I’ve been ready for a new title for this for a while. I still need help not being such as ass, as I believe we all do, but that’s not been what’s guided my media choices for a while… probably since the personal trauma of the spring, and certainly now in this zenith of white supremacist capitalist patriarchal fuckery . With continued homage to Anne Lamott and her “four great prayers,” (Help, Thanks, Wow, and Help Me Not Be Such an Ass), I am prepared to offer a fifth: “Help Me Get These Boots On.”
When Carrie Fisher died, a person you might want to get into named Anne Thériault wrote a series of heartfelt tweets about it that became a gorgeous thing for The Establishment: “Leia Organa is the Hero We Need Right Now.” It makes a lot of solid points about how awesome Leia was in the first place and then became as General Organa, but it’s the last line that I love and cannot say out loud without crying:
I hope we can all find a way to be General Organa, for ourselves and each other. May we all be able to get up every day and, in spite of our pain and loss and fear, put on our boots and our earth-tone vests and plan to destroy the Empire.
And that’s what I am reading and watching for: whatever can help me get these boots on. I’m pretty sure you need my help; I am basing this on the fact that I so badly need YOUR help. So I’ll be sharing what helps me, and I hope you’ll share what’s helped you. And here we go.
First: I need at least some things wherein really smart people tell me how bad things are, and why that’s no damn reason to give up. Here some of that:
In Jacobin, “The Specter of Democracy: A recent New Yorker cartoon is proof that elite liberals still harbor contempt for mass democracy.” That elite liberalism lives in me, and I need to read things like this to notice and work against it.
In n+1, Corey Robin on “The Politics Trump Makes.” This is SO interesting, as it pulls on Stephen Skowronek’s study of the presidency as a cyclical institution, grounded in regime. And gives us the fun of considering Pmurt* as analogous to Jimmy Carter!
In Viewpoint, “White Purity” by Asad Haider. This is just excellent, and appropriately scathing. I can’t manage to pick a section because it’s ALL SO GOOD. Go get your brain blown up a little.
In the LA Review of Books, “America, America” by Jonathan Kirschner. Alarming and critical but also delightfully funny, like this on Rick Rubin and the absurdity of modern neoliberal interpretations of Adam Smith: “Handed the title “Chairman of the Executive Committee” (a position the responsibilities for which the Wall Street Journal could not quite ascertain), Rubin was paid over $125 million for his efforts — and he must have been worth every penny, or the free market would never have so compensated him.” HA!
Second: I also need what Lin-Manuel Miranda, whose Twitter-self is relentlessly, sweetly, POSITIVE AS FUCK, talks about as “dessert”: I think it’s important to eat your vegetables and I think it’s important to eat your dessert. By which I mean, if you go down the wormhole with reading the worst news all the time, you’re not going to be of any use to anyone. I think that’s for anyone on Twitter regardless of your [politics]. I try to stay as up-to-date on what’s going on in the world as possible and yet provide an oasis and positivity on Twitter. I can’t control the world, but I can control what I put into the world, so I try to have my timeline be a pretty bright spot for folks who may be fighting great fights elsewhere. Stay informed, but go read a very funny tweet or go read the AV Club — whatever your version of dessert is — but you need to do both.
So I also need dessert, and this week the Queer Dance Party outside Mike Pence’s house was just life-giving. Pictures aren’t enough: go here and watch all the videos (if you only have one minute, the two at the top of this are my favorite. Make sure sound is on!)
So that’s it for now. I’m happy to be sharing things with y’all again, and I can’t wait to be shared with. We are all we’ve got, we are the ones we’ve been waiting for, and fuck the Empire.
*I first saw “Pmurt” via Roxane Gay. I find I cannot voluntarily type his name unless quoting, and I love how this looks like a fart sounds.
and ps here’s me-plus at the Asheville march. I think we’re very cute together.