For What It’s Worth

It’s been a busy weekend here in the Bay Area.

We weren’t part of the marches or the protests here, though. Had the one in Crissy Field not been cancelled by the Patriot Prayer group on Saturday, we most likely would have made our way through the Presidio to head down there. So instead we drove down to Half Moon Bay, stopped at the Main Street Grill for brunch, did a bit of shopping at the deli there, and then headed back. We spent the afternoon watching various episodes of Time Team and other things. As it happens, the PP guys’ plans fizzled spectacularly, ending up with an online chat and a pathetic appearance at Crissy Field after all (with the reporters and cameras outnumbering them). The rest of the city, on the other hand, turned it into a party and a love fest.

As for Sunday, we knew better than to head over to the East Bay. They’re a bit more hardcore when it comes to protests, and there’s always that small group of outsiders who stop by just to stir shit up and make the more peaceful protesters look bad. The mood is usually much more tense when there are protests there.

Meanwhile, we kept our eyes out for our friends down in Texas. One of A’s friends was actually not in Houston but elsewhere at a wedding, leaving her husband to hold the fort. They’re both doing okay last I heard. They’re on the outskirts of the city on higher ground. The city itself turned into its own Vienna with streets turning into creeks and rivers. Downtown Houston is quite nice, from what I remember of it, having visited there a few years ago when Worldcon was in San Antonio. It was hot as hell, but I really liked the city.

And during all that, The Fuckwit tweeted about Missouri, a book he really liked, that goddamn wall he’s so obsessed about, and hating NAFTA because Canada and Mexico are being mean to him. He may have tweeted about Houston at some point, but as far as I could tell, it was little more than ‘wow that doesn’t look good’ and went on to the next shiny object.

I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound, everybody look what’s going down.

Angry

I’m not going to sugarcoat it.  I’m not going to avoid talking about it.  Yes, I am still angry that the Fuckwit is pretty much our next President (barring any Hail Mary play by the Electoral College in the next few weeks — I’d love dearly for that to happen, to be honest).

Is Walk in Silence going to turn into yet another political wanking blog?  No.  I’ll still talk about music here.  That isn’t going away.  Same with my writing blog.  But I’ve decided I’m going to…loosen the rules here a bit.

As a child of the 80s, I was well aware of the Reagan and Bush I years.  I understood what the GOP tried to do not only to the Democrats but to pretty much anyone who didn’t toe the company line.  I saw how conservatives tanked the economy.  Hell, I even saw how Thatcher ruined the UK.  Granted, I was a teenager and didn’t really have much idea what to do in response, and I lived in a stable household and made do without a lot of extravagant things (because that’s what you do when you’re a good Roman Catholic American — starving kids in China and all that).  I found my solace in college radio.  The rebelliousness of its sound was enough to validate my irritations.

Now I’m 45 and I’m trying to figure out how the hell to combat anything the Fuckwit and Shithead Jr (his veep, natch) will try to do to curtail the standards of life for those who aren’t White, Hetero, and Rich.  And how to respond to the ‘oh, it was just a joke, we didn’t mean it’ gaslighting.

I mean, other than going onto Twitter and venting.

As much as I hate to use the phrase, I’m thinking of the long game.  I’m thinking not of what we can do now (not that I’m avoiding it — I know of countless other people who are already calling representatives and writing emails and letters and going on marches), but preparing what we can do if that fails.

In a weird way, I’m still somewhat inspired by college radio here.  I’d commented on Twitter a few days ago, in a rare lighthearted mood that day, that my approach was like alternative rock.  Think of it this way:  back in the 80s, college radio was considered weird and stupid and you were a weird outsider if you liked that sort of thing (and maybe even taunted or beat up because of it).  And ignorant conformists cannot handle the square peg.  But it sang to you, knew exactly what you were feeling and thinking at that time, and that was your own vindication, however small.  Then, in 1989, Love and Rockets’ “So Alive” hit the Billboard Top 5.  And then two years later, Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” hit the charts and HOLY SHIT did that change things.  Mainstream radio was never the same.

Point being — you may be that outsider.  You may be the one who feels disenfranchised by the bullies and the ignorant jackasses.  But you know who you are.  And in this day and age, you know there are others out there just like you, hurting but holding on through sheer stubborn will and self-preservation.

Focus on that.  Fight back.  Focus on remaining true to yourself, and fuck everyone else if they can’t handle that.  Feed on it.  Expand on it.  Be what and who you are, not what they want to make you.

And make that the mainstream.

 

 

[NOTE: Yes, I know calling those two names is petty. Give me that — it’s just me vocalizing just how much I detest the two men, and I’d rather not use c**t in my blog if I can help it. Furthermore, please do not try to argue with me that ‘it was a democratic vote, they won, get over it.’  Say that to all the people who couldn’t vote because of the GOP’s obvious system-gaming and voter suppression.  Say that to all the women who now fear that their health care is threatened.  Say that to the LGBT who feel threatened by Pence’s bigotry.  Say that to the Muslims and the Mexicans and the immigrants who now feel that their country’s leader and his growing cabinet don’t give two shits about them.  And then look at those who are reveling in the Fuckwit’s win and are now spraypainting swastikas, tearing off hijabs, beating people up, and telling others ‘go back home’ when they are home.  And then explain to me how that’s a fair system.]