What the fucking fuck May 26, 2017 9:47 AM   Subscribe

In the interest of not cluttering up the massive political thread with expressions of disbelief, let's have a Metatalk thread about how unbelievable all this shit is.

Did I fall down a rabbit hole? Did I step through a looking glass? Did I wake on on Bizarro World? I am nearing full-on dissociation from reality. I'm only 90% I've been awake and not dreaming over the past two weeks.
posted by bq to MetaFilter-Related at 9:47 AM (362 comments total) 60 users marked this as a favorite

Rabbit hole. Ok, mods, go ahead and close this up.
posted by Segundus at 9:49 AM on May 26 [2 favorites]


SERIOUSLY PEOPLE
posted by bq at 9:52 AM on May 26 [2 favorites]


Boy howdy do I feel you. To the extent that my first instinct was "eh, this is kinda a weird MetaTalk" and my second instinct was "yeah well but *gestures around*" and to an extent it might be better to just have a collective wtf over here now and then.

(And for the avoidance of doubt, I am taking your references to dissociation as pointed commentary for effect, but if anybody is feeling like they're genuinely struggling with dealing with stuff please reach out and talk to someone. As always we keep a list of mental health resources on the There Is Help page on the wiki.)
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:52 AM on May 26 [76 favorites]


Right now, I'm not 100% sure that I exist.
posted by jonmc at 9:58 AM on May 26 [27 favorites]


Speaking of what the fuck, https://whatthefuckjusthappenedtoday.com/ is handy for keeping up with the news.
posted by exogenous at 10:05 AM on May 26 [14 favorites]


Yes. Honestly I have been not entirely sure that I didn't fall into a coma on the night of Nov 7 and have been having an awful dream ever since. I have been alternating anger, despair, and headshaking WTFness where I can almost appreciate the humor in how insane the situation is but then I remember all the people who will lose their right to education, healthcare, and their lives and I'm right back at anger again.

I wish I could just live in haha WTF land all the time, it's way more comfortable, but that's for entitled white people and I'm trying really hard to not be that.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 10:07 AM on May 26 [16 favorites]


I'm pretty sure the timestreams have become unstable. Just a couple days ago I slipped from a universe where the dog got a brown leather collar as a present to one where the collar was black. It's very unsettling.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 10:10 AM on May 26 [25 favorites]


yeah well but *gestures around*

I have so many texts on my phone and tweets and comment threads in my secret FB groups that are just [GESTURES WILDLY]. It's comforting - horrible, but comforting - to know that this is basically an international language of bewilderment.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:14 AM on May 26 [14 favorites]


guys, what if we're all just living in a computer simulation like the matrix, and somebody just spilled a 64oz pepsi on the motherboard

ok back to screaming internally forever, thx for this thread
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:16 AM on May 26 [21 favorites]




Real life shenanigans have given me very little time in the past couple of weeks to follow all the stupid shit that Trump does/has done/will do. It's good in that I'm not getting a steady diet of said stupid shit, but it's bad in that the shenanigans in question are straining my already stretched nerves.

So yeah. I hate Trump, I hate all of it, I want it to stop.
posted by cooker girl at 10:22 AM on May 26 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I've had to pause the political threads because they erode my self-control and I end up spiraling down the WTF drain for hours, which I can't afford to do given that I'm supposed to be writing a book at the moment. I'm reminded of Harlan Ellison's comment that somewhere around 1978 or 1979 reality and fantasy switched places, and we've been living in a made-up world ever since. All it took was for one sufficiently bold, insane individual to dream their horrifying dreams out loud, and the world accommodatingly reshaped itself in their image. When the stars are right...

So here we are, such that "the workaday events that command our attention are so big, so fantastic, so improbable that no one who isn't walking the parapet of madness can cope with what's coming down"--true enough words in the face of the seriously bad craziness of the times when they were written, but a thousand times more true now. Take care of yourselves, and remember that the vivid sense of the wrongness and unreality of what's going on is a paradoxical, but in this case reliable, indicator of your own residual sanity.
posted by informavore at 10:24 AM on May 26 [22 favorites]


Pity the "Hide US Politics Posts" feature doesn't work on MetaTalk too.

I needed to go run some errands anyway.
posted by kimberussell at 10:25 AM on May 26 [4 favorites]


I am so cannot even I cannot even.

I was *seriously* researching the specifics of how to move from the US to Germany this morning.

With a family of 5.

I am so, so fucking angry.
posted by odinsdream at 10:27 AM on May 26 [27 favorites]


Yesterday on public radio I heard that fucknugget's new budget included a line item to round up wild horse herds on western public lands and sell them to foreign slaughterhouses in order to both save and make money.

It was a small thing. Really. There's just EVERYTHING that we're hearing right now, and there's so much heartache for the people that are so seriously going to be affected by everything going on, including loss of life, and I've been so mad and sad about that. And that's so much worse. But as I kept driving a Ray Lamontagne song line, "all the wild horses tethered with tears in their eyes," kept wheeling around my head. And. . . well, something about that small tidbit just sent me into a huge screaming fit into my car - punching the steering wheel, yelling, full on rage that was actually kind of violent and that turned into full on banshee wail weeping. It shocked me to my core. Where the hell did that come from?! How? But I felt so much pain and horror and despair at that moment I just couldn't deal with it.

Then I recognized the pain in my chest, which I haven't felt in more than a decade - it was the pain of a seriously broken heart, which is just so much "I can't believe this is happening." Everything that's happened in the last few months led up to that moment, I think, and even today it still hurts very badly. I've been working really hard and taking action and volunteering and just fighting and somehow . . . it was a moment of true despair and bewilderment and disbelief with all of the WTF and everything else coming together. I joke about screaming internally too but that was what was really happening.

Anyway. I let myself cry for awhile. It's good to let it out. And then I went into the house and used my fidget cube because I have severe phone anxiety and it helps while I called my representatives yet again.
posted by barchan at 10:31 AM on May 26 [124 favorites]


I'm sorry. Just because something's not my thing doesn't mean I should shit on it. Venting helps others. I'm sorry I posted that. I just ... HATE it all. And it's not you guys, it's them. Ugh. Hate.

But I really am going outside now.
posted by kimberussell at 10:34 AM on May 26 [14 favorites]


The worst for me is the disconnection between the informed (if freaked-out) discussions about Trump I have on Metafilter and the indifference I run into with my IRL friends (all good liberals and Democrats). Earlier this year, I approached them to see how they were participating in the resistance against One of them, who lives in the People's Republic of Cambridge, seriously told me that he'd start getting politically active with protests, etc., once Trump started suspending civil rights AS THOUGH THAT DIDN'T START STRAIGHT OUT OF THE GATE.

I'm keeping open the lines of communication with them, but they're only slightly more responsive than my spineless GOP senator. In the meantime, Metafilter provides me with a barometer of unbelievable all this shit is.
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:40 AM on May 26 [19 favorites]


Guys no, it's ok. Everyone relax.
posted by phunniemee at 10:57 AM on May 26 [3 favorites]


Thank you for posting this. I've been feeling more and more like I'm disassociated from my life, to the point that I was starting to wonder what was wrong with me...and then I read this thread, and realized I can trace that feeling back to the election (which feels so, so very long ago, but really wasn't that long at all) which is when I started paying attention to the news on a daily basis again.
posted by davejay at 11:22 AM on May 26 [10 favorites]


It has been extra surreal because I moved across the country at the end of September, which was a looooong long term goal of mine. And then things got shitty for a while, and now things in my personal life are really super great, but the rest of the world is in shambles. I feel like I accidentally made a deal with the devil or did some sort of shitty Gift of the Magi-esque trade. I have everything I ever wanted, at the detriment of everyone else! I donate and contact politicians and I rail on Facebook and even while I sit here smoking my legal weed in the most beautiful place, I am just so sad and tired.
posted by masquesoporfavor at 11:27 AM on May 26 [14 favorites]


During the Bush administration, I remember being very angry and feeling helpless. But deep down, I knew the country could weather him. We could get through the Cheney Presidency and Bush's incompetence and in a short number of years we would have the opportunity to replace them with someone sane who could put an end to racist wars and invasions of our civil rights, and and push through policy changes for true equality that would help, rather than screw over large segments of the population. Also, who wouldn't make it harder for the poor and middle class to survive and thrive.

We got through Nixon. We got through the worst of Reagan. We got past Gingrich's Congress. We got through Bush / Cheney. Politics is short term, but keeping sane in the midst of chaos means taking the long view. A 'this too shall pass' perspective. Tyrants and despots lose, eventually. Empires crumble. Our goals were delayed, but never abandoned.

I don't feel that way now.

I think the President is an opportunist who has surrounded himself with anarchists, intent on dismantling the Federal government, letting poor people die off and eliminating any advancements in human rights that women and minorities have achieved in the last few decades. Like most Republican politicians, he seems to think we're stupid sheep who will swallow any lie. He's a narcissist who cares more about his own ego than the good of the country. If we woke up tomorrow morning to find out that Trump had say, nuked North Korea out of spite, would anyone here be surprised? Shocked, perhaps. But not surprised. It would be in character. That scares the shit out of me.

I'm re-reading David McCullough's Truman. He examines in detail the lead up to America using atomic weapons on Japan. How some arguments for and against reached Truman's desk and some probably didn't. The ambiguity and worry and ethical concerns, and how that all fell on Truman's shoulders. And whether Truman considered them. Trump ain't Truman. Would any of those concerns even occur to him if he were in a similar situation?

He deliberately sows chaos. I think it's in his nature. He seems to have difficulty understanding why that trait made him a good troll, but a terrible leader. He doesn't seem to understand that's one of the biggest reasons he keeps failing and doesn't receive the respect he feels he's due. But the sane half of this country knows the value of having stability in their lives. We want financial security. We want to be healthy. We don't want to return to the bad old days when we had to worry that the world might end in hellfire at any moment. Instead, we seem to have been forcibly sent on the Voyage of the Damned by the other half. And that's not okay.

I worry that we won't be able to get past this disaster as a nation. That our leaders will learn all the wrong lessons from what is happening now and as a country we will simply be unable to recover. And the suffering and pain that so many groups of people are going to go through as a result is pretty damned horrifying. I worry about womens' right to choose, the rights of racial minorities not to be slaughtered by the police that are supposed to protect them and their communities, the fate of gay marriage and trans rights.

I'm not hopeful.
posted by zarq at 11:29 AM on May 26 [76 favorites]


Oooh boy. Do I feel this! I never really put it to myself that way but i do actually now get all those jokes about being in an alternative timeline. It has felt, to this Canadian, that somewhere around Trump being elected the entire world has changed for me. It ... How many sentences do you start off talking about Trump and end up just.... speechless?

My heart breaks for all of you and as someone who experiences dissociation on a daily basis I'd like to say the basic technique when feeling like the entire world has been replaced is to take a deep breath and then name 5 things you see, hear, taste, feel, smell. Not sure if it works for dissociation caused by an entire political system on the verge of collapse and evil everywhere but it can't hurt.

And as an abuse survivor with many years of gaslighting I'd recommend putting up a sticky note that says THEY ARE GASLIGHTING ME AND I REFUSE TO DENY THE TRUTH can be a handy way to add low back ground affirmation when you feel like it has to be you..no one could do this on purpose...and thus it must be you...
posted by kanata at 11:34 AM on May 26 [32 favorites]


I had major surgery a few days after the inauguration so my theory is that I never woke up.
posted by AFABulous at 11:35 AM on May 26 [37 favorites]


Yesterday I reposted Berkeley Breathed's [hilariously but unfortunately fake] copyright takedown notice from Trump lawyers, thinking it was real. A friend commented that while everything fit, the signature was fake, meaning the whole thing was a joke.

Keep in mind, this is a letter that had "we will have your **** in a sling by lunch" that we thought was real. Also, we were both sad it was fake. Don't even know where to begin with those reactions.

Also I have been laughing with odd abandon ever since Macron pulled dominance displays on Trump. Why am I laughing at presidential handshakes. What is this world in which the performance of a handshake between two white men has gained such significance.

Mostly though I just hope y'all Americans in the States make it through this. It's so damned sad. Seriously, take care. Brighter side is everyone I know is fighting the good fight.
posted by fraula at 11:36 AM on May 26 [13 favorites]


Is it possible to have a jacob's ladder inside of a jacob's ladder? An occurrence at jacob's fucked up bridge?

That would be roughly how I feel right now.
posted by tocts at 11:38 AM on May 26 [8 favorites]


I've moved firmly into the "survival" mode of operating. I feel no hope, none at all. I mean, yeah, go vote ya'll. That's fucking lovely. I'm going to try and keep as many of my friends alive as I can, that's my work now.
posted by odinsdream at 11:38 AM on May 26 [14 favorites]


Did I fall down a rabbit hole? Did I step through a looking glass? Did I wake on on Bizarro World?

No.

Millions of people voted for this. MILLIONS. While not quite a sheer majority (65 MILLION SAID NO WAY MOTHERFUCKERS), the particular institution of American electoral college ensured we're arguing over whether science is real.

This is reality and the sooner people wake up and realize that 25% of the voting public is gleefully driving the country into a short storm, with the widows down and foot on the gas pedal, and oh shit we're so fucked.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:44 AM on May 26 [30 favorites]


Oh thank god. Thank you for this thread. Oh thank god for this on the grey where I can hope not to be silenced all my life waaaa etc
posted by infini at 11:46 AM on May 26 [11 favorites]


Don't mistake exhaustion and paralysis for indifference, especially amongst targeted groups. All of the trans people I know are barely hanging on. I understand the impulse to shout DO SOMETHING! but some people can't eat or sleep, much less protest. I am doing what I can in my local community; some of it visible, some of it not. Supporting your friends, especially those from targeted groups, is also #resistance.

Take your LGBTQ friend out for lunch and listen with empathy. If you don't have a LGBTQ friend (that you know of), kick some dollars to the local center. If you don't have a local center, here are a list of organizations to donate to.
posted by AFABulous at 11:48 AM on May 26 [40 favorites]


I'm going home early today. I have to get the fuck out of here. I'm in the middle of trying to get an NIH grant out, my budget's been cut in half and everyone keeps trying to take another fucking 5%. I don't have 5%. I have -50%. Then all of this shit with people behaving poorly. My entire life has been dedicated to ethics. Research, clinical and Jewish ethics. Not one thing right now is behaving ethically except my dog and it is driving me right over the edge.

I'm truly having a rough time and I'm going to spend this weekend alternating between grantwriting and self care because I have one last gay nerve left and I don't drink.
posted by Sophie1 at 11:48 AM on May 26 [53 favorites]


And I just want to give all of you a big hug because while everyone needs one, every Mefite living in orange country needs it bigger and squeezier right now.

EU civil servants I know just can't keep their jaws closed - this past week, starting with the damn orb, has been exhausting.
posted by infini at 11:49 AM on May 26 [5 favorites]


Real life shenanigans have given me very little time in the past couple of weeks to follow all the stupid shit that Trump does/has done/will do. It's good in that I'm not getting a steady diet of said stupid shit, but it's bad in that the shenanigans in question are straining my already stretched nerves.

This has been me too. however, this was also my state of being for the past 8 years.

The biggest reason that I'm not screaming is that I am numb and punch-drunk and have been for a long time.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:50 AM on May 26 [5 favorites]


We're all swimming in that fuckpin's awful id now.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:54 AM on May 26 [4 favorites]


You guys are excellent company. I have good & bad days, and days where I'm so defeated and pessimistic about why in the fuck is it that the good people ALWAYS have to clean up the shitpiles the bad people start??? WHY?

I've been taking more time to sit with & pet the dogs, feeling their fur, and being amazed at how utterly oblivious they are to Trump & the cesspool of civilization wrecking. I always feel better after that. Because I guess in the end all our days are numbered, and maybe we should appreciate NOW a little more each day.

And then I circle back to the I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE HAVE TO BE SO GODDAMN MEAN
posted by yoga at 11:56 AM on May 26 [32 favorites]


is this about Far Cry 5
posted by beerperson at 11:56 AM on May 26 [17 favorites]


I tell you, getting a job where all I do is talk, think and write about federal government policies sounded a lot smarter before Washington, D.C. went full crazytown. Now it's just....well, the MeFi politics thread is where I go for some sanity. What in God's name is happening to us.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:57 AM on May 26 [17 favorites]


And it's not just Mefians; I have a dear friend who confessed finally that she has been depressed since Election Night and still hasn't gotten over it. Not a Mefian. Just an ordinary citizen who is fed up and thinks our current administration is f'ed up.
posted by Lynsey at 11:57 AM on May 26 [4 favorites]


Maybe we should follow the holiday refuge offering with summer sanctuary? If you can take off time and can drive for a bit but don't want to pay any money for a hotel or hostel, stay with some MeFites somewhere -- get out of town, take some time off. Or we can set up regional camping trips to make the most of weekends. Or both! So I'll pitch New Mexico: it's still pretty nice, weather-wise, but the spring wind is finally kicking up, so camping might not be as pleasant as sleeping indoors, but maybe it's not so bad in the upper portion of the state, where there are big trees to block the wind.

Also, the OP made me think of me drawing Pokemon: during the school year, my wife and I drew on napkins every school night for big little light thief, and most nights, I would say "this sure is a weird one!" then laugh at my self, because I realized I'd say that almost every night. But sure enough, the next night, I would again comment "this is sure an odd one!"
posted by filthy light thief at 11:57 AM on May 26 [18 favorites]


Thanks for this thread. We need venting threads.

I keep thinking of a bit in one of Le Guin's books (Four Ways to Forgiveness), one character talks about being in a terrible situation, but she was not angry because she could not be angry, because her anger would eat her alive. And she wanted to survive. Later, she let herself feel and process that anger.

That's how I feel in a smaller way, that I don't think about a lot of things I should be angry about, because my anger might eat me up till nothing is left. And I want to stay alive.

But then you risk becoming numb and helpless.

It is hard to find that middle path between those two, every single day.
posted by emjaybee at 11:57 AM on May 26 [27 favorites]


I know that I find myself making posts about topics that will distract me from thinking about all the horrible shit that is happening. I'm posting about video games, movie trailers, things like that. Things that interest me.

And sure, discussions about the current political climate are going to creep into those places from time to time. But for the most part, it's a way for me to deal with it all. So that's what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to post about things that make me happy.
posted by Fizz at 11:58 AM on May 26 [4 favorites]


And it's not just the US; I've developed deeper empathy for the Brexit bystanders and Turkey and Australia & all the other places where there is seemingly no shortage of mean people yanking the not mean people around with their shit.
posted by yoga at 11:58 AM on May 26 [7 favorites]


What the fucking fuck is even going on?

The truth doesn't matter, multi-generational US commitments don't matter, compassion is a weakness, treating others with dignity is beneath contempt. And people are going to trash HRC online tonight for wanting to be all in it.

(also with Sophie1 in the non drinking brigade sitting around feeling my feelings)
posted by shothotbot at 11:58 AM on May 26 [7 favorites]


welcome to the 60s, guys

1) yes, this is pretty much what it was like
2) they never really ended, they just got dormant for awhile

something is happening but you don't know what it is ...
posted by pyramid termite at 11:59 AM on May 26 [32 favorites]


America friends (and all friends), I have nothing useful to present you but my strong thoughts, my good hopes, my dim, ignorant reflection of your real frustrations and tears. It is of no use to you, and that is also frustrating. So I say it, perhaps only to hear it myself: courage, dear hearts. And hope of relief from cares, and ... one day: even joy, the kind that hate and stupidity cannot comprehend :'-(
posted by the quidnunc kid at 11:59 AM on May 26 [44 favorites]


Instead of dissociation and derealization, my experience has been the opposite. As a person with crippling lifelong neuroses characterized by paranoia, pessimism and anxiety, the world of the last 6 months is more solid and real than any other, as it's the one that always whispered at me just behind the veil. The difference now is that instead of just me living in it and you having to hear me rant about how it's coming any day now, you all have to live in my mental illness too. Sorry about that, everybody. Let's try not to die.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:00 PM on May 26 [49 favorites]


Oh man. I saw a photo of myself recently. I was sitting at my dining room table, smiling my face off, and voting for Hillary Clinton (thanks, Oregon vote-by-mail!) And I realized I have not been that happy since. Not once. Because my heart is continually breaking for everyone, especially those who have it a lot worse than me.
posted by WordCannon at 12:01 PM on May 26 [38 favorites]


Video games and MetaTalk cocktail hours have been a salvation for me. MetaFilter in general. So thanks to everyone here. The mods, the people who post and comment, even those who lurk. Thanks for being a community that I can feel good about being a part of.
posted by Fizz at 12:04 PM on May 26 [13 favorites]


I have no mouth, but I must scream.

Actually, I do have a mouth, so I must stuff it full of delicious, delicious shit in a pointless attempt to fill the emptiness inside. But there is no end to the emptiness, no end to the endlessness, just an echo of a memory of a self somewhere out in the darkness, just an echo, so I must drink. Oh, yes, I must motherfucking drink. And there are pills, of course. Ask your doctor if oblivion is right for you. Can't give my blood anymore, holy shit, can you imagine some poor asshole getting a bag of my blood? They'd be out of their god damned mind for weeks, for years. But maybe they should be, maybe they'd fucking welcome it. Drink from it, all of you. This is the blood of the tesseract, which is poured out in remembrance of The Real. Rest in peace, Reality. No, I take that back. Fuck you, Reality. You always were a selfish git.

*cough, cough*

Wait... Did I just say that out loud? Why is everyone staring at me? Did somebody just ask me something? Dear God, deliver me from all-hands meetings.

/rant

And now, we return you to my normal banal insights and witless banter, already in progress.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:07 PM on May 26 [33 favorites]


None of you should listen to the S-Town podcast that the wife and I recently picked up. It's really, really good. Like as good as Serial (and by the same folks I am 90% sure).

You should not listen to it.

I'm serious.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:08 PM on May 26 [9 favorites]


Yeah. I've just been low-level freaking out. And, it's weird, because aside from that, Mrs Lincoln, my life is pretty fucking awesome. It's just my country has been taken over by bad people because almost half of the voting population (that was able to vote) have been, IMO, bamboozled and SCOTUS gutted the VRA.

I look around and think, is this how the "OMG UN BLACK HELICOPTERS AND TROOPS IN THE SALT MINES UNDER DETROIT" conspiracy people in the 1990's felt? Except, well, there's objective evidence supporting my theories about the state of the government. I was quite annoyed to discover that neither of my Irish-descended grandparents had been born in Ireland, so I wasn't eligible for Irish citizenship just to have a potential exit route.

So, I hunker down and try not to notice that the USA's position in the world has been shattered because even if we get rid of the Kremlin wing of the Republican party or roll the clock back, this has exposed the fragility of our processes and the rest of the world will not forget that we elected that fool and attempted to burn the world down. Not for several generations, i suspect. And meanwhile, anything I personally do is kind of pointless - both of my Senators and my Congressional Rep are all fighting on the side of the angels, here. I occasionally call their offices and thank them and tell them to keep fighting the good fight. But I do have some money, so I've been trying to throw my money around and support groups that I think need it or that I think can do work in places I'm not where pressure will do good.

Also, my attempts to recycle and save the environment are nice, but nothing will change until about 200 people worldwide (the right 200 people - maybe as many as 500?) change their minds about the evidence of manmade climate change.

I grew up in the late 1970's and early 1980's, and until the Soviet Union started to break down I was pretty sure that I was going to die in a global thermonuclear war. And then I figured, hey, maybe I'll live past 30 and not have to die of radiation exposure. And now I'm back to thinking that we are all totally fucked. I am a pebble in an avalanche, and nothing I can do on an individual level will change things. Future generations will judge me and my cohort and rightly so. But, you know, in the mean time, I'm happily gay-married and that's a good thing but also the world is burning and facts don't matter and I'm on the other side of a funhouse mirror from the reality I knew.
posted by rmd1023 at 12:10 PM on May 26 [11 favorites]


Thanks for posting this, because I'd bet there are a lot of us who just don't want to clutter up the very excellent mega-threads with random thoughts about bizarro world, but want to express those thoughts somehow some time.
My 2 cents (adjusted for future inflation): I'm not one for any kind of conspiracy/cabal type theories, but I kinda suspect that this current power group actually believe that they will be hailed as heroes by a future generation because they plan to 1) actually destroy the world as we know it, bringing about massive depopulation and 2) be the ones to repopulate the planet with "the right kind of people".
They have all the wealth and security they will ever need, and the only thing really keeping them from enjoying it all without a worry in the world is the unfortunate fact that they share the space with 7 or so billion other people who are less deserving.
In their minds the US of A was at its greatest immediately after the last population diminishing cataclysm (the 2 world wars + spanish flu). we have the resources to rebuild the world, but too many of our own people to make the hard working ones come out ahead, so the obvious solution is let the lazy, the poor, the sick and the brown die, so the industrious can inherit what's left.
Deep down they believe that they are insulated from Zika, nuclear war, a depression, WWIII or whatever it is that will be the outcome of this race toward global catastrophie, so much so that the sooner it gets here the sooner they can reap the rewards.
Do I think they can pull it off ? -- not really, but the whole premise of this current bizarro world is so strange that I admit that it's more than a possibility.
I'm not quite ready to move to a bunker in eastern washington, but i'd also bet that those places will be harder and harder to come by as the the new amazon/FB/etc wealth starts to come to same conclusions.
Perhaps investing in bunker futures is the way to go...
posted by OHenryPacey at 12:11 PM on May 26 [7 favorites]


I put a link to this post in the current election thread. (We used to do that whenever there was a thread call-out. We don't seem to have many of those anymore.) People over there would probably appreciate knowing that bq has kindly given us a place to vent.

I'm not creating any of the massive political posts, but for those of you who are, this thread might be a nice link to include in the next one.
posted by zarq at 12:11 PM on May 26 [10 favorites]


Yesterday I reposted Berkeley Breathed's [hilariously but unfortunately fake] copyright takedown notice from Trump lawyers, thinking it was real. A friend commented that while everything fit, the signature was fake, meaning the whole thing was a joke.

This one really threw me for a loop too. I spent, seriously, a good half hour looking into the thing, overriding my initial instinct to immediately drop it into the thread. I know of at least one lawyer and legal blogger who believed it so much, he wrote a whole blog post on how awful it was. I saw a whole bunch of smart, really credulous people think it was real. And that's because it was entirely plausible. Like, so plausible, the letter would have been maybe the 5th most surprising news story of the day compared to stuff like GOP collusion with Russian military intelligence the President trashing on NATO and the guy who just assaulted a reporter getting elected. I was pretty horrified not that I believed it could have been real, but that things are so fucked that of course we believed it was real.

Things are so fucked that a flatly ridiculous photoshopped legal threat from the President was not only perfectly believable, it would have been almost trivial. The news comes so fast that sometimes I look back on something late at night and realize, yeah, actually, this is a really big deal; this would have been like a month-long story on its own in any normal universe.

And that's just for the big things that are fucked. It's hard enough to pay attention to stories about treason, so reporting on dozens of children being bombed to death in Syria barely registers. Given that, who has time to think about the plan to move student loans to the Treasury Department or what unqualified cronies are being installed in the Agricultural Department or, for that matter, what's happening in my statehouse, my city council, heck, with the homeless man around the corner?
posted by zachlipton at 12:13 PM on May 26 [12 favorites]


I never thought I'd be wondering (1) what my limit on living here is and (2) what my exit strategy is when I reach that limit. I've spent hours contemplating both questions and am no closer to an answer. I have two children, and I would not trade them for anything, but there are days when I wonder if I did them a disservice by bringing them to life in this country.

2) they never really ended, they just got dormant for awhile

This is the part that scares me the most. I'm coming to the belief that the only hope for containing white supremacy in this country is POCs finally outnumbering us. Even then it won't kill it, we'll just pretend to be an oppressed minority. Shit, we're doing it now.
posted by middleclasstool at 12:13 PM on May 26 [10 favorites]


I decided to take a break from everything and go weed the vegetable garden this afternoon and... it helped. Until it unexpectedly started to fucking pour. AGAIN. Go fuck yourself, weather.

So, here I am, back to tearing my hair out at all this fucking nonsense.
posted by lydhre at 12:17 PM on May 26 [2 favorites]


Thank you zarq, I came here because of your link in the mega thread. And thank you, bq for the outlet.
posted by yoga at 12:17 PM on May 26 [4 favorites]


POC's outnumbering us and being able to vote. It's the second half that'll be the rub, I fear.

The 60's never ended, and neither did the civil war. And the people trying to break up the Union are once again trying to elicit assistance from foreign governments and this time they found Russia. Or maybe Russia found them.

And damn the government of MA for making weed state-legal for recreational uses but not allowing anyone to actually legally sell it until some time next year probably at the earliest. If we're rerunning the 60's, may as well add the scent of reefer.
posted by rmd1023 at 12:18 PM on May 26 [3 favorites]


I am increasingly convinced we are computer simulations in SimUniverse and the bored player just selected every plague.
posted by prefpara at 12:19 PM on May 26 [5 favorites]


Did I wake on on Bizarro World?

This is my theory. I am pretty sure I took a space ride to Bizarro World as Election Day was ramping up, and now I have no idea how to get back to Normal World.

why yes this is my actual coping mechanism for how things have turned out, what do you mean it's not healthy
posted by phatkitten at 12:19 PM on May 26 [2 favorites]


I keep thinking, if only we'd voted #1 quidnunc kid...
posted by AFABulous at 12:23 PM on May 26 [74 favorites]


As a form is self care I have begun listing 3 things that I am grateful for before I go to bed every night. I actually bought a special notebook for this and I physically write them down. I really desperately feel the need to consciously remind myself that there are good things happening in my world. Sometimes it's really small things like sleeping on clean sheets. It seems to help.
That's how I'm coping with all this. That and upping my charitable donations when I can, and reminding myself that it's ok to unplug from the news when I need to do so. That's all I can manage right now. I don't know what else to do and I don't see things getting better any time soon.
posted by bookmammal at 12:25 PM on May 26 [3 favorites]


I have some questions:

You know how right after the election people who worked in senators' offices posted the most effective ways to be heard & the main one was phone calls and town halls?

I'm wondering, do the postcards or faxes have any effect at all or do they just go in the garbage?
posted by yoga at 12:27 PM on May 26 [2 favorites]


Yoga. They absolutely fucking work. Every Senator and Rep on our side (Al Franken, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, etc.) say they work. I have to believe them.
posted by Sophie1 at 12:29 PM on May 26 [9 favorites]


I have the relative luxury of living at a slight remove in Canada, but as bad as things have been since the election I'm pretty much living in a constant state of waiting for the moment when things get *really* bad, as though our society is a teacup that has been knocked off a table but hasn't hit the floor yet. To be fair to current events, though, I've more or less felt like this since I was in high school.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:30 PM on May 26 [3 favorites]


Maybe we should follow the holiday refuge offering with summer sanctuary? If you can take off time and can drive for a bit but don't want to pay any money for a hotel or hostel, stay with some MeFites somewhere -- get out of town, take some time off. Or we can set up regional camping trips to make the most of weekends. Or both!

If such a thing happens with upstate New York I'd be down.

I am also getting into the idea of picnics, and would be down with that in New York City proper.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:33 PM on May 26 [5 favorites]


Sharks, I'm seeking $20m for a 5% stake in my business, Snews. We put customers into a medically induced coma until the news gets better. Customers can choose from wake-up times:

[$] When Trump is no longer president.
[$$] When we get past the Mike Pence Handmaids Tale dystopia.
[$$$] The advent of Fully Automated Luxury Gay Space Communism.
posted by goHermGO at 12:34 PM on May 26 [49 favorites]


I have a dear friend who confessed finally that she has been depressed since Election Night and still hasn't gotten over it.

I had a horrible sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when Florida went to Trump and it hasn't gone away. Trying to live during the tenure of what is probably America's worst president--the only one to combine incompetence, cruelty, authoritarianism, instability, and prejudice in horrifying extremes--means being on guard all the time. Attacks--verbal and physical--on the press are incredibly disturbing, and the alternating silence and excuse-making from GOP leadership is frightening. It is way too easy to see how we go from here to outright fascism. But where we are right now--a stolen Supreme Court seat, an unstable president elected through propaganda, Russian influence, and FBI interference, a Cabinet comprised of fools and extremists--is already worse than I expected to see in my lifetime. That it follows eight years of scandal-free competence makes it even harder to bear. We were on our way to becoming a fairer, more compassionate society, and have turned in seven months toward increasing violence, hate, and inequity.

It's not too late, yet. We could turn things back around. But for the first time in my life, there's a real chance that the American experiment comes to an end. I can't really rest easy until we are out of immediate danger again.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 12:39 PM on May 26 [50 favorites]


You're very welcome, yoga!
posted by zarq at 12:40 PM on May 26 [2 favorites]


After ten years of moving around the country and desperately wanting to settle down, it is finally time for my husband and I to buy a house. We're in escrow, we'll close at the end of June. The house is amazing, perfect for us. We're so excited and happy.

... But also, we feel strange, like everything is teetering out of control, like the world is crumbling. The idea of a thirty year fixed interest rate makes me laugh.

I read this book about Russia. It wasn't a good book, but one detail stuck with me: it said that, before the communist revolution occurred, there was this atmosphere of impending doom. People were obsessed with the end of the world, like they knew things were catastrophically broken in their world and knew, at some deep level, that horrible changes we're going to occur. I have no idea if this book actually described Russia, but it sure as hell feels like an accurate description of us.

So, I'm spending my time obsessing over couches for the new house. I want something with kiln fired wood. I can't decide if I want one from joybird or Article. I thin I'll send a few hours looking through the choices again today. I'm so excited for the fabric swatches I ordered. Thinking about anything else hurts.
posted by meese at 12:43 PM on May 26 [15 favorites]


I think the President is an opportunist who has surrounded himself with anarchists

Noooo. I know what you mean by this, but no, the anarchists I know are intent on creating a just society that unites freedom and equality. They want to dissolve the concept and practice of hierarchy. And they despise Trump. Because Trump's cabinet is not comprised of anti-authoritarians; on the contrary, they want to burn down all the institutions that even remotely resemble support for a more equal society, and pare the government down to the slim core of simple executive authority. Whatever critiques one can raise about anarchism, please, I beg you, do not conflate it with what Trump and co. are doing. The anarchists that I count among my friends are really the only lifeline I have to any hope left for the country; that they not only resist but organize locally, helping their neighbors, getting potential deportees to safety, and just generally trying to build something resembling goodness in the rocky soil that Trump's authoritarianism has created.

My Icelandic friends have reminded me that I left the US some 18 years ago, and "boy I bet you're glad you don't live there now!" and sure, that's true. But my family still does. People I know and love still do. And I have to sit here from halfway across the Atlantic and watch them try their best to make something of a normal life in a country where "normal" is meaningless. It's genuinely heartbreaking.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 12:52 PM on May 26 [32 favorites]


Thanks for this thread, and to zarq for calling attention to it.

So at the beginning of 2016 I quit drinking, because I wasn't really doing it the way I wanted to. I've been pretty good about staying quit; only had a handful of backslides - election night was one of them. But around the middle of the year it was clear that booze wasn't the only problem and I started looking for mental health support.

So I started an SSRI in October, started talking to a therapist for a while and now see a psychiatrist periodically. It took a while to get the dosage figured out but I think it's in about the right spot now.

But I've been having these headaches. Since like September. It's like 60-70 percent of the time I have a headache; I wake up with a headache basically every day. For months. So my psychiatrist and I are talking about that, and he doesn't think it sounds like the medication is behind it, and tells me to see my primary care doc about it. So last week I wend to see the primary care doc, who sends me for an MRI - odds very very strong that it won't show anything unusual, and with most folks with my symptoms he wouldn't bother, but because of the weird malformations in my leg it makes sense to prove I'm normal rather than assuming it. So I got the MRI.

And when you're getting an MRI of your brain, even though you know the odds are extremely slim that it'll show anything weird, you start thinking about all sorts of crazy eventualities. Which isn't that fun, but it would explain the headaches at least. But then it came back totally normal. Like startlingly normal; I showed the radiologist's report to my wife (who is an MD) and her response was, "It is so perfect! Even your sinuses are clear!"

Which, great, brain is normal, but it's also frustrating and almost disappointing because my head still hurts.

And I don't know how that's related to politics other than general awfulness and the coincidental timing of me dealing with shit over the last few months, but it was the first thing I thought about when I read the thread title.

And then I just realized I forgot to wear a tie today.
posted by nickmark at 12:54 PM on May 26 [19 favorites]


I still can't wrap my brain around the concept of President Trump. It's like I went to bed on election night and while I was asleep someone travelled in time to the Cretaceous period and stepped on a butterfly or something. At the same time I hope he serves out his term because I definitely think that wannabe theocrat Pence would be even worse because he is enough of a politician to actually enact his regressive agenda.
posted by TedW at 12:57 PM on May 26 [6 favorites]


+1

quidnunc/quidnunc again 2020
posted by petebest at 1:06 PM on May 26 [11 favorites]


Thank you for this thread!
posted by bleep at 1:13 PM on May 26 [2 favorites]


"...Please state the nature of the temporal anomaly"
posted by clavdivs at 1:14 PM on May 26 [21 favorites]


Every now and then I like to "Hey, remember that time...?" like I'm a Family Guy character because it all seems so surreal but it happened.

Like "Remember that time everyone suddenly started quoting the Hamilton musical because they were convinced the electors were going to throw the election to Hillary for...some reason?" It sounds like something I made up in a fever dream, but nope, that went on for a few weeks.

It's mainly to reassure myself it all happened.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 1:25 PM on May 26 [4 favorites]


Nixon, Reagan, Bush 2. They did real harm. Nixon showed just how vile a politician could be. I think he really blew it for the idea that a politician could be a pretty decent person, on balance. Reagan started the de-regulation process, started the wholesale slaughter of unions, and his cowboy good-ol-boy shtick overlaid a certain level of charm that made people overlook just how much damage he was doing. Bush 1 is your basic born-to-wealth, entitled rich guy, who could have been truly evil and wasn't completely evil.

Many of us survived Bush 2 & Cheney, but the US was changed by them. It's ok now to be contemptuous of people below the median income level. It's ok to exploit them for financial gain, to deny fair wages, to deny basic health care and education. It's ok for greed to run everything, for money/ power to be the sole factor dominating US politics. Nobody's even hiding it. But an obscene number of people didn't survive Bush 2 & Cheney. Thousands of US and Allied soldiers lost their lives in a war that was fought based on outright lies. At least 125,000 Iraqi *civilians* were killed. The seeds of ISIS were sown and nourished. Don't give W and Dark Lord Dick a pass; Bush 2 & Cheney are straight-up war criminals and they gave us Citizens United, which is just hurting this country so much.

All that shit made Pres. Pants-On-Fire and Congress 115™ (sponsored by Koch Industries) possible. Every single day is another What-The-Fucking-Fuck day. Thank you all for being willing to take to the streets (some more) to keep Pres. Pants-On-Fire from being as damaging as Bush 2 & Cheney. Pres. Pants-On-Fire is a complete utter asshole with no integrity, lazy, not very bright, venal as fuck. Fucker has no self control, gets his advice from Nazi sympathizers and his kids, and is the terrifying Commander-in-Chief of the US Armed Forces, who have a vast weapons trove, nuclear and otherwise. I was terrified when he was elected due to the idiotic electoral college, and with a Republican Congress. Heartbroken that we had a better option and declined it because she has a vagina and a mail server. We need a full-on class war to reverse the massive screwing of the American people, to say nothing of the environmental rogering we're giving the planet.

We finally get a health care deal that's a massive improvement, and they want to get rid of it to give even more tax cuts to the very wealthy. And they're fucking proud of it. Proud of violent attacks on individuals, proud of gutting welfare, food stamps, education. Proud of prison profiteering.

I should add links for all this, but I'll just get so much more pissed off. Go give some money to the NYTimes.com, WaPo, LATimes, your local rag if they're half decent. Fox isn't going to run a story about America jumping the shark. The lying greedy jackasses who are running the show are going to keep spreading propaganda.

been depressed since Election Night and still hasn't gotten over it. That's me, too. I dip into the big POTUS threads but only a bit because it's so crazy-making. I value them because it's a place where people are seeking facts and solutions. I value the Resistance movements because they/ we aren't just sucking it up. I'm trying hard to avoid personal attacks on Potus45 because this isn't at all like how conservative racist assholes felt about Obama. By any objective standard, Pants-On-Fire is a crappy president.

One of the Worst Days in the US was the Fucking SCOTUS giving Bush 2 the presidency. We should have taken to the streets then, and we really have to do it now. Pres. Pants-On-Fire and Congress 115™ (sponsored by Monsanto) haven't made huge headway so far, but those motherfuckers are planning to steal everything, including what's nailed down.

deep breath. group hug. I hope we survive this shit.
posted by theora55 at 1:27 PM on May 26 [23 favorites]


nickmark, could the headaches be through the tense neck and back muscles which are stress related? I get headaches from bad posture on the couch with a heavy laptop and discovered, with the help of a massage therapist that it was the back and neck points that were causing this headache that wouldn't go away, not even with aspirin.
posted by infini at 1:31 PM on May 26 [2 favorites]


Watching the returns come in on election night was literally the same feeling I had watching the Twin Towers burn and fall , huddled in an office in Midtown Manhattan. We are so fucked. And we will be for a long time.

The Obama years tricked me into thinking the world was going to be a better place for my son, but I can't really hope for that now. Politics is broken. We have to work harder than ever to change our culture. Some things truly are undeniably better than when I was growing up: acceptance of LGBTQ people is a big one, and that has all happened because cultural change has pushed political change.

I'm looking at Black Lives Matter and other groups outside politics for what hope I can muster. I won't stop calling my politicians and voting, but I know nothing will come of it. Not until there's deeper cultural change striking at patriarchy and white supremacy.

My mode of therapy has been drawing a chicken every day.
posted by rikschell at 1:31 PM on May 26 [29 favorites]


Me too, to all of this. I keep trying to find moments of joy, to counter the darkest-timeline-ness of everything but like... I'm still working on getting over my mom dying and all the things I've left undone in the wake of that.. and that was five years ago. Now I'm frozen in inaction, and time is accelerating away from me while I sit, spinning my wheels and nothing gets any better.
And I'm a natural "well, on the bright side.." kind of optimist and this unrelenting stream of terrible is making it really, really hard to keep that light on inside me.
You know the movie Signs, where partway through the camera does a slow, tense push on the door under the stairs and it opens and there's Joaquin Phoenix, all O.O wild-eyed at the tv news and quivering with stress and panic? That's me, inside, all the time now.

Just... me too.
((hugs))
posted by ApathyGirl at 1:32 PM on May 26 [9 favorites]


Also, it drives me crazy when people say what we need is a class war. Perhaps you might want to investigate the last 100 years of Russian history???
posted by rikschell at 1:35 PM on May 26 [10 favorites]


Watching the returns come in on election night was literally the same feeling I had watching the Twin Towers burn and fall , huddled in an office in Midtown Manhattan.

I was in Montana on 9/11, but yeah, election night did feel like that. Like "oh shit, what's going to happen next?" I had a party ("party") and my guests left disgusted and depressed around 10 pm, before it'd been called. I was in disbelief so I stayed up until it was really and truly over, around 2 am. I remember waking up on November 9 thinking it couldn't possibly have happened.

9/11... 11/9... wake up, sheeple
posted by AFABulous at 1:37 PM on May 26 [6 favorites]


I'm so lucky that I work with a bunch of sympathetic, smart liberals. (In a kitchen! In Montana! All white dudes! What are the odds!?)

We just hired someone who said, I quote, "I don't think Trump's doing that bad of a job."

So that fucking sucks.
posted by Grandysaur at 1:40 PM on May 26 [4 favorites]


DOUBLE
posted by lalochezia at 1:42 PM on May 26 [8 favorites]


I fucking love this thread. I need it. I also love @NoraReed's infinite scream. And you guys.
posted by knownassociate at 1:48 PM on May 26 [6 favorites]


something is happening but you don't know what it is ...

For What It's Worth, looks like for all us Fortunate Sons the Strange Fruit of our American past is over ripening and bletting and into rotting, and after eating them I Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die. If They Throw A War (And Nobody Comes) this former Universal Soldier (I Was Only Nineteen) can sit it out and miss the Eve of Destruction. I've been to protest marches, but if I don't get Respect, I'm Ain't Marching Anymore.

We all know that a Change Is Gonna Come and Imagine what a change it will be, thanks to the 21st Century Schizoid Man, who can't even tell me what 2+2=? but I hope we can be, at least for each other (in Ohio and everywhere), be more than A Pawn In Their Game of that Master Of War, and not have to Find The Cost Of Freedom. War? All those who are Killing In The Name Of need to Give Peace A Chance, because The Times They Are A-Changing.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:59 PM on May 26 [16 favorites]


There is a PetSmart near me where I buy cat food and litter for my clowder. They have a section where there are cats for adoption in little condos. It was empty today. There have been times when it's periodically empty of adoptable cats since - you guessed it - November. The PetSmart clerks tell me they keep running out of cats!

I know if I didn't have my cats, I think I'd drop dead from stress and grief over the election and everything that has been happening since. I think a whole lot of people in my (indigo blue) area feel the same way: "hey, the world may be ending but at least I'll be purred at, snuggled with, and ordered around while it's happening."
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 2:08 PM on May 26 [39 favorites]


Or maybe there's a really hungry vampire in your neck of the woods with a chip in his head that won't permit him to kill humans.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:11 PM on May 26 [12 favorites]


could the headaches be through the tense neck and back muscles which are stress related?

That's the working hypothesis - stress and/or posture.
posted by nickmark at 2:15 PM on May 26 [2 favorites]


Also, it drives me crazy when people say what we need is a class war.

it drives me crazy too - we don't need a class war, we already have one and we're losing it
posted by pyramid termite at 2:16 PM on May 26 [27 favorites]


The last few months have been unmooring. Thank you for being such comforting and knowledgeable company. It helps to know that I am not alone in my concerns.
posted by MonkeyToes at 2:19 PM on May 26 [7 favorites]


It is remarkable how centering and sane making it's been to collectively get together with like minded citizens and scam at the top of our fucking lungs

I mean I sincerly called someone comrade during the AtT&T strike soildarity event which I was never expecting to do.
posted by The Whelk at 2:22 PM on May 26 [9 favorites]


Right now, I'm not 100% sure that I exist.

I'm not sure you exist either, that's my problem.

I've been feeling more and more like I'm disassociated from my life, to the point that I was starting to wonder what was wrong with me...

Before the election I thought that simulation and multiple universe theories were interesting exercises. Now it seems like the only rational explanation.
posted by bongo_x at 2:26 PM on May 26 [3 favorites]


the anarchists I know are intent on creating a just society that unites freedom and equality. They want to dissolve the concept and practice of hierarchy. And they despise Trump.

Truth. One of the interesting things about practical anarchism is that--despite the fact that I agree that things are fucking awful in a new and different way right now, for more people I care about than usual--a lot of the tactics for what to do remain similar under this administration and the last one. Help your neighbors. Comfort your friends. Dismantle oppressive power structures. Read books. Keep the pressure on. Question authority. Question capitalism. Create alternative support structures.

I've gotten a lot of personal self-care mileage out of supporting the food banks and the health clinics and the tech-savviness of the people in my communities. Pushing libraries as safe spaces and educating librarians about ways to do that sort of thing. Helping with morale. I was on a public access TV show talking about Disaster Capitalism yesterday and that was cathartic. To me it's always been a life-or-death battle, it's just the front lines are getting an awful lot closer to home.

Maybe we should follow the holiday refuge offering with summer sanctuary?

I live in a summer place that is a bicycle ride from a beach and has fast wifi where we never turn on the news. People are welcome to swing by.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 2:38 PM on May 26 [47 favorites]


What the fucking fuck for sure.

The last 4 months, but especially the last 2 weeks, have been a cycle of: headlines of something appalling, followed by opinions and predictions that this is the beginning of the end for trump, the republicans, the conservatives, etc., followed by nothing changing, followed by back to the beginning with something even worse. I feel like I'm trapped in the Bizarro World production of Waiting for Godot.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 2:47 PM on May 26 [6 favorites]


I never post on election threads but read every word and I just.

It started with brexit and just hasn't stopped. I haven't read a book in ages - this is my only hobby.

Only thing I can offer to the group is this recipe for a Bitter Elder - 2 measures campari, one measure gin, some elderflower cordial, some fresh lemon juice. Pour on ice, if you can be assed.
posted by mgrrl at 2:49 PM on May 26 [19 favorites]


With apologies to those not drinking
posted by mgrrl at 2:55 PM on May 26 [5 favorites]


I'm finding it emotionally painful to watch My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. It cheers me up to live, for a little while, where troubles are limited to friendship problems and monster attacks. Sure, you may be only one bugbear attack away from oblivion, but the problems can ultimately be resolved. Then I come back to the real world and the seemingly endless parade of human vileness. The real world has become a nightmare from which I will never awaken, not in my lifetime.
posted by SPrintF at 2:57 PM on May 26 [3 favorites]


I mean it's not just the crazy making unreality or rentlessness of it it's the feeling that none of it matters or will lead to anything. Nothing is real and anything is possible indeed.

Like one hand yes this is the obvious culmination of a lot of trends in American culture and polity and we've hit some precarious turning point it's just werid to be inside that moment where everything seems liminal and unreal and possible.
posted by The Whelk at 2:58 PM on May 26 [8 favorites]


Watching the returns come in on election night was literally the same feeling I had watching the Twin Towers burn and fall , huddled in an office in Midtown Manhattan.

I go to a weekly anxiety group at a place here in Manhattan that does a lot of individual and group therapy. After the election, my group therapist told me that the reaction they'd been seeing from clients was extremely similar to post-9/11; the crushing shock and ramped up geopolitical fear and unease.
posted by lalex at 2:59 PM on May 26 [7 favorites]


recipe for a Bitter Elder

All I need is a mirror.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:03 PM on May 26 [30 favorites]


But I really am going outside now.

I decided to take a break from everything and go weed the vegetable garden this afternoon and... it helped.

I live in a summer place that is a bicycle ride from a beach and has fast wifi where we never turn on the news.


Yes yes yes. Outside is good. Outside is essential. If you can, then yes, definitely, go outside and leave your screens behind for at least a while, as often as is possible.

Bonus, from personal experience: weight loss, fitter, better sleep (and at my age I'm discovering that myself and my peers agree that the two most important factors for having a good day are 1 - a good sleep the night before and 2 - a good poo), natural vitamin D boost, eyesight not destroyed so much by constant indoor screen time, posture not knackered so much by sitting hunched over a screen, banging a keyboard.

The only screen I usually take with me is a simple digital camera which has no Internet. If someone phones me then that's what message boxes are for; same with email. This is my fourth consecutive year with a goal of 1,500 miles minimum of walks and hikes, and am not letting the continual incidents of politicians here, in the US, or elsewhere - or the breathless 24/7 reporting and amplifying in all media - distract from that.

Also, nature sounds really cool if you just listen to it, rather than the blatherings of liars. Looks pretty, as well. Maybe if you can make nature and outside the rule and politics online the exception, rather than the other way around?
posted by Wordshore at 3:04 PM on May 26 [15 favorites]


Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane, thanks for the correction/clarification!
posted by zarq at 3:08 PM on May 26 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: Ask your doctor if oblivion is right for you.
posted by Oyéah at 3:08 PM on May 26 [22 favorites]


(But yes I was talking with someone recently how ...emotionally rewarding and stable making it was to be involved politically with like minded people, like minded people with PLANS and AGENDAS and TIME TABLES and and you're HELPING. Having purpose is a good feeling who knew.)
posted by The Whelk at 3:19 PM on May 26 [5 favorites]


It occurred to me the other day, awed by the massive effort MeFi has put in since the election, that this all might some day be recognised as a modern-day collective Klemperer Diaries Redux.

As M Gessen says, Rule #6: Remember the future.
posted by progosk at 3:24 PM on May 26 [6 favorites]


Having purpose is a good feeling

It's not that I don't have purpose. It's that I don't have the 1.21 gigawatts it would take it carry it out.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:25 PM on May 26 [7 favorites]


"I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!"
posted by ZipRibbons at 3:30 PM on May 26 [1 favorite]


I appreciate this thread and find it oddly comforting.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 3:30 PM on May 26 [6 favorites]


Well also as someone with no eependants, a comfortable net, good health and nothing else stopping me, I feel like I need to take up a larger role and responsibility cause I have the resources too.
posted by The Whelk at 3:30 PM on May 26 [7 favorites]


I was in the south in the middle to late fifties, and back to visit in 1965. The arguments over women even working, certainly race, certainly class considerations, the innate rightness of segregation, even violence, were horrific to me, and I took my relatives to task, even as a kid. To watch everything I worked for in terms of the environment, and political cause just go severely south, and to hear those same voices again with a popular platform, is awful. So you and I have to still move, still fight, still argue, still work for the world we want for ourselves and our grandchildren now. Our children have to fight. Mine do, mine work hard for what is right, and I am proud of them. This is a horror show. My reward will see my meager retirement dwindle until I become a burden, and I won't tolerate that.
posted by Oyéah at 3:34 PM on May 26 [9 favorites]


Well also as someone with no depends, FTFY.
posted by Oyéah at 3:35 PM on May 26 [1 favorite]


Also, nature sounds really cool if you just listen to it

This! We open the window every day around 5-6pm - just to hear the birds. It helps to ground us & know there are bigger things out there than the manipulating shitheads. Mother Nature will always win, no matter what the tiny humans are doing.
posted by yoga at 3:39 PM on May 26 [8 favorites]


One thing I keep wondering about, in the current...situation...is how much more viscerally angry I was during the Bush years. I'm not sure if it's because

(a) I'm older, and too tired to get very angry
(b) I'm older, and more jaded
(c) my increasing conviction that anger is not helpful is actually having an effect on me, or
(d) the absolute surreality of the...situation...is providing some sort of psychic cocoon, like a megadose of Valium or something

I'm pretty sure (d) is playing a big part, though.
posted by uosuaq at 3:57 PM on May 26 [8 favorites]


This! We open the window every day around 5-6pm - just to hear the birds.

yoga, I'm glad I'm not the only person who does this. Going for walks is also a thing.
posted by Fizz at 3:57 PM on May 26 [4 favorites]


I will say that the only thing I think is keeping me sane is the Mefi politics threads. I religiously follow them because if I don't, when I reengage with the news THAT'S when I feel overwhelmed and like I'm spinning out of control. Keeping up with it every day, hour by hour, that keeps my mental anguish from becoming neverending screaming.

But I also have been consuming nothing but the fluffiest of media to come down. Romance novels, adorable anime, smoopy fanfiction.

I understand not everyone has the time to do this. My husband works long hours and can barely stand to hear the briefest outlines of the latest Trump news. That's cool. He has enough stress just working and getting through life.
posted by threeturtles at 4:00 PM on May 26 [6 favorites]


I definitely have whiplash. So many times in the day I stop and wonder, "How did we get from there to here?" A couple of years ago a candidate running for office who punched a reporter repeatedly in the face would have been roundly condemned on all sides and forced to quit the race. Now your POV on the topic depends on your political affiliation apparently. I feel baffled, wounded, befuddled like I left my native country and ended up somewhere foreign where the culture challenges me daily.

I can't seem to stop checking the news, reading the latest megathread, parsing op eds like they will somehow enlighten me so I can find a version of America that I am not so uncomfortable with. I try to read but always I am itching to get back to twitter, get back to MetaFilter. I garden, cook, and restore furniture but I never listen to any of my non-political podcasts now because somehow there is always more that I need to know, more dissection, more nuances to each stupid thing that has happened in the week.

As for TV being an escape...I'm sorry to say that watching Handmaid's Tale is not helping. My husband bailed on me because he found it too bleak but I carry on every night, feeling every horror, reliving some of my worst nightmares. Somehow I always knew that women would lose their equal status. One big disaster and we would be second class citizens again.

Sometimes I have to admit to falling asleep at night to a listing of revenge scenerios. Last night I imagined prison sentences for everyone in the Trump administration, starting with 15 for the big cheese. Completely unrealistic but satisfying none the less. The amount of pain, stress, and anxiety this one man and his enablers has inflicted on our country can never be paid for in full.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:31 PM on May 26 [10 favorites]

One thing I keep wondering about, in the current...situation...is how much more viscerally angry I was during the Bush years.
I, on the other hand, am constantly about 15 seconds away from a complete rage blackout. Other than the fact that I am literally in danger of exploding from sheer ire, everything is great! I'm doing fine!
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:33 PM on May 26 [7 favorites]


A big thank you to those of you who've mentioned 9/11 in here. For the past few months I've felt like the election shocked me and changed my view of the world in the same drastic way that 9/11 had, and I wasn't able to share that feeling with anyone because I worried that I was being melodramatic. It's comforting to know that I'm not the only one who feels this way.
posted by phatkitten at 4:34 PM on May 26 [8 favorites]


They don't call it 11/9 for nothing. I, don't. Anyway.
posted by petebest at 4:37 PM on May 26 [6 favorites]


Having purpose is a good feeling
yup, i forgot this. One thing i decided to do was take a break from the filter because all the loss i have experienced since last December would have melded into the filter, i.e. negativity. But i have done more for people in the last 15 days then in the last 15 years.
i want to say: "I warned ya all" but that is so fucking egotistical despite the fact i was right...doh.
but i am happier and am repairing the damage to the best of my ability. politics sucks and i cannot afford that emotional bullshit. MeFi wise, you all have helped change my stance on the war, the system, edumacated me on LGBT issue. you all have made me laugh and cry.

if it helps, things will get better. Having a game show host president is disconcerting so i suggest we just all bum rush the set and divvy whats behind all three curtains.
posted by clavdivs at 4:44 PM on May 26 [7 favorites]


1. Special to Man of Twists: I ain't gonna study war no more. (What is it good for?) It's a hard rain's gonna fall.

2. Books reread since beginning of primary season: Handmaid's Tale, 1984, Hiroshima. Next up: Rise and Fall of Third Reich.

3. Wake me when the impeachment starts.
posted by scratch at 4:50 PM on May 26 [2 favorites]


People really are asleep and you cannot wake them up.

(edit: unrelated and coincidental to above comment.)
posted by Burhanistan at 4:51 PM on May 26 [1 favorite]


With regards to getting outside, I've been birding like my life depends on it, and in someways it probably does. I've latched on spring migration like a lifesaver. I'm almost confused as to how I'm managing to get my work done between birding walks and MetaFilter threads, but now that I think about our house certainly isn't as clean as it should be.
posted by mollweide at 4:58 PM on May 26 [5 favorites]


I was poking around on my facebook feed the other day, looking for a photo I knew I'd posted back in the fall sometime, when I ran across one I posted on election day; it was so cheerful, I was on Hawk Hill for one of my hawkwatch days, it was gorgeous out, and I'd listened to Beyoncé (Run the World, natch) all the way there. Running across that post made me cry.

I've damped down my social media and mefi engagement a lot, I've noticed. I have so much less attention to give them, because I think I am using so much energy to not... totally freak the fuck out. I got through Reagan and both Bushes with healthy doses of anger and sarcasm, and a little fear. At the time I thought it was quite a lot of fear. Now I know it wasn't.
posted by rtha at 5:08 PM on May 26 [9 favorites]


I'll be watching Bruce Lee's Game of Death tonight in order to distract me from the shit-show that is US Politics.

I urge you to also find some suitable distraction/entertainment. Cheers.
posted by Fizz at 5:26 PM on May 26 [2 favorites]


I'm glad there's a metatalk thread for this, because I want to bring something up about these threads, and that's all of the progressive/lefty punching that keeps happening in them. It's constant and tacked onto so many comments. 99% of leftists aren't responsible in any way for Trump's presidency nor are they contributors to the fucking shitshow we have now, but you wouldn't know it from a whole lot of these comments.
Just today there were a number of comments getting posting about at the all the "lefty revolution (man!) arguments for keeping Trump in power" that weren't either what the opinion pieces were saying, and/or *were written by democrat insiders/operatives*. But if I were to take issue even once or twice it's likely I'd be getting seen as getting fighty and derailing the thread.
It's good y'all have a place here to commiserate, but these Trump threads are fairly toxic for far left/activist women (who by and large did not sit this election out nor throw it to the republicans and who will continue on to be engaged, and resist, and show the fuck up just like we have been to try and make this country a more equitable, humane place)
posted by stagewhisper at 5:37 PM on May 26 [16 favorites]


People really are asleep and you cannot wake them up.

This is why we have Kazoos' and poetry.


"...our chests burn with anxiety and a river of
anguish defines rapids and straits in the pit of
our stomachs: how can we intercede and not
interfere: how can our love move more surroundingly,
convincingly than our premonitory advice"

-A.R. Ammons
posted by clavdivs at 5:48 PM on May 26 [8 favorites]


Just adding to the chorus: I am so, so grateful for this thread and especially the election/potus threads. I was pretty religious about Metafiltering years ago, but now spend my few free hours in the evening Facebooking... until September, when I started to worry. Facebooking gave way to the election threads, where I learned to TTTCS, love Hamilton, and remember how absolutely terrific this community is.

On the eve of 11/8, my husband played a gig from 7-11 in a lovely outdoor bar. I dialed up the Metafilter election thread and watched the results on TV, following along with the election thread. I stepped away to dance 2 or 3 songs and when I came back, Trump was in the lead and the connection to Metafilter was getting wonky. I rushed home and managed to read a page or two of panic when the server overloaded. That's when I melted down. Not just about the results coming in but because the world was crumbling and I could not access Metafilter. On 11/9, all I could do was cry, but I'm a lawyer so it had to be judiciously timed.

Since then, I live in the potus threads. I don't do twitter and now I am barely on Facebook except to post. I march and call and resistbot, but I cling to the potus threads like a drowning man to a lifeboat. I inhale all the news I can, but I prefer receiving the breaking stuff (meta)filtered through this community's insights, humor, snark, rants, despair and hope. I don't know what I would do without you.
posted by Jezebella at 6:06 PM on May 26 [17 favorites]


(Pro-tip: The world will keep on keeping on whether or not you're hanging on every single development. Feel free to step back for a while and read a recap later.)
posted by tobascodagama at 6:44 PM on May 26 [12 favorites]


In the "taking action" category I am going to three different cookeouts in upstate NY this weekend, am making a cubic ton of strawberry ice cream and learning how to play Pokémon cards with my six year old.

Next week I start a class on Arendt's The Origin of Totalitarianism . Which is a certain type of action.
posted by shothotbot at 7:15 PM on May 26 [3 favorites]


Also, nature sounds really cool if you just listen to it, rather than the blatherings of liars. Looks pretty, as well. Maybe if you can make nature and outside the rule and politics online the exception, rather than the other way around?

Wordshore, OMG holy crap those recordings are nice. Wow. Thank you.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 7:21 PM on May 26 [2 favorites]


I am just living in a presumed reality two or four or eight years in advance of now when we only have to worry about non-human planet-wide existential crises.

I mean, it's seriously weird, right? If there are still histories being written 50 years from now, they are going to be fascinating. And sad.
posted by absalom at 7:24 PM on May 26 [3 favorites]


In the "taking action" category I am going to three different cookeouts in upstate NY this weekend

Was that supposed to be "cookouts" or "cokeouts"?
posted by bongo_x at 7:27 PM on May 26 [6 favorites]


We're all in this together, people.

It's the only way.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:38 PM on May 26 [10 favorites]


I suffer from treatment-resistant major depressive disorder and co-morbid generalized anxiety. The only way I'm surviving from day to day is to pretend that none of this is real. I actually feel like it's not real. There is no President Trump. We're living in a state of limbo where there's no President, no government, no news, nothing is happening.

I know that makes me sound weak, and like a quitter, but frankly I am weak, and I have, functionally, quit. Every time people talk about fighting back or resisting or organizing or marching my brain just... swipes left. I read the threads from time to time, but none of it penetrates. Russia? Swipe left. Budget? Swipe left. Health care act? Swipe left. Because if I did, for even a second, entertain the notion that this is the reality in which I now have to live out my life--a life which is on its back half--I couldn't say for certain that I would survive.

My psychiatrist and my therapist agree that, for me, this is in fact the healthiest choice I can make. They have both said that, since the election, they have had to radically rethink how to treat people with various mental illnesses. They are encouraging patients to act and think in ways that, in any other time in the history of psychology and psychiatry, would have gotten the patient committed, but they now consider to be positively therapeutic. Nothing that was known exists anymore. Swipe left. Swipe left. Swipe left.
posted by tzikeh at 7:47 PM on May 26 [59 favorites]


That's one of the few things I've read recently that's made any goddamn sense.
posted by griphus at 7:57 PM on May 26 [9 favorites]


Dear trans friends: I am a helper. Message me.
posted by Annika Cicada at 7:58 PM on May 26 [8 favorites]


so there's a governor race in my state this year, and a month or so back my organizer from hillary called me and said: "we're getting the band back together. are you in?"

i am sure you can imagine my response.

i am fortunate that i am in a place where i can do something. i am so goddamn glad to be back with my people. the political threads are, once again, my bedtime reading, and keep me energized and focused on doing the work. i do take a sort of bitter satisfaction in all of this, the sense of 'hey, remember when we tried to stop this?' but it's the shittiest vindication ever.

donald fucking trump. president of the united states. this is the stupidest version of the manchurian candidate.
posted by dogheart at 8:05 PM on May 26 [10 favorites]


The things which have stolen the most joie de vivre from me since that fateful November day:
  • How fucking mean and small republicans are. How much they hate. I find them despicable. There is not a way to be "conservative" in the republican sense and not intentionally hurt a large number of people in the process; that's baked into the process, and they love it, they're aroused by the hurt. It's the only thing which captures their attention.
  • How many of them there are. So many.
  • How hard the fight is to get even a little bit of sense into our laws and policies--it takes years, decades, centuries!--and how a single signature from some assclown can completely erase those efforts, which almost always cost actual lives, careers, hearts. And once it's been struck you have to start again, from zero.
  • How thin civilization's veneer is, and how absolutely fucking fragile our form of government really is. It's a government that's built on good faith, and every republican laughs at that concept.
I'm tired of how angry I am, and how the things I'm angry at aren't changeable:
  • At conservatives for their fragile macho-yet-weak culture, their hate, their rote-voting, their ignorance, their glee in other's despair.
  • At fellow lefties for extending olive branches to people who are just going to burn them while laughing about it and passing laws to ban olive trees.
  • At folks for giving approving pats-on-the-back to absolutely abhorrent individuals as "decent conservatives" because they did one almost-ok thing (and which falls apart, usually, if you actually examine it or their part in it).
  • That the previous point is a license for the abhorrent to pursue their raison d'être: pushing lies and half-truths at the forgiving and thus preventing any real progress.
  • At our culture.
  • At our media.
  • At our need for "royalty" and "noble blood" and "aristocrats" and "betters"
  • At my own hate, and how well conservatives know, even in their ignorance, how much my monkey brain responds to this stuff at a level below and beyond the ken of rational thought.
  • At how weak and laughable the previous point underlines how much of a pretense my internal picture of being a decent person really is
Not only did republicans--both officials and those in the public who identify as such--finally steal once and for all my respect for America as a concept this last election. They also stole from me the idea that we can fight and make lasting change. They stole the idea that most people are at their core decent; at least half are not, as it turns out. They stole the belief that our form of government has any resistance at all to the forces of evil; the only reason it's still there at all is the bumbling incompetence of the current republicans (don't worry, conservatives will vote in much more competent devils next time).

They stole from me the sense I was a decent person. A decent person can't type a bullet-point hate list off the cuff and seethe while doing so. Turns out I'm mostly monkey, too.

How did we get from how we felt on election eve to this hell-hole in literal hours?

I lost my father a year ago, my marriage ended six months ago (and took the dogs, too), I'm facing the fact I may have to move because the bankers behind 2007/2008 effectively stole mortgage programs designed for people like me...it would be lonely and confusing in the best of times, and then I look at DC and am WTF.

I should be energized or engaged or depressed or something and I'm just numb and apathetic about it all, a few five-minute-hates aside. I still laugh a bit, I still enjoy hobbies, but even those things seem to have republican stank on them, somehow.

I don't want to date because I feel like I'd just be bad company, I don't find myself all that excited about new ideas or activities because "meh". I live in a low-level state of dread that Yet Another Person I Used To Respect will turn out to be a republican.

When you guys find the portal to the right timeline, let me know, eh?
posted by maxwelton at 8:23 PM on May 26 [72 favorites]


every day i crash repeatedly into the "this simply cannot be happening" barricade. for some reason, i got addicted to the election/administration posts last year in a way i haven't on any other topic in my long, nefarious mefi career. i've considered leaving them alone, but that's no good, the shit is happening whether i consume the information or not. the corporate investors who bought the perfectly good company i worked for for almost 11 years decided to eliminate my position end of February. So rather than look for work at 63 1/2 i took early retirement. i will be fine financially, except for health insurance. and except for what these weasels may do to Medicare/Aid and Soc Security. and of course i now have a lot of time to imagine them doing the worst.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 8:34 PM on May 26 [14 favorites]


I've been taking a media break the last couple days, and I want to say to anybody in this thread: take a break when you need to. Eat food, drink water, get sleep, take care of yourself.

Especially if you're a person who's prone to really spiralling or feeling hopeless, take active steps to control that. Don't read the threads that make you spiral. Step back, point your mind toward something else, take care of yourself.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:36 PM on May 26 [14 favorites]


I haven't been to my therapist since the election. I still have PTSD, it's going off all the time, but I'm just not sure it's maladaptive right now. We're in a low level cold war and it may turn hot at any moment. It's already turning hot in places all over the country. God, fucking Portland. I can't believe there's violence in fucking /Portland/.

It's my husband's birthday this weekend, and Memorial Day, and I know we're supposed to be with loved ones and celebrate the birthday bit and I even got him things, but my mind keeps screaming, how can we even have birthdays in this world? How can I even take a minute, any minute, to have nice things when every minute I take could be the one that helps stop it? I keep trying to talk to people about everything that's going on, and they don't even know what happened a week ago, and it's like I know another language and it's the language of hell.
posted by corb at 8:40 PM on May 26 [19 favorites]


corb, nothing's hanging on you personally. we're all in this together, and we'll get through this together if we get through it at all. take the time to be with your family, it's what we've got if we've got anything at all.
posted by mollweide at 8:48 PM on May 26 [6 favorites]


I've buried myself in work. I watch a lot of netflix. I'm reading a ton. I get my news from Trevor Noah, Seth Meyers and Stephen Colber while I make my kids breakfast in the morning... It is still the same miserable news... but at least there's an ounce of humor in it.
posted by Nanukthedog at 8:59 PM on May 26 [3 favorites]


I have found myself doing and feeling INSANE FUCKING SHIT, guys. Like, a couple days ago I was out shopping for champagne for an engagement party gift and I ended up driving behind a Ford sedan with a few bumper stickers. "I SURVIVED THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE." "ABORTION IS MURDER." "TRUMP/PENCE 2016." An incredible rage bubbled up inside of me. I just KNEW that if I passed this person I'd find a middle-aged white dude driving. And I WANTED TO HURT HIM. Like, cause him physical fucking harm. I have never felt this way in my entire life. I studied and practiced Buddhism for fuck's sake. I did loving kindness meditation while thinking of Rush Limbaugh. And some random anonymous asshole's bumper stickers were causing me to feel insane, violent rage.

So I went to pass the car. Just to see. And yep. White haired white dude. Driving a Ford probably because 'MURICA FUCK YEAH. Nevermind that his Ford was probably assembled in Mexico or some shit. We both stopped at a red light. He glanced over in my direction. I wanted so badly to give him the finger or mouth something vile, like FUCK YOU. But I didn't, because he would revel in my liberal female rage. But the fact that I felt the need to confirm everything I already knew by changing lanes and speeding up to check him out made me feel weird and like I was standing on some precipice I've never even gotten close to before.
posted by xyzzy at 9:04 PM on May 26 [38 favorites]


Yeah, I'm in camp I Was Already Having A Mental Health Crisis Thankyouverymuch. Just got out of another inpatient psych stay for [trigger redacted, but you know, that thing you do that gets you sectioned] like two weeks ago, and I've been avoiding the news since I've been out. I've already got a handful of other trans friends I'm giving as much support as I can to for fear that they're going to [redacted], and I'm in an all-LGBT intensive outpatient program with a bunch of itty bitty baby-trans college students who are under ten times as much stress as me and who are heartbreakingly kind to me anyway and listen to me like I've got good and valid wisdom to share, and fuck it, queer trauma survivors keeping queer trauma survivors alive is the kind of resistance I've got it in me to participate in right now and I'm going for it.
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:04 PM on May 26 [40 favorites]


I tried to [redacted] so I stopped reading the news entirely. I don't do any activism. I don't resist. I don't think that makes me a bad person. Anybody who wants to do that has my permission if you need someone's.
posted by colorblock sock at 9:11 PM on May 26 [21 favorites]


The WTF!s coming of the states have been both so deep like
  • Trump getting theGOP nomination
  • that if not the most qualified US presidential candidate, certainly in the top five, loses to probably the least qualified major party candidate not only for US president but likely for the position of executive leader of any free democracy worldwide ever
  • the Flint water crisis
  • Trump just brazenly blowing off the Emoluments Clause
  • the deep need the GOP seems to have to kill millions of Americans via inaccessible healthcare
and the daily parade of the broadly weird like
  • the pussy grabbing
  • the orb thing
  • the stealing of a supreme court nomination
that my H/WTF meter is just permanently tripped out. And then there is all the WTF coming out from other places like Brexit. I don't know how many times I've googled a facebook posting from my more gullible facebook friends to debunk it only to go Wholly Fuck It's True in the last year.

The exposure of how wide and deep the racism and sexism is in the States (undoubtedly my privilege speaking but I'm flabbergasted on at least a weekly basis) and how that has emboldened the expression of the same in Canada (or maybe I'm just paying attention more).

I swear to $deity if Harper hadn't lost the last election here in Canada I'm really not sure if I'd have been able to hold it together. But for the time being anyways Canada, federally at least, is at least attempting to be a source of sanity and stability (Law, Order and Good Government indeed) in a world wide maelstrom of chaos and social regression.

And because of this along with some personal stress I've been reduced to reading the blandest of fiction. Anything featuring or really mentioning in passing money stress, civil unrest, environmental disaster, sexual misconduct amongst other things is just too triggering to consume. Which is sad because there is so much excellent fiction recommended here but also good because I've been taking a deep dive in 50s and 60s science fiction whose worlds feature no problems that can't be solved by science, rationality and hard work.

And one of the major things keeping me sane is my Daily 365 Photo project. Having a combined short term/long goal that gets me making art everyday in an obtainable way has been extremely therapeutic and has prevented me at times from just laying in bed for days or weeks at a time.

middleclasstool: "I'm coming to the belief that the only hope for containing white supremacy in this country is POCs finally outnumbering us. Even then it won't kill it, we'll just pretend to be an oppressed minority. Shit, we're doing it now."

Not to bring you down but I can't help but remember that whites were like 15% of the population of South Africa during Apartheid.
posted by Mitheral at 9:25 PM on May 26 [7 favorites]


p.s. also anyone who wants to be [redaction]-avoidance buddies should memail me or come find me on twitter (link in profile) or something
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:27 PM on May 26 [6 favorites]


That sounds incredibly sensible, tzikeh and colorblock sock. Secure your own mask first before helping others. People will keep fighting for you when you need to take care of yourself.
posted by zachlipton at 9:30 PM on May 26 [6 favorites]


As fucked up as things have been for us adults since the election, it's been really rough for the kids. The school where I work serves a large immigrant population and many of my students have been worried and concerned about their futures. Everyone in my school has worked together to helped these kids to stay calm and stay focused on graduating, doing what we can to help. And despite what people say about "Generation Z", I am here to tell you that they are so full of acceptance and care for each other, it gives me so much hope for the future. We have transgender students dressing how they want for prom and males wearing makeup and the best part is there isn't a need for news stories about how progressive the school is because the kids already see it as the norm - it is literally no big deal for them and to me that is so beautiful. So despite all the shitty headlines, I wanted you all to know that there are some day-to-day things that are pretty fucking awesome.

So yeah, I've never had a year where I have been as emotionally invested with my students as this one and as much as I love my work, it is draining, so I'm really looking forward to time off over my summer break. It has occurred to me that the reason I'm not burnt out from teaching for over 30 years is because when I have my summers off, I really step back from anything school related. I have approximately 2 months to not think about school at all-- basically recharging my batteries so that when September rolls around and I've got to do it all over again, I'm ready for my new students; I'm not tired and frustrated and fried like I'm feeling now with June around the corner. Because I take the time to take a break and take care of myself, I'm a much better teacher in September and I've got the stamina to do another school year, and with the looks of things, I will need it!

I guess this summer I need to do that with politics for a few weeks, and I urge all of you at some point or another to take some time off from politics too - stay away from the Twitter feed and the political threads. Recharge YOUR batteries, so that when the fall elections roll around, we're rested and ready to make those changes we desperately need to make. This is a temporary mess, and when the time comes, because we're rested and thinking clearly, not overworked and feeling hopeless, we will rise and get through this mess together.

Full disclosure: Sorry, I was working on graduation speeches with my seniors today.
posted by NoraCharles at 9:35 PM on May 26 [18 favorites]


This is all certainly in the background to my recent Ask MetaFilter question about my marriage. I tend to dissociate and avoid, and I've felt like I'm losing my mind in a lot of ways since the election. Every day brings new horrors. Perhaps I should've mentioned that in the question. For me, the political climate since the election and inauguration would be factor No. 10 on my list of huge issues in my life. My chronically ill spouse is obsessed with it and immensely frightened by it all and posts about it on Facebook all the time. Whereas I find photographs of the president to be triggering at this point, and I can't bring myself to keep up with the news beyond what manages to filter through to me as background noise. I hide the politics part of the front-page sidebar every time I log in. And yeah, any show I start now that has Nazis in it or deals with political issues, I can't keep watching, because it's way too real. I've been losing myself in work and books and movies and exercise, and I know it's not helping any prospects my marriage might have at this point.

And I find that I'm far from the only one going through a spate of rethinking everything in my life right now. Maybe it's just confirmation bias, but I feel like a lot of people have been posting should-I-stay-or-should-I-go relationship questions lately. Also, somewhat terrifyingly, apparently the person I was sort of seeing for a while who cut me off almost immediately moved in and proposed marriage to the person they started seeing after me and will be married in a week (2 months after they went to see this person one weekend and stopped talking to me). That is apparently a phenomenon that happens sometimes, sez the internet (there is at least one frequent relationship-question respondent here who I respect a lot who remarried about as quickly). But I can't help thinking that this person's being my paramour even for a few months and then immediately and irrevocably (or at least somewhat irrevocably) deciding to join their life to someone they'd been around in person for less than a month at that point is somehow linked to the current state of the world. This seems to be exacerbating a lot of people's existing issues, whether that's impulsivity or insecurity or what have you. Some people, myself included some days, feel like they have nothing left to lose.

Everyone's terrified of losing their health insurance. Everyone's terrified the exchange is going to go away. So many people are making terrible or just dramatic relationship decisions on the basis of these things and the feeling that the world could well end, so we might as well A. be happy now while we still can, B. make sure we're with someone with whom we can be fulfilled, C. not worry about the consequences, because we might all die after all.

But you guys. You provided so many good answers to my question, and reading posts and comments here has been a lifeline for me. I am a bit prone to anxious checking behaviors, as I may have mentioned in my question, and so I will sometimes go in circles on the site, just looking for new questions, new front-page posts, etc. At worst, it's a way to distract myself from all the stress of current politics and everything else in my life, and at best, reading a million old Ask MetaFilter questions about the issues I'm facing has been very enlightening.

Thanks for being here. And love to everyone else who's going through serious doubt, dismay, and other heavy feelings right now.
posted by o_O at 9:45 PM on May 26 [8 favorites]


I haven't gotten any work done this week. The onslaught is just unbelievable.

Here's a recap of some news JUST FROM TODAY:
-Kushner and "secret channel" with Russia (I was going to type "the Kushner thing" and realized someone reading this tomorrow will have no idea which of the 53,876 Kushner Exhibits I'm referring to here)
-HRC commencement speech at Wellesley
-teachers in TX giving "Most Likely to Become a Terrorist Award" and other terrible things to students WTF
-man stabs multiple people, 2 fatally, after racially harassing passengers on train in Portland WTFF

Writers of 2017: PACING!!! Please! Space out your twists! (but then again maybe this means that we'll run out of terrible events sooner...)

And of course: SUPER BONUS THANK YOU to Metafilter. I hopped over to Reddit to look up the Portland stabbing and instantly regretted it.

It's nothing short of a goddamn miracle, thanks to the hard work and sanity of the mods and members here, that we can have a space like this.
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 10:31 PM on May 26 [5 favorites]


On the one hand: I'm not doing much on weeknights besides catching up on the news all night. Grrrr, argh, I miss doing other things.
On the other hand, I am still going to festivals and shows and other fun things on the weekends, which helps me to remember that for now at least we still have some good things in the world.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:41 PM on May 26


"As fucked up as things have been for us adults since the election, it's been really rough for the kids. The school where I work serves a large immigrant population and many of my students have been worried and concerned about their futures."

My 5-year-old asked me why President Trump wants to deport him, even though he (my son) didn't do anything wrong. It's not a concern for us (descended from European immigrants here since 1893ish at the latest), but he goes to a school with a large immigrant population and several of his classmates are of dubious status and concerned about being deported despite being kindergarteners. And that's something he's hearing people talk about at school.

And it's super-hard to talk to them about because I want my children to believe in the American Experiment, to embrace the Enlightenment ideals of our country, to have hope and idealism about what America can be, but America's government is frankly pretty shitty right now, and it's hard not to transmit the bitter cynicism of adulthood to them. And it's hard to explain to them about how the president hates immigrants, and why, and who counts as an "immigrant" to the Trumpists, and to artfully dodge their questions about which of their classmates are the wrong sort of immigrants, because I have some pretty good guesses about whose status is not wholly legal, but that is not (for the love of God!) the sort of thing you tell an elementary school student because they know JACK SHIT about not announcing awkward facts at the worst possible moment. So they're like, "But does the president want to deport [my best friend] JOSE?" and I don't want to lie but I sure as hell don't want to answer the question.

I am trying to make them feel safe and understand that they are safe, while also being honest about how not all of their friends are safe, while also not being specific about which friends are at risk. It's awful. I want them to love the idea of this country as much as I do. And I'm so fucking resentful that I have to spend so much time talking to my kids about how America sucks right now and how the president is a betrayal of everything we love and believe in about America. I mean, thank God for Hamilton, at least they know idealism from that?

When Comey got fired, I said to my husband, "Oh! I just got a news alert that Trump fired Comey!" when my phone beeped. My 5-year-old, who was playing Minecraft, piped up from the floor, "But why would Trump fire the guy who voted for him and made him be president?" WHY DOES MY FIVE YEAR OLD EVEN KNOW WHO COMEY IS, let alone that he gave Trump the election? This timeline sucks balls.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 11:11 PM on May 26 [40 favorites]


Also why the fuck does my 5-year-old know what deportation is? DARKEST TIMELINE.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 11:12 PM on May 26 [32 favorites]


Oh that grinning fool that just won in Montana! Never mind I am a criminal, I now govern.
posted by Oyéah at 11:20 PM on May 26 [2 favorites]


Thank you for this thread.

Tonight I went to see Talking Heads' STOP MAKING SENSE in a big theater with a big sound system. We sat in the second row and it was loud and frenetic and for a few precious minutes I just was immersed. I got so involved in what the band was doing, and how much fun they were having, and music I have known for so many years, so loopy and groovy.

I didn't realize how much I needed it.

But now it's over, and the relief is over, too. In November I had just finished writing a book that was so important to me, and now I am terrified to revise it. I just don't have the emotional capacity. It's just sitting there. I keep having thoughts of anger that horrify me. How am I capable of being this mad? I have realized that I don't respect some of my closest family members because of how they have approached this election. I feel like we have no future.

I try not to dwell in all of this, to go see the movie or go to the yoga class or plant stuff in the garden or do a day's work. But it's there, inside, and it scares me. Of all of the things about this crazy, fucked-up present, the loss of trust in institutions and the future scares me most.
posted by mynameisluka at 11:21 PM on May 26 [1 favorite]


PS - Unfortunately I'm a journalist and one of my jobs is to essentially aggregate the news of the day, so it's impossible to give up having the news on. And I just wish I could get off for a while.
posted by mynameisluka at 11:22 PM on May 26 [5 favorites]


Yeah, this is what gets me. The future was already tiptoeing on horrific if we didn't act immediately, and now this.
posted by Oyéah at 11:23 PM on May 26 [4 favorites]


PS - Unfortunately I'm a journalist and one of my jobs is to essentially aggregate the news of the day, so it's impossible to give up having the news on. And I just wish I could get off for a while.

mynameisluka, I sympathize. Some years ago, my daily work routine included aggregating the news of the day (specifically, political news, of all things). My job also entailed translating and analyzing the political stuff, as well as doing some government liaison work, and I SOOOO do not envy the person who has that position now. Please look after yourself, and take a deep breath when necessary!!
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 11:42 PM on May 26 [2 favorites]


And thank you for your journalism work! You are a braver person than I am.
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 11:50 PM on May 26 [2 favorites]


So. I'm an out queer, disabled, trans masc guy living in the bubble of Seattle. And while I love to go to a good march, and have been marching for decades, I'm scaling the activism back right now. Why?

Because I'm in school right now for Web Development, and I think that the best thing I can do is to concentrate on my schoolwork, excel in my schoolwork, and use that schoolwork to get a job when I've graduated. Because when I have an income again, I can start helping people financially again. The other thing is, if things get really bad and I need to relocate to another country, I'll have a solid portfolio and work samples to show off my skills, and hopefully be able to land a job. I've even upped my school game by being a Teaching Assistant the past couple of quarters.

The other thing I do it retweet things on Twitter, especially from protests that I watch online. I can do that easily from my bed, even when I'm feeling really bad.

And the third thing I'm doing? Being unapologetic as to who I am. This includes in communities where there aren't necessarily a lot of trans people. For instance, I do Amateur Radio, and the local repeater group calls me by my preferred name, and even gets my pronouns correct - and will correct themselves if they mess up. That feels amazing. (And I just find radio fun!)
posted by spinifex23 at 11:58 PM on May 26 [17 favorites]


I find occasional and temporary comfort in the hope that perhaps, maybe, if all goes well, this might be the death-knell of neoliberalism. Because as vile and odious as this administration is, it's not really a sea change so much as a consequence of: money-dominated politics, the death of corporate oversight, finance run rampant, the merging of politics and entertainment (Reagan...Schwarzennegger...Franken...Ventura...), the "hypernormalization" of untruth and outright lying in politics and media, cable "news," a ruling class that for generations hasn't actually had to answer to the public, the growing divide between urban and non-urban Americas, the abject demolition of organized labor, the abdication of both parties from any ideology that includes the economy in any way beyond occasional and ineffectual nudging of Wall St., and the general and inevitable decline of an empire.

I can see now how we got here, sorta, if I squint. But what's next?

Since I'm a constitutionally hopeful and cheery fellow, I hope it's the end of all of that shit.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 12:20 AM on May 27 [7 favorites]


Meanwhile, Marie Antoinette Melania Trump Wore a $51,500 Coat In Italy.

So much WTF, summed up in one breathless fashion headline. Contrasted with recent news of the world? I can't be the only one reading way more into a Glamour fluff piece than it deserves, while taking it to levels it maybe shouldn't escalate, right? News used to be 'just news', now it feels like navigating a minefield with only conspiracy theorist-grade paranoia as a guide.

I'm going to scroll Bernie Sanders' Twitter feed for some sanity.
posted by Amor Bellator at 12:20 AM on May 27 [2 favorites]


> Also why the fuck does my 5-year-old know what deportation is? DARKEST TIMELINE.

I don't know if this helps (probably not?) but when I was five, I knew what napalm was. When I was six and seven I made up games with my friends where I was Walter Cronkite and they were Vietnamese villagers whose homes had been napalmed, and I would interview them for the 6 o'clock news. Sometimes we were all VC guerillas, creeping through the jungle. Little jugs have big ears.
posted by rtha at 12:44 AM on May 27 [32 favorites]


Housemate's kid didn't know she had a shiner when I picked her up at school. I laughed and she says What? then fastens her belt and balls her fists. A couple miles. Did school call about me? Your mom got a message. Kid kicks the dash hard enough that the glove box flaps down and spills. Sorry. It's ok. Needed to sort that anyway. She hopes the coyotes come tonight.

We get home and she sits on the couch and I sit cause she'll tell me or not and the distance closes and we're asleep until other housemate gets home with her daughter and my son and they look at the blackened eye and titter and she asks if there is something wrong with her face. Boy says he was going to help her because it was 3 but she didn't need help.

We show her in the bathroom mirror. I hadn't noticed the skinned knuckles. Don't punch people in the mouth. Human bites get priority in the ER. Teeth are hard. She spills. They said vile things prior to the assault. Things that could only have come from lecherous adults.

She wants to go on the ridge with me. Take her. Yeah? Yeah. I tell my son expecting jealousy and he says take her and we dress and go up and she find words and burbles along and I have my own stories about being twelve and we trade and the tiny details emerge. I was a fag (that's what they called me) and she's sleeping with me. That was what flipped her lid. Par for twelve. So much is par for twelve. The misunderstandings. The rot. And now we're all twelve again.

We sat in the dark cold high place with rifles and the coyotes didn't come. You cold? Naah. You're shaking. Naah. How'd the fight go down? Boy said it was three. And she's off with a micro-second account. I've had problems with their parents. It was all so still and clear.

Would you prefer to not go back on Monday? I'm going back Tuesday. Monday's a holiday silly.

You shut it off. You turn it on. You're twelve again.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 2:41 AM on May 27 [29 favorites]


I was doing pretty well, until the other day when someone I like and respect said on social media, "The left is basically just as fascist as the right, now." I just had this reeling, out-of-body response.

Like it's bad enough that there's so many conservative assholes out there who are awful multigenerational foes. I can deal with that, because they know and we know that there is a battle for the soul of the nation.

But it's the centrists, man. The centrists.
posted by fleacircus at 3:40 AM on May 27 [8 favorites]


I'm in Europe and thanks to all y'all, I'm more immersed in y'alls politics right now than I've ever been in ours. I can't really talk about all of this much, because no one in my circle seems to care as much as I do. Except for, may the universe bless him forever, my partner.

If it helps to have one more conformation from an outside spectator that this shit is fucked up:
Yo, shit is indeed utterly fucked up. It's not just you, it really is. You're right: none of this is normal.

I wish I could help. Many of us on this side of the pond, in fact, wish we could help. But most of the time we can't and that, too, sucks.
posted by Too-Ticky at 4:24 AM on May 27 [8 favorites]


So many thoughts & memories swirl as I read everyone's comments here. Your hearts & souls are all beautiful, in case no one has told you that lately.

Thank you, Sophie1 for the answer upthread to my question about postcards and faxes.

Someone mentioned a lab study where mice who had been shocked for doing X consistently had babies. And then their babies had babies and so on. None of the subsequent offspring were given the shock treatment. The 7th generation of babies still exhibits avoidance behavior for activity X, for which many ancestors ago were punished.

Upon hearing this tidbit, mentioned casually in a happy hour among friends, I was crushed & almost burst into tears right then and there. I'm several generations - maybe 3 or 4? - from the holocaust, and am technically Jewish through my Jewish mom.

I'm atheist, really. To me, the higher spirit is just nature itself. I think life energy moves from living thing to living thing, regardless of what the form is. I'm label averse, but it's easier to say I'm an atheist than to regurgitate all those words. Which is to say from a religious perspective, I don't have a Jewish mindset.

Other than a Christmas tree (dad was Methodist but converted many years later to reform Judaism) and some Hanukkah gelt sent to us from distant aunts, there was not really any deeply meaningful religious activity in our family. It was just something that came up in the calendar every year. Like Labor Day. Or Father's Day.

But the mice - that connection is a lizard brain one for me that goes back to the holocaust. The whole study was to see if emotional reactions were hereditary. I believe they are. It makes me literally physically sick to hear about Yad Vashem (which I'd never heard of before these threads).

Anyway, I think that's where my hair trigger for detecting mean people and meanness comes from. People I don't know, never met, but am loosely related to, who experienced the holocaust and all its fractal reaches into so many lives, and continues to do so - that is somewhere deep inside me. It is part of my DNA, I am utterly convinced.

I think the left tries to appeal to the right because we have compassion and empathy and our feelings are deeper than the right. It doesn't make us better, just different from them.

So to turn off our instinct to reach out to others goes against our deepest nature as humans. But the painful thing we must learn is that there are some who cannot be reached no matter how much feeling or reason we reach with.

It is almost like trying to help an addict. They are simply not the same, they are wired differently. So even if they look and seem the same on the surface, they aren't.

In some ways, we are simply alone. And that's ok, & how it is supposed to be. Because in other ways - many many other ways - we have each other.

I can't tell you how grateful and appreciative I am of this little corner of the ether.
posted by yoga at 4:54 AM on May 27 [17 favorites]


Alternate distractions for this weekend are provided by sports. For people who like the vroom-vrooms, there's the Indianapolis 500 or the F1 Monaco Grand Prix.

For people who follow the Association Football I guess there is the FA Cup final in England. And not far away, there's splendid cricket with England vs South Africa.

And lots of other things, though the big sporting event for some this weekend is the match between Canada and the USA.
posted by Wordshore at 5:02 AM on May 27 [2 favorites]


I just remembered the best distraction I've had since the election was a couple of Weeks ago rooting on my husband and dog in a 5 K charity race in Raleigh. For a glorious hour or two we were surrounded by dogs and people without a single indication of anyone's political affiliation. Just pure joy clapping for each dog running over the finish line.

We are lucky to live in an area with so many trails and streams and ponds to walk and run the dog. We take a lot of comfort in that.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:32 AM on May 27 [3 favorites]


I welcome this thread.

In the meantime, we've taken to watching about two episodes of the West Wing every evening just for general sanity.

Unintended by-effects: saying "Yeah." in a Leo McGarry voice when being asked if I want another coffee. Saying "o-kee?" like Danny Concannon, when being asked to provide new coffee. Wobbling with my head and focussing on a random spot at the most nearby wall in a Toby Ziegler fashion every time something - anything - is being discussed. Saying at random moments "I'm a Harvard graduate, I think I can handle this [I am not a Harvard graduate]." Just to point out that this is a great improvement over calling everything bigly, yuge, beautiful-you're-gonna-love-it, or a disaster, which was how my winter and early spring have been.
posted by Namlit at 5:41 AM on May 27 [4 favorites]


Yes! Sports! I find it insanely relaxing to listen to a broadcast of a baseball game. Just the banter & sounds of the game.
posted by yoga at 5:44 AM on May 27 [3 favorites]


Can I try to add just a small attempt at calming moderation. The sky is not falling. There is an opposition party nominally in power and trump or not trump it happens periodically. The pendulum will likely begin to swing back in the 2018 elections, that's next year. Yes there are serious issues, most existed last year and will exist next year.

There seems to be a slightly larger wtf factor but I've seen burkas on american streets. Manchester was horrible but the reaction of folks there that they would not let it keep them down uplifts!

There are wretched people that mistakenly took the change in politics as a cue to make a bit more noise but from the local "free speech" rally on the boston common it's a very small pathetic -- ineffective minority.

NOT saying to hold back or back off, the rallies for women, freedom, science are truly inspiring. The goodness and rationality of the majority shines through.

I get worked up in the political threads, and as long as they go, it is a bit like the very cnn-ish breaking news that's somewhat absurdly repetitive. Don't let constant repetition upset, actual details are sufficient.

Take a deep breath, and well, keep on breathing.
posted by sammyo at 6:50 AM on May 27 [3 favorites]


Very literal about THE SKY IS NOT FALLING!
posted by sammyo at 6:53 AM on May 27


Did I fall down a rabbit hole? Did I step through a looking glass? Did I wake on on Bizarro World? I am nearing full-on dissociation from reality. I'm only 90% I've been awake and not dreaming over the past two weeks.

This is pretty much how my Rimworld story starts. I started playing Rimworld, and then thinking about and finally writing the story, as a break from reality. But now it clicks that it is also an allegory. So here's a big fuck you to Trump and the Republicans for invading and surreptitiously hijacking my fantasy world as well.

Hey dudes, go read it.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:54 AM on May 27 [2 favorites]


Can I try to add just a small attempt at calming moderation. The sky is not falling. There is an opposition party nominally in power and trump or not trump it happens periodically. The pendulum will likely begin to swing back in the 2018 elections, that's next year. Yes there are serious issues, most existed last year and will exist next year.

If I may ask: are you by any chance white, male, cis, straight, able bodied and middle class?
posted by Too-Ticky at 7:04 AM on May 27 [27 favorites]


We've got the Stanley Cup Playoffs to distract us here. Might as well be living in Canada seeing as obsessed this town is with hockey. "Go Pens" has pretty much replaced "goodbye" or "talk to you later" as an end to conversations lately and half of the city wears jerseys during the day of a game.

go pens
posted by octothorpe at 7:07 AM on May 27 [4 favorites]


[One deleted; people are freaked out, it's okay to be freaked out. Let's not go after each other over feeling freaked out, jeez.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:57 AM on May 27 [7 favorites]


Can I try to add just a small attempt at calming moderation. The sky is not falling. There is an opposition party nominally in power and trump or not trump it happens periodically. The pendulum will likely begin to swing back in the 2018 elections, that's next year. Yes there are serious issues, most existed last year and will exist next year.


I do hope that you're correct but even if you are, lots of people can get hurt or killed or have their lives destroyed in the interim.
posted by octothorpe at 8:02 AM on May 27 [12 favorites]


I would think most of us are more disturbed by the fact that there are millions of ignoramuses living around us who voted him in, so notions of change in 2018 are cold comfort anyway.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:07 AM on May 27 [26 favorites]


I kind of find that there's also actual therapeutic value in talking to other freaked-out people about how freaked-out we are. Like, the Discourse around this online has been "oh jeez, everyone is just working each other up into a lather and we're all running around with our heads cut off and it's counterproductive."

And I think for breaking news, it's probably true that it is counterproductive. We could all stand to catch up tomorrow morning instead of obsessively refreshing and speculating about tonight's maybe-significant-maybe-not bizarro events.

But there's a piece of this where, the latest piece of news aside, we're all under a lot of ongoing stress and possibly even low-grade trauma — especially for marginalized people, but also frankly for white cis etc people who are experiencing intense grief over things like climate change, or who have real debilitating fear about totalitarianism, or who are taking care of others who are suffering from one or more of the things I've mentioned, or etc.

And for that ongoing stress/grief/trauma/etc, talking about it is totally productive. When someone's experiencing loss or disorientation or pain over a long span of time, the answer isn't "Quit talking about it, you're blowing things out of proportion, you'll stress everyone else out and anyway it'll probably be fine." The answer is "It's okay, you're not alone and we understand, you can talk about it if you want." And frankly that's the answer even if they are probably in fact safe and it will probably in fact be fine. People who are badly scared often need to debrief afterwards even if the fear was totally overblown and nothing was ever really going to happen to them. People who receive threats need support and a sympathetic ear even if the threats are false. People who have family members going through a health scare need to talk about it even if the diagnosis was an error, even if the diagnosis was a lie — the fear is still real. Totally normal neurotypical mentally healthy people will sit around for hours after watching a goddamn horror movie and let off steam about the scary experience they went through together.

Just let us have this, K?
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:08 AM on May 27 [35 favorites]


Burhanistan: "I would think most of us are more disturbed by the fact that there are millions of ignoramuses living around us who voted him in, so notions of change in 2018 are cold comfort anyway."

That probably bothers me more than anything. Heck it bothered me even when I thought he had zero chance of winning; the fact that even a double-digit percent of the US voting population looked at this guy and said "he's our man" is depressing beyond belief. It forces me to admit that there are people here who I'm just never ever going to understand (or really want to).
posted by octothorpe at 8:15 AM on May 27 [21 favorites]


And, like, it's true that a lot of the ongoing trauma sources (climate change, police brutality, increasing authoritarianism worldwide, income inequality and class warfare, various *phobias and *isms) were there before Trump was elected. But the election was the point at which a lot of people snapped out of denial and bargaining around that stuff and were forced to acknowledge that it was real. That sort of moment-of-clarity experience is super upsetting and can make people talk in kind of hyperbolic ways, but again, discussing it is better than pushing it back down. Have some compassion for that.
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:21 AM on May 27 [10 favorites]


On the upside, it looks like media's eyeballs have hit peak stupidity and are now on a decline. Expect the full force of modern technology to be arrayed against us eyeball owners to nudge, nag, provoke, and compel us to click, link, like, tweet, and piss out our adrenalin & cortisol on this fading energy depleted basket of kleptocrats and oligarchs.
posted by infini at 8:26 AM on May 27 [2 favorites]


it's true that a lot of the ongoing trauma sources (climate change, police brutality, increasing authoritarianism worldwide, income inequality and class warfare, various *phobias and *isms) were there before Trump was elected. But the election was the point at which a lot of people snapped out of denial and bargaining around that stuff and were forced to acknowledge that it was real.

It's not just that - I think the election of Trump did also let a lot of these problems actually and actively get worse. Command climate - they see what's at the top and start mimicking it in these lower areas. Police departments definitely get worse when they know the Justice Department position is "we got u fam" rather than, I don't know, any oversight whatsoever, just to name one example.
posted by corb at 8:30 AM on May 27 [18 favorites]


Yeah, I agree it wasn't just the moment of clarity. But I think it's important to recognize that in addition to grieving the very real things that have gotten worse in the past few months, some people are also grieving things they didn't process sooner but that actually got worse five or ten or twenty years ago. If it seems like we're reacting out of proportion with the facts, I think that's why.
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:35 AM on May 27 [2 favorites]


Last year my house was destroyed by weather, as happens in tornado alley. We've been rebuilding since then, and living in the construction, because our insurance didn't pay for us to move out, and there was no place to go nearby anyway. Last month, we finally got enough done inside that we could move everything back from storage pods into the house, but easily 70% of my stuff is still in boxes. We did our best to get Mowgli's room set up and unpacked first because being a teenager is rough enough without not having a safe place to retreat.

But, living for over a year, with no sense of permanence, in conjunction with Bizarro World, has made it really difficult to stay tethered to reality. I can't figure out how to unpack, because I keep thinking that maybe we should just move. But to where? I can do some good here. I can help run undocumented kids to school, I can donate to the local food pantry, I can do my part to help with the abortion underground, since I live in an area near one of the five clinics left in texas. But damned if I can find a way to deal with all my own shit.

I've spent so much time with a chainsaw you guys, just trying to bring order to any section of my reality. And I just end up injuring myself because lupus and 10 hour outside working days with heavy physical labor are not compatible things. But, I can't stop. It needs to be done, and someone has to do it, and somehow working myself into exhaustion is the only solution I can find.

This is not how my aarp years were supposed to go. I mean, y'all when I started working, women weren't allowed to wear pants at three initial company. Abortion wasn't legal until I was 12ish. I started working as a clinic escort at 14, and did it well into my 40s, until my picture ended up on the "pro-life" wanted posters and local cops told me to get a gun for my own protection. So I moved, and changed my name, and my hair color, and went to ground for a decade.

I really thought we were gaining ground. Even though Obama was too centrist for my taste, of course I voted for him, and I considered his election to be a shining light, proving that we had gone from colored drinking fountains to a Black president in my lifetime. I cried when Obama was elected because I was so proud of us.

I cried when 45 was elected because I realised I'd been fooling myself the whole time. We didn't get better. We, or at least my, leftists didn't gain ground, so much as we provided cover for the oil drenched, flag waving, destroyers.

Finally, ive realised that there is no winning this battle, there is only fighting. We can't become complacent or congratulatory at any point. We can nod when we take a foot forward, but it just means leaning harder against the forces that would drive us a mile back.

I'm never going to get my house back the way it was before the storm, and we are never going to put America's house back the way it was before 45. But somehow y'all, somehow, we have to find the strength to try. People without houses need us, and as tempting as it is to give up and let the chaos overwhelm us, we just have to dig deep, and fight until there is nothing left but us.

I love you guys, and I wouldn't have made it through all of everything without you. Thank you for being my island and my safe place.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 8:55 AM on May 27 [66 favorites]


WHAT. THE. FUCK. MATT CORTEX?
posted by klausness at 10:13 AM on May 27 [3 favorites]


Thank you for this thread. And thank whatever for my husband and my dogs and my friends and my hobby.

I have lost actual friends over their support of Trump, I look on in confusion as they spew Fox's spin on things ("that wasn't a shove, it was a friendly clap on the shoulder") and have moments when I wonder if I'm the crazy one. While the panic attacks I was having the week after the election have thankfully subsided, I still can't believe this bizarro world I find myself in. I was also personally threatened before the election by an acquaintance who is a Trump supporter (and crazy, as if that weren't redundant). That just doesn't happen. It shouldn't happen.

I finally got around to becoming a US citizen (after 14 years of living here) in part so that I could vote for Hillary. I donated to her campaign, I wore her t-shirts, I so very deeply wanted her to be our President, and when I read interviews with her now and watch her speak publicly it brings me to tears to think what we could have had if the timeline hadn't shifted to this darkest one. Every time Trump does yet another facepalmingly awful thing, I think about what how different today would be if we had President HRC.

Self care matters, telling your friends and family you love them, doing things outside, doing what makes you happy and centered. And MetaFilter matters, thank you all for being here and being an island of sanity.
posted by biscotti at 10:38 AM on May 27 [18 favorites]


Sweet satisfaction, a sensation, from reading about Trump's foibles, and looking at the clowns on the bus he rides on. Oh I knew it. I told you so I told you so, so fuck you sideways.

Stupefied, a sensation I get when I ponder the line of succession. No joy there: it's clowns all the way down.
posted by mule98J at 10:55 AM on May 27 [6 favorites]


Every time Trump does yet another facepalmingly awful thing, I think about what how different today would be if we had President HRC.

It would be different, but the problem that produced Trump would still be there. We'd still have to fight; maybe not as urgently, but it wouldn't have gone to zero.

For some reason I find this comforting; I get the surreality and the sense of having stepped through a door into the wrong world, but I feel better when I see it instead as a wrong path that we as a country have walked down, been walking down for a long time. It's a million tiny wrong steps that got us here, and so it's easier for me to imagine taking a million good little steps to counter them.

I also feel better when I read stories of other fights, even if they're really the same fight still, so my birthday present to myself was a copy of March (re: John Lewis). I've got a bit more work to do tonight (students want lecture notes still) but then I think I'll open it up.

There is no magic door to open to get to the other side. This isn't a journey I want to be on, it's not one any of us wanted to be on, but we are now and the only way out is through.
posted by nat at 11:24 AM on May 27 [13 favorites]


Silly thing that's giving me petty joy, in thematically similar clusterfuck Britain: I set up a word replacement script in my browser to replace the name of vile (and recently fired from a journalism job) hatemonger Katie Hopkins with ISIS. And every time I see it, it makes me giggle. I always thought these things were silly, but now I see their true purpose.
posted by ambrosen at 11:29 AM on May 27 [4 favorites]


As a retired reporter who specialized in "community profiles," I always found it easier to talk about other people than myself. I noticed in my above comment ^ that I mentioned my friend who has admitted to being depressed since the election, but neglected to say that this Big Cheeto thing has negatively affected me more than any election, as if it was aimed at me personally. All the things that I loved about Obama's America, being either chipped away at, or completely eliminated, and now it's okay to publicly act out at minorities and women again, or it is in my part of the world, anyway, because if Big Cheeto can do it and get away with it, why not these folks, right?

Anyway, my two therapies are to indulge my mental fashionista and to feed my Instagram.
posted by Lynsey at 11:49 AM on May 27 [3 favorites]


We came here 6 years ago, had kids, bought a house. This was our choice. We have always been very positive about the whole American thing (critical, too, but we never doubted that this is a good country. 'The West Wing' liberals, basically).

I feel like a married a guy and bit by bit, over the years, found out he had a racist uncle and a few icky habits. OK. Nobody's perfect, right?!
But the election gave me whiplash. It all came out at once. It's like, this guy doesn't just have a racist uncle...he's actually having an incestuous affair with the racist uncle, that he insists on carrying on with, in public, he's abusive, and every day details about him come out that I'm too shocked to believe until it sinks in that it's actually true.
And I'm still with this guy. Explain that to family back in Europe. You haven't given up on him? What the hell?
Abusive relationship. I still believe in this relationship we have but I know it's naive. :(

Thanks for this thread, anyway.
posted by The Toad at 12:36 PM on May 27 [13 favorites]


Oh, yeah the surreal politics right now.

I spent the past year and a half avoiding my dad and stepmother because of their politics. It turns out, he has parkinsons and she has dementia. Things have apparently been deteriorating for the past year, and it culminated in phone calls from the police concerned about the situation. Not to me, to my stepbrother. Anyway, they contacted me and we met at the parents house to try to get things settled. Luckily, the parents had done wills and Powers of attorney many years ago, or we would be in a world of shit.

So, you might think politics have nothing to do with the situation. Wrong! In going through their files and financials, the mental deterioration was evident. There were weird photocopied articles about how bad Obamacare is and letters from the Heritage Foundation were filed along with medical information. I can't separate the mental problems from the propaganda as far as their mental health, though. There were pictures of trump pasted to the refrigerator.

Even while up there trying to get things nailed down to help them, the weird real-life politics intruded into my life. And the news just never stops about this administration and it crazy. I just want to hide right now.
posted by annsunny at 1:07 PM on May 27 [8 favorites]


I would think most of us are more disturbed by the fact that there are millions of ignoramuses living around us who voted him in, so notions of change in 2018 are cold comfort anyway.

I have a theory about this. It's entirely untestable and easy to poke holes in, but it's about the only thing that's given me any reason to believe things might eventually get better. And although I've seen someone else mention it around here, I don't remember who/where it was, and I have no idea if it's come up since the election.

So anyway... You know the lead-crime hypothesis? It's been on the blue a couple times and is super interesting, so I highly recommend reading about it if you're unfamiliar. The gist is that exposure to high levels of lead from leaded gasoline affected brain development (emotional regulation, impulse control, attention, reasoning...) of a whole generation of kids, leading to the crime wave that started in the '60-70s and peaked in the early '90s.

But like, not everybody who grew up in the era of leaded gasoline went on to become a criminal and get arrested or killed, right? That generation of people is still out there, but they're not in their 20s anymore, running around getting into trouble. No, now they're in their 40s, 50s, and 60s, going about their lives with those same impairments. And what do people that age tend to do? They VOTE. So maybe our country is voting like we've got some kind of brain damage because...the largest block of voters is literally suffering from lead-induced brain damage.

So then if lead played a non-negligible role in our country electing somebody like Donald Trump as president, that means there's a light at the end of the tunnel! People born in the '80s or later were largely protected from the worst gasoline-based lead exposure, so we've basically just got to wait it out. The good news is that by my estimation, we're at the peak right now. The bad news is I don't think we'll get back to any kind of sanity until 2024 at the earliest.

So that's my theory. I feel kind of nuts typing it out, but it's fun to think about and I like to believe it. Because 2024 is still a long time to fight this bullshit, but at least it's not forever.
posted by gueneverey at 1:34 PM on May 27 [30 favorites]


I'm finding professors of design tweeting about not trusting those sociopaths Google who're deeply embedded in geopoliticking alongside eminent researchers tweeting about the detailed analysis of FaceBook's reach and influence.

that 24/7 news cycle that's one of the bedrock reasons for the existence of this thread and it's content?

it's just begun blowing up in their faces

who woulda thunk you could peak the flight/fight trigger into hyper active overdrive?

duck, get help, budget self care into your calender

now it can be counted in months. though my margin of error is 36 of them more to get through
posted by infini at 1:40 PM on May 27


So that's my theory.

Not bad, and would explain a few things. But I'm sticking with: mass media is literally, at a fundamental, provable level, mind control. Fairness doctrine & Telecomm Act + Rush and Fox * 20 years equals, well, this.

No more for me since 11/9. Not much before then except for the exciting conclusion, and now: nope.
posted by petebest at 1:59 PM on May 27 [8 favorites]


I was driving home from work and past a house with a big sign still attached to the porch that read 'Hilary for prison,' and I actually yanked over to the side of the road and rage screamed. I wanted to go stand on their lawn and be like, "Really, muthafuckers?"

Instead I pulled back into traffic and scared the shit out of everyone by doing 80 while sobbing my eyes out.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 2:09 PM on May 27 [9 favorites]


Thanks for this thread, bq, and to everyone for your amazing contributions.

I've been struggling with how to stay disconnected from the news while still keeping up on things enough to keep calling my reps. I am sometimes tempted to NOT call my reps and step away from that but for me, I think, I would feel even worse; some part of pushing myself to do that makes me feel some tiny sense of control, even though there's also such a helplessness and lack of control - I can't make McConnell and Ryan and all their anti-American collaborators stop doing horrible things.

(One thing that helps a lot with the "I can't read the news" vs "I have to be informed enough to keep calling people" is those email alerts, like 2 Hours a Week and react:letter, that suggest things to call about, so I don't have to go wading quite so far into the news sewer all the time.)

(Also, I've started using uBlock Origin's eyedropper tool to kill Related Stories sidebars. I DO NOT WANT to read or even hear about whatever appalling thing Trump has done in the last five minutes, I just want to read the individual story I Googled for and go away again and call my reps. Leave me alone. Really, it helps a lot.)

But it's still really hard. There are moments of "yay this feels good to be engaging with my reps and supporting universal healthcare in California or whatever, I should have been doing this for years" ( ... which, yeah, I should have ... ) but there are also lots of bleak times of despair and rage that I would feel a lot less of if I could just ignore the state of the world entirely, but I can't. I personally can't do that.

So lately I have been looking for examples of people who have been engaged in this struggle for a whole lot longer than I have, who have maybe a little more perspective on it than I do - who genuinely realize how utterly dire the current situation is, but are really engaged in the work and finding ways not to despair all the time.

People like Maxine Waters, who says we should have hope because we've earned it.

People like the Rev. William Barber II, who acknowledges that "It is impossible to react to the election of Donald Trump with anything less than moral outrage" but notes that
"While we do, indeed, face a dire situation, this is not new. Trumpism is as American as apple pie. There could be no Donald Trump without America’s first black president. Brother Van Jones got it right on election night: we experienced a “whitelash.” And we must be clear: every stride toward freedom in U.S. history has been met with this same backlash. ...

This same pattern of progress and backlash repeated itself during America’s Second Reconstruction — what we often remember as “the Civil Rights movement.” But we’ve glossed over this history too often. So we’re shocked by Donald Trump. We can’t make sense of what’s happening in front of us because, somehow, we’ve failed to see that this has been happening all along. ...

But just as there’s been a Moral Movement in every era to raise a moral dissent against extremism, we’ve seen in North Carolina what a 21st century Moral Fusion Movement can look like."
People like Hilary Clinton, who just said in her Wellesley speech, "Here's what helped most of all. Remembering who I am, where I come from, and what I believe."

I am paralyzed by outrage that the vote suppression led to this unbelievable state of events, and, too, shame that I didn't pay attention to the threat of all those vote suppression laws. But I try to remember that once upon a time we didn't HAVE a Voting Rights Act. If we were once able to enact such a law, maybe we can recover from the current assaults on it, maybe even strengthen it, maybe even reaffirm the value of EVERYONE voting as a real national value.

I don't know. I have lots of moments when I look at everything - every little thing, every big thing - that's happening and I think "we can't fix this." If net neutrality gets gutted, maybe we can reverse that in 2018 if we can get the Dems back in power; but if we don't move fast on climate change we can't fix that. There's so much damage we can't undo. And that makes me despair.

So I try to make imaginary friends with Maxine Waters and Rev. Barber and Hilary Clinton and John Lewis and remember that there ARE SO MANY people - lots with more power than I have - pushing back, standing up, doing the work, and I try hard to remind myself that
* I can't do everything myself - but I don't have to
* if they can keep going and doing stuff, so can I
* it's essential to take care of myself and keep myself okay, but for me, finding my way back to making those calls and donations and whatever is as much a part of that as taking time away

There was a great editorial on the California Calls website: The Arc of History is On Our Side: Reflections on the 2016 Election, noting that California often foreshadows the nation's trends:
... there is hope we can draw from California’s story.

California may not be a battleground state in Presidential Races, but we foreshadow what America will be in the future. The demographic changes that are in play across the country took place here 20 years ago, when Republican Pete Wilson was Governor and likely California voters mirrored the composition of the national electorate yesterday.

And we are a battleground state on ballot initiatives. When the largest state in the country passes policies, the effect ripples across the country. Twenty years ago voters passed initiatives to ban affirmative action and bilingual education, allow minors as young as 14 to be tried as adults, and enforce three-strikes sentencing, sparking copy-cat campaigns in states throughout the country. And 18 years before that, Prop 13’s passage triggered the anti-government tide in America that continues to undermine faith in public institutions, funding for schools and critical services, and fuels cynicism in our democracy.

Today, as California’s electorate expands to reflect the breadth of who lives here, Californians are undoing the harm of these outdated policies passed decades ago to deliberately underfund and undermine communities of color. (emphasis mine)

Just 5 years ago California held a staunchly anti-tax reputation, and yet yesterday, Californians passed Prop 55, reaffirming the 2012 decision to raise taxes on the wealthy to fund schools and services. Despite $80 million in deceptive advertising by Big Tobacco, Californians overwhelmingly approved Prop 56, raising tobacco taxes for the first time in 18 years to fund health care for low income children and seniors. With Prop 57’s passage, we’re leading the nation on policies that roll back “Three Strikes” and break new ground on criminal justice reform. These are just three of several progressive victories in California ...

These progressive victories were not automatic.

California’s social justice movement has been building for decades, with deepening alliances among labor and community, and growing capacity among dynamic grassroots organizations to expand participation in our democracy.

...

Our lesson for the nation is that when more people engage in democracy, justice prevails. But this doesn’t happen overnight, and requires the hard work of organizing, one door and one neighborhood at a time.

Tuesday’s results speak to a renewed urgency to continue to organize and build a powerful movement for social justice.

Our work is one chapter in the long history of movements for civil rights, economic equality, women’s rights, inclusion and authentic democracy. And while not automatic or guaranteed, the arc of history is on our side.
It's really, really, REALLY hard to stay sane and even harder to convince myself that it's worth pushing myself to keep working on this. But if Maxine and William and Hilary and John and my senators and my city attorney and so many of the MeFites and so many other people can manage it, maybe sometimes I can too.

Sometimes.
posted by kristi at 2:11 PM on May 27 [33 favorites]


I've been a partial hospital program THREE TIMES this year because I lost my ability to cope. For my own mental well-being, I had to dial waaaaay back on the activism I was doing, because it was consuming my life. The alternative timeline stuff here (and the POTUS45 threads in general because it's nice to be with my tribe) has actually given me an anchor so I can get on with the daily minutiae of life. It's not the best coping mechanism, but it works for me. The alternative timeline theory lets me talk with my dad about politics without yelling or crying because it's like I don't even KNOW him anymore, and, in the moment, thinking of him as my dad with an evil goatee keeps me calm.
posted by Ruki at 2:54 PM on May 27 [8 favorites]


The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward boring.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 3:22 PM on May 27 [4 favorites]


I'm only 90% I've been awake and not dreaming over the past two weeks.

I've turned off. I still read the headlines, still marvel at them, but the part of me that feels motivation to read the rest of the story, to be angered by it and react to it and want to do something about it, is hibernating. I want to believe it's hibernating, in any case, because the alternative is that I've subconsciously euthanized it, and for me that's what really qualifies as hopelessness.

I have an in-case-of-emergency flashlight next to my bed that has three settings. Push the button once and the beam is bright and broadly cast. Push it a second time and it's narrower, dimmer. Push it one last time and it's a pinpoint of bright light surrounded by a diffuse halo. That's where I am right now -- setting number 3. My focus has narrowed to what's immediately around me:
  • My cats, who are awesome and who love me and who make me laugh.
  • My tomato plants, which are drooping a bit under golfball-sized fruit.
  • The teeny little praying mantids that have appeared in my garden, no longer than my little fingernail is wide. We play hide and seek in that I try to look at them and they hide under a leaf, then I turn that leaf over and they swivel their heads and give me what I swear is a look of indignation.
  • The admirable oblivion of the chirpy little sparrows that live in my neighborhood and have no idea what the fuck is going on in the world. Today they're happily tweeting about some moldy bread that I threw out there for them. It's not good for them, and I know that, but it's good for me, so I did it anyway. (I trimmed the mold off. I'm not a monster.)
  • Also, books. I finished a book today for the first time in I don't know how many years. Books are good. Words on a page are good.
I mean, I had to have my meds tweaked recently because I'm sick. and. tired. of having panic attacks. Even with a reduced news diet, the low-level medium-level radiation in the current atmosphere is toxic enough to inflame my anxiety like the air quality inflames my asthma. It hasn't really worked yet, and part of the tweak was reducing an anti-depressant that sometime increases anxiety. Opening the door wider to depression seems like a really ballsy thing to do right now, but you take the trade-offs.

Staying within the narrower flashlight beam is a lot more peaceful for me right now. It feels unsafe to stop paying as much attention, but there are other kinds of 'unsafe' that are unsafer, and some of those come from paying too MUCH attention and letting it all weigh you down.

That's not a sermon. It's just what I'm managing to do to get through it.

I'll have fresh tomatoes for anyone who's in my neck of the woods seeking summer sanctuary.
posted by mudpuppie at 3:38 PM on May 27 [25 favorites]


Without Metafilter and the politics megathreads especially, I'd be an utter wretched wreck. I'd be all panic attacks and scrambling to figure out what is going on. It is a considerable time investment to keep up with the comments, but better that than the alternatives. And I have the time. My mental health professional appreciates this.

Thank you, all you mefites who are way better at finding news than I am, and who put it all together and give it context. Because of you I can keep up, and I can be a filter for some of my friends who can't keep up, or who panic at every new scary headline and don't go on to read the rest. That is what I can do to help.

It is funny that since the election, and running out of fucks and evens, I am doing things I couldn't do before. I've thought about hanging a hammock in my room for years, but would talk myself out of it every time. It was too dangerous, too risky, what if I break the house or myself?!!?!! Now, why not? Why wait? After beanplating the heck out of it, I bought a nice cordless drill and impact driver set, a couple of hammocks, and some hardware.

Sleeping in a hammock is great.
posted by monopas at 3:53 PM on May 27 [11 favorites]


I don't know what to make of anything anymore. Frankly, darkest timeline seems to make as much sense as anything. I moved away in 2014 and half of me is aghast and horrified that I'm not there to agitate like I should be, and the other half is so fucking grateful I cannot even put it into words.

If I can offer summer sanctuary to anyone, and you want to come to The Hague to escape briefly and can do so, you can crash at mine anytime. Just let me know. Fly into Amsterdam Schiphol and I'll pick you up at the airport, and we'll sit by some canals and have beers and pretend we're still living in a world where logic applies, at least for a little while.
posted by sldownard at 3:59 PM on May 27 [16 favorites]


I'll have fresh tomatoes for anyone who's in my neck of the woods seeking summer sanctuary.

I love that. I don't have fresh tomatoes, but I love to bake. Anybody who is coming through or in the Denver area and needs to go bleargh or needs a hug or just some quiet company is always welcome to come to my house for hugs and cookies. Or sangria. And dog petting.
posted by barchan at 4:03 PM on May 27 [7 favorites]


There's a park within walking distance of my house with deer and ducks and turtles and chipmunks and I've been spending a LOT more time there lately. Nature is the only thing that calms me down lately. Even drinking tends to make me either angry or morose.
posted by AFABulous at 4:04 PM on May 27 [4 favorites]


I've been meaning to reach out to you mudpuppie wondering if you're doing ok since I haven't seen you here much. I'm glad you chimed in, & I'm glad you have cats & a garden to soothe you.

I need to scroll up, but I'm also wondering if sciatrix is faring ok.
posted by yoga at 4:26 PM on May 27 [8 favorites]


Maybe we should follow the holiday refuge offering with summer sanctuary?

I'm about an hour up the river from NYC in a charmless/grim rental with no a/c and not much in the way of furniture, in a small town which is difficult to access by public transport, but with hot and cold running gravity, a single spare bed and plenty of floor, a porch with many and varied birds to watch/listen to nearby, and a very, very friendly cat. Memail if you're interested in whatever respite/sanctuary I can offer, and I'll leave the light on for you.
posted by you must supply a verb at 7:56 PM on May 27 [10 favorites]


I got sucked into the Mefi Politics threads something fierce. Totally addictive and completely maladaptive. The despair and sadness are overwhelming. I wish everybody well. See you on the other side.
posted by dmh at 2:54 AM on May 28 [1 favorite]


Sleeping in a hammock is great.

I own two Hennessy hammock tents and an ENO hammock chair and would like to formally request that the topic of this discussion be changed to an analysis of the features and benefits of the hammock-based lifestyle.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:19 AM on May 28 [11 favorites]


My life is falling apart to the point that it's an effective distraction from truly contemplating the horrorshow that is this timeline, so yay? For anyone suffering, MeMail me if you want to escape to the beach in a tiny apartment with a neurotic MeFite and a playful cat.

hammock-based lifestyle.

Do you know where I could get some business hammocks?
posted by Room 641-A at 7:14 AM on May 28 [7 favorites]


I'm sorry I've been mostly absent lately, although I have been reading the threads. After all the tumult in my life, I washed up on a farm and it doesn't give me a lot of time to write.

Just yesterday I was out on the mower, because the mowing is never finished here. It was a beautiful day; blue skies and puffy white clouds blowing in a warm breeze. As I sat on the top of the hill looking out over the beautiful scene my first thought was, "I should enjoy this, because maybe it's the last nice day ever." I'll never forgive that bastard and all his supporters for that.

We don't have a spare room, but there's a camping area here with a pole barn kitchen and room for tents. We'll figure out how to make it work if any of y'all stop by.
posted by ob1quixote at 7:18 AM on May 28 [15 favorites]


I have been spending a lot of time in my own hammock in the back yard with a glass of wine and one of a succession of fantasy novels. I usually research any purchase extensively, but it seemed unnecessarily stressful to spend a lot of time researching hammocks, so I bought the same $20-something travel hammock Kimothy already had and whatever the top-rated portable frame was on Amazon. For about $100 total I now have a small space for relaxation and happiness amid the greenness of my Midwestern back yard. A friend got me a couple solar lights for it off Amazon, too, so if I stay out there 'til dark, I won't stumble getting up. It's good.
posted by limeonaire at 7:23 AM on May 28 [8 favorites]


I forgot to mention there are horses to pet and brush and maybe ride. I've always scoffed at that aphorism, "The best thing for the inside of a person is the outside of a horse," but it's​been true for me.
posted by ob1quixote at 7:31 AM on May 28 [9 favorites]


Man, yesterday I read an article about the election and it somehow ran down about 75% of my phone battery. I think the last 6 months has done that to my life battery too.

A hammock and a horse sound like just the right things for recharging.
posted by ferret branca at 8:42 AM on May 28 [12 favorites]


It's always nice to see you pop back in, ob1quixote :)
posted by Room 641-A at 8:50 AM on May 28 [7 favorites]


My hammock hangs out back, the kids from next door play in it, I explained the no worries to their parents, and it is durable. It used to fill with my little girls, and their friends, sometimes as many as six, three on either end! I mostly look at it, and maintain a hammock corner in my mind. I have a camping hammock with a mesh zip top, that can go in it for a bug free zone.

You people help me to like people at all, since I tend to go global in my thinking, I forget the monster is comprised of many smaller entities, unintended subsystems in the huge organism we are. We just have to change the attitude of the fractal, from the smaller pieces up.

And, Betsy Devos's smart company isn't going to help her money and religion diseased, brain. Too much of what she did have, went into making those huge monster teeth. So you teachers out there on the crappy end of the stick, remember she is an individual with severe moral disabilities.
posted by Oyéah at 10:21 AM on May 28 [4 favorites]




Right now, I'm not 100% sure that I exist.
posted by jonmc at 12:58 PM on May 26 [20 favorites +] [!] [quote]


At first I was sure you did. But now? I'm not so sure either.
posted by Splunge at 12:55 PM on May 28 [2 favorites]


For a bunch of professional and some personal reasons I ended up devouring the news in a way I hadn't done since January when I muted everything orange to take control of my mindspace and wellbeing.

Just 5 days, and I feel like I've been to hell and back. I found myself trapped and sucked in by all the media blaring the T word in order to grab what little was left of the world's attention that they hadn't already bloated out on.

To go out on a limb of dark fantasy, it felt like a subterranean struggle was taking place between the Orcs and the Dwarves, while the Elves and Hainish clinked glasses and tried to find common ground with the minions of Jabba the Hut.

I can go back to ignoring the news now. I suspect this time around I'll be muting and unfollowing a wee bit more rigorously than ever before.
posted by infini at 2:08 PM on May 28 [2 favorites]






On a more serious note, my outlook has changed. I still viscerally hate The One Who Will Not Be Named. But I actually have a better understanding of the morass that is Federal Government. When Obama was in office I hated that he could get almost nothing done. Now I consider that a feature, not a bug. I can even watch the Cheeto Satan act like the asshole he is with a bit of enjoyment. The Melania hand slap, his Papal Fiasco. These things give me hope. Along with the ongoing Russia investigation. There are nuggets of enjoyment along with the general malaise created by his very existence.

I have the germ of hope in my soul. It may or may not be watered with the blood, sweat and tears of his downward spiral.

One may hope. One may indeed hope.
posted by Splunge at 6:17 PM on May 28 [3 favorites]


Yesterday on public radio I heard that fucknugget's new budget included a line item to round up wild horse herds on western public lands and sell them to foreign slaughterhouses in order to both save and make money.

Far be it for me to defend the Trump Administration for any reason, and I really need to take a very long hot shower now, but I live in a county with a substantial wild horse wilderness area. This is not a new controversy. The problem is basically :

1. Horses are an invasive species, and they crowd out native species (deer, elk, etc.) for access to habitat and water. The land can only support so many animals - more horses means fewer other kinds.

2. They have basically no natural predators. This is in part because of ranching - predators that can take down a horse can take down a steer. Part of this is the invasive species thing. Point is, outside of illness or injury, a mature wild horse has not very much to fear.

There are two ways to limit the wild horse population - starvation or culling. Neither plays well in the press. I should point out that we manage the size of elk and deer herds through culling by hunting*.

They must be rounded up, and then something done with them. Sterilization and release only gets you so far. These are wild animals, and they aren't terribly suitable for riding or labor - they cost money and land to keep up. But if you are not deterred by those things, you can adopt them if you like. There are far, far more horses than potential homes however.

The simple fact is that wild horse population must be managed, and unless you're willing to adopt and care for all of the excess animals, some will need to be killed. There isn't much middle ground on this point, and I am sympathetic - I love seeing the horses while out hiking or biking. They are amazing. But, so are the deer and elk and antelope that they crowd out.

This is a controversy that goes back decades, and it is not new to Trump, and there are no good solutions. As the climate changes, it will be a more pressing issue, I am sure.

* Hunting is an important part of wildlife management in the absence of natural predators. I get that opinions vary on meat consumption, but hunted game is Free Range, Grass Fed, Non-GMO/BGH/ETC, and if you are not an idiot, humanely harvested. More lefties should hunt, IMO.

Back to the subject, the main benefit of the Trump Train Wreck is that I no longer take any conservative seriously on anything. Trump has exposed the utter ridiculousness that is Conservatism.

Also, I am planning a three week backpacking trip on the Colorado Trail - I've never looked ahead to any trip with so much glee before.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 6:59 PM on May 28 [12 favorites]


Actually Pogo_Fuzzybutt, I'm from a big wild horse area as well, and quite familiar with the controversies. Thank you for outlining them so well. Like so many land management challenges, it's never black and white, is it? My problem when I heard that news is that a) yeah, I do love wild horses - and burros! - and they live in areas in my neck of the woods where the only real competition is also invasive whitetail, which are quite prone to disease; and b) I highly doubt that any of that thought went into it, that it was just a line item to save and/or make money. I also see it as one of those microaggressive power blows to the BLM, who manage so much of the land that wild horses are on, and those moves are really building up. That's what made *this* person angry.

(Also when you start (or end) at the N. end of the CT, we'd be happy to take you out for a beer or something!)
posted by barchan at 8:19 PM on May 28 [3 favorites]


Right now, I'm not 100% sure that I exist.
posted by jonmc at 12:58 PM on May 26 [20 favorites +] [!] [quote]


Oh nonsense, Jon. I've gotten drunk with you and I can assure you with 100% confidence and untrammelled megalomania that you absolutely do not exist.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:03 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


Cogito ergo quaerunt.
posted by clavdivs at 9:39 PM on May 28 [2 favorites]


So in more freaking out: we're supposed to take this awesome trip outside the country this summer, and half of it is already paid for, but I'm really fucking scared we - well, I at least - won't be able to get back into the country. I keep switching back and forth from "hop a military transport so I'm not going through customs" and "buy a ticket, what if the military flights stop accepting passengers?"
posted by corb at 9:48 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


Maybe we should follow the holiday refuge offering with summer sanctuary? If you can take off time and can drive for a bit but don't want to pay any money for a hotel or hostel, stay with some MeFites somewhere -- get out of town, take some time off. Or we can set up regional camping trips to make the most of weekends. Or both! So I'll pitch New Mexico: it's still pretty nice, weather-wise, but the spring wind is finally kicking up, so camping might not be as pleasant as sleeping indoors, but maybe it's not so bad in the upper portion of the state, where there are big trees to block the wind.

I'm onboard with flt's idea. He's offering New Mexico so I'm offering West Texas. It's not as cool as northern NM but it's less windy. I don't do camping but I do have a lot of knowledge of local outdoor activities. If that's not yer jam, I have a nice guest bedroom and a comfy couch. Summer sanctuary... memail me, my Mefi friends!
posted by blessedlyndie at 12:56 AM on May 29


The thing I keep circling back to is that 'Donald Trump' is 'President.' I can't get over this. I can't square this with what I thought America was. Granted my idea of America is one I cobbled together as an 'immigrant' will, but at it's center was that government was to make sure the little guy didn't get fucked, not by some king or some corporation or government itself.

Being an 'ex-pat' I have to explain Trump about once a week or so and for a while I was relying on the quirk of the electoral college and the 'fact' that he squeaked in with about 175,000 votes. That phase is over, now it's pure dismissal. Merkel said it yesterday, 'That's it for thinking the US is going to act like a big boy. Let's make our own plans.' Which is tough because the EU project has relied on the US, to the benefit of both sides. Now one side is likely going to get it in the neck and with the US hobbled by the absence of a functioning administration I have no idea how this is all going to shake out.

The most depressing part of this is the feeling that Democracy in the US has failed. Not just because the Trump was elected but because people (who for totally human and excusable reasons) were led to think that a man like that is a viable President. That mechanisms were put in place (FoxNews) that would pander to the lowest urges of people, blinding them to their own good sense.

Or maybe it was Putin who engineered this whole travesty, dangling that 30 Billion from the sale of Rosneft as incentive and Jared/Trump went for it.

Or maybe it was the Koch brothers. Or the Blackstone guy.

Whatever the case, the measures that were supposed to prevent assholes from exploiting the people have been subverted and I don't have the feeling like anyone gives a shit or a plan to put things right.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:36 AM on May 29 [8 favorites]


Yeah--we thought lots of terrible, heinous, destructive motherfuckers would be good presidents, too: Nixon...Reagan...Clinton...Bush...Obama...

And all of them presided over a complete gutting of the middle class and an epoch-defining growth of inequality.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 3:54 AM on May 29


Hey, Joseph Gurl, this is the happy thread, not the petulant thread.
posted by ambrosen at 4:19 AM on May 29 [7 favorites]


So I'm in the rainforest right now, in Côte d'Ivoire. The joke, of course, was that I'm fleeing political instability in the US to find refuge in West Africa. Except the military here in Cote d'Ivoire had a mutiny back in January, and the president promised them all 12 million CFA to get them to stand down. So I arrived on Thursday May 11, when the government announced that they didn't have the money to pay everyone as promised, and the military leadership agreed to accept half that amount. Except they didn't discuss it with the rank and file, who promptly re-mutinied. I was able to drive across the country on May 13, but when I came to town to turn in my permits, the local military encampment surrounded the town and started shooting their AKs and other arms in the air in protest of the decision by the government. So I hid next to the stove of the kiosk where I was eating my omelette and coffee and waited for them to stop shooting. About a half hour later, we drove - very quickly - back into the forest.

I just got on the internet for the first time in a week. There's so much terrible stuff happening in so many places, and all the little personal refuges we build are part of the real world. I have taken my deep breath and I'm ready to get back into it.
posted by ChuraChura at 5:57 AM on May 29 [33 favorites]


I need to vent because, holy shit, this last year has been a motherfucker. I mean, as bad as it gets -- which is really weird, considering that nothing that's happened has been directly to me, just people close to me. Which maybe is sort of worse.

So, you may have seen my late-night, despondent, cry-for-help message in late November.

Well, so what's changed? Hmm. My step-niece did finally leave her abusive boyfriend in March. But then, this month, she got back together with him. That's not unexpected and, right at this time, sort of just one more thing.

The main thing is, if any of you recall, my step-sister became unexpectedly and catastrophically ill last April, wasn't expected to make it through the weekend, and ended up being in the ICU, barely hanging on, for almost six week, then an additional two weeks in the critical care unit, where they finally removed the vent and let her die. With incomplete family unanimity on this decision -- two of her three children weren't consulted (the two that had been staying with us). Also who knew that someone could actually be talking and lucid and asked to make a decision about end-of-life but, when she decided she doesn't want to die yet and they move her to the long-term critical care unit, they medicate her heavily such that she's not competent to make such a decision, they won't reduce the medication to ask her what she wants, and so some random member of the family who is there at the time can just say, yeah, let's pull the plug? I sure didn't know this was how this stuff worked.

But, anyway. That's history. Seems like life was sort of, maybe, getting back to normal after the new year. Not counting the unbelievable fuckery of Donald Trump as President.

So then my mom's husband, the man who just lost his daughter, my nominal step-father (though I don't think of him that way, since they married when I was 28) just in the last two weeks was diagnosed with a stage IV cancer. 10% survival rate at 5 years, average is about 18 months. Radiation treatment on the bone in his arm (not the primary cancer, which is in his lung) began last week -- some more of that, then the chemo starts.

I haven't really talked about this, because it's sort of embarassing, but I have been living with my mom and her husband. They are both about 72. Through all this, though I'm disabled myself, I've tried to be as much a help as possible. And my mother is a caretaker personality, a retired RN, last year she took on so many responsibilities that no one else in the family bothered with (such as taking in the two younger adult children of my dying step-sister -- the older a drug addict -- they had to kick him out because of the kinds of things that drug addicts do, and then the younger, 21 year-old high-school dropout with a 2 1/2 year old daughter, who, by the way, I adored and haven't seen since January) ... what was I saying? Yeah, my mother took on all these responsibilities while dealing with her alcoholic husband who gets combative at night when he's been drinking and she'd occasionally come to me and say, hey, could you come out with me to the back porch because I need to vent and some support? Which I did; I tried to help as much as I could, along with practical stuff and talking, when warranted, to these two young adults who are so very troubled and watching their mother die.

So now, her husband has what is basically terminal cancer. This happened fast, as these things often do. I asked my mom: is my being here a net negative or a net positive? Because I have enough money saved that I could move out (though my disability benefit isn't quite enough to support me)? I worry that she also worries about me. Both myself and my sister have this bone disease and our mother just frets over our deteriorating health. But my sister thinks that I, being the older child who was born when our mother was only 18, and with whom I'm as much a friend as a son, well, my sister thinks that I'm a big support to her and thinks it's better that I'm here. And when asked directly, that's what my mother said.

But I feel so goddamn useless. There's so much he can't already do, that she will need to do, plus she'll be increasingly looking after him, so I feel that I need to do all sorts of practical things but, frankly, I'm much less able than my 72 year old mother. I don't know how much I'm going to be able to do. But I will do it, because it needs to be done.

So, yeah: what the fucking fuck? This has been like the worst year, ever. But I feel like I can't complain because nothing has happened to me, just to people close to me. Also, my sister has a fragile vertabrae in her neck spine and could be instantly killed in a minor car accident ... this because of the bone disease we have. And no one has ever bothered to x-ray or otherwise look closely at that area of my spine, so maybe that's true of me, too? Who knows? I sure don't.

And a minor annoyance that isn't so minor, since I'm poor: a lightning surge last week killed my PC. I bit the bullet and ordered a laptop yesterday and I'm feeling nauseated about spending the money.

So I've vented. And shared a lot of personal information -- some of which I'm not thrilled about announcing to my fellow mefites. But I really, really needed to chime in with my own, personal, what the fucking fuck?.

And, yeah, I am keeping up with the news because it's not every day that one witnesses what may be the collapse of an empire because some asshole was in charge of things. Okay, Nero, that's a good example. Does Trump play the fiddle? (I know that's apocryphal ... obviously, Donald Trump isn't capable of the discipline of learning to play a musical instrument.)
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:53 AM on May 29 [28 favorites]


(Had been missing your superior thinking skills and opinions of late, now understand why. I'm inclined to believe you have legions of supporters here, with whom your vent is safe. Take care of your good self.)
posted by progosk at 8:32 AM on May 29 [3 favorites]


Ivan F.,
it's all circular, you know. Learning a musical instrument at an appropriate age would surely have helped him develop a yuger emotional capacity and would have polished some of his stagnant synapses. But if you have such irregularly short fingers, what would you even want to learn? A recorder? Can't reach the lowest holes with a hand like that. A piano? Hah, a three-fingertips piano perhaps. Saxophone? He'd likely drop it. So, my theory is, it's his hands that have prevented his emotional and intellectual development.

Also: truly sorry to hear about your extremely shitty last year. My mom was diagnosed with metastatic cancer three days before Trump was elected, and died on 30 December, so I have somewhat of an idea of how it feels, but still, this seems very tough ...
posted by Namlit at 8:41 AM on May 29 [2 favorites]


I'm super late to this thread, because I was out of town, but whatever. All I can think of lately is that I picked a WEIRD fucking year to move to the US. Goddamn.
posted by quaking fajita at 9:01 AM on May 29 [11 favorites]


The thing I keep circling back to is that 'Donald Trump' is 'President.' I can't get over this. I can't square this with what I thought America was.

Every morning when I wake up.

I'm super late...All I can think of lately is that I picked a WEIRD fucking year to move to the US.

Shit, we're all just getting ready to leave.
posted by bongo_x at 11:08 AM on May 29 [4 favorites]


I'm also late to this thread, but I just need to vent: My wife was called an "anti-American liberal" by a fellow (Trump-supporting) PTA parent this weekend, for re-sharing this article under our school's PTA account. Fellow parent wanted to be vice-president of our school's PTA next year. I hate what all this has become, where wanting your children's education to be properly funded and wanting them to have healthcare makes you "anti-American" in some people's worlds. And sorry, "liberal" is not an insult to me. :-)
posted by jferg at 12:32 PM on May 29 [4 favorites]


I highly doubt that any of that thought went into it, that it was just a line item to save and/or make money

Please don't misapprehend me - I'm not calling you out. It's just that I work closely with the local BLM as a trail leader and volunteer - so I'm familiar with how this story goes. It's been a Right Wing outrage generator for years before the lefties got ahold of it, and unfortunately, the BLM and the horses are caught in the middle. Its very frustrating for my friends/acquaintances who work in the trenches on these things.

Frankly, rounding up and selling the horses for slaughter is probably the best of the available outcomes - assuming the BLM is allowed to use the funds raised for further management efforts. It's no panacea or anything, and there are lots of ways that it goes sub-optimally, but the entire situation is a shit sandwich, and something really does need to be done about it.

(Also when you start (or end) at the N. end of the CT, we'd be happy to take you out for a beer or something!)

I wish I had time for a through hike, but I don't. I'll be starting probably around section 6, near Breck and working down towards Gunnison (section 15 or so). If weather permits, I'd like to try and bag a couple of 14ers as well. We shall see - there are no expectations for this trip except to be on the trip. It's not about mileage, its about walking about.

That said, beers with MeFites would be splendid in any circumstance - and I do expect to take you up at some point. And, if you - or any other MeFite - are ever on the Best Slope, beers on me.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:56 PM on May 29 [3 favorites]


I would like if just for this thread we could has img tag again pls
posted by The otter lady at 5:04 PM on May 28


Is it bad that I want to flag this as "HTML/Display Error"?

And I accidentally flagged a comment in this thread, sorry mods.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:59 PM on May 29


Also why the fuck does my 5-year-old know what deportation is? DARKEST TIMELINE.

My eight-year-old doesn't know who the Prime Minister of our country is. He's still not clear that going interstate isn't the same as going overseas ('why can't we just drive to Japan?').

But he knows Donald Trump's name. He knows his title. And he knows that he wants to build a wall; that he wants Mexico to pay for it; that he wants to stop helping people escaping from bad places; and that he wants to send people who already escaped back to those bad places.

He doesn't have a concrete grasp of what a world war is, but he's convinced that Trump is probably going to start World War III.

Things aren't great here either. Our Minister for Potatoes has armed vessels looking for leaking rafts loaded with unarmed peasants escaping atrocities, ready to send them to special camps where some of them will die, which is better than them stealing our jobs while simultaneously being unemployed.

We have a Prime Minister who's willing to say 'no, it's about integrity in reporting tennis history' when somebody takes the national stage to decry the apparently monstrous immorality of gay marriage (but dear God don't interrupt her, how dare you impose yourself like that?).

We're happy to dig even more black and brown poison out of the ground so we can burn it, but don't worry, this is magic poison, it's tots clean and safe.

And we have around half of the country backing them to the hilt, accusing them of being too soft, wondering when we're going to round up all the queue jumpers and terrorists and abos and poofs and queers and make them march into the ocean.

But we're only 26 million people, we're largely apathetic, we have a deep distrust of coalitions, and we can only do so much damage on our own. You're more than ten times that number and you've got nukes and you don't need anybody's help to end the world tomorrow if you decide you don't want to wait fifty years for the sun to do it for you. It's not a great time to be alive. I should be revelling in electric cars and solar roofs and CRISPR and jumping up and down and clapping at a coming post-scarcity global culture.

But no. Because fuck humanity today - we got ours. Fuck humanity tomorrow - we have guns. Fuck humanity because who's in charge now? It ain't fags and the NCAAP, that's for damn sure. It's the turn of the oppressed, silent white majority, the real victims of all these damn conspiracies. We're taking back what was never ours but we took it anyway and we never lost it but we're obviously the victims here. We're dumb and we're scared and by sweet baby Jesus in the manger you're all going to fucking pay.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 5:39 PM on May 29 [13 favorites]


We have little kids in the house so number one rule is don't turn on the news. They don't need to see it and my blood pressure can't take it. Also, I'm 30 days off FB and that's done my bp a good turn as well. Metafilter keeps me apprised of any major news stories (thanks y'all) but mostly I'm just burying my head in the sand at this point. I commented in another thread earlier this week that we literally have The West Wing on an endless loop at our house, our effort at escapism. If reality doesn't serve then I'm grateful to have some model to present to my kids of people who provide thoughtful consideration of various criteria before making decisions that affect great numbers of people, and we talk about how doing that work is a service to others in our community.

We also go with Mr. Rogers' advice to look for the helpers. We talk about helpers and being helpful to others and how to be a good citizen (as it applies to little kids, not so much in a patriotic sense - basically a think globally, act locally kind of sense), and about having gratitude for little things like someone who was nice at the grocery store, etc. I don't have energy for much more than teaching these small people to be good people and to recognize that their actions affect others so they need to make good decisions about how to act.

I would still like to believe that this is all part of a grander scheme, the ultimate goal of which is to demonstrate to Americans, if not the world, that we've strayed too far away from community and into individualism; that we blew right past "should we?" while we were contemplating "can we?" in terms of demolishing our social fabric. But sadly I don't truly believe that's the reality; I don't think there are any big-picture, long-term goals at work in the current administration, at least not that would benefit more than a select few people. Right now I just hope that this experience will galvanize us as a nation, cause people to act whereas before they had apathy, usher the change of some laws with regard to voting, and cause the pendulum to swing so far back that we can never end up in this position again. If I can believe that, if I can believe that there is an end date, then I can live through anything.
posted by vignettist at 8:25 PM on May 29 [5 favorites]


But if you have such irregularly short fingers, what would you even want to learn? A recorder?

oh no, now I have this disconcerting image of Donald playing "Smoke on the Water" on a Marimba.

Okay, Nero, that's a good example.
er, no, though his building the Domus Aurea is right on the money but no, the empire expanded after a brief civil war and the ones who took over worked for Nero. I see that parallel today i.e. the old guard dying out and a new one emerging that will submit to change only because of instability whilst continuing a long tradition of currency devaluation and using any pretext to expand and maintain an empire.

but fuckity fuck that, this about loss and hardship in our time and its real and evident. for what its worth, you both have my sympathy and while that may appear to be photon platitudes, i take away one thing, the honest desire to give back, in real life and this occurred to me before Trump and now that I have lost almost everything I held dear, its time for Praxis. I spend time everyday with a friends son trying to teach him the concept of addition without using preconceived concepts because obviously the teachers cant do it, and its working. These are the things that give purpose and the system is geometrically eroding that and im fucking pissed. Its easy to say people dont give a fuck or what not but its not that simple or one sided. for example i needed badly my bi-annual haircut and i was reluctant to pay over 8 bucks so i called up a place, the barber was frazzled, needed bird seed and stop in 20 minutes. i show up and he didn't get the seed yet so i offered to get him some two stores over, he peels off a ten spot and gives it to me, a total stranger. So i gets the seed because them birds were A chirping, provide a reciet, and after my hairs cut comes the obligatory "wha do I owe ya"....he says "its on me". So i offer to do some free-gratis work and leave my number, a possible opportunity emerges. whether something comes of it or not is not really the point, its that an element of trust exists and to me it seems alive and desperate, albeit a quiet one, to emerge. Hope to me is a platitude because now i have to work for that every minute and that is were I need to be.
love another and to give back in these times is tough and can be fraught with dubious intention.

it is as though we have to re-invent trust which is the first casualty of a self-centered society.
posted by clavdivs at 9:34 PM on May 29 [12 favorites]


or what vignettist said works too.
posted by clavdivs at 9:35 PM on May 29


Guys I dreamt HRC got kidnapped and I mounted a Die Hard style solo operation in the Mall Museum ventilation system to rescue her and Chelsea from the Trumplings and Frank Underwood.
posted by bq at 8:47 AM on May 30 [4 favorites]


The long weekend was moderately successful. I came back to work without wanting to drive into a wall/sink my grant. Also, I scared the living crap out of myself this weekend by doing "just a quick thing" with my bees without smoking them first and I ended up having to get in my car in full gear and drive away with all of the windows down because they would not stop attacking me. If I hadn't been wearing full gear, I estimate I would have been stung a couple of hundred times. Thankfully, I wasn't and just had a giant cortisol dump into my system, but after the last 6 months, it probably didn't make much of a difference. I then spent the rest of the weekend doing low risk things like laundry and snuggling my dog.
posted by Sophie1 at 9:25 AM on May 30 [1 favorite]


and I mounted a Die Hard style solo operation in the Mall Museum ventilation system

At the International Spy Museum in DC (real museum, not a euphemism for the White House) you can crawl through the vents and spy on the people on the floor below!
posted by Room 641-A at 9:55 AM on May 30 [5 favorites]


In the meantime, the newest question on the green is about the best way to spend a day at the Vatican, and I'm waiting for this first and best answer:

"Best tip: go on your own, don't go with Trump
Posted by SockSpiceyPuppy"

fake obvsl
posted by Namlit at 11:46 AM on May 30 [5 favorites]


Yes, everything is unbearable...and the people who refuse to listen to the mods and are posting cute little jokes and pictures of rock concerts and such in the political thread are really making me angrier than I should be at such behavior.
posted by agregoli at 12:47 PM on May 30 [1 favorite]


I am still carefully patrolling boundaries with my Trump-voting relatives. Their holiday tradition is to have me and my fam out to what I call "the compound" which is a few acres my brother and his wife live on in the middle of literal nowhere, where the gravel roads tear up my car and there is no wifi, which would be fine except that it's a two-hour drive just to get out there and then back home--you lose the whole day. I have never liked it, it's so easy to get lost on those unmarked roads and it's not particularly pretty country or anything, just flat and far away from everything.

They've fixed up the house pretty nice, but there is never anything on the TV but football, there is nothing to do except watch that or shoot skeet, and there is not a single book or magazine in the house. I get twitchy every time I'm there. I've got about an hour's worth of chitchat in me and then it's trying not to check my phone for the time every few minutes. It was always politically fraught, but when I went back there for Thanksgiving last year after the election, I realized; I can't do this. I can't drive out to the ass end of nowhere and bite my tongue for several hours just to make my family feel better. So I'm not going to do it anymore. Right now I'm coming up with excuses, but eventually I'll probably eventually have to tell them I just hate doing it and if they want to come into town for dinner and meet me, that's the most I can do right now.

They're not going to take it well, but damn it, I have to take care of myself.
posted by emjaybee at 1:03 PM on May 30 [15 favorites]


I can't even with anyone in my family who isn't at least contrite about voting trump. They know I have an immigrant Muslim wife. This really is a civil war going on now. I just want him to have an aneurysm or something so we can have a lesser evil as POTUS.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:31 PM on May 30 [5 favorites]


"just a quick thing" with my bees

They know their true destiny is to descend in a roaring swarm upon Mar-a-Lago. You are frustrating them and they has an angry.
posted by The otter lady at 2:39 PM on May 30 [5 favorites]


Yes, everything is unbearable...and the people who refuse to listen to the mods and are posting cute little jokes and pictures of rock concerts and such in the political thread are really making me angrier than I should be at such behavior.

Such things are truly not worth the blood pressure points. We're all better off just flagging the comments, skipping past them and moving on. The mods have been pretty good about deleting derails and other assorted garbage from those threads and keeping them on track.
posted by zarq at 2:53 PM on May 30 [2 favorites]


I'm tired of the constant feeling of anxiety and dread. It occasionally bubbles up into anger, but I feel like there's nothing I can do, so that anger turns into laughing/crying. I just don't know what to do.
posted by sarcasticah at 3:06 PM on May 30 [4 favorites]


On the main thread when I really want to answer a joke, I try to include a relevant comment as well.

And hugs, sarcasticah. I find myself thinking "Ok, what do I have to do right now?" and just doing that without thinking too much about other stuff.

Or else taking a walk. Doing that a lot too.

And antidepressants. Since I don't seem to get along with recreational chemicals that well, and I can only eat so many pints of ice cream.
posted by emjaybee at 3:23 PM on May 30


MetaFilter: "just a quick thing" with my bees
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 4:32 PM on May 30 [18 favorites]


The fact that members of this site can't even respect a mod enough to quit it when asked repeatedly to, absolutely chaps my hide, I can't help it.

I feel like even some folks here think this is all a big joke.
posted by agregoli at 5:20 PM on May 30


Burhanistan: I just want him to have an aneurysm or something so we can have a lesser evil as POTUS.

Not for women, it wouldn't be.
posted by tzikeh at 5:44 PM on May 30 [4 favorites]


Yes, everything is unbearable...and the people who refuse to listen to the mods and are posting cute little jokes and pictures of rock concerts and such in the political thread are really making me angrier than I should be at such behavior.
posted by agregoli at 3:47 PM


The fact that members of this site can't even respect a mod enough to quit it when asked repeatedly to, absolutely chaps my hide, I can't help it.

I feel like even some folks here think this is all a big joke.

posted by agregoli at 8:20 PM on May 30

And I find your hectoring posts on the Blue and here very abrasive. You have made yourself abundantly clear on the issue.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:05 PM on May 30 [8 favorites]


The fact that members of this site can't even respect a mod enough to quit it when asked repeatedly to, absolutely chaps my hide, I can't help it.

Totally understandable

I feel like even some folks here think this is all a big joke.

We all cope in different ways. I dip into humor. Anger. Outrage. Sadness. Um... maybe I'm not so much coping as trying to make sense of insanity. Don't know.

This is so stressful and hard to navigate mentally and emotionally. For us all.
posted by zarq at 6:05 PM on May 30 [10 favorites]


pictures of rock concerts

Are you talking about the Roger Waters show with a big display saying TRUMP IS A PIG?
posted by lalex at 6:24 PM on May 30 [7 favorites]


Yes, everything is unbearable ... cute little jokes and pictures of rock concerts and such in the political thread are really making me angrier than I should be at such behavior.

Well, what with all his yowling, eyebrow shaving, and "Mother will they drop the bomb," etc., Roger Waters can be pretty unbearable, this is true.

And I don't want to make anyone's experience here worse, but some of us use humor to deal with this shit. I'm perfectly willing not to complain when the mods delete my bon mots, if no one else does when they don't.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:33 PM on May 30 [13 favorites]


I had a terrible day. A depressing day. Led off by a FOAF on Facebook arguing that he would have been so much smarter than the people in Portland who got stabbed, would have known how to "de-escalate," and that racism isn't real, it's a construct designed to separate us all, and the real racists are the people who say there is racism, etc. etc. It was a real Dunning-Kreuger incident, a stunning example of ignorant overconfidence, and this guy really believed he was onto some secret the rest of us are too dumb to figure out, and kept urging me to "break free from your chains" and "open your mind," before rambling on about various perspetives on feminism ("equity not equality") and foreign relations ("globalism sucks") and other Libertarian-bro view points. I left the whole thing deeply dejected, feeling like we're just fucked, the cavalry is not coming, the better angels have really deserted us, and it's time to pack it in.
posted by Miko at 7:29 PM on May 30 [10 favorites]


oh no, now I have this disconcerting image of Donald playing "Smoke on the Water" on a Marimba.

You rang?
posted by rhizome at 8:10 PM on May 30 [1 favorite]


pictures of rock concerts

lalex: Are you talking about the Roger Waters show with a big display


Right, this photo, and I think the original complaint about the link really mischaracterizes the original comment.

I absolutely want to know about artists who use their art and platform for dissent.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:17 PM on May 30 [3 favorites]


Guys, covfefe has put a bit of joy and laughter into my bleak heart for a bit. Hope you can enjoy the surreal comic relief!
posted by Burhanistan at 10:32 PM on May 30 [7 favorites]


For some in many situations, and for many in some situations, humo(u)r is the best or only way of coping with bad times and events. Over here in the UK we have our own version of a political shitstorm taking place, with an election in eight days time and much grimness economically, socially, in terms of healthcare, education, and what the dickens happens afterwards and post-Brexit. Hence many people - sometimes have to, to remain sane - default to the funnies of all variety. If you don't that's fine and your thing, but sanctimonious "We should all be very serious about absolutely everything all the time because it is all very serious" lecturing or "Everyone be like me and don't be individualistic in how you cope" orders will just get an eyeroll and a raised finger from this and many other corners.

So for here in the UK, the title of the election run-up post was an obvious choice as that was a big release valve for a lot of people. I'm working on the post for the election itself and if anyone thinks it's going to be deadly serious and sombre all the way through then heck they are going to be disappointed...
posted by Wordshore at 1:42 AM on May 31 [9 favorites]


And now I want German Toffifee candy. Thanks Trump.
posted by Namlit at 2:58 AM on May 31 [2 favorites]


Also, I haven't looked yet but am hoping the current Trump thread is full of covfefe witticisms. If it isn't, I'm going to be so disappointed in MetaFilter.
posted by Wordshore at 3:24 AM on May 31


Yeah it's totes full of covfefe jokes. After one single jokey comment I made yesterday got deleted, it's um... something.
posted by Fleebnork at 3:54 AM on May 31


I think the mods just walked away from that thread after mumbling "Forget it Jake, it's covfefe".
posted by octothorpe at 4:15 AM on May 31 [24 favorites]


Meanwhile, as gleeful as I was this morning while drinking the covfefe, I am now in despair at Trump's intention to withdraw from the Paris climate accords. We are so fucked.
posted by GrammarMoses at 4:54 AM on May 31 [2 favorites]


Me too, GrammarMoses, but now I have:

There was something in the air that night
The stars were bright
#covfefe


As an earworm, and it's somehow making me feel a little bit better.
posted by Sophie1 at 6:48 AM on May 31 [4 favorites]


Woke up this morning, saw 200 (200!) #covfefe posts. I just can't, you guys. I don't think the politics threads are a place I can be anymore. Thanks for the sanity and help while it lasted.

In any case, I donated some more to MF because mods, I am so, so sorry.
posted by ragtag at 6:54 AM on May 31 [2 favorites]


I feel now like people here have told me I was lecturing by sharing my feelings? Thanks.
posted by agregoli at 6:58 AM on May 31


I never really imagined I would be hated on for sharing here, is all. Please remember to be kind to your fellow mefites. Everyone needs a hug.
posted by agregoli at 7:04 AM on May 31


Honestly, this is the macro writ micro. How do you handle a community slowly sinking into but fighting against despair? The mods have suggested taking it to chat, but no one's ever in chat, so people pop in, see there's no one, and pop back out. Meanwhile, we are straining mod resources, and no doubt they all themselves also have their own reactions to the election. At the same time, having the ability to talk to the community about it is one of the only things keeping a lot of us with even a semblance of sanity. What to do? I don't know the answer, but I do know we need to talk about it sooner rather than later.
posted by corb at 7:29 AM on May 31 [7 favorites]


Americans, remember that within living memory Europe was fascist. In country after country democracy was defeated or overthrown. Then fascism was crushed so comprehensively that former fascists lived out their lives in shame of what they once were.

Love is stronger than hate, and truth is stronger than propaganda. Those are not comforting lies, they are historical facts. The goal of resistance is not to win, for we will win. The goal of resistance is to make sure we win sooner rather than later.

There is still today a free world, countries where fascism is being defeated and countries where fascism has no foothold. America has always had a deep antidemocratic streak, but in times past, in countries where justice seemed unattainable, people looked to America for proof that democracy was not impossible and found hope. Let Europe return the favour. Americans, if things seem hopeless for you, look to the free world to see your future.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 7:53 AM on May 31 [8 favorites]


THE WOMAN FROM ITALY ENTERS THE WHITE HOUSE
AS UNSEEN AND UNHEARD AS A TINY, WHITE MOUSE.
THOSE SHE PASSES CAN FEEL THEIR BONES START TO STRAIN
UNTIL THEY CURL IN A BALL IN UNBEARABLE PAIN.

SHE WHISPERS TO TRUMP IN THE DEAD OF THE NIGHT:
"GIVE FRIENDS, FOES, ALIKE A TERRIBLE FRIGHT.
ALL IN THE LAND WILL TREMBLE AND MAKE WAY
LEST THEY COME FACE TO FACE WITH THE MIGHTY COVFEFE."

posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:01 AM on May 31




What to do? I don't know the answer, but I do know we need to talk about it sooner rather than later.

We absolutely do, and I've started writing a MeTa in my head about 15 times but I just can't deal with the queue. I am 100% here for such a discussion if it happens.
posted by lalex at 9:04 AM on May 31 [3 favorites]


Songs that the Hyades shall sing,
Where flap the tatters of the King,
Must die unheard in

Dim Covfefe
posted by octobersurprise at 9:14 AM on May 31 [1 favorite]


the hardest thing for me right now is patience. i have little doubt that if the mueller inquiry is allowed to take its course, impeachable evidence will be uncovered, possibly so strong that it will overcome the republicans' unwillingness to act.

i was born in the middle of watergate but i've read about it extensively, both through historical accounts and collections of political cartoons and the columns of Art Buchwald.

the striking thing about watergate is that it reached a point where it seemed inevitable that it would lead to nixon's downfall but it still seemed to take forever to get from that point to his resignation.

my despair right now is that while nixon was a snake and kept us in vietnam for political reasons, he at least wasn't actively trying to dismantle the federal government while the investigation went on in the background.

every day trump is still in there makes everything worse and being patient feels like watching your house burn down while the firefighters carefully unroll the hoses, checking every inch for kinks.
posted by murphy slaw at 9:24 AM on May 31 [9 favorites]


...I feel like even some folks here think this is all a big joke.
posted by agregoli

I feel now like people here have told me I was lecturing by sharing my feelings? Thanks.
posted by agregoli


you have been here long enough to know better, IMO. When you throw "some people may" and qualify it with "feelings", it doesn't bode well, it feels as if your casting aspersions to the community as a whole rather then confronting someone directly, IMO it seems a bit disingenuous.

I know, iv'e pulled similar stuff outta my crap cap in the past but by being direct, you will save a lot of time by not being ignored. I see no "lecture" as the person who responded was direct and concise, IMO.
posted by clavdivs at 9:32 AM on May 31 [7 favorites]


For my own mental health, please stop commenting on my comments. I feel like shit and these critiques aren't helping. I won't be sharing anything in these threads any more, and so don't need any feedback.
posted by agregoli at 9:41 AM on May 31 [1 favorite]


please stop commenting on my comments.

understood.

{waves to octobersuprise, corb and devilsadvocate}
posted by clavdivs at 10:09 AM on May 31 [1 favorite]


I have the best weed and will share it with you.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:17 AM on May 31 [3 favorites]


It's spelled "tweet". quod erat vfefe
posted by Namlit at 10:49 AM on May 31


Reagan depressed me, Bush 2 really depressed me, Trump has me terrified, depressed, manic, etc. The stakes with global climate change are higher than ever, potentially existential, as in the widespread loss of habitability of the planet. The 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Conquest or Pestilence, War, Famine, and Death. Selling a huge arms cache to the Saudis, leaving the Paris Climate talks, both actions are a direct threat. In 1 week.

Things are so bad and so weird that Pres. Pants-On-Fire broadcasts a message that is literally incoherent, and the White House does not comment, explain, or address it. Maybe Spicer will do a song and dance about it, but the lack of an immediate response is fucking terrifyingly incompetent and bizarre. This isn't Trump's usual inability to communicate sense, this isn't rambling or incomplete unstructured attempts at sentences. Every day is more WTF than the one before.
posted by theora55 at 11:29 AM on May 31


What to do? I don't know the answer, but I do know we need to talk about it sooner rather than later.

We absolutely do, and I've started writing a MeTa in my head about 15 times but I just can't deal with the queue.


I started writing one but got stuck just figuring out what the question was, much less the answer.

The mods (for modding reasons I assume) and a handful of other people have written about the volume of posts there. Go to chat, stop making jokes, don't make single twitter posts, etc. And elsewhere on the site "please post about something else".

The suggestion to go to chat doesn't really make sense to me. There's other people chatting about other things in there. There's no history to scroll back to.

The majority of the posting in the politics thread doesn't seem any different to me than any other posts, no more joking or light comments or twitter links, there's just a lot more activity. The main thing that seems a problem to me is people posting the same story over and over, which makes me think they didn't read the thread.

It seems clear that the politics thread is something something a lot of want, the way it is. Is that sustainable?
posted by bongo_x at 11:57 AM on May 31 [4 favorites]


At the Midnight Oil show Monday night, in Portland, OR, they held a moment of silence for the two brave men who were stabbed to death on the MAX train by a white supremacist.

Unlike a lot of 'moments of silence', the band actually held it for a full minute.

The entire venue was completely still. The band, the roadies, the crowd, security, everyone was completely silent, and remained so until the lead singer moved again. For that complete minute. Then, the band went into 'Put Down that Weapon'.

I ran into one of the guitarists later (Jim Moginie), and thanked them for it. "Yeah, we did it a couple of times for Manchester, and there was always some jerk who ruined it. That didn't happen here."

Someone caught video of it, and The Oregonian put it on their YouTube page: Midnight Oil honors Portland MAX attack victims with powerful moment of silence.
posted by spinifex23 at 12:10 PM on May 31 [15 favorites]


I'm not saying anything that many of us haven't already said, but I, too, have lived long enough and followed politics closely enough that the very worst we might expect from today's Republicans wouldn't have surprised me. For example, a President Santorum. I'd be angry and sad and fearful about the future, but it would still be within territory I recognize; I'd be able to think, well, we can get through this.

President Trump is something else altogether. Not only do we have no idea what he might do on a petulant whim, not only is it in the realm of the eminently possible that the US president might be the subject of blackmail by a foreign government, but we also have to somehow comprehend that this man made it through the primaries to become his party's nominee and was actually voted into office.

These things are existentially terrifying because they simply weren't possible in the world I believed I lived in before 2006. This is like being attacked by a vampire or swallowed by Aiueb Gnshal.

Fuck?! FUCK!

There really is a monster hiding in your closet. We're off the map, we don't know if there are dragons, but we do know that we're all at the mercy of an impossible and malevolent orange clown.

There could be anything out here with us; there most likely is anything out here with us. Nothing is known, nothing is knowable, every second a plunge into the abyss.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:14 PM on May 31 [8 favorites]


The majority of the posting in the politics thread doesn't seem any different to me than any other posts, no more joking or light comments or twitter links, there's just a lot more activity. The main thing that seems a problem to me is people posting the same story over and over, which makes me think they didn't read the thread.

It seems clear that the politics thread is something something a lot of want, the way it is. Is that sustainable?


So, from my perception, which could be incorrect:

When the election was ongoing - especially when the primaries were ongoing, good lord, there was a lot of arguing and sniping going on in any thread that touched on the election or the primaries. At the start, Trump hadn't been nominated yet, and it was all about "Bernie-Or-Clinton". It was spreading, or seemed to be, into every thread on the site that even could be wangled to be about politics, or the election, even in stuff that would otherwise be normally unrelated. And people could have a fierce conversation about Aspect X of the primaries, only to go to a new thread, where someone new would create a fierce conversation about the very same aspect. It was tough on everyone and I imagine tough on the mods as well. So they - having no idea of what it would eventually become - did a thing they have done in previous elections and other Breaking News Times, and said that there would be only one election thread open at a time, and everything should be kind of corralled into there.

Well, then it was a crazy election. A thread that normally would have lasted a month and kind of died down except for chirps towards the end was moving at breakneck pace. Way, way worse than four years ago. Exponentially so, I think. And I think while we didn't recognize it fully then, the anxiety about the whole process, about the monstrosities discovered, made us hunker down in the thread more so than we would have otherwise. Trying to avoid things that had already been argued made even people not compulsively refreshing trying to read the whole thread. Think of The Tehlund Incident - it would have been bizarrely inconceivable before last, and only makes sense because the expectation developed that you should be reading the whole thread before commenting, but the thread is massive. The (convenient, useful) posting of the "Next!" link in the thread means that people simply click over to the next thread when it pops up and continues.

And so you mostly had the same posters - a LOT of them - posting and getting familiar with each other and following the same really, really, really long conversation. We had a FAQ for the in-jokes and references, because the election threads were really getting to be their own culturally distinct subsection of the site, with its own behaviors and norms and rules. They were crazily, insanely mod-intensive at a time when mods were already overworked, but the mods, I think, saw that November was coming and anticipated a Clinton win, a brief celebratory burst, and then everyone would sink back into consuming the site as normal.

It's oddly painful to type, but as everyone here knows, we didn't get that Clinton win. We didn't get the celebratory burst before normalcy. And the 'politics threads' - the same continuation of the first original threads, long enough to comprise probably multiple encyclopedias' worth of words by now - are the only things keeping people together. Mods care about us and about the community - they don't want to take it away. But we're all still on edge there. It's still mod-intensive. We're all still snapping at each other when our sharp places get prodded, even when we're trying not to. You see it even here in this thread a little bit! Nobody's a bad person, but this is hard stuff to avoid. And everybody is having a hard time now. Nobody wants to be unaware of what's happening and no one wants to consume media unfiltered - so you have new people entering the threads unaware of the norms and not reading the whole thread because they're a monstrously high barrier to entry, which gets the conversation that peacefully died down started back up again. Cortex was modding in the bathroom from his phone at one point because it was so crazy.

So I don't know how it could be sustainable at current rate. It wouldn't be more sustainable if it became a subsite - everyone would just go over there and there would be the same moderation burden. Any slighter moderation and you'd have mefites essentially internet duelling over things that happened nearly a year ago. And I say this as someone who desperately loves the politics threads and wants them to continue.

So I guess the real questions here aren't things like "is it sustainable" but rather:

1) If it were sustainable without being destructive, would the mods want to continue the politics threads in the form they have been manifesting? In a compromised form?
2) What would it take to get us there? Money? A week-long limit between posts? What could get us where we aren't breaking the site with what is essentially an addictive behavior that also feels practically necessary?
posted by corb at 1:17 PM on May 31 [9 favorites]


I'm not a heavy commenter but I read the potus45 threads on a daily basis. I'm also a hiker who hasn't gone hiking much lately, but I am finally getting out this weekend and I think I really, really, really need the time offline.

The Paris Agreement ain't perfect by a long shot, but the idea of pulling out of it might shatter a small part of me that I have been trying to protect fiercely for the last several months. The latest hullaballoo about "the Paris Agreement announcement will happen tomorrow at 3pm!!!" basically has me feeling like tomorrow's announcement is going to be a live televised event of someone signing what is effectively a death warrant, but for entire generations.

I used to rejoice I don't have children because of the freedom it affords me, now I am relieved I don't have them because I wouldn't know how to protect them in this world.
posted by mostly vowels at 7:00 PM on May 31 [4 favorites]


{waves to octobersuprise, corb and devilsadvocate}

Hi, clav!
posted by octobersurprise at 7:02 PM on May 31 [1 favorite]


If the offer is still open, I'll take the blue pill, please.
posted by she's not there at 2:12 AM on June 1 [3 favorites]


I have been out of the country since May 22, so I missed the Manchester bombing and the entire Trump Trip and everything that went along with it. I pity you poor people that had to watch it all unfold in real time, but believe me it feels even weirder in compressed form.
posted by yhbc at 7:39 AM on June 1 [1 favorite]


The latest headline on CNN: "Ivanka may get climate pact concession" and ya know what...just...fuck her. Fuck her and her stupid husband and dad. Fuck em all. AAAAARGH!

(thanks Metafilter, I really don't know what I would do without this place)
posted by Bacon Bit at 10:32 AM on June 1 [2 favorites]


One of the sneaky awful things is that it will be politically difficult to recover from a lot of the changes that are being made, assuming they go through.

Let's say Trump calls for a 30% cut in some desperately-needed, already strapped department.

If a progressive takes over after the fact, and tries to reinstate the original funding (setting aside inflation or other increased costs over time, let alone whether they really needed more money in the first place), the reinstatement will look like a *huge* increase in funding to the department, which will be very easy to attack from the other side. That's because to go from x to 0.7x and then back to x means you won't be asking for just a 30% increase — you'll have to ask for a 43% increase.

And the thing is, mathematically this is sound but people looking at it will say, "Hey wait — this was only cut 30%, and now you're trying to increase it by over 10% more?" even though that is not at all what is happening.

The bigger the cuts, the worse it looks — 25% cut requires just a 33% increase but 50% cuts require 100% spending increase, and if something is cut by 60% it would require a whopping 150% increase in spending.

Oh, and don't forget his plans to cut out certain programs entirely, which technically would probably require these entities to be created anew (and depending how long they are out of commission, it will be years before they return to their original operating capacity, which means they'll need even more funding than usual for hiring and training).

I'm not too knowledgeable of how these budget things work but I'm pretty sure people don't look kindly to large double-or-triple digit spending increases, even if they would absolutely be necessary.
posted by Deathalicious at 10:40 AM on June 1 [3 favorites]


I'd offer a blue pill but I left them in the car and they all melted together. They don't even look that blue - there may have been some red pills mixed in.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:13 PM on June 1


I have a sore throat that isn't conducive to doing this at all, and my face hurts from having a bunch of teeth pulled out of it like three weeks ago, and I knew it was coming, I asked when it was coming, but waking up to the Paris Agreement thing makes me want to go outside without bothering to dress or untangle my hair and just start shaking people and shouting.

I'm not gonna for multiple reasons (mostly: I'm tired) but that's how I feel. The Paris Agreement was never perfect and the collective action of our species on climate change has been too little, too late, don't care; but explicitly denying the reality of climate change because coal is gonna make a comeback (wtf?) and bring in those sweet coal mining jobs everybody's been clamoring for (WTF???) is just. I just.

MeMail me if you've got a flask of Ice-9.
posted by byanyothername at 1:36 PM on June 1 [5 favorites]


Just un fucking believable
posted by bq at 2:24 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


How little can we do to possibly mitigate the worst effects of climate change? Not even this -><- little.
posted by mollweide at 3:19 PM on June 1


I've been doing OK lately but then today's news has just sent me into a tailspin. I'm just so fucking livid that the orange idiot would pull out of the Paris accords and use my fair city as his reason for doing it that I'm sitting here paralyzed with anger when I should be doing ten different things that I need to be doing.

Plus someone came into our garden yesterday and stole a fucking bonzai tree that my wife had just bought and planted. Who steals a tree?
posted by octothorpe at 4:49 PM on June 1 [6 favorites]


I dunno, but someone stole a juniper from the people on the next block from me, going by the angry "bring back our juniper" sign I saw.

People be assholes.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:37 PM on June 1 [2 favorites]


Who steals trees? This is all going to shit.
posted by mollweide at 6:47 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


Plus someone came into our garden yesterday and stole a fucking bonzai tree that my wife had just bought and planted. Who steals a tree?

Fucking Keebler Elves.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:54 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


Who steals a tree?

I suspect they also elected a reality TV star to the fucking white house. Sorry about your tree.

You know, I'm not even sure any more that conservatives give a shit about anyone, that they are, each and every one, sociopaths. There is zero evidence to the contrary. It's like they understand they're supposed to feel something for their kids or whatever, but every action they take collectively is a giant fuck you to everyone, including their own progeny. I'm not convinced they even understand what the future is.
posted by maxwelton at 7:05 PM on June 1 [5 favorites]


I blame the Ent haters.
yeah, someone stole my bonzi Japanese maple, cost like 75 bucks on sale.

had a great day. jamming out and texting my big sister whom i havent talked too in 7 years.


"Never made it as a wise man
I couldn't cut it as
A poor man stealing
Tired of living like a blind man
I'm sick of sight without
A sense of feeling
And this is how you remind me
This is how you remind me
Of what I really am
This is how you remind me
Of what I really am"

-Nickleback
posted by clavdivs at 7:06 PM on June 1 [2 favorites]


Sooooooo I went to a career fair for my kid in an extremely liberal area, and there were four creepy blond kids that wanted to grow up to be Donald Trump.

This was fucking middle school. I hate everything.
posted by corb at 7:38 PM on June 1 [7 favorites]


I remember the good old days when sitcoms had creepy blonde rich kids, as protagonists, and people to avoid and deride. Please tell me that snobby brats aren't going to become popular.
posted by Oyéah at 8:15 PM on June 1


bonzi

Bonzi, you say?
posted by Joseph Gurl at 8:20 PM on June 1


yes, another empirical mystery. See, some landscapers don't want to buy new trees when they can steal them, charge the customer full price for their spruced up 1/4 acre that cost 1.5 million excluding pre-fab french geeko Romanesque house with white stripes and pink piping.

why save the planet when you can save buck.

Why Do People Steal Palm Trees?

jebus, look at all the pistachio heists of late, that is just nuts.
posted by clavdivs at 10:39 PM on June 1 [2 favorites]


...quoting Nickleback? Is it that bad already?
posted by From Bklyn at 11:30 PM on June 1 [5 favorites]


You know, I'm not even sure any more that conservatives give a shit about anyone, that they are, each and every one, sociopaths. There is zero evidence to the contrary. It's like they understand they're supposed to feel something for their kids or whatever, but every action they take collectively is a giant fuck you to everyone, including their own progeny. I'm not convinced they even understand what the future is.

QFT. On the other hand, I think most folks's emotional setup is very imperfect for genuine, empathy-based giving-a-shit-about-strangers. It's okay, though: that's why we have ethical reasoning, to help us give the fucks that it's vital to give but that we may not feel inclined to give. This breaks down in a big way when nihilism is enshrined in the culture, though, as it has been in the anglophone world (and more) since, I'd say, the dawn of TV and mass marketing. At risk of lazy generational finger-pointing, a lot of the shit you're describing comes from people of the age meaning they're from the ethically chaotic, "that's-just-like-your-opinion-man" beta version of a culture with less rigid Official Social Norms. I hope we're moving toward a more nuanced nihilism, where rigorous notions of justice inform our thinking etc. Probably too late, though.

It's like the two Lebowskis realised they have more in common than they thought and went and fucked us all.
posted by busted_crayons at 4:49 AM on June 2


After being greeted by the guys I work with listing another set of "Here are the terrible things that Your President did" this morning, I finally bought myself a shortwave radio to keep track of things on BBC Works Service. Apparently the US is no longer trading with Côte d'Ivoire because they haven't been sufficiently supportive? I don't even know anymore. Rubber farmers here can tell you all about the effects of climate change. Years of civil unrest here - refugee camps, arms proliferation, mistrust, contested elections - can tell about xenophobia. I have no more patience for this, and I don't know how to be American like this.
posted by ChuraChura at 5:21 AM on June 2 [7 favorites]


quoting Nickleback? Is it that bad already

well, sometimes things get worse before they get better, i would have quoted 'Shadowfax' but my air baton is in the shop.
posted by clavdivs at 10:37 AM on June 2 [2 favorites]


The alternative timeline theory lets me talk with my dad about politics without yelling or crying because it's like I don't even KNOW him anymore, and, in the moment, thinking of him as my dad with an evil goatee keeps me calm.

Quoting myself from upthread. It's been a shitty week for many reasons (Kid' ex threatened to kill Kid's best friend, I'm having an MRI next week to check for possible pituitary apoplexy, I got stress sick, etc...) but today, my dad found his line when it comes to Trump. And it turns out that line was not signing a Pride Month proclamation. This caused my dad to call him a two-faced bastard in an epic rant. My dad goes to the PVD Gay Men's Choir because his neighbor is in it, but Kid regularly has friends over my parents' house and 90% are LGBTQA, and my dad has gone from "not-homophobic" to "deeply caring about LGBTQA rights."

(Please don't ruin this for me by pointing out all the other lines my dad was okay crossing. I KNOW. I'm just happy that he's finally off the Trump train.)
posted by Ruki at 2:06 PM on June 2 [18 favorites]


The key to survive all this malice, angst and division is that the poor, disaffected and down right skirting poverty can talk, to come to a point were there is little contention. This been a tenet of change for many cultures and the examples are almost countless historically. I refrain in real life to change opinion or fuel a fire, now, I believe this is something the people cannot afford. I think there are one or to shots left before what iv'e feared for 43 years, chaos of the likes this planet has not seen. I no longer harbor fear of what may happen but the desire to change what I can and hopefully that spreads and its about attitude and grace, reverse strength and communal meeting of needs. In my most egotistical harangues on MeFi, I was under the delusion that I will tell folks when the fire will spread, as if some dumb weather bell to a broken system but I am amazed at peoples resiliency, love and frailty.

My people are Lincoln Republican, Quakers but I fear most have caught up to being Bush Republicans.

my nephews have suffered from the war, multiple tours. Iv'e lost Friends, and see the faces of new ones returning.

I remember the 03' war began, hanging on the IRC and it was a dear mefi whom I said
"we be lucky to survive this."

"yup"

you were right.
posted by clavdivs at 4:25 PM on June 2 [2 favorites]


I remember the morning my colleague came in to tell me that two planes had struck the towers. My first thought was "I will never live to see the end of this."

i would have quoted 'Shadowfax' but my air baton is in the shop.

*toots lyricon*
posted by octobersurprise at 4:51 PM on June 2 [4 favorites]


This thread just invoked a memory of seeing Shadowfax live at Merryweather Post Pavilion with my first girlfriend one warm summer night. This will be my new Calm Happy Place when the news gets too infuriating.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 5:24 PM on June 2 [3 favorites]


i wrote a quick poem about Liz Storys' "Greensleves". And when she came to Uni for a set, I had piano finger seating and at the end i hesitated to give even though someone had told her someone was going to present flowers and poem, and i sat down. Its like when a famous poet comes to read and your not invited to lunch but you lunch there anyway, at a separate table.

tired of that.
posted by clavdivs at 6:32 PM on June 2


I stopped reading the news entirely a few months ago. I just couldn't handle it. Nowadays everything is filtered through my girlfriend, who has guts I don't have. She'll say "did you hear...?" and I'll say "of course I didn't." She'll explain, and we'll be horrified together until we both say "OK, this is too much, let's watch Star Trek."

The only thing that makes me not feel like garbage for my lack of participation in the big-R Resistance is my research, which is important in its own small way (to be vague, I'm studying legal racism in the 19th century). I can crawl and hide in 140 year old papers and tease apart small questions that meant a lot to the people involved at the time. If I'm extremely lucky, maybe someday it'll be a talking point in an argument about something somewhere, or maybe it'll be a footnote in a museum exhibit, but I think it's about all I can handle.

As a condition of my scholarship, I was required to go to a workshop for "underrepresented students," and I felt like a huge jerk being there, like I'm pretty sure white guys aren't underrepresented. They explained to me that older students with lifelong histories of severe mental illness are, in fact, underrepresented, and I started to feel like less of a jerk. So I'm trying to apply that to my take on politics these days, to remind myself that I'm not the enemy, that I'm not just dead weight doing indirect harm to queer people, people of color, and other groups by being who I am (defined as unsympathetically as possible) and not fighting harder. Finding your own limit is incredibly hard, because there's always that person who never sleeps, who gets everything done that you aren't doing, as if it's just a matter of will. In reality, each of us can only do as much as we're actually capable of. It can be very hard to say that you've honestly tried your best, when it feels like you should be doing so much more.

In my case, my research is the best I can do right now. It won't solve Trump, but it might have its own small impact on the world, and hopefully that makes me less of a garbage person than I think I am for not keeping up with the headlines and fighting the good fight. Even just surviving counts for something these days.

Everyone take care of yourselves.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 3:08 AM on June 3 [6 favorites]


Given recent news about the demographic that voted for Trump, I'm starting to wonder about the demographics of the journalists who report on Trump, and how that biases their coverage.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:44 AM on June 5 [2 favorites]


Ruki, I'm really glad your dad found a line, and it's such a worthy one. I'm glad you got him "back."

I can only dream that my parents would ever find any line. They never will. Certainly not the LGBTQ one, despite my belonging to that group. They didn't care that he admitted to assaulting women. As "good" Christians, they don't care about his 3 marriages and cheating, although they'll never fully forgive me for my divorce.

Honestly, my relationship with my parents will never, ever be the same after this and I cry at least once a week that this odius buffoon had the power to ruin the relationships of so many complete strangers. That's his legacy, in my opinion. That certain families and friends will never be ok again because of him. That must make him gleeful. It makes me suicidal at times.
posted by greermahoney at 9:10 PM on June 5 [8 favorites]


Oh god Qatar was this morning, the news cycle is eating me alive.
posted by longtime_lurker at 10:14 PM on June 5


So, "Reality Leigh Winner".

1) Her parents probably considered using 'Show' as her middle name.

2) If she chose to go with middle-name, last-name, then it would be "Leigh Winner", which sounds a like 'Le Winner'

3) 'Bites' would also be an interesting middle name.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:49 AM on June 6 [1 favorite]


This sort of fits here, and I need to get it out. Last fall I was pregnant, a very wanted second pregnancy. Around election time I was in the stage where there was still a moderate chance of miscarriage but it was getting less likely every week, no signs of trouble. Not long before the election, I found myself obsessing over two numbers: the odds that Trump would win, and the odds that my pregnancy would end in a miscarriage. Neither one was very likely, but because I'm an anxious nerdy idiot I calculated the combined probability that either one or both of the two events would occur. It was over 50%, which was upsetting. But the odds that both would occur were very small, which helped.

My pregnancy ended the week of Inauguration. The heartbreak of that loss has eased a little, but still. What the fucking fuck indeed.
posted by beandip at 2:28 PM on June 6 [12 favorites]


I'm so sorry for your loss, beandip.

I well understand how personal tragedy and this public travesty can combine to be nightmarish. It's hard to comprehend.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:34 PM on June 6 [4 favorites]


Oh beandip. I am so, so sorry. I don't have words. I don't have words for any of this.
I'm just so, so sorry for your loss.
posted by bookmammal at 4:09 PM on June 6 [3 favorites]


Thanks. I'm sorry to make your day a little sadder by dumping my grief into the thread like this. It's really okay though and I know I'm not the only one going through hard stuff these days.

And unfortunately, it turns out that my coping strategy of "fuck this, I will eat as much chocolate as I fucking want" is not actually workable for the long-term. Trump president, no baby, AND my pants don't fit, this really is the darkest timeline... Maybe I should switch to covfefe.
posted by beandip at 4:28 PM on June 6 [3 favorites]


beandip, it's OK.
posted by ZeusHumms at 4:33 PM on June 6 [2 favorites]


No need at all to apologize, beandip. I'm glad you feel this is a safe place to share something so personal.
I'm with you about the chocolate, by the way.
posted by bookmammal at 5:21 PM on June 6 [3 favorites]


Sorry, beandip, that's tough, no apologies necessary. And I'd say we should probably take a poll on how many of us have pants from the fall that don't fit, but we don't really need to do that to ourselves.
posted by mollweide at 5:47 PM on June 6 [2 favorites]


Beandip, I'm so very sorry.

(But don't switch to covfefe.)
posted by RedOrGreen at 5:55 PM on June 6 [3 favorites]


Fuuuuck, beandip. Hugs.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:31 PM on June 6 [3 favorites]


Oh, beandip, I am so sorry.
posted by sarcasticah at 8:16 PM on June 6 [2 favorites]


beandip, i supported my wife through a miscarriage and i can't imagine how much harder it would be in this atmosphere of free-floating anxiety and general confusion.

one thing thst helped us is that when i talked to my mother about it, she told me that she had actualy had a miscarriage between my sister's birth and mine. never mentioned it before. it's common and people don't talk about it for complicated reasons bound up in shame and percieved stigma.

i'm not sleeping right and my pants don't fit, either. :-/
hugs.
posted by murphy slaw at 9:27 PM on June 6 [2 favorites]


i'm not sleeping right and my pants don't fit, either.

Same here--IT'S AN EPIDEMIC!
posted by Joseph Gurl at 11:51 PM on June 6 [2 favorites]


Sometimes, I don't need to read the article to snark on it.

Case in point today, in many articles: "Eric Trump: Democrats in Washington are 'not even people'"

Me: Well said by someone who has no humanity.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:17 AM on June 7


I have no words, Beandip. Other than I'm sorry.
posted by greermahoney at 8:55 AM on June 7 [1 favorite]


"Eric Trump: Democrats in Washington are 'not even people'"

Me: Well said by someone who has no humanity.
This is hilarious--are you actually competing with Eric Trump in the dehumanization sweepstakes?
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:15 PM on June 7 [1 favorite]


I am a meat popsicle.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:59 AM on June 8 [2 favorites]


after watching the reactions to the comey testimony on twitter today
i think i'm gonna put on a t-shirt reading SURELY THIS
and get placed in a medically-induced coma until october 2018
posted by murphy slaw at 1:08 PM on June 8 [3 favorites]


Take all your overgrown infants away
Somewhere
And build them a home
A little place of their own
The Fletcher Memorial Home
For incurable tyrants and kings.

And they can appear to themselves every day
On closed circuit TV
To make sure they're still real
It's the only connection they feel.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:41 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]


I used to think that "We Didn't Start The Fire" could be rewritten with all the stories about the Trump Administration (and thus, open a megathread). Except that the stories never stop.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:48 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]


Is this where we come to flip the fuck out? Because between the drumbeat of revelations about election fuckery (which probably have some kind of Russian angle) and the escalating situation in Syria I am officially flipping the fuck the out.
posted by GalaxieFiveHundred at 7:30 AM on June 19


Ayup, this is where we come to flip the fuck out. Go right ahead. You're not wrong. :-(
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:53 PM on June 19


Here, let me help you flip the fuck out by putting this table right here. ┬┬ I sure hope nobody flips out at this table!
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:14 PM on June 19 [1 favorite]


Should you find yourself needing to flip a table, I did build a very very small video game for that purpose a couple years back: Tableflipper.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:26 PM on June 19 [4 favorites]


Poor Bobby Tables!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:09 PM on June 19 [2 favorites]




I'm glad this is still open because I need to flip the fuck out today.

I got really angry and depressed this afternoon, and nominally it was Ossoff's loss in GA-06 that set me off, but beneath that it's just... Session's smirking and bald-faced lying and total disrespect for Kamala Harris, and yet another police murderer acquitted, and McConnell, that fucking pustulent lich, that piece-of-shit turtle holding up a piece-of-shit Republican Senate, brazenly refusing all efforts to even share the text of their shameful AHCA bill...

I just... I don't know. It's just too much for me today. It's too much.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 10:02 PM on June 20 [6 favorites]


I am also glad this is still open. I am finding myself back in activist work and getting so fucking frustrated at people who pretty obviously don't actually care about the world we are living in as long as their life is still comfortable. Like they wear the right clothes and maybe even vote the right way, but seize every excuse they can to be lolsy and I want to yell at them that the world is on fucking fire, what the hell?
posted by corb at 3:07 PM on June 24 [2 favorites]


Everything about the Ossoff campaign has me at a high lather. Incompetence and cowardice as far as the eye can see.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:03 PM on June 24


It's remarkable how much talk about political campaigns sounds like sports talk radio: everyone knows how the coach should've won the game.
posted by octobersurprise at 10:14 AM on June 25 [7 favorites]


For sure, but we're talking about the political equivalent of the Washington Generals, here.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 8:50 PM on June 25


« Older The Week You Joined MetaFilter   |   Metatalktail Hour: School's Out for Summer! Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments