the country.

My favorite Barack and Joe meme actually involved Michelle and Jill asking why was it always the guys? “Male patriarchy.”

So I’m in a major funk. Even doing Chuck Miller’s quiz thing didn’t help:
Year given: 1986
Age: 33
Now: 63
Relationship status: Living with someone
Now: Married
Living in: Albany
Now: Albany
Pets: None
Now: Two cats
Was I happy?: There were elements of happiness. I had my 33 1/3 party in July because. I still have a copy of the invitation somewhere in the attic. Work at FantaCo was interesting because I was working on a comic book.
Now: Well, you WOULD ask AFTER the election
Kids: None
Kids now: One

I know others in similar, or worse, situations, and I feel for them. Oh, and I attended my cousin’s funeral last week.

You know what ELSE it is? It’s information and the fact that I can no longer trust much of what I read, a real pain for a librarian.

When I saw that jazz man Mose Allison had died, I didn’t believe it, not because, at 89, he couldn’t have passed away, but because I was unfamiliar with the source. It wasn’t until I read it in the New York Times that I was satisfied it was true. This is exhausting over time.

This list of False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and/or Satirical ‘News’ Sources is useful, but occasionally there are really useful insights in some of them, especially on the satirical sites. And it may be that the problem is the failing media who cut their budgets. The word of the year is post-truth; this suggests to me we’ll NEVER be able to talk with each other. This makes me terribly sad.

But the one thing that gives me a modicum of hope is that a LOT of people seem really stirred up to engage in activism. As the Rev. William J. Barber II noted, A Dying Mule Always Kicks the Hardest. “Why Donald Trump’s election means ‘we must work together for a Third Reconstruction in America.'”

Listen to Mose Allison. Your Mind Is On Vacation and Monsters of the Id.

And from Sharon Jones, who ALSO died (dammit), Stranger to My Happiness and Retreat, which she did not.

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