Brent and I listen to a Flash Briefing in the morning when we are eating breakfast. It's basically a rundown of headlines about news stories happening right now. A little blurb about the story itself and then on to the next thing.
This morning as I listened to Alexa tell us about the latest news on the opioid epidemic, the battle with the FBI from the President, the cyclone in Tonga, the upcoming expected Russian interference in the 2018 elections, the destruction of Mosul, the Senate briefing that was going to happen to today on threats to the US from inside and out and...well at this point I thought, "It's like the background noise in the opening scenes in an apocalyptic movie." You know the ones, where the dad is driving the kids to school and you hear the faint voice on the radio describing two or three really bad things but nobody is really paying attention because the focus is on dad and the kids driving to school. It's not until about 15 minutes in to the movie when you see that the faint voice on the radio really was what you should be paying attention to because it's all going to shit RIGHT NOW.
It's crazy to me how much that feels like real life right now. There is so much going to shit RIGHT NOW. So much that people cannot possibly pay attention to all of it. I know I can't. And I know it's not even healthy for me to try. You could spend your entire day, week, month, life, just picking up the threads of the latest thing that is going to shit RIGHT NOW.
Now that doesn't mean that I'm not concerned about it all. I am. That doesn't mean that I'm not paying attention. I am. But it does mean that I know I am missing things. It does mean that I know that there are even worse things happening than I am even aware of. There are the political things that are happening right now that are going to affect the courts for the rest of my life, a a good chunk of C's as well. There are political things happening right now that are going to affect the environment for, well, possibly forever. The damage that could be done in the next few years could have irreversible effects. There are things being done right now that are driving wedges in to our society that might not be removed. Or at least will not be removed easily. How did people move past the 60s? I was too young to know. But that seems to be a pretty strongly divided time and we survived. Can we do it again?
I don't know. I do know that the past few years have made me change my mind about things and about people. But that always happens right? It just seems heightened right now. We are constantly changing our stances depending on new information. Or we should be at least. I never trust anyone who says they never change their minds. That's an idiot letting you know they are an idiot and you should just run away.
But I do know that it's been an eye opening experience living in these times. The warm cocoon of believing that deep down we are all pretty much the same has been unraveled a bit. I am frequently left doing that my face thing when I read posts by people and thinking, "Really? You really think that?" or "Really? You really don't see how offensive that is?" or "Really? You expect me to believe you didn't know that was offensive? Please..." It's amazing to me.
Last week my hometown newspaper published a SUPER racist cartoon. Like WWII propaganda level racism. And the editor of the paper tried to say they didn't view the cartoon that way, that really it could be viewed as...and then they interviewed the cartoonist who basically said, nope. It was exactly what those other people thought it was and I'm not even ashamed of that. It's an eye opening time we live in. People aren't even ashamed of things like that anymore.
We have a president and his entire administration that lies constantly and consistently. And right now you can just hold your "every politician lies" line because you know this is different. You really do. There is a difference between spinning a situation in your best light and lying about things that are easily verifiable and ridiculous to even lie about. Yet he does it and they back him up. Thousands of lies upon lies over the past few years. To the point where nobody even knows what is true anymore. And nobody seems to care. I cannot wrap my brain around why this is suddenly okay. Why people are willing to set aside their own moral compass for a faulty one that wouldn't even be able to find true north if Polaris was the only star in the sky.
I am an optimist by nature. I am happy by nature and by choice. I don't linger in misery. It's just not where my set point is. Even now, even while I have the drumbeat of this is all going to shit RIGHT NOW playing in the back of my head I still am a happy optimist. I can't be anything other than what I am. So what do I do?
So what do WE do?
Do we turn off the radio?
Do we turn up the radio?
Do we buy a bunker and start prepping?
I still don't know.
But here's my schedule for the rest of the day:
Write a blog about the troubled thoughts in my head (check)
Make a roast
Do the laundry
Hope for fiction inspiration while I iron
Hug my husband
Wonder why I don't eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, maybe because it's also Fat Tuesday and who needs that sort of reminder...
Listen to that voice on the radio, make the changes I can make, encourage kindness in others, remind you to vote this year and just keep going.
I think it's a decent day. It's the best I've got right now.
Keep being kind to others.
Keep your eyes open and keep listening.
Make the changes you can.
Encourage others to do the same.
And remember to vote this year.