Worth Reading — 11.30.16

A random collection of articles, blog posts, books, and other things I think are worth sharing.

Zen Habits: The Case Against Buying Christmas Presents (This is why I come to hate Christmas: the month-long frenzy of “must do” duties and activities, the excess (food and gifts), the senselessness of spending a small fortune to “prove” you love someone, the fact that none of us need any of this stuff, and the clutter of more stuff to take care of.)

Sports Illustrated: Interstate Killer

Broadly: Living with My Mother’s Mental Illness (I had a few friends when I was growing up that had chaotic, frightening homes/parents like this. I always felt sorry for them and fearful for their future — how do you overcome a “foundation” like this?).

Fame 10: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About “Rosanne” (I really didn’t know these things…)

Discover magazine: Scientists Figure Out Why Whales Like to Jump Out of the Water

Just Write 147 ~ What is there to say?

JW 1 larger

I just haven’t wanted to talk. To anyone. About anything. Because I just couldn’t.

Because a misogynistic, racist, tax- and draft-dodging, selfish millionaire who brags about sexually assaulting women and mocks disabled people was promoted to the highest office in our country.

FML.

F. M. L.

For the first few days post election, when I wasn’t at work, I wore a hoodie—hood up—and refused to make eye-contact with anyone I didn’t know for sure was on my side. It was the first, and probably the last time, in my life when I wished I could wear a burka so nobody could look at me and I wouldn’t have to look at anyone.

I took Facebook off my phone and turned my profile photo to a black square. I stopped writing anything anywhere because why? What was there really to say? What was the point?  People believe what they want to believe. When it makes no sense at all.

The night of the election, when it was clear that human decency lost, I couldn’t sleep (and I haven’t slept well since, honestly), so at 4 a.m., I put on my hoodie and sneakers and went for a walk. I didn’t wear my reflective vest or jacket because I just didn’t give a shit anymore. Don’t mistake that for being suicidal. I wasn’t contemplating jumping in front of a car, but I just didn’t care if anyone did hit me because then I wouldn’t have to deal with any of this shit anymore, you know?

Maybe you don’t. And, maybe I’m doing a poor job of explaining how one can be not suicidal and yet not really care to live in this fucked up world anymore, but…this is the gray area I’ve been living in since Nov. 8.

Dismayed. Disgusted. Angry. Sad.

Back when I worked at the newspaper, in one of the many rounds of layoffs, editing Letters to the Editor was foisted onto my plate. It made me hate my life and my job. I dreaded reading those letters and fixing the grammar and spelling of people who I thought should have their letters appear just as stupidly as they had written them. I made dumb people look smarter and I resented it.

In editing Letters to the Editor, I learned that some people are truly rotten inside. It was a terrifying glimpse into the scariest parts of humanity, but I comforted myself with the fact that they were the minority. They had to be. Right?

Wrong. So says the election of 2016 when hatred and fear was used so effectively by a man who lives in a golden castle to pull off his biggest con yet, tricking the very people he intends to screw over. (Remember, he loves stupid people). Into thinking that he could help them. That he would help them. That he knows anything about running a government or a Democracy.

The truth, evidence, actual proof, does not matter to these people. So, really, what is there to say?

____________________________

About Just Write: Just Write is my adaptation of free writing, a technique in which a person writes continuously and quickly without little regard for spelling, grammar, or topic. It helps writers overcome blocks of apathy and explore everything from meaningful topics to mundane observations with the same effort and without the pressure of crafting perfect prose. I just start writing.

“What ends up revealing itself when free writing is that everything has meaning. That is a magnificent gift of writing. If we write from a free heart-gut place, our souls start speaking.”