Collective WTF July 5, 2017 6:14 PM   Subscribe

The last What the Fucking Fuck thread hit the 30 day expiration mark, so I wonder if it's time for another peaceful corner to breathe?
posted by yoga to MetaFilter-Related at 6:14 PM (124 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

I keep on hiding from the horror that is American politics by either playing video games or making MetaFilter posts about video games. It's my digital sanctuary.
posted by Fizz at 6:23 PM on July 5, 2017 [12 favorites]

I took a mini break from the current megathread today & it helped. Even if the heavy came right back when I caught up.

We are headed to the west coast next week for a week to scout out places to live. I panicked tonight when I saw the North Korea thing & asked the other half if we should postpone the trip. We've been planning it for months. We're already nervous about leaving our 4 four-leggers in the care of a pet sitter, & the thought of putting it off yet again is pretty depressing, so we're taking a wait and see approach for another day or so.

Either way, heading into the hills is feeling like a better option every day.
posted by yoga at 6:33 PM on July 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

What the christing fucking shit godammit.

/me either walking into work in the emergency department or reading the latest political outrage du jour
posted by supercrayon at 6:36 PM on July 5, 2017 [10 favorites]

I am finding this a good time to refresh my prayer and meditation practice
posted by shothotbot at 6:48 PM on July 5, 2017 [3 favorites]

A guy driving a truck down my street took out a telephone pole on Saturday...which took out my cable/internet so I've been unintentionally doing a digital detox since. Not being in constant touch with the news has been glorious and terrifying. I have checked in but not at all like I normally would. Comcast admitted the problem was on their end today. Um, no shit?
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 6:59 PM on July 5, 2017 [4 favorites]

posted by Dashy at 7:02 PM on July 5, 2017

We got a cat.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:06 PM on July 5, 2017 [50 favorites]

posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:06 PM on July 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

oh thank Christ. I needed this. like I keep up with the megathreads, as I have for like a year now, but every so often I am like 'this? really? this is our fucking reality now?' and I don't understand how people are walking around and buying groceries and getting gas and living their lives like all of this is normal and okay and not screaming like their hair is on fire, because I certainly feel like screaming like my hair is on fire if I stop to think for five seconds about what the actual fuck is happening in our country and our world.

like I work in a breakfast restaurant and people will bring in newspapers and sometimes I will pick one up and point at a headline at one of my coworkers and just scream for a minute. thankfully these people more or less get me, but it feels like that screaming is happening in my head all the time now if I stop to think for five seconds. Russia? really? fucking rare pepes? really? how. how is the fucking prophecy of fucking kek a thing I have to think about and go 'well yeah, okay, maybe, makes as much sense as anything else, I guess.'

thank fucking Christ there's a statewide election where I live this year, and I can channel this hair-on-fire rage towards something productive real soon. fuck this, fuck every single thing about this, fuck this fucked up timeline, I fucking hate this.
posted by dogheart at 7:18 PM on July 5, 2017 [38 favorites]

holy fuck auugh *runs around like headless chicken* it's all falling to pieces.

The owner of a Thai restaraunt overheard me talking about politics tonight and came over just to express bewilderment. "Is this real life, or like a TV show?" she asked.

All too real.
posted by dis_integration at 7:20 PM on July 5, 2017 [7 favorites]

posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 7:23 PM on July 5, 2017 [8 favorites]

I seem to be spending a lot of time and energy helping others keep their heads above water these days, which often serves to pick me up as well. But lately I've been tiring. I'm not as young as I never was and I've never been especially good at self help, either. At least not as an adult. There's always too much work that needs doing and there's always somebody who needs a sympathetic ear to vent to more than I do. I've been blessed all out of proportion to my worth, so I really never feel that I have a right to complain. But lately I've been tiring.

Tiring. Lately I've been tiring. I've been blessed, yes. But drowning is a thing, even if you're usually everybody else's amateur lifeguard. I've made promises I would never break, so giving up isn't an option, either. So I dog paddle along and try to lift friends up a bit where I can. Try not to be that guy. That smug, self-satisfied asshole, or god forbid, a burden. But I'm so fucking tired. Sorry - even these words weigh me down. Any hint of my own self-pity disgusts me. You have no idea the act of will it's taking not to delete this. To contemplate allowing a hint of vulnerability to live out in the world.

Or maybe you do have an idea. Maybe you have the same struggle I do. If you do, don't make the same mistake I'm making. You're worth it. Give yourself permission to need a break now and then. Give yourself permission to need help. Here: take my life preserver for a while. Rest up for a bit. Doesn't it feel better just to let yourself float for a minute? You've earned it! Don't worry, you'll get through this. You're strong. You've got this.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:46 PM on July 5, 2017 [49 favorites]

I'm thinking of taking the Steve Martin approach to the news these days.
posted by MrVisible at 8:11 PM on July 5, 2017 [33 favorites]

MrVisible, that was gold. Thank you.
posted by greermahoney at 8:15 PM on July 5, 2017 [4 favorites]

Not sure if this has been posted before, but it's worth posting again: How To Stay Sane If Trump Is Driving You Insane: Advice From A Therapist.

Anxious mind: *reads news about the travel ban* No! Our leaders are disgusting! *imagines crying children separated from their mothers* I can’t believe this. *pit in stomach*

Radical acceptance: Yes. This is our reality now. Our nation is rife with corruption and people are hurting. My heart goes out to all those in pain. *pit in stomach softens, feels heavier*

Grief that follows: I need to grieve this. The pain is real. *deep breath, moment of silence*

Mindful attention to the good: How can I support Muslim people in my community? *searches online* There is an Islamic Society nearby. I will contact them. *calls and emails*
Also, in the current thread, melissasaurus made an fantastic comment about narcissistic supply that had some great points about how to engage our focus.
posted by triggerfinger at 8:31 PM on July 5, 2017 [23 favorites]

We are headed to the west coast next week for a week to scout out places to live. I panicked tonight when I saw the North Korea thing & asked the other half if we should postpone the trip.

Nah, come on out. We'll keep the light on for ya. Life's for living. And being on the West Coast is still my favorite life to live.
posted by Brak at 9:41 PM on July 5, 2017 [3 favorites]

Are these WTF threads going to become the younger sibling of the political metathreads that always comes trotting along after it?
posted by bleep at 9:59 PM on July 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

Life's kind of shit at the moment but a hummingbird nested in one of my trees this summer and today I spotted the chicks for the first time.
posted by Tenuki at 10:02 PM on July 5, 2017 [48 favorites]

bleep: Yes.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:34 PM on July 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

also that should say "megathread"; freudian slip maybe
posted by bleep at 10:35 PM on July 5, 2017

> Life's kind of shit at the moment but a hummingbird nested in one of my trees this summer and today I spotted the chicks for the first time.

Yesterday I spent some time on our back deck, watching one of the pair of Cooper's Hawks that's nesting across the street - they hang out in our backyard area a lot, and the female (DB; the male is Anderson) - sun herself in our neighbor's sandy backyard, while an angry Anna's hummingbird kept careful watch. It helped.
posted by rtha at 11:06 PM on July 5, 2017 [9 favorites]

What the christing fucking shit godammit.

posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 11:32 PM on July 5, 2017 [4 favorites]

...and he's gonna meet all these people whose lives have brought them to the place they are not least because they know bullshit when they see it and he's gonna walk in there like a fucking jerk and ... christ I wish he was enough of a big boy to get help. If only he were that smart.

Also melissasaurus's comment is worth a read. And is probably exactly what will happen to Trump at the G20. Courtesy's will be extended to him pro forma, but please, he's not going to the after-party.

(And China blithely steps into the role as world power while Trump's backers fiddle away...)
posted by From Bklyn at 3:18 AM on July 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

Oh, dogheart, your comment in the megathread was what prompted me to start the new Collective WTF thread! It's exactly how I feel, & it helps me to read what others are thinking & feeling. :D

Brak, thanks for helping me remember that life is for living. We really are looking forward to the trip & are trying not to let the worry end of the seesaw be tippier than the excitement end.

As long as we don't get spikey and jabby in here, I'm digging y'all's company muchly.
posted by yoga at 5:41 AM on July 6, 2017 [5 favorites]

My little brother suspects he will be deployed to the Middle East in the next month, but doesn't want me to say anything to our folks yet, so I'm just sitting quietly in an awful lot of anxiety.
posted by ChuraChura at 5:54 AM on July 6, 2017 [25 favorites]

I gave up for a bit, because activism is hard and honestly, as a scientist I'm surrounded by a) more tractable problems with b) incredibly competent coworkers, and it just made the contrast of going to local political volunteer meetings where most people can't think very strategically even at a micro scale super painful. (Plus it's actually a very busy time for me as a PhD student preparing for comps.) But this week I'm back in it, only scaled back a bit. I keep calling my senators and getting Cory Gardner's voicemail. My messages have gotten louder and less G rated by the week, because even amongst his fellow GOPers the man stands out as a fucking coward. Calling him feels pretty meaningless, but at least cursing into his voicemail about how deeply wrong this all is is a little cathartic. And then to do something meaningful I made a one page flyer in English and Spanish for the House District with info on our meetings, how to check your voter registration, and what we're voting on when in 2017 and 2018 in our county. I need to send it out to some folks; it was my 4th of July project so that I felt like I'd done something (anything) to fight the awful lately.
posted by deludingmyself at 6:14 AM on July 6, 2017 [7 favorites]

I was just telling Shepherd that I think I'll remain absent from the Blue for the summer b/c despite the many many non-US politics posts, the shitshow still infects those too. So it feels like no escape and I have a lot of other stresses to deal with.
posted by Kitteh at 7:00 AM on July 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

I bought the Sims 3 during the Winter Steam Sale, back when ...everything changed, and finally bought the last few expansion packs during the Summer Sale that just wrapped. Let's just say that making my little pixel people happy has been a VERY NEEDED distraction.

I'm also in the process of rearranging and reorganizing my living room so I can put a bar cabinet in. Possibly with a beer fridge. For fairly obvious reasons, I'm sure, but hey, at least my living room will look amazing!
posted by PearlRose at 7:05 AM on July 6, 2017 [4 favorites]

I'm in the process of getting ready to move. Scanning five years of grad school notes is a helpful way to keep from checking twitter.

Take care of yourself y'all.
posted by dismas at 7:10 AM on July 6, 2017

Turns out my dog yodels when I do. That's my self care.
posted by maxsparber at 7:49 AM on July 6, 2017 [29 favorites]

Hi guys and aliens from outer space who may one day discover this data:
I'm fucking terrified!
posted by angrycat at 8:12 AM on July 6, 2017 [11 favorites]

I've spent the last few months reading books that were made into movies. It started out as an accident and now it's intentional. For the most part it's been books of movies I've already seen, but for a few of them I've stopped and watched the movie at about the midpoint of the book.

It's been a fun project--I'm not reading anything deep or complex, I know roughly where the story is going to go (comforting), and I get to escape real life. Can't get distracted by online news and bullshit if my face is in a kindle, can't watch people on tv telling me the world is ending if I'm watching a movie. If I'm parked on the couch reading and watching movies I've generally got a dog on me so I can't go off and multitask.

I don't know if this is the healthiest thing in the world long-term, but it's keeping me entertained for now and providing a buffer to protect me from the shitty things. Would recommend.
posted by phunniemee at 8:13 AM on July 6, 2017 [6 favorites]

I often have to keep the New York Times site open at work. A couple weeks back I was building up a good head of steam & outrage reading about whatever jawdropping Trump thing was happening that morning, when in the corner of my eye I saw a sidebar headline that looked like this: “Pineapple Becomes Alert After Being Left in Gallery as Prank.”

And I thought, irritably: “Ugh, fruit just achieved sentience and the story doesn’t even make it above the fold! That’s how horrible everything is and how addicted I am to watching this trainwreck--there isn’t room in the Times or in the front of my brain to acknowledge how crazy it is that the first AI is in a pineapple, not a robot... I’ll have to read that later when I’m not so busy being so mad.” --and went right on scowling at the Comey story or the Paris story or whatever the hell was happening that day.

I’d misread the headline, naturally--it said “Pineapple Becomes Art,” not “Alert,” which is the kind of happy accident of misreading and mishearing that I usually delight in and get a lot from. It’s a big part of my sense of humor, and how I see the world and fit into it. Some other gentler year that misreading would have occasioned a lot of quiet giggling & daydreaming & maybe writing a ridiculous story--say, about a student art show so complex and challenging that it stirs bromeliads into sentience so they can grapple with the art themselves, who knows--that’s the sort of rabbithole my brain usually scampers down. But my imagination & sense of play are... breaking. I saw that impossible headline and believed it but didn’t care enough to turn my attention to it properly, to understand it better or to chase down the error and its generative possibilities.

There are so many big things I’m scared and mad about, and I’m doing more political work than I’ve ever done in my life in terms of calls, letters, protests, etc. But I also need to acknowledge this small sad personal effect: the craziness of this timeline is closing off the possibilities of absurd/absurdist humor to me, and I miss it! I am lighting a (pineapple-scented) candle in memory of it and looking for ways to get my silliness back. The Jenny Odell article FPP’d the other day was a helpful reminder; I want to remain open to more. (Thank you to the many smart encouragements toward self-care in these threads. They don’t all hit home for me, and I’m not always able to unplug when I need to, but they are wisdom that’s needed and welcome.)
posted by miles per flower at 8:21 AM on July 6, 2017 [12 favorites]

Long ago I read the short story "Something Passed By" by McCammon, and it stuck with me. A feeling like a slow nightmare-- the impossible strange happenings that people had just come to accept, the sense of the world, of reality, being so worn out and thin that nothing made sense, and terrible tragedies became everyday things. A sense of incredible weariness, rather than sorrow, pervaded, until at last the complete end of everything was a welcome relief.

I feel like that now.
posted by The otter lady at 8:47 AM on July 6, 2017 [8 favorites]

I was on a bit of a break over the holiday weekend from the high level of engagement to try and recharge the batteries a little.

I want to scream and throw things quite a bit, lately. I feel like I'm running out of superlatives with which to tar the so-called Republicans for vile wickedness and cruelty. The hatred found in the radical authoritarian political movement is stunning but not surprising. Yeah, wtf indeed.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 9:53 AM on July 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

miles per flower, god, I'm having kind of the same problem with my creativity and humor? and it's the worst timing because this I just graduated from a film program and I'm casting around for work and I just ... I really need my creativity and my good humor right now, more than ever. So I need to unplug from politics in general, but that's more important than ever now too. But I feel so, so powerless.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 9:56 AM on July 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

I was just telling Shepherd that I think I'll remain absent from the Blue for the summer b/c despite the many many non-US politics posts, the shitshow still infects those too. So it feels like no escape and I have a lot of other stresses to deal with.

Absolutely do what works for you, but I want to reiterate as often as necessary as a general thing:

Flag shit that's needlessly infecting non-US-politics posts. It doesn't need to be there. We will probably delete it if we see it. The site does not need to be pervaded by a miasma of all that stuff, and people should be making more of an effort than they sometimes are not to lazily spread it.

Some things are bad out there right now. Some things are good or nice or funny or interesting. Both are true, but both don't need to literally coexist in every thread, and people should be able to just enjoy the non-shit stuff on the site. So please help us help make that possible, etc.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:08 AM on July 6, 2017 [26 favorites]

I realize that I am incredibly privileged to be able to do this, but - I can't engage with politics that much. I just can't. Not only because of the depth of what's happening, but also because I've just finally, FINALLY come out of a super-long stretch of poverty and bad luck and am finally in a place to embrace life again.

So that's what I'm doing, is deliberately trying to focus on that.

* I have a new job (I wish I could have stayed at the International Rescue Committee, but they simply weren't paying me enough and weren't giving me the work that I wanted to be doing), and my desk has a window view and I even got to go on a business trip during my second week there which was really weird conceptually and so it felt like I was a kid playing dress-up-and-pretend the whole time.

* I don't get to travel this summer, but I have friends who went out of town for most of the summer and loaned me their sewing machine to use while I was gone - which is letting me figure out things to do with this big pile of old clothes that I've saved because "it's pretty fabric, I wish I could figure out what to do with it". By summer's end I will have made about 8 throw pillow covers and two quilts, I think.

* I'm sort-of kind-of flirting with a guy in Baltimore who lead a walking tour I went on while visiting in May and who hit it off with me to the point that we hung out in a bar for an hour after.

* All of the big free outdoor movie things are starting up this month and I've started an email blast out to my friends rallying them for "who wants to see FERRIS BUELLER on Monday night, it's at a pier just off Chelsea" and that kind of thing.

* I just tried shibori dying for the first time last night. The fingernails on my right hand are still blue from the indigo, but I have two of those throw pillow covers, and a gorgeous scarf with a pattern on it that looks either like leaves or like water flowing over river rocks.

* I think the way I'm trying to resist is to strengthen the bonds of community with my friends first - getting them all out and having fun, fostering their own connections and making a little tribe. Then when we're all taking care of each other we can beter take care of others.

But me and mine first. Start small with the world I have. I absolutely will fight back against Trump in real actionable ways when I can (urgent calls to Congress, and such), but right now that's all I can do.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:10 AM on July 6, 2017 [14 favorites]

A little venting ahead, sorry.

What the fucking fucking is going on with these motherfucking chuckle fucks and their goddamn talk about fucking repealing Obamacare without a replacement? This was the plan all along right?

It's so infuriating.

I had to take a break from volunteer work at the end of May.

My wife and I had a "come to Jesus" talk where she explained I was spending three, four nights away a week at events, planning meetings, demonstrations, etc. It was just untenable. I didn't even think about the volunteer work in the context of the rest of my life it just ... felt like something that had to be done. But I can't, all the time anyway.

I'm trying to figure out how to moderate, but this is all so new I don't know how to hop back in but in a very limited capacity.

Meanwhile these fucking fucksticks tried to limit Medicaid expansion in Ohio. I know so many people here who have been directly by programs supported by the expansion it's just ... it's disheartening.

Since the election I keep coming back to one question, really: what do we want? As a civilzation, as a society, what do we really want? Answering that question with any honesty gets real ugly, real fast.
posted by Tevin at 10:19 AM on July 6, 2017 [8 favorites]

Dear americans, stop it please. Your antivaxx bullshit is now leaking in argentina.

Just make it stop.
posted by _Synesthesia_ at 10:50 AM on July 6, 2017 [3 favorites]

I was doing yoga at home the other day and the purrbot cat flopped onto my mat, directly in my way, and purrrrrrrrrrrred. So I could not do any more yoga just then. That was fine, since the last time I attempted to do yoga at home, I came out of a downward dog with a literally blinding headache and spent the next four hours asleep (with said purrbot and his geriatric roommate).

So, some things are good; some are less so. It's not a sprint; it's not a marathon; it's a relay. Make sure your team is good. I recommend Labrador Retrievers, instead of cats, though. Labs know what to do with a stick.
posted by crush at 11:25 AM on July 6, 2017 [4 favorites]

I can confirm the Andrew Wakefield did not accidently create America, vasco fucking da gama did.

Speaking for myself, I gots me a job interview Monday working with disabled vets. I also take care of my buddy with small stuff and am teaching a young person the concept of addition/substraction.
Screw the political threads, tired of being that guy. mefi has helped me in these difficult months, the stories and reading what others do to help community. A shout-
out to general Klang for his excellent advice and to LH who can possibly read my mind, for being like a surrogate asskicking macine. Love you both.
posted by clavdivs at 12:01 PM on July 6, 2017 [5 favorites]

fwiw andrew wakefield is a brit

Wakefield would be nothing without the mountain of free publicity given to him by American celebrities.
posted by maxsparber at 12:16 PM on July 6, 2017

cortex: Absolutely do what works for you, but I want to reiterate as often as necessary as a general thing:

Flag shit that's needlessly infecting non-US-politics posts. It doesn't need to be there. We will probably delete it if we see it.

I don't think I'm speaking out of turn when I mention that I had a backchannel conversation with cortex recently where he made it very clear to me that flagging is something that draws the greatest attention. I had been using the contact form, but seriously, flagging is the way to go.
posted by hippybear at 12:39 PM on July 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

I have become increasingly unwell over the past few years, both physically and mentally. I'm a cis woman, with all cis woman doctors, but I still get medical sexism (No, I am not overreacting when I say a bout of bronchitis laid me out for three weeks.). So we're trying to figure out why I'm physically sick and getting sicker, because the stress of that triggers my mental illnesses, which makes me more physically sick, and so on. I'm trying to cram in all these doctor appointments while working part time (because my psychiatrist doesn't want me working full time and crashing and burning. Again.) because I'm a walking pre-existing condition and I don't know what my insurance situation will be in the future. I got an IUD almost a year ago to prevent endometrial cysts and it's been a nightmare. I have my period again after a week long break. Before that I was bleeding for 17 days. My GYN referred me for BRCA testing, but the place never contacted me, so now I'm thinking about dropping $150 I can't entirely afford on a Color test because there are few things I personally want more than to get a hysterectomy/oophorectomy while I still can. Fuck a Nazi, I just want to punch the Republican Congress critters in their smug, murderous faces.
posted by Ruki at 12:56 PM on July 6, 2017 [11 favorites]

I took basically Friday night-Wednesday morning off from Twitter. It was nice. Someone will let you know if the world's going to end; I have apps with push notifications for that.
posted by zachlipton at 2:10 PM on July 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

As someone who teaches elementary school on the south side of Chicago, and used to teach in one of the city's poorest neighborhoods, and has had my classroom window broken by bullets (luckily at night), let me just say this:

Shit has been very bad for some folks for a very very long time. Shit is now getting worse for some people, staying the same amount of awful for others. I don't know if or when it will get better, but I know it will only get better if a large number of people work together in some very strategic, very compassionate ways. This is a marathon, not a sprint.

So, please take care of yourself. We can't all read every terrible news article, we can't all go to every protest, it helps no one to wear yourself down. Survive first, take care of yourself and your family, turn off the internet whenever you want to without feeling any guilt. Think about the long term way you are going to team up with others to do good. And if, like me, you have already found that way, keep at it.
posted by mai at 2:41 PM on July 6, 2017 [17 favorites]

Also, I want to create a new form of protest that is just large groups of people running through the streets screaming, flailing, and rending our garments. No signs, no chanting. Just terrifying catharthis.
posted by mai at 2:42 PM on July 6, 2017 [26 favorites]

I have a(n unusual for me) business trip across the continent to San Diego for a conference starting tomorrow. Although it doesn't normally trouble me too much to be traveling away from home, at this point leaving my wife and kid to travel 2500 miles away seems almost irresponsible. I really can't fucking stand this. At least an internet free flight will (hopefully) give me some reprieve.
posted by mollweide at 2:57 PM on July 6, 2017

yoga, thank you for this. yelling really does help.

as I said in the megathread, I'll be okay next week. I'll be back with my crew and doing things. right now is just hard.
posted by dogheart at 3:04 PM on July 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

The Phantom Thieves have spent a long time looking for a Palace to infiltrate, but it has become increasingly apparent the guy never had a Heart to change in the first place.


Where is the fucking Newsroom, already?
posted by Johann Georg Faust at 3:33 PM on July 6, 2017 [4 favorites]

posted by yoga at 3:49 PM on July 6, 2017

First I started dealing with my overwhelming angst by retreating into fluffy, smutty romance novels. Then I started writing them. I've written 30,000 words of a novel since Saturday. And, I mean, ok, this is kind of amazing, but when I emerge from the interior of my head and check in with the world, it's even more fucking shocking.

And I feel guilty for wanting to run and hide, but I've really become hopeless about my capacity to DO anything. I contact my MOCs and they don't care because they're GOP fuckwits. I can't travel or march or donate...All I can do is stay informed and scream on social media.

Today seems particularly bad. Excuse me. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
posted by threeturtles at 3:53 PM on July 6, 2017 [18 favorites]

I'd just like to lend a voice of support and encouragement to those of us expressing our focus on self-care. Don't feel guilty about this. This marathon is a "put the oxygen mask over your face first" situation. You'll be most effective in whatever else you do, if you're coming from a place of taking care of your well-being first.

Be good to yourself, whatever that means to you. It helps you, and I believe it still helps the rest of us as well.
posted by Brak at 4:18 PM on July 6, 2017 [3 favorites]

> First I started dealing with my overwhelming angst by retreating into fluffy, smutty romance novels

SInce taking my aforementioned break in the beginning of June I've written two short stories and worked on revising a novel sooooo...thanks for that, Trump i guess?
posted by Tevin at 4:22 PM on July 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

Oh hey guys, the bear & salmon cam is back. Have some nature.
posted by yoga at 5:03 PM on July 6, 2017 [13 favorites]

MetaFilter: seriously, flagging is the way to go.
posted by reductiondesign at 5:35 PM on July 6, 2017 [3 favorites]

I appreciate this so much. I am still here, still going slowly crazy, still wanting to scream at people who don't care or think this doesn't affect them, like how can you possibly think this doesn't affect you, what is wrong with you? It's going to affect us all! Arglebargle and then I just want to hit things and have to take deep breaths.
posted by corb at 6:14 PM on July 6, 2017 [5 favorites]

Fuck. Fuck! Fuck, fuck, fuck and fuck! Fuck, fuck and bugger! Bugger, bugger, buggerty buggerty buggerty, fuck, fuck, arse! Balls! Balls, fuck, fucketty, shit, shit, willy! Willy, shit, fuck, and ... tits.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:15 PM on July 6, 2017 [6 favorites]

I had a recent Ask thread about nautical ghost stories, and I've bought or borrowed most of the books that were recommended. On Stranger Tides is a pretty fun book, and I rarely ever get to read something that's just a total escape. I keep hoping that my research is ultimately going to make the world a better place in some small way. I'm reading about history by day, and reading escapist fiction by night. I'm hoping that I'll make a positive impact on the world in the long run. For now, this is all I can manage.

People always say not to feel guilty about checking out from the news. Put your oxygen mask on first. It's hard not to feel guilty anyway. Bad things are happening all around us.

Every so often I'll come across the sentiment that everyone has been lulled to sleep. We're all pacified by comfortable living and handheld computers. The world will only become a worse place, because the people who could make a difference are all too comfortable to ever rise up.

I'm not a violent person, but I always want to punch the person who says that. The thought brings me some small comfort.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 9:55 PM on July 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

Yoga, thank you for posting the bear & salmon cam! It has markedly improved my mental health for today.
posted by freethefeet at 10:07 PM on July 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

Life's kind of shit at the moment but a hummingbird nested in one of my trees this summer and today I spotted the chicks for the first time.

Our birdhouse (the product of my very suspect carpentry) is finally inhabited this summer. We're on our second pair of great tits (Parus major), or second brood from the same pair, I guess. At least one chick left the nest, because it attached itself awkwardly to my window screen until I encouraged it to move along to the lilac tree.
posted by pracowity at 3:23 AM on July 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm on medical leave to address some physical stuff, and am rediscovering the joy of naps that aren't avoidant behavior, but actually required.

This gives me ample time to trawl through the collected works of Johnny Wallflower's epic puppy posts.
posted by catlet at 4:25 AM on July 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

Two years ago today: The ten-dollar founding father., a story about a little musical about to start previews on Broadway.
posted by Etrigan at 7:32 AM on July 7, 2017 [8 favorites]

I'm still struggling. I've cut off pretty much my entire family of origin and only really allowed the possibility of reconnection with my sisters and my dad, with the note that I'm done with my mother and by the way, I'm still cut up and hurt from their enabling her shit last February, too. (Well, the elder sister and my dad. I'm. I'm terrified to contact my baby sister, because she's right when she says I'm just never there, and I had some evidence my mother might be screening her emails. So. You know. I feel like a shit every time I think about it, but I'm too scared and too tired and too hurt to reach out and support a fifteen year old who is trying to process her own fucking shit right now.)

I upped my meds. I went on anxiolytics. I stepped up my therapy schedule. I'm still holding on by my nails, but I might be able to lunge up and grab with a hand now. I hope.

I keep thinking about things like where I come from, and half of the shit that I used to feel rooted in the world is suddenly tainted for me. I listen to the fucking Dropkick Murphys or some bullshit political legislation or I pick up a bit of American history or say "wash" a certain way I picked up from my grandmother and I remember the values I was raised with and the repulsive rot that hid behind them the whole time, tainting every memory. I was furiously, viciously angry during the Fourth of July, and I wanted to march up to the state capitol and bawl out the first asshole who didn't run fast enough. I settled for explosions and tucking my anger behind a grin for the friends who wanted something uncomplicated to celebrate, for once.

I don't have much motivation to celebrate, but I'd like to.

I am learning to embroider. I have a complicated pattern I've made for myself, a Celtic knotwork raven with rainbow wings surrounded by knotwork hounds and the legends "you do not have to take what you are given" and "from your origin, you may choose where to go" surrounding it. I hope that when it is finished, I will be able to let my grief about my family's rejection and abandonment fly away. I don't think it will be finished any time soon.

My wife got held up at gunpoint at work about a month ago with the greenest, newest employee at their store for company, and only their quick thinking to keep both of them safe throughout the incident. The cops' first question was to ask how many guns were stolen. (None; the pawnshop they run doesn't handle them now, but that will be changing this fall. My partner's hoping to get a job working with the legislature in the fall that might potentially be slightly safer. Perhaps.)

There was a mass stabbing incident on my campus literally the week before that. (I taught through the whole thing a block or so away, and I thought the whole time "what do I do if there's reports it comes here? How do I keep my students safe? How do I treat the situation with the seriousness it merits while also not panicking my seventeen- and eighteen-year-old freshmen? I told several of them the level of training for something like this I actually have, which consists of idly reading the sign on the door about the five things to do in case of emergency and reading on my own because I have an interest. I told them I think it's my responsibility to keep them safe in an emergency anyway, and that I will do my best to have their backs. I tried to explain the different ways faculty and teaching staff were reacting in the aftermath, especially as the stabbing happened immediately before their finals. I hope I gave some students a sense that their TA heard them.

I'm terrified of the level of open carry pissing matches here and terrified of what might have happened if the student involved had had a gun rather than a knife. I tried to support my students as best I could. I'll take on a new mentee in the fall, which I haven't done since last fall when my promising student had to leave the lab because she couldn't manage the time constraints any more. They're a smart, thoughtful kid who was one of my favorite students last spring. I hope they do well with the research.

Two weeks ago my spiteful, bossy, grouchy kitten Janet died unexpectedly of feline infectious peritonitis, after a few months of increasingly shitty quality of life. She was just under two years old. My mother chose the same weekend to try to deputize extended family members to haul me back to the fold, which did not go well. (We held a goddamn wake, but I still miss her so, so fucking hard; she was my cat, the only one who was just mine, and she was supposed to live forever and be grumping around my house at twenty-three surviving everything improbably.)

I've dialed back a lot of my volunteering right now and am trying to build up some momentum at my job; I was stalled out at the beginning of spring when my last round of testing failed again, so I switched up to studying leptin instead of more lower-level metabolism blockers. I'm compiling my data and hoping against hope that I'll be able to make some forward progress and give my career some options. I tried working six-day weeks (well, really I've been in the lab seven days a week, but I was just stopping in for half an hour on Sundays) for a little while there, but I'm so worn down that I think I might be making mistakes. So I'm trying to slow it the fuck down so I can do better.

I am so angry at the universe.

I don't think I will ever stop being angry about this. I don't think I will ever stop being angry with the universe. My partner will be up for citizenship next year; in the interim we paid up $700 to renew their permanent residency, and had several days of utter panic when a minor lapse of the brain resulted in USCIS returning our petition and temporarily rendering them undocumented and potentially unable to work. It's fixed now but I hate every single hateful thing about the immigration process, every unnecessarily cruel flourish and bureaucratic twist.

Partner's not sure whether it would be worth it to be able to vote here, in case we move and another country views willingly taking citizenship right here, right now, as a potential black mark on their record. I understand why they feel like that, but I grieve it nonetheless; I want to shake people in the street and demand whether they want me to be quite this blackly ashamed of the nation I grew up loving. I want to howl my rage and my grief and wallow in it until I can't get up, sometimes, but that isn't an option. Mostly I want the whole world to get the fuck out of my way, and I figure darkly that I might as well use that rage for all it's worth. I send angry postcards to my elected representatives and I show up to marches when I can and I keep an eye out for my neighbors. I remind everyone around me when there's a special election and I tell them my thoughts as I pore over League of Women Voters statements.

I'm still struggling. But I'll get to my feet, if I push at it. And hell help any poor dumb bastard foolish enough to get in my way. I might have a finite energy supply, but I'm going to find out how to use it to the best advantage I can.
posted by sciatrix at 9:56 AM on July 7, 2017 [50 favorites]

Has Hamilton really only been A Thing for two years? I feel like I've been hearing about it for much longer, which I guess is a testament to how vigorously hamilfannish my hamilfan friends are. (Love you guys...)
posted by nebulawindphone at 10:03 AM on July 7, 2017 [4 favorites]

oh sciatrix, much love.
posted by angrycat at 10:23 AM on July 7, 2017 [6 favorites]

sciatrix, I'll be your psuedo-mom if you want. I've got a lot of encouragement and love and pats-on-the-back and I'm-proud-of-yous to go around and only two biological nearly grown up children and several children of friends-who-might-as-well-be-family to pass it all out to. My cup runneth over and you're welcome to it.

Much love to all of you. I could not and would not want to get through this without you, MetaFilter.
posted by cooker girl at 10:41 AM on July 7, 2017 [3 favorites]

I more or less quit Facebook. I love my SJW liberal friends but lately the call out culture has become too much. Friends calling out enemies for obvious transgressions, for the not so obvious, calling out other friends for not doing anything to help, for not helping in the right way, for not picking the right cause with which to help. It's fucking exhausting. I left the account up with email notifications should family or friends really need or want to get a hold of me. I feel so much weight has been lifted since starting my break.
posted by horseblind at 11:02 AM on July 7, 2017 [4 favorites]

And sciatrix, holy shit have you got a lot going on. Good luck. I really hope some peace comes for you and your partner.
posted by horseblind at 11:04 AM on July 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

sciatrix!!! Good to see you and thank you for the update on your life! Do it your way, my dear. You've every right to be proud of that. I'm sorry life is hard on top of the political shitstream, and I wonder often how the studies are going for you. Try to take time to listen to bugs and feel a breeze, it does help.
posted by yoga at 11:14 AM on July 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

I love my SJW liberal friends but

I just now, thanks to horseblind's context, figured out what SJW actually stands for. Thanks HB!
posted by wonton endangerment at 12:41 PM on July 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

What I'm doing:

Drinking again, with apols to those who are not. This time a

Bitter Sunrise
1 part gin
1 part Campari
2 parts orange juice
On ice, top with soda water if you need hydration.
Think of the vitamins!!
posted by mgrrl at 1:19 PM on July 7, 2017 [4 favorites]

Earlier this week something happened that shook me up something fierce. My mother and I had an encounter with an actual, factual neo nazi. Not someone with gross opinions. Not someone who used some dogwhistle language. I mean a real one. A live one ten feet away.

So imagine this - I take my mother out to a nice dinner. We finish and walk toward our respective cars to part ways. We are chatting, putting off parting, when a truck pulls into a nearby parking spot. A young man climbs out. He seems a little nerdy but otherwise unremarkable. Black t-shirt and ball cap. Khaki cargo shorts. Weird low-top hiking shoes with high gym socks. A little doughy.

What is remarkable is the sound coming from his phone, held up to record himself. It is (I assume) a Hitler speech playing over the Battle Hymn of the Republic. I say I assume because I don't know for sure. I know it sounds like a nasal angry speech in German recorded on either very old or very cheap equipment.

This guy aims the front of his phone so my mother and I are in the frame with him (him facing away from us). He says "That's right, gas all Jews and impale all Muslims. Happy fourth of July, kikes".

I froze, my mom froze, and he reentered his truck to drive away. I did nothing, my mom did nothing. We didn't even acknowledge it happened outside ten seconds of stunned silence. We said our goodbyes and I drove home.

This event ate me up afterwards. It's still eating me up. I am having trouble processing that it happened. My mother lives in a mid-sized suburban town, not the middle of a trailer park. I don't know how he felt comfortable enough to do such a thing. I don't know what that hateful young man was trying to do. I am not Jewish nor am I Muslim, nor do I appear as either. I guess my mother and I appear in some racist's video post somewhere? I don't know why I didn't confront the guy. I don't know why we didn't talk about the event.

This was the first time I've ever seen real hate. Like ever, and I'm not very young. To tell you the truth I would not believe someone who told this same story. I would think they were making it up for some reason.

Anyway, I'm not sure why I even posted this. I have never posted in one of these threads. Or many threads at all. I guess it was a WTF moment. This is the WTF thread. So WTF.
posted by FakeFreyja at 1:35 PM on July 7, 2017 [34 favorites]

God, that's awful, FakeFreyja. I understand your response, though. When I'm confronted by something new and horrible, I tend to freeze up too, unsure about what I have heard and with no idea how to respond.

Hopefully this will never happen again, so you need never figure out what the right response is.
posted by maxsparber at 2:14 PM on July 7, 2017 [5 favorites]

Aw, hell, FakeFreyja. That is awful, and it's a really normal, common way to respond to something that absolutely outside of your realm of expectation.

Once when I was teaching genetics, I had a student come up to me after class and ask me if he could pray for me. I was so confused that I didn't even parse his words as English, so I asked him to repeat himself a few more times. When I finally understood what he was asking, all I could think to say was "....sure?" because I was so confused and startled, and I thought it might make him go away--and so I was even more freaked out and alarmed when he reached out to touch the edge of my glasses and started chanting for the spirit of nearsightedness to leave them in Jesus' name. Then he said he had another question, I asked faintly 'Is it class-related?' and once I'd confirmed it was, it turned out that he wanted to know if he really had to do the homework we were to go over in discussion section before class, even if I wasn't bothering to collect them until the first exam. It was banal and strange and left me discombobulated and disoriented for the rest of the day, not to mention a little afraid--I'm not out to my students exactly, but all I could think is that I was glad he hadn't tried to pray the queer out of me or something.

It was a little thing, less horrifying than what you experienced, and from context he probably meant it to flatter me. And I am not kidding when I said I had no idea how to respond and that it had me reeling for an extended period of time afterwards. The first time someone transgresses social norms in such a flagrant way, many people freeze in confusion and can't process what is happening in time to react. It happens to almost everyone. There's no shame in it.

Like max, I hope that that will never happen to you again. But if it does, I bet you you will have an idea of what you wish you had done with that Nazi you ran into, and I bet you will be able to act much more quickly and effectively then. That was my experience, anyway.
posted by sciatrix at 2:26 PM on July 7, 2017 [6 favorites]

My RL friends are what keep me sane. Tonight I'm going to a party where we're going to sit around a fire and make s'mores. Next week we're having a beach party for trans folx, the following week I'm going camping with friends in a remote area, etc. I can't fathom being a queer person stuck in Trump country with no one to commiserate with. Online support is nice but sometimes you really need someone in the same room with you so you don't have to verbalize your terror.
posted by AFABulous at 2:44 PM on July 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

I'm starting to feel moments of actual hopelessness. This is not going to blow over. The lies, the hatred, the lust for destruction of everything that's been accomplished since 1800 to mitigate the cruelty and severity of untrammeled capitalism, racism, and sexism. How the hell do we stop it?
posted by thelonius at 4:03 PM on July 7, 2017 [6 favorites]

I don't think I will ever stop being angry with the universe

oh god, I feel this. I burst into tears in public yesterday, and a kind stranger gave me a hug while I mumbled incoherently about "we're all going to die and everything will be broken and no one cares". I've been trying to choke down my anger and it's just bleeding out in every possible way.
posted by corb at 4:31 PM on July 7, 2017 [12 favorites]

I don't talk a lot about my research online, but I'm basically studying the effects of racism on the daily lives of black people in the late 19th century. I spend pretty much every day reading about all the ways indignity and injustice were thrust upon people. There's a smooth continuity between what I read about for my work, and what I read about in the news. It's not to say we should be jaded and say, "oh, it was always bad, didn't you know?" What's happening now is outrageous, and should be considered outrageous. The existence of past injustices shouldn't excuse new ones.

I think what gives me comfort, though, is that as awful as things used to be, I think we tend to forget all the ways people pushed back, even then. We look back at slavery, or at white violence, as though we as a nation had to learn how to stop it. The truth is, there were always people fighting to stop it. There were slaves secretly learning to read and write, who could forge documents for themselves and for other slaves to secure passage north. There were abolitionists in slave states arguing with their neighbors about the immorality of slavery. We had Nat Turner and John Brown. We had slaves, and after 1865, former slaves, learning to use the court system to their advantage. The true history of past injustice is far more complex than we ever imagine it to be. All of these actions of resistance, all of these efforts to assert personal agency, all laid the groundwork for the changes that would come 10 years, 50 years, or even 100 years later.

I read letters and diaries, court cases, and all kinds of documents, and I remind myself that the people who wrote them didn't know what would happen the next day, or the next year, or the next decade. A slave in 1859 didn't know slavery would ever end, but they didn't need to in order to help other slaves escape to freedom. This country is not, and has never been, monolithic. As horrible as the leadership has been historically, and as horrible as they are today, they don't represent all, or even most of us. The damage they can do is profound, but we don't know what is yet to come. The story isn't over yet, and I think it's easy to take for granted that we can all change how it ends.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 5:01 PM on July 7, 2017 [25 favorites]

I'm worried that that sounds preachy, or like a total cliche ("the ending hasn't been written, man"). I've said before that I had to almost completely check out of the news, so I know it's a rough time. Looking at history the way I do means I know that the person who fought slavery in, say, 1848 would eventually live to see the institution fall. It's a lot easier to stomach something like that knowing how it ends. I do understand how people feel. I'm just trying to find comfort in knowing that we haven't been beaten yet.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 5:03 PM on July 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

I started limiting my media after the election and have checked out as much as humanly possible since my mom died suddenly in late April. I had to go back to work a week after her death and it has been a hard struggle to deal with my mom's passing, be there for my spouse and child and keep up with my job while feeling through the strange relief that my mom will not suffer through whatever 45 and Congress come up with next to make life more difficult for the ones I love.

I just came back from a trip to Eastern Europe with my little family and it was so, so lovely to be able to avoid the news completely for 2.5 weeks and clear my head, although my return to work was marred when I found the little packets of citrus lavender tea bought from the Great Market in Budapest stolen off my desk, along with the little 4oz Paris tea tin I was using to store the tea. I never got to brew a cup.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 6:14 PM on July 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

I read >95% of just AskMefi questions and +/-20% of the complete threads. I have ideas about questions everyday but almost never post and rarely favorite. I lurk. And that may not change much since you guys will be so proud that I took your advice anyway and started therapy!
posted by maya at 7:05 PM on July 7, 2017 [19 favorites]

This is just to say that the world is full of many lovely amines, and that many of them will love you back.
posted by aramaic at 9:09 PM on July 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

I did nothing, my mom did nothing. We didn't even acknowledge it happened outside ten seconds of stunned silence.

The hardest part about all of this is the fact that we each, personally, need to screw up our courage to stand up to this shit, sometimes with crazy strangers who might be carrying weapons, sometimes with loved ones we don't want to offend. The immediate reaction to be stunned silently is natural and understandable but standing up and calling it out is a skill that can be learned, it takes practice, and this was lesson #1. It's fucked up they brought the conflict to us, and some of us will be injured or maybe die, but the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, etc, etc.

And for God sakes, if we witness something like this as a third party, we need to support forcefully the person being intimidated. There really are far more of us than them if we can get past our stunned silence.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:42 PM on July 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

I just caught up on the current POTUS thread, Friday nights seem to be when I can finally do that.

So as you may know I'm a US Passport acceptance agent; people who are required to submit the DS-11 application can come to me at my local government clerk gig to execute it. There's a lot of things I love about this part of my job—the documents, portrait photography, the rigor and precision of an official process meant to be used by all U.S. citizens—but one I treasure most is meeting new Citizens fresh from their swearing-in ceremony.

I've been hooked on reading these ugly megathreads threads for the past year, pretty religiously if not altogether entirely, and I feel the pressure of so much fucked-up bizzaro world information that it paralyzes me into a semi-permanent state of utter WTF. I don't feel proud to be an American presently, which is deeply depressing. But being able to talk to new US Citizens about their journey to citizenship is a wonderful relief from the drudgery of political news.

Many of them are following family here, or got married and started a family, or are chasing some (usually economic) form of the American Dream. Today an applicant shared their story with me, and it was the first time I'd heard this one: They submitted their application for citizenship on November 10th, 2016, after living and working in the US for most of their adult life. The election results came in and a person decided it was important enough for them to participate going forward to oppose white supremacy and fascism with a vote.

That was enough for me, hearing the story of one new incensed and woke Citizen instantly filled my heart and made my day. But the Citizen added that during the last step just before the naturalization oath they had shared this same story with some of the others in line, several of which chimed in, "ME TOO!"
posted by carsonb at 10:56 PM on July 7, 2017 [28 favorites]

What the fucking fucking is going on with these motherfucking chuckle fucks and their goddamn talk about fucking repealing Obamacare without a replacement?

Steve Martin

Thank you Tevis and thank you Steve Martin for saying exactly what I want to say.
posted by bendy at 12:13 AM on July 8, 2017 [2 favorites]

I just came back from a trip to Eastern Europe with my little family and it was so, so lovely to be able to avoid the news completely for 2.5 weeks and clear my head, although my return to work was marred when I found the little packets of citrus lavender tea bought from the Great Market in Budapest stolen off my desk, along with the little 4oz Paris tea tin I was using to store the tea. I never got to brew a cup.

People are the worst.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 2:59 AM on July 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

a Hitler speech playing over the Battle Hymn of the Republic

Heard that too but I'm not wading into the prominent US Nazi/White separatist website to explain it to you. Explanations are there. In front of the kids I asked them if that was Hitler. Knew it was. The kids can pass and kept their mouths shut until we were back in the truck.

Taxi driver last night and I picked up a mother and daughter at the mall who were going to the daughter's place for a weekend of furious piemaking and they got in a political argument because of something I said that had nothing to do with politics. Daughter had voted for Trump. Mom had huge problems with that and it got nasty so mom wanted me to drop off daughter and take her back to her place pretty far away. Significant fare and I told her so. I can do that but I can't tip. That's ok. Why don't you sit up front?

I didn't take the fastest route. Took the cheapest one. We got 40 minutes to talk. She's on the kidney donor list. This was her day off from dialysis and she feels like she'd have been better off staying home. What her daughter voted for will kill her and she's really upset. She's on disability. Spent savings pulling daughter out of California penal system and daughter said in front of both of us that she can't deal with a life without drugs and we talk about that.

Then she asks me about me and I'll tell anybody. I'm not private. She thinks it interesting and then we are off the pavement with steep drop to the right and a deep ditch to the left and no room to let someone by and I hate the Prius. Structure blocks everything you need to see on steep roads like this, front end is scraping the grade stuck upwards so I can't see the road and I ask her to please not tell me anything but guidance cause I can't handle content right now and she gets it.

There is no signal and I can't run her credit card. I ask if I can get the info to run it later and she says she'd really like to see our farm. Sunday? Can you get yourself out there Sunday? Says she's coming. I think it will be good for her. Kids, dogs, pacas. She's probably older than my mom was.

Getting out was hell. No GPS in a car that sucks to back up in. When it finally caught, GPS took me back an even more frightening route over the top of the mountain and I came out somewhere I knew and felt done for the night.

Build up one person at a time. It's draining EL but we have to do it.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 7:20 AM on July 8, 2017 [18 favorites]

I'm just trying to find comfort in knowing that we haven't been beaten yet.

This is, for what it's worth, exactly how I feel. And remembering that other people gave their lives in the service of fighting a trench warfare of horrors as bad or worse as what we are facing down now--and through their collective effort, in small ways, they won battles even as we still wage that war. Remembering the victories and how afraid people were and how determined and how we've won in the past and might yet win again--that is one of the things that drives me.

I made 'patron saints of democracy' candles the night of the election, for luck, with the faces of Barbara Jordan, Thaddeus Stevens, Jane Addams, Susan B. Anthony, Maya Angelou, Harriet Tubman, at the requests of several people who were attending to watch. I've lit them several times while I pause to remember and reflect on things I've been dealing with. I had forgotten how helpful it can be to tap into the story of people who threw their lives into a legacy of change.

I keep meaning to make others. Sylvia Riviera, Karl Ulrichs, and Marsha P Johnson have been on my mind this week, but I keep making little lists for myself of people who aren't as well known unless you go looking for their place in civil rights history, but who made a small difference anyway even against odds that seemed impenetrable and unbeatable. Some of them didn't win, or never saw their work bear fruit, but they were there trying all the same. And the labor they put in, and the support they got from their communities, let them build up a little reservoir of hard-won territory that the next wave of fighters could pick up and carry on. A. Philip Randolph. Robert Smalls. Wilma Mankiller. Walter White. Bayard Rustin. Mildred and Richard Loving. Norris Wright Cuney. Small victories. Small things. They didn't change everything with their whole lives, but they made a small change, and they built inspiration for the next folks down the line to stand up and snarl "this is not how we do things here" or "this is unacceptable" and try their damndest to do something about it.

There were people who watched the promise of Reconstruction fall to tatters when Rutherford B. Hayes bought the presidency with the hope of justice in the South. There were people who fought Jim Crow laws rising with everything they could bring to bear, and they still lost. And yet their efforts were not in vain, because their existence and their example breathed inspiration into the next generation of people. We draw resistance from all places, and even when the odds seem unbeatable, it's still worth trying. The long arc of history reminds us that: when things seem worst, when everything is failing, that is when standing up to speak is the most crucial. Impossible activist causes shift the window of what is possible and what is mandatory. The memory of the people who fight tooth and nail even as the nation moves into a horrifying future reminds us that fighting is possible.

If it falls to American children born fifty years from now to rescue our battered and shame-soaked nation, the work of any of us who say "no. unacceptable" will still not have been done in vain. Our actions set examples and inspire others. Our words breathe comfort into the exhausted, balm for the heart-sore, support for the lonely and bravery for the fearful. By speaking to each other and reaffirming that this trajectory is not right, is not the America we deserve, we make a good future that much more likely--and that much more likely to come together soon. We need critical masses; the bright lights exist, but they can't win on their own. What they can and do do is inspire many people to follow their example in small ways. Well.

We can do that much, right?

So it's important to me to wave the banner of history, especially the bits people might not have seen without going looking, so that we may remind other people of times that have been bad before, and the hope that our ancestors have snatched from darkness. We must remember the past if we are to draw our breath--literally the meaning of inspire--from their work and their efforts.

The work you are doing, shapes that haunt the dusk, is so important. And--thank you for doing it. Thank you for the reminder. Thank you for keeping that history and collecting it and making it easier to tell those stories. It's work that needs doing, and it is service in and of itself. You're doing good things for me, at least. Thank you for the reminder. Thank you for the breath.
posted by sciatrix at 8:29 AM on July 8, 2017 [24 favorites]

The past couple of months have not been fun online (not counting our little corner here or the maltshop) as the em aar ay+paleface runs amok looking for WoC to harass and hassle and hurt. It's been nonstop ongoing across the board not just a tweet here or a comment there. The interwebz and social media lets them spill out of their little basements and small towns and far away continents to run their mucky fingers through our "brown" lives. Mind you this only goes as far as until the egg involved realizes that IRL they've gone "too far" from base and are actually in the wrong spaces i.e. the idiots who enter African twitter or FB for instance

I am exhausted keeping a face up that there isn't this constant little running war of attrition, enabled and encouraged by idiots who can't see beyond the next vote capture or political point, to realize that their silly little game could trigger a global conflagration if they continue to let their gollums run around chasing "brown" women. My own recent experiences are now being logged (by default, with my permission, for my own protection and mental wellbeing) by the relevant cyber authorities here after they spilled over into the open wifi - and flagged the system with their abnormal behaviour pattern.

Watch the EU's firewalls come crashing down, to hold this creeping tide of algae that swamps everything with infectious hate against women, against differently abled, against mythical manmade "Others", against every value.
posted by infini at 9:21 AM on July 8, 2017 [5 favorites]

I continue to find comfort here. I don't read the political threads on the blue anymore because I have to set boundaries for myself in terms of how much news I ingest on a daily basis in order to keep myself mentally and emotionally healthy--but I do find great comfort in threads like these. I've never met any of you IRL, but you're my tribe and I am so grateful for that in times like these.
posted by bookmammal at 10:18 AM on July 8, 2017 [3 favorites]

The virus that's kicked my ass the past several days*** is making me hallucinate. Because it couldnt really be true that tRump not only verbally fellated Putin again, but agreed to a cybersecurity co-op with the dictator that hacked the last election. And then sent his unelected, unappointed DILF (daughter I'd like to...) to sit at the Adult's Table.

Please tell me all of this insane SHIT isnt happening.

The worst part of course is, as others have said, seeing people who either dont seem concerned that we are spiraling into a banana republic, or people who are still actively #MAGA-hatters, thrilled to pieces with their Angry Ranty Old White Man "sticking it" to everybody. (Except Pooty.)

Especially distressing when these are neighbors/coworkers/(ex-)friends/ people you share the majority of a family tree with.

I feel like I'm that protagonist in a Twilight Zone ep/ thriller-horror-sci-fi story of your choice, the one who KNOWS everything is out of whack, but is surrounded only by bodies that were taken over by zombie aliens.

tl;dr? All of us here are Veronica Cartwright.

(*** And btw as long as I'm venting, so Ive got this weird bug, and it came during a lousy few days staycation from one of the many PT jobs Ive had which dont provide PAID time off, whether vacay or sick. And where they give you the stinkeye if you ask for unpaid. Because Universal Workers Rights, like Universal Healthcare, is for those commie Euros? Anyway, /EndRant, thank you.)
posted by NorthernLite at 12:19 PM on July 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

yes, we are all Veronica Cartwright :(
posted by infini at 1:27 PM on July 8, 2017 [2 favorites]

FakeFreyja, that's deeply disturbing and vile and horrible. Cry 'Havoc!', and let slip the dogs of war. What a tiny little worm of a bully.

We have had great presidents and legislators who tried to make the US better. Greater, more just. Reagan, Bush2, Trump, these are men who succeeded in making the country meaner, less fair, more profitable for the few. I am deeply embarrassed that my country is represented by this small bully of a president. The incompetence, the ignorance, the nepotism are rather impressive. We have reached the tipping point into corruption and plunged in. The United States is now a 1st World banana republic.

So, yeah, still bereft.

Physically, I have had a little more energy and a lot less depression, so that's pretty awesome. My little garden is perking along. The tomatoes are mostly flowering, and I have had my 1st salad of home grown arugula. Basil & cilantro are making good progress. It's summer in Maine, so it's
posted by theora55 at 2:07 PM on July 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

Monday. I just have to make it till Monday.

But one of our guys isn't going to be able to make it back for the coordinated campaign, for reasons that are entirely beyond our control, and like. I feel like the dude got killed in battle. I wanted to keep our weird campaign family together, as unlikely as that is across cycles. I'm still eager to get back to work, but I'm mourning, a little.
posted by dogheart at 2:15 PM on July 8, 2017

his unelected, unappointed DILF (daughter I'd like to...)

Good grief, just reread my post. I was attempting a vulgar joke re DJT's inappropriate 'tude toward his daughter. Not that I'd like to...

Anyway folks, despite fact I'm still coughing horridly, etc., I did find cheer this afternoon sitting outside and listening to Miss Ella. Find you a view and some music that does it for you.
posted by NorthernLite at 5:01 PM on July 8, 2017

Well, I'm discovering how difficult it is for me to be in a very stressful environment, with all that's happened in the last year. I spent a week a couple of weeks ago in a depressive panic crisis, and I'm not the person dying from cancer (and so I'm thinking during the time, jesus, how self-centered). I didn't realize how much I need a calm, predictable environment to feel secure -- that makes me sound like someone with a mental illness or something, and maybe that's the case. Years ago, I was hospitalized for severe depression and, frankly, that was one of the most relaxing weeks of my life. It didn't feel like I was locked in, but that the world was locked-out. So I can hardly cope with the challenges that I face directly every day and yet I acutely feel love and concern for the people closest to me and I'm constantly thinking, how can I help more?, and then feeling overwhelmed and guilty that I'm not helping enough and I'm in danger of just shutting down anyway, because that's what I do periodically.

The external world is shit. I keep up with the news and commentary because I care deeply about it, but I have a sense of dislocation about it, like this is all so impossible and unreal it's hard to process. And with everything going on within my home it feels like I'm in a high-temp pressure cooker left outside in a hurricane -- I am well aware of the storm outside, but things are blowing up right next to me.

Three weeks ago, when I felt like I wasn't able to cope, I reached out to about five people close to me. They all responded with love and encouragement, and that helped. One old friend -- she's nominally my cousin these days, by marriage, but we've known each other all our lives long before our families had a formal connection. Anyway, she's great-hearted and eccentric. Remember the "Prancersize" woman from a few years ago? I wrote in that thread about how much she reminded me of my friend and how I find it delightful that there are people like this in the world, good-natured and just fearlessly doing their thing. This friend I'm referring to, last year for some inexplicable reason, decided that her goal was to sing the national anthem at the high school basketball tournament. This seems completely random because it is. She's 50. I don't even know if she can sing. And people in the family were all sort of chuckling about this, in person and in email, and my comment was, well, don't be surprised when she somehow manages to do this. And she did! Apparently, if it matters so much to you, you can call people up and eventually convince them to let you sing the national anthem at the state high school basketball tournament. So I wrote to her three weeks ago and immediately my phone starts ringing every day. Hey, I've got a funny story to tell you. Oh, I came up with a new advertising jingle, want to hear it? How are you doing? I kind of dodged many of her calls because I don't really like talking on the telephone, but thank god there's people like her in the world.

Honestly, I think when I die one of the things that I'll feel best about my life is that I've met and known people like that. Good-hearted, eccentric people that make you (well, me) just think: wow, people are awesome and amazing, aren't they?

So that's good. Everything else is awful.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:57 PM on July 8, 2017 [8 favorites]

I have no idea WTF is going on anymore. I'm on my swing in the backyard with a beer, but everything remotely enjoyable seems like it's on borrowed time. I noticed on Wednesday I think, whatever day Trump flew to Poland, that people were getting super shitty with each other in the magathread. Resistance fatigue is setting in as well as the realization that there is no short way to impeachment or this being over in any way soon. I'm back on anti depressants. I can't make realistic future plans. I'm flippant and making cracks about Acosta being my secret boo with Mojito and pizza rolls because fuck the actual reality. I hope that non-American mefites can see how much we HATE HATE HATE this but we're trying our fucking best. All I can do is try to maintain an admittedly false sense of normalcy day to day and bitch out Roy Blunt's staff on the regular.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 10:03 PM on July 8, 2017 [2 favorites]

I wrote about this elsewhere in one of the megathreads, but I had a really brutal face-off with a woman who'd parked in the one available accessible parking spots (disabled parking) that began when I was like 'yo not cool,' escalated when I looked out the window to see her friend bringing her a disabled placard so she could stick it in her window and continue unloading.

Well because this pillar of the community lied to the cops when they arrived, about how she'd borrowed the placard because she was saving the spot for her disabled friend, and because the cops did nothing, and because both the SO and I are bad at confrontations, the in-person fight stopped with me going back into the apartment and making crazed gorilla sounds for about a half-hour.

So, our township has a FB page. So on the page I was like, hey, yo, could people not do this, that would be cool, thanks. And people came out of the woodwork to be shitty. Mostly the shittiness was a) insults because I'd called the cops over 'nothing' and b) this woman who decided she was going to dedicate like the next 48 hours of her life to parking in disabled spots, taking the picture of her car (minus any disabled placard) parked in the disabled spots, and posting them on Facebook.

I know this sounds heinous, and I really was gobsmacked that people came out to tell me I was bad for calling the cops, but when the woman started posting pictures of her car in disabled spots I was like: HOLY SHIT this is hillarible. Maybe because I smoke a lot of weed, I can't really understand why a person would get up in the morning and ask themselves, who can I piss off today.

All this is for me to say THANK YOU METAFILTER. THANK YOU for the moderation. THANK YOU for the users, most of whom are smarter, more knowledgable, more articulate than me. THANK YOU for this community where norms are something we take seriously, and the idea of shitting all over said norms is viewed with disdain.
posted by angrycat at 6:07 AM on July 9, 2017 [12 favorites]

fluttering hellfire: I hope that non-American mefites can see how much we HATE HATE HATE this but we're trying our fucking best.

No worries there. We can.
*hug* (if you want one)
posted by Too-Ticky at 4:41 AM on July 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

In a hilarious coincidence (?) the American man sitting next to me on the plane from Cote d'Ivoire to Paris also got malaria, but he started getting very sick on the plane. The French flight crew was wonderful and took great care of him, and convinced him to stay in Paris to get treated rather than fly right on to San Francisco (something like a 10-12 hour flight). They said something to the effect of "Please use our health care system, it's socialized and we'll take good care of you." He was saying "But I'm so embarrassed to be taking advantage of that, especially with Trump," and they said, "Oh no, we're happy to be able to take care of people." It was very nice, and a glimpse of some sort of hopeful and happy socialist world that may exist here someday.
posted by ChuraChura at 5:13 AM on July 10, 2017 [19 favorites]

I took a 2 ish day break from the latest megathread and popped in today. For a minute. It was like driving for the first time in about a month. The road rage certainly returns quickly.

It's the same latest fuckup outrageous tweet/action/headline deciphering and just such an endless stream of ridiculous shit and I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WTF IS TAKING MUELLER SO FUCKING LONG TO THROW THESE MOTHERFUCKERS UNDER THE BUS LOADED WITH 10 OR 12 OTHER BUSSES MADE OF LEAD AND WITH SPIKED WHEELS OVER FIRE ANT NESTS

Also, my scroll wheel is getting hot
posted by yoga at 1:07 PM on July 10, 2017 [5 favorites]

Took a few days off from the megathread/following politics with all the fervor of a Game of Thrones fan. Feel much less inclined to catch up, just because so much happens in a week.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:20 AM on July 11, 2017

I'll be traveling & mostly offline from Thursday this week thru Thursday next week. I'm thinking whatever transpires in that time frame will be like one of my weird dreams, where you work in an office that has blue shag carpet in every room and they're all shaped like New Jersey. And you have to go thru a turnstile to get into each one.

as a small aside, WTF does TTTCS or whatever that acronym is mean?
posted by yoga at 10:29 AM on July 11, 2017

TTTCS, The West Wing reference- Turn,
turn, turn, curse, spit.

posted by fluffy battle kitten at 10:43 AM on July 11, 2017 [2 favorites]

Ah, ok. Not a West Wing watcher. Thanks.
posted by yoga at 11:38 AM on July 11, 2017

A total solar eclipse is traditionally thought to be an extremely bad omen, right?

So a total solar eclipse that is visible (on land, at least) from only a single country would be a very bad omen for that country?

Just asking.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:10 PM on July 11, 2017 [2 favorites]

A total solar eclipse was a very handy plot device in the TV show 'Heroes'.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:24 AM on July 12, 2017 [3 favorites]

As I saw someone else point out - I don't recall if it was on MeFi or elsewhere - a total solar eclipse also figures into Little Shop of Horrors.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:11 AM on July 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

thelonius: I’m starting to feel moments of actual hopelessness. This is not going to blow over. The lies, the hatred, the lust for destruction of everything that's been accomplished since 1800 to mitigate the cruelty and severity of untrammeled capitalism, racism, and sexism. How the hell do we stop it?

My roommate and I have been attending/planning on attending viewings of a bunch of the National Theatre Live "broadcasts" in Chicago and Evanston, as we are both artsy-fartsy people whose fannishness/nerdiness Venn diagrams overlap at (among other locations) Shakespeare, Harry Potter, activism, theater, literature, and biting criticism of all these aforementioned things. We recently saw their Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead starring Daniel Radcliffe and Joshua McGuire, and we have tickets to showings of both Angels in America plays. I'm extremely familiar with both pieces; she has never seen them (well, she's seen R&G now).

(Tangent - anyone in Chicago who didn't see the R&G and would like to: 1) it's really really really good; and 2) there is an encore showing this Saturday at the Music Box Theatre. Click here for tix.)

The intellectual-emotional philosophies at the core of each of these plays are very much barbaric yawps. I began to cry uncontrollably at the end of R&G, when Guildenstern, just before blinking out of existence, says, "There must have been a moment, at the beginning, where we could have said—No. But somehow we missed it." Normally I would be weeping a bit at the end of any well-produced R&G, but right now that line weighs more than I can bear.

And I'm torn between looking forward to two great nights of theater when we go to see Angels In America: Millennium Approaches and Perestroika next Thursday and the Thursday after that, and dreading it. One of Belize's great lines--a line written in 1992 for a play set in 1985--won't leave me alone. When he's talking to Louis about the (dying) Roy Cohn, he says: "You come to room 1013 over at the hospital, I'll show you America: terminal, crazy and mean."

Playwrights are often prophets.

My heart is broken into infinite pieces. I don't think it will ever heal.
posted by tzikeh at 4:27 PM on July 12, 2017 [4 favorites]

After spending pretty much every day since the election refreshing the megathreads, reading linked articles, fretting and acting locally to resist, i took a break last week for a family vacation. I was in deep red farm country. We managed to stay apolitical and it was relaxing not to hear triggering voices (any member of the admin) or watch infuriating videos.
I came home to find that nothing much had changed, and I haven't ventured back into a megathread, nor done much more than read headlines on WaPo.
I have enjoyed reading FPP's , Ask and Fanfare, but I spend much much less time on MeFi just as a result of not having a megathread to refresh every ten minutes.
posted by OHenryPacey at 10:15 AM on July 13, 2017

Hi all, giving the live thread a break and coming over here to exorcise my primal scream that feels like it comes from primordial sparks in every every pulse in every woman ever, every breath any woman has taken, the years of waiting to be allowed to own property, to vote, to speak in public, to control her body, to write, to create art, to create science, every moment in my life of ignored at the dinner table as a girl, being cut off in meetings, not invited to speak, marginalized, and the millions of women throughout the world who continue to claw their way out of far, far, far worse circumstances than most of us can imagine so I can take this moment to wail like a banshee riding a hellfire-powered horse of shear wrath, screaming rage into the void that has allowed the piece of shit that is Donald J. Trump to sit in the White House in the place of Hillary Goddamn Motherfucking Rodham Clinton.

Uh, cheers everyone!
posted by A Terrible Llama at 10:48 AM on July 13, 2017 [9 favorites]

Modern American politics seems to be all about getting people emotionally charged then drawing them to your side so they can become footsoldiers and donors. This is the only thing I can think these days when I read about racist, classist, or supremacist actions.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:23 AM on July 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

I haven't read this thread from the top yet, although I will, but I wanted to post the email that I just sent to my (relatively good) senator, because I don't really have any faith that she or her staff will ever read it. I know it comes across as privileged --- I guess that's kind of the point.

I'm sorry. I hate all of this. I'm not sure where I would be without Metafilter at this point, but it's nowhere good.


Dear Senator McCaskill,

My name is [name], and I am a constituent from Kansas City, ZIP code [zip], living in walking distance of your office in Westport. I write today to thank you for your efforts to date in preventing the abominable BCRA from passing the Senate, and to ask for your help in relaying a message to your Republican colleagues.

I am a [X]-year old white woman. My husband and I are educated professionals with no children. We work for large corporations (with good health insurance), and jointly make upwards of $[X] a year. Other than voting in major elections, neither of us was particularly politically active before 2016. This has changed.

The revulsion I feel at the increasingly naked hypocrisy and venality displayed by your Republican colleagues over the course of the last eighteen months continues to shock me, though it no longer surprises me. I could itemize the offenses, but I am sure you are aware of all of them already, and then some. [Husband] and I are excited to support your re-election next year, financially and in any other way that is necessary. We donated to Jason Kander in his campaign against Roy Blunt in 2016, but it was, in retrospect, less than we could have afforded, and much less than was warranted.

Please inform Senator Blunt that when he votes for the BRCA next week, we plan to earmark $100 per month from now until his election in 2022 for donation to his Democratic opponent. When the candidate is decided, we will also commit our non-financial support to him or her, be it phone banking, door-knocking, or whatever else the campaign needs. We are already supporting non-candidate-specific progressive causes and events. For example, one of my husband's bands is donating their time to a Northland Progress event for voting rights in August.

Please relay a similar message to Cory Gardner, Dean Heller, Bill Cassidy, Mike Lee, Susan Collins, John Hoeven, Robert Portman, Rand Paul, Shelly Moore Capito, and Lisa Murkowski, most of whose names I am now embarrassed to say I did not know this time last year. I know them now. We are awake. We are watching. There are more of us than they think. And we are not all of classes and colors that they can easily dismiss or disenfranchise.

With appreciation,
[name] of Kansas City, Missouri
posted by slenderloris at 4:05 PM on July 14, 2017 [4 favorites]

I'M REALLY UPSET. I'm supposed to be at Beto's fundraiser at Tricky Falls but my childcare fell through (which means my ex doesn't have enough money to buy food for his son). I'M REALLY ANGRY AND UPSET. Did any Mefites go? Do you have pics or video or anything? As usual, everything falls on my shoulders. I love my little son but I want to be able to get out and support this candidate that I believe in, who is running against Ted "I'm A Fucking Alien" Cruz. Have I mentioned that I'M ANGRY AND UPSET?!?
posted by blessedlyndie at 9:19 PM on July 15, 2017

it is once again time to scream in incoherent rage, who's with me friends
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 4:13 PM on July 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

I don't have incoherent rage, just a deep and abiding sadness. I wish the world were better. I want it to be better. I want us to care more. I want us to hug each other more and not die in a flaming horrorshow.
posted by corb at 4:27 PM on July 17, 2017 [8 favorites]

Whelp, stopping by to exorcise today's helpless rage with a primal scream that nobody hears!

Thanks 2017 for making us all feel silly about complaining about 2016.

2018, I'm looking at you, motherfucker. Do not fuck with me here.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 11:49 AM on July 25, 2017 [5 favorites]

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:21 AM on July 26, 2017 [2 favorites]

2015 was the last good year.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:32 AM on July 27, 2017 [2 favorites]

My spouse shows me my FB status of "And *stay* out, 2015" about once a week.
posted by Etrigan at 9:42 AM on July 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

Is this the place where I scream wildly about "the mooch"? I don't want to clog the megathread, but I need catharsis and I don't know where else to turn. What the fuck is going on? I know that among all the important things happening now an unhinged director of communications is a drop in the bucket, but it is freaking me out and I don't know how to process it because it is so...alien to anything that I have ever encountered before.

Sjdjfjfurjhfbfhfhrurufuf&fbrjjfjfjfjru4ufurirjenenekeofigutiirudwhwhjrjrj! Ahhhhhhhghhhhhhh!
posted by Literaryhero at 1:31 AM on July 28, 2017

(sorry and thank you)
posted by Literaryhero at 1:31 AM on July 28, 2017

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