Fucking Fuck, v6 December 2, 2017 1:34 AM   Subscribe

With the Unread, Illegible Tax Bill having passed the Senate, among other shattering, quotidian, or seasonal joys nightmares events, I suspect that a place to howl may be necessary. Please, howl here.

This is also a tool to help keep the political thread noise low in order to reduce work for the mods, per this previous post. Please help them by using this thread and chat.

Thank you for your patience and consideration in this time of stress and turmoil. We are all in this together, and we can make it through this together.

Let the rage flow. Let the bewilderment out. Share some cheer, if you have some to spare. Also cake.
posted by monopas to MetaFilter-Related at 1:34 AM (178 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

Dear US politicians: thanks for destroying US research science by making it unaffordable to go to grad school. Thanks for reminding me again of how much you hate science.
posted by sciencegeek at 1:48 AM on December 2 [25 favorites]


sciencegeek, stuff like that is a big part of what still drives me absolutely crazy about Republican behavior. So many effects of this bill are going to make America less competitive, weaker, and less relevant to world events in the future. If they were selfish and greedy and horrible but acting in their own self-interest that would be one thing, but they have this frustrating scattershot way of making their own future worse that I can't quite get my head around. There are so many things that they fight for that they have to know will make the world a worse place for them, and we know they know because they work so hard to bury evidence suggesting these outcomes when they find it. Do they just think they'll die before the consequences come around so they don't have to worry about it, or what?
posted by IAmUnaware at 1:58 AM on December 2 [6 favorites]


I'm really sad and angry. Why?! Why?!?!?!?!?
posted by mdonley at 2:00 AM on December 2 [3 favorites]


I think it has to do with framing things. In their minds they think "what is the opposite of science" and answer it with things like religion and business.

They think scientists, and especially those in academia are elites living in an ivory tower who swan around living an easy life and only working from September until May. They think that this life isn't the real world and that scientists in academia couldn't hack it in the real world.

They can't connect advances in medical care and technology with the hard working and poorly paid people who do the research.
posted by sciencegeek at 2:07 AM on December 2 [6 favorites]


AAAAAAaaaaaaāaaāagh!!
posted by runcifex at 2:07 AM on December 2 [1 favorite]


I very much feel like Uma Thurman in Kill Bill right now. WE HAVE UNFINISHED BUSINESS MOTHERFUCKERS
posted by angrycat at 2:14 AM on December 2 [15 favorites]


In a less rageful/depressed/anxious note, I'll be drawing and writing fragmentary lines and make some artwork. They'll be gifts for the special ones, those who value me as a person and bear witness to my suffering.

I'm reminded of what Theodore Adorno had to say about gift-giving:
Real gift-giving had its happiness in imagining the happiness of the receiver. It meant choosing, spending time, going out of one’s way, thinking of the other as a subject: the opposite of forgetfulness. (Minima Moralia, 21)
I am not forgotten. I try not to forget. Otherwise I'll cease to be.
posted by runcifex at 2:34 AM on December 2 [8 favorites]


I'm possibly delusional but I'm almost optimistic tonight. Between Flynn's plea today, the strong results from the 2017 elections (so far, not trying to jinx Alabama), and Kansas's mostly successful voter revolt against unreasonable tax laws in 2016, I'm feeling hopeful about the future. I think, in the medium term, we're going to beat this. We're going to beat all of this.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 3:27 AM on December 2 [11 favorites]


Just drove out here to spend time with my dad for his 70th birthday. My Stage III lung cancer having whose treatment has cost a third of a million dollars over the past eleven months Dad. My sister(the nurse) has shrugged off the poison pills in this bill by pointing out that his tx is paid for by his secondary ins and I wanted to shake her. Both because it once again demonstrated her lack of empathy for patients who aren’t our Dad, and the amount of sheer willful blindness it takes to think that his insurance will continue to cover his treatments with everything being dismantled.
posted by jacy at 3:43 AM on December 2 [6 favorites]


I'VE HAD A SHIT WEEK. AND I FEEL BAD. AND I'M ANGRY AT LIFE. AND I FEEL ALONE. SO FUCK EVERYTHING.

There. That's better. I yelled that while typing and I feel slightly better. I'm glad this thread exists. I'm going to go to the gym and then hide in a video game the rest of the day.
posted by Fizz at 3:49 AM on December 2 [19 favorites]


I used to try to voice my concerns to my senators from a polite middle ground. I can't do it anymore. Arguing about the ACA broke me. It's absolutely beyond me how they could ever vote for this tax bill if they saw the government as existing for the 99%. I have successfully restrained myself from using expletives. But I've been saying things like 'since you are supporting this bill against the wishes of your constituents, apparently you believe that your job is to take from the poor and give to the rich, so what do you think your day-to-day job is going to be like when there is nothing left to give them???'

I saw the news story yesterday that Corker was a no, and I went to bed feeling OK about things. I thought, that counteracts McCain, and maybe there will be more no votes. And this morning, here we are again with the goddamned doom. Thank you, Bob Corker, for doing your job... barely. And fuck the rest of you heartless, traitorous vampires who passed this piece-of-shit legislation. You're slicing up the infrastructure like pie and eating it. You're unAmerican, and you all make me sick.
posted by heatvision at 4:13 AM on December 2 [10 favorites]


I mentioned this in another Metatalk, but can I just talk about how I went to the dentist because I have persistent gum swelling and he told me that I've loosened the roots of my teeth because I'm clenching so hard while I sleep? He put in a mirror in my mouth and showed me how I have inflamed red margins around all my teeth that are a classic sign of night clenching. And his dental hygienist won't clean my teeth because I apparently need another round of planing and descaling due to an inherited gum disease, but I don't have dental coverage and I can't afford it right now.

Apparently I had some signs of this problem a year and a half ago, but he said that this is the "worst gum degradation he's seen due to clenching in such a short time." I asked him what I could do about all of this to hold me over until I can get the work I need done, and he said "Reduce stress." Heh, sure. I'll get right on that. I'm literally going to lose some teeth because Trump got elected and I live in a country where you can casually say things like "I can't afford dental care." Like. Wow.
posted by xyzzy at 4:18 AM on December 2 [18 favorites]


so i get up this AM & hear the news & I am so mad I'm shaking. I'm yelling at my wife, my animals in utter despair. yes I'm in despair even though I know it's supposedly not an option.

Whaqt do we do now? do we move in to the House and just protest the fucking life out of them?

I'm so mad I can't even use my caps lock
posted by yoga at 5:12 AM on December 2 [1 favorite]


Husband and I are talking about this in very sharp tones and our sensitive dog is afraid.

I’m afraid too.
posted by GrammarMoses at 5:17 AM on December 2 [4 favorites]


PS It is a tiny concern in comparison to all the other horrific consequences, but I am dreading the insufferable Trumpian gloating. Ugh ugh ugh.
posted by GrammarMoses at 5:20 AM on December 2 [1 favorite]


My husband and I could claim Greek citizenship and leave America. We used to laugh about how bad things would have to get here for it to be worth selling our home and actually go.

Is this that? It sure feels like it.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 5:20 AM on December 2 [4 favorites]


I have to go teach kids about sex ed today and it's important and good but I have to keep pushing aside the knowledge that the people in charge literally don't care if these kids die or have no future at all. Or worse, the people in charge are fucking excited to hurt and kill kids like this to get a fucking tax break.
And I have to pretend instead they've got a future and being smart about sex and being able to afford contraception is going to help them.
I feel instead like we should talk about how to get them out if the country that hates them so much.
Hard to focus.
posted by emjaybee at 5:35 AM on December 2 [8 favorites]


i just don't understand how catastrophic this is, i just cannot process it. hurting for all my yank friends.

mourning for all the smart, dedicated, women and people of colour and queer folks who pushed their way thru, who made it to the academy, and are now being pushed out as fast as they got in.
posted by PinkMoose at 5:41 AM on December 2 [3 favorites]


I share a museum with truly wonderful graduate students. They work so hard, they are so engaged socially and politically and, of course, they are doing amazing things in their own research. They inspire me every single day. I'm so worried for them I'm afraid I'm going to bust out crying if I see any of them here today.

My only slight glimmer of hope regarding the potential new tax implications for graduate students with waivers or reduced tuition is this line from an article: "House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady hinted this week he was open to changing that provision during negotiations over the bill."
posted by Mouse Army at 5:47 AM on December 2 [1 favorite]


I will have some very angry words to share, but just for this moment, right here, right now, I am very thankful for the FPP about the new Mavis Staples album. This is exactly the right album at exactly the right time.
posted by duffell at 5:49 AM on December 2 [2 favorites]


My 23 year old son is the voice of reason around here when it comes to politics. He figures there won't be much permanent damage if we can vote the Republican majority out of office in 340 odd days. That is a big if, but it's our only hope at this time.
posted by COD at 6:13 AM on December 2 [1 favorite]


I woke up crying. I'm an academic. My best students are going to be crushed by this. The patients who are the focus of my research are going to be crushed by this. This is a really dark time.
posted by sockermom at 6:20 AM on December 2 [17 favorites]


so here's the thing: we're ultimately counting on a takeover of the Senate in order to get Trump and Pence out of office via impeachment, yes? is there realistically any frigging hope of that in 2018? I've heard no, but would love to hear other reasoned takes otherwise.
posted by angrycat at 6:21 AM on December 2


The blatant hypocrisy of this just makes my head explode. I hope there's a hell, and that everyone who voted for this bill ends up there. And Trump and all his family and henchpeople too, of course.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 6:28 AM on December 2


I've got 3 more months of being eligible for ACA, and then I have to go on Medicare. So I've been researching all the Medicare options and costs. They're nowhere near as good as my ACA coverage was. As far as I can tell, and it's not easy to figure out, all the protection the ACA gave me for pre-existing conditions and maximum annual or lifetime costs are gone. My premiums, even without the "optional" coverage, will be considerably higher. And if I don't get the "optional" coverage right away, I pay a penalty for the rest of my life, even if I add it. There's probably more, but it's very hard to figure out, and I have the time and resources to do the research. I hate to think what happens to the people who don't.

This administration is so much worse than I thought it would be, and I thought it would be terrible.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 6:36 AM on December 2 [1 favorite]


i know this is Anger Thread but don't really have it in me to be angry, because anger feels like it would require more hope than i have

there is a lot of work i need to do today but i'm pretty sure i'm just gonna fire up my DS and play Animal Crossing New Leaf all day instead because apparently communities that thrive on small kindnesses, civic responsibility, urban planning, and mutual aid can only exist as video games
posted by halation at 6:46 AM on December 2 [6 favorites]


The one thought of any use that I have right now: they want us to give up. Not giving up is a way of spiting them. And I am full of spite at the moment.
posted by emjaybee at 6:49 AM on December 2 [12 favorites]


I feel absolutely swollen with anger, and have been mad and "fight back!" all year, but today I had to break down and cry and cry.

Husband and I are talking about this in very sharp tones and our sensitive dog is afraid.

My husband and I are pretty sure that all the raised, emotional voices about politics this year has given our dog anxiety. We feel like the worst dog parents in the world.
posted by barchan at 6:59 AM on December 2 [3 favorites]


Dear friends, I am as disgusted as I have ever been in my life. And sick at heart because I love this country of mine, but it has been taken over and ruined by greed. Here is what I am doing, and I ask you to join me.
1. Contacted my weak, spineless Senator Susan Collins.
2. Changing my FB and any profile pic to the word Shame on a black background. Since Collins is my senator, I will be putting Shame across her face and using that.
3. I will continue to work for change.
4. And this is where I call on Metafilter. Please post some beautiful things. I am in tears this morning at the smoldering wreck of what used to be a country that stood for something. Not metaphorical tears. But a friend posted a great cat video today, and it made it possible to smile and breathe for 2 minutes. I'm working on a post that's full of pretty. Let's create a haven from the raging storm for just a little bit of every day.
Thanks.
posted by theora55 at 7:00 AM on December 2 [5 favorites]


Dear US politicians: thanks for destroying US research science by making it unaffordable to go to grad school. Thanks for reminding me again of how much you hate science.

This is the biggest thing I'm struggling with right now as I try and shove my PhD to completion. I know I'm in the stage where your work feels boring and worthless and incomprehensibly unpromising. I've been grimly trying to do battle with order effects and complicated, obscure metabolism drugs for five years. I--my current supervisor asked me how I coped with failure when he interviewed me, and I panicked and yelped that I'd never failed, and that was lucky, and I guessed some of my experiments hadn't panned out but that wasn't failing, I'd learned something!

And that was true, as it went. But it's been five years of ambiguity and tinkering with protocol design because singing mice just don't have that much background behind them, and I had to build our sound chambers more or less from scratch and they're finicky delicate equipment that breaks for no reason every couple of years.

I'm fucking tired, and every six months or a year though my PhD I get the warning: there's no jobs, academia is broken, there's no will to fund you, what do you do if Congress comes gunning at you specifically as an example of bullshit spending because your work can be spun as silly if you take it out of context?

And I've watched predatory people slip easily through a university system that gives no shits, and the people hurt by them are reluctantly afraid to come forward and have the costs taken out of their hide again, and I can literally not tell which faculty I go to is I hear a new case. The toughest woman in my department is scared after she talked to the university president about the last one and couldn't get a straight answer about whether she personally was legally allowed to warn students about a known predator.

And I can't shake the feeling: what am I doing here? My spouse is trying to go back to school while also being diagnosed with a boatload of things, I'm going through some medical shit, and even with my "very good" university insurance (or so all the providers tell me), we're suddenly broke to the point of maxing out the credit card with a limit I'd previously viewed as absurdly high.

I keep asking myself: am I being selfish for even staying where I am now? I love my work. The chapters I have planned will say pretty cool things about how the brain integrates metabolic and social information as it makes decisions and sets priorities.

But is it worth doing if I can't afford to have children, or if I'm keeping us this broke by not dropping it and looking for a higher paying job? Is knowing worth sticking it though this meat grinder of an industry, constantly on the attack from every institution of power who might fund me?

Is this an impossible dream?

I'd already written off teaching as a career, though I love it and I'm good at it, because I can't deal with the prevailing cultural decision to pay teachers of all kinds in their "callings", relegating teaching as a profession for women who can be subsidized by wealthier men. (I love and respect the lecturers I work with, but this is the situation that literally every one of them occupies. And the system I work in sees them as disposable--and those are people with more job security than an adjunct.)

I'm struggling with the possibility that maybe it just doesn't matter what I want, and maybe I should redirect my career to a job that might not make the difference I want to make but will keep my family secure while I try to fill my needs on the side. But it hurts.

I love scholarly arguments. I love the pursuit of truth. I love finding things out.

I don't want to give that up. But I'm not convinced I'm good enough to hold onto it, either. Not with the climbing rope that is all that holds we desperate arrogant mountaineers to the cliffside fraying from lack of maintenance and being sawed at, joyously, by our support staff up the cliff.
posted by sciatrix at 7:08 AM on December 2 [20 favorites]


Thanks, Angrycat
posted by theora55 at 7:09 AM on December 2 [1 favorite]


Because everything political is medical to me, and thus life-altering: I spent most of this past week in the children's hospital with my son, who has a scary genetic disorder that may or may not have a revolutionary treatment improvement in the next 5 years (clinical trials are starting in 2018 for his exact gene mutation). We can choose to enroll in the trial, with the clinical risk that entails, and have the cost of bi-weekly IV infusion treatment covered by the pharma company until it is approved by the FDA. After it is approved, however, it will be up to my employer-sponsored insurance to decide whether or not to cover it, and at what cost. Will we be able to afford it?

He has Canadian dual-citizenship through my husband. Our son's current medication isn't available in Canada because it costs more for one person than the Ministry of Health's entire annual budget for all Canadians with rare diseases. Every day I am aware that there may be a point in which we have to uproot our lives, move to Canada, and downgrade our child's treatment because we can't afford medical costs in the US. And then I think about all of the other children around the world who can't even access the current treatment because the pharma company has calculated that as long as they can continue to fleece American patients, it doesn't make financial sense to negotiate pricing with other countries and potentially risk having to lower their astronomical US drug pricing ($800,000 a year for adult dosage, $400,000 for my 4 year old).

And to hear how the people who profit from these drug prices will profit more under this tax bill, while the scientists and grad students who pursued the science that made these drugs possible will suffer... And to know that my entire career must be centered on maintaining a very specific standard of employer-sponsored health insurance (we need access to a specific hospital, the only one in our region that treats people with this type of genetic disorder, plus I need access to that hospital's specialty pharmacy in order to even fill the prescriptions that my child needs to take three times per day)... I am in a constant state of long-term anxiety, and in the short-term I am trying to convince my sassy, exhausted, still-sick 4 year old that he needs to eat and drink or else we will be back at the hospital tomorrow for more IV fluids, painful blood draws, and an awful nasogastric tube to force said food into his stomach. And I am sick as well. This is dark, dark morning.
posted by Maarika at 7:09 AM on December 2 [39 favorites]


And I'm typing this from my phone on what is supposed to be a restorative and engaging hike with my dog, so I hear you all on feeling like the worst dog parent.

Okay. We're gonna do this hike. We're gonna strip all the bedding in the house and wash it, because that's gotta get done for Mx. sciatrix's allergies. And then maybe we'll practice some treiball, and maybe I'll share some of that with the Blue this morning because the image of excited doggos herding giant rubber balls in a row is hilarious and soothing in all the right ways.
posted by sciatrix at 7:11 AM on December 2 [8 favorites]


Maarika, that's heartbreaking. I am so sorry.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 7:11 AM on December 2 [3 favorites]


I am just glad this place exists. Y’all don’t give up. Keep fighting! I believe in you. In us.

Fuck them for trying to destroy us. Maybe Husband getting into grad school just in time for this debacle is still doable. We were so hype for tuition waivers because he works there but maybe we can afford the taxes? I just don’t know.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 7:27 AM on December 2 [1 favorite]


As a Canadian I am just so, so heartbroken. I'm sorry your government is relentlessly trying to kill you to give the ultra rich a little more pocket change. I wish you good fortune in the wars to come.
posted by yellowbinder at 7:34 AM on December 2 [6 favorites]


Remember the hue and cry over the ACA and "you have to pass the bill in order to read it"? Because I do but I guess that's just one more place where IOKIYAR to pass a giant pile of pages with crossouts and marginalia that no one could possibly read and understand before voting on it !#@#$%$#^ fucking fuck.
posted by Flannery Culp at 7:48 AM on December 2


At the top of my to-do list for Monday is asking HR what's involved in a transfer to our Toronto office. I am beyond done.
posted by Automocar at 7:52 AM on December 2 [1 favorite]


I've kinda got to the point of accepting that my life will always be hard, heartbreaking, and soul-crushingly bad, but fine with it as long as my son's life was okay. This makes it harder to think he'll be so. I'm just incredibly tired down to my bones.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 8:09 AM on December 2 [3 favorites]


My friend was cranky William Carlos Williams-style last night, and I think that says it for me, too.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 8:16 AM on December 2 [17 favorites]


socialism or barbarism, folks
posted by entropicamericana at 8:48 AM on December 2 [5 favorites]


The current grad student situation is just. I got my PhD from a “better-paying” STEM program and it was still barely enough money for me to stay afloat. I lived on rice and eggs for the first two years while working 90+ hour weeks and yes, the research was great, but otherwise the quality of life was miserable.

These days, I look at the grad students around me who are getting paid far less than I did and I wonder how the hell they survive. Now I suppose I get to also wonder if they’ll be able to graduate or finish their current work or if everything they’ve done over the past couple years of their degree will just go to waste.

The Republicans are literally killing an entire scientific generation.
posted by angst at 9:00 AM on December 2 [16 favorites]


I mentioned this briefly in chat (and was directed here by a friendly LobsterMitten), but I wanted to say:

I grew up in the Evangelical Christian community. (You know, the regressive only-white-men-are-actually-humans kind, not the kind who actually care what Jesus talked about.) It took years to climb out of that hole, and I've spent much of the last decade trying to sort brainwashing from reality. What actually happened in history? What is actually happening today? What effect do policies actually have?

When you're taught so many falsehoods, and so much time is spent on tying those falsehoods to your entire identity and worldview, and then all of that is shattered in your adulthood, it's really hard to trust your senses and make sense of the world around you. I feel like I'm continually playing catchup trying to sort out what's going on, why it's relevant, and what the history leading up to it is.

This is all to say: I'm supremely grateful for Metafilter for prefiltering the news and providing commentary. Without you all I wouldn't even have a clue who to trust, or any conception of what's relevant, or why. Thank you all for being here and for contributing.


posted by ragtag at 9:30 AM on December 2 [32 favorites]


None of us are free.

I don't really know where to go from here.
posted by ChuraChura at 9:44 AM on December 2 [1 favorite]


How do parents of young children deal with this? I'm 43 and although we're in an obvious decline right now, I don't think most of us will be subject to the full extent of the damage for another 20 years or so. At which point I'll have lived a good life, so fuck it, whatever. But a 3 year old? They're going to have to live with the world we've destroyed for the rest of their lives. How do you not just look at your child and despair?
posted by AFABulous at 9:49 AM on December 2 [6 favorites]


Husband and I are talking about this in very sharp tones and our sensitive dog is afraid.

Over the last year I’ve been dealing with this problem for my dog baby who has been getting worse and worse, and the behaviorist are like “if you have anxiety it makes your dog’s anxiety worse” and I’m like SO WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU DO THEN. He is pretty much at the end of his rope and we’re having to shift to management strategies instead of training strategies, and I can’t help but wonder: what if all this hadn’t happened? What if this had been a good year?
posted by corb at 9:53 AM on December 2 [4 favorites]


When you see Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell smiling, (which is ugly to begin with;) then you know they're evil and you, and yours, are going to suffer from their evil. I hope they have bodacious hounds in hell with a hunger for their brand of ugly.
posted by Oyéah at 9:53 AM on December 2 [2 favorites]


How do you not just look at your child and despair

Well, the spouse and I got our kid a passport and put him in German classes in hopes that the ability of Germany to keep offering college Ed to foreigners might allow him to get a degree. Failing that, having any foreign language is going to help if we have to try living elsewhere.

Mostly, we try not to think about it, because I can't keep my job if I drink all day.
posted by emjaybee at 9:59 AM on December 2 [10 favorites]


How do you not just look at your child and despair?

46 years old. The youngest kid will be 5 in February.

The answer to your question is: "You don't." The best case scenario seems to be that my kid grows up to be like my grandparents that lived through the Depression and WWII. They were solid, decent people for the most part. But, there's no way to shield them from the pain.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 10:01 AM on December 2 [3 favorites]


But in the 1930s, there weren't nukes. It's that little fact that makes me go tharn in the Watership Down sense.
posted by angrycat at 10:12 AM on December 2 [4 favorites]


ANYWAY DIRECT ACTION
posted by poffin boffin at 10:33 AM on December 2 [3 favorites]


People have lived through a lot of terrible shit. People have lived through shit that was much darker than this. I'm not a Pollyanna: I come from a family with a disproportionately large number of people who didn't make it through the real shit, and I know that really catastrophic things can and do happen. But this is not unprecedented. I'm furious and sad and scared, but I'm trying to maintain some sense of perspective.

Having said that, I skipped the office Christmas party last night, because some of my co-workers are Republicans who voted for Trump, and it's all I can do to be civil to them when I'm not drinking alcohol.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:37 AM on December 2 [14 favorites]


@MoonPie: It’s as good a day as any to stick a MoonPie in the microwave light a couple candles and scream into a soft pillow. It's from 2 days ago, but still, the person running the MoonPie Twitter account is on point. Reading that thread made me laugh.
posted by limeonaire at 10:37 AM on December 2 [10 favorites]


And now I am genuinely curious about who runs the MoonPie twitter account!
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:39 AM on December 2 [1 favorite]


It reads a lot like Nihilist Arby's, to me.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 10:46 AM on December 2 [3 favorites]


I know this is the screaming thread, so scream away, but just to ease anyone's mind who's looking for info on the grad student thing: the odds are still greater than 50% we're not going to get hit with tuition waiver taxes. It wasn't in the Senate bill, and where we're at now is that the House and the Senate have each passed two different bills. There's nothing that can be turned into law until one of two things happens: either the House passes the Senate bill as-is, in which case grad students are fine (intersectionality aside), or the House and Senate go to conference to hammer out the differences between the bills, in which case a) the grad student tax has to end up in the final bill (which House Ways & Means Rs have sounded willing to cave on) and b) both chambers have to vote on and pass the new bill.

I'm still angry our finances got caught up in this thing in such a stupid and incredibly punitive way, and I'm angry about all the rest of it because it's a shitty awful bill that was passed in the dead of night jammed full of stupid punitive shit to help the wealthy and hurt the poor, but specifically on this point I suspect us grad students will end up in the clear.
posted by deludingmyself at 10:47 AM on December 2 [3 favorites]


LOL I was supposed to be working on grad school applications today. Gotta say, it now seems completely pointless. (Indirectly related: if anyone knows of a good "how to learn coding that employers will hire you to do" course, please link me? It's okay if it costs money. Not that I'm going to have money anymore after these new taxes kick in, but whatever.)

But by the way: is there a reason no one is talking about state-level tax revolts? Somehow people were discussing this around the time of the travel ban - and yet now that we're dealing with actual taxes that have my internet friends posting online about crying themselves to sleep every night and vomiting when they try to eat because they and/or their disabled relatives will just not be able to afford to live anymore, it's seemingly not a thing. Why? Because we're waiting for 45 et al to do an undefined Worstest Thing Ever before we take extreme measures? Fuck that in the fucking fuck. If there's anything I've learned from our post-2008 political hellscape, it's that playing safe is a reasonable, well considered, great way TO FUCKING LOSE. Not that Mike Ehrmantraut is a good role model, but I think about his "Half Measures" speech a lot. Are we waiting to let them cave our skulls in with the Waring blender, or what? Running with the TV thing, I also sometimes (though this has gotten slightly, slightly better over the course of the past six months or so) look at elected Democrats and don't hear anything except a loop of Roger Sterling saying - in 1965 - "When is everything going to get back to normal?" Normal is dead. There is no normal to travel back to. To look behind is vanity, to look behind is to turn to salt.

Still, for all my rhetoric...regardless of what happens with the particular elections in 2018 or 2020, I just don't see any of this going anywhere good long term. Big picture, this country is in extremely serious trouble. The Senate, the Electoral College, and the increasingly conservatized courts are all one gigantic fucking time bomb. Not to go all politics hipster, but I've been saying this for years. It's just that prior to the 2016 election, it got me called pessimistic or even paranoid. Doesn't happen anymore. Hooray?

Take care of yourselves, everyone.
posted by desert outpost at 10:47 AM on December 2 [3 favorites]


I'm glad that my father didn't live to see this.

It would have killed him.
posted by Soliloquy at 10:48 AM on December 2 [1 favorite]


Here's a list I posted in the mega thread: NYT list of federal programs that would be cut, if that helps anybody like me wondering what pain comes when

sciatrix it looks like the grad student deduction elimination isn't in the Senate Bill, but that may be cold comfort given how many fed agencies are going to take it in the neck, if I'm understanding this right
posted by angrycat at 10:48 AM on December 2 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I know that. Best money in my department--I was chatting about it with a friend who is also a student--is that the House will pass the Senate bill unmodified, which means grad students would be okay but we'd all, you know, take it in the neck in other ways.

desert outpost: Try Codecademy. That's where I taught myself Python, and it's a great introduction to most any language you can think of.
posted by sciatrix at 10:52 AM on December 2 [6 favorites]


er, on preview: deludingmyself's summary is as I understand it broadly correct.
posted by sciatrix at 10:53 AM on December 2


Thanks, sciatrix. I really appreciate it.
posted by desert outpost at 10:53 AM on December 2 [1 favorite]


I'm kind of shitting myself trying to figure out what's on the chopping block: guess it's time to step away from the computer and grade papers
posted by angrycat at 10:56 AM on December 2


No problem. I got real good at it in part via working on a little subroutine to make two different APIs talk to each other like I wanted; once you finish the course, find something real you want to make work and keep playing with it. This is why my Python skills are fabulous, my R skills are rusty at best, and my Matlab skills are conversational but perpetually annoyed: as with any language, practice makes perfect.

The best text manager I have used is Sublime, which has a steep price but which will also let you use it indefinitely on free "trial." I am grateful for this and intend to pay them in the vague Good Future when I am not broke.

I highly recommend taking the time to pick up bash and some skills in a command line Unix shell style window, if you haven't done it already. Codecademy has a course for that too, but when you're ready to move onto your own machine I recommend grabbing Cygwin if you use Windows as your primary operating system. (If you use a Mac, it doesn't matter.)
posted by sciatrix at 11:01 AM on December 2 [3 favorites]


I think that for grad students in the sciences, a bigger issue is going to be that there will be less funding for research, which is going to mean fewer jobs. I'm not sure what the effect of taxing college endowments is going to be, but the Senate version doesn't contain some of the uglier things (the tuition exemption tax, but also ending the ability to deduct student loan interest) that are in the House version.

If you're interested in web development, Free Code Camp is pretty cool, although my big takeaway from it was that I don't really like web development.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 11:01 AM on December 2 [4 favorites]


I think that for grad students in the sciences, a bigger issue is going to be that there will be less funding for research, which is going to mean fewer jobs.

Ding ding ding: this is what's got me staring at my future prospects with such cold, clear-eyed despair. Internationally, who's hiring?

I have a friend toying with moving to China; he'd have liked to move back to India, but their politics over there scare him worse than over here (!!!). Canada's NSERC has had its own cuts, and it certainly can't absorb the glut of American-trained academics on the market. The UK's academic funding has been in shambles for years.

Who wants us? Germany? Sweden? What jobs are available for a researcher, and what nation gives a shit about basic research these days?
posted by sciatrix at 11:03 AM on December 2 [2 favorites]


Yeah I was looking at possible cuts to the Department of Ag and thinking ohhhh shit
posted by angrycat at 11:09 AM on December 2


This is the freakout thread, right?

Cool.

Everybody knows a crash is coming. The Bitcoin bubble, housing bubble part II (global boogaloo), tech bubble part II, all of them are looming ominously with spooky background music. The lobbyists who wrote this bill are all aware of that.

This is a pre-fire sale. Get your profits while you can. Paranoid? Maybe. Precedented? Yes. When the monied classes see the writing on the wall, they start cashing out.

Here's the problem. And be warned, this is some Lovecraft-level horror coming at you in the next couple of paragraphs, so if you want to opt out of a whole new source of stress, this would be the time.

If the economy crashes, production decreases. If production decreases, pollution decreases. Which is good, right? There's too much pollution. Except some of that pollution is in the form of particulates which form a kind of sun umbrella, blocking out an unknown amount of the sun's radiation.

When that shade goes away, we get warmer.

The economic crash that the wealthy and powerful are planning for will add more heat into an already overheated system. I think the finance industry is about to have an environmental impact on a geological scale.
posted by MrVisible at 11:15 AM on December 2 [2 favorites]


ANYWAY DIRECT ACTION

It feels a bit hurf durf over-dramatic so say this, but since the election I have had an exercise and training regime which I've called PROTEST, RIOTFEST, & MONKEY WRENCH TRAINING (I don't know why, that name is dumb, but it seemed dumber calling it Physical Conditioning for the Revolution). Normally I train for running and backpacking, basically hauling weight up and down hills, and I completely changed it to try to have the physical conditioning to Fuck Shit UP. It's has been all about cardio and other exercise moves that will help me in a protest situation when things go amok. About building my upper body and core and thigh strength so I can push back against shields. About climbing trees to protest them being cut down. About being able to run fast and hard when necessary, because while I can run forever I just don't have any speed. While I don't *really* know what to train for, I just put together a regime based off of pictures of other protests and what the protesters were doing, and reading about what happens with direct action that involves physicality, including violence from the other side. If it comes down to it, being able to tackle a neo-nazi or punch one in the face (yeah, I'm about visiting violence on Nazis, I know the arguments, just don't care, I will punch one. And now I can!).

And this whole time, I've felt kind of dumb and ridiculous doing it, kind of. . . well, yeah, just over-dramatic and acting like the kind of The Apocalypse is Coming! person I enjoy mocking (the right wing type). But I just held this idea in the back of my mind that police and military units train for protests and riots, so why not train to be a protester? Beyond having the right gear and the knowledge of my rights and other information. And lately, I've been feeling not so dumb about it - maybe it's an okay idea?

And I've mentally geared up for Direct Action. What am I willing to do? What am I willing to be arrested for? What can I do? What are my talents? And I'm doing as much Other action as a I can. But maybe it's the training, maybe it's the tipping point, but I'm ready for more. I'm hungry for it. What I'm doing isn't enough anymore. Donating isn't enough, calling my congressmen isn't enough, showing up at protests isn't enough. I feel impotent - all of that other stuff feels like some kind of negotiation, and it's not enough. And when I look up Direct Action, it's right there - I realize what I want is what King called action that will "create such a crisis and foster such a tension" there has to be a response.

But here's the thing: I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO. I mean, there's guides and all kinds of info on the internet, but what's actually useful and helpful? Etc. Etc. I realize it comes down to this: I'm starving for a leader. I want, I need, I require a leader. I know, I know, I could be the leader I want to see in the world, but I'm self-aware enough to know I'd be a terrible leader and nobody would follow me. (But I might make a great 2nd lieutenant.)

There's some orgs doing some good work these days. I'm following their lead, yes, and that definitely helps - not knocking their good work, and I'm volunteering for a few of them already. And there's definitely people I admire and who inspire me. But dammit, what I'm really hungry for is a real leader, a uniter, a director of action. I have a lot of energy, some good ideas, and readiness - but it needs directed by someone who's smarter and more knowledgeable about what needs to be done than I am. (A great deal of that is I know there's fucking shit up, and then there's fucking shit up smartly. Don't get me wrong, I'm also about learning, and trying to do that too, but it'd be awesome to be directed by someone who already has that knowledge base.) Locally, regionally, nationally, whatever.

Anyway, that's my rant as I'm really feeling this way today - thank you for reading it as it's probably not that coherent. Not stopping myself by any means, but I'm just. . . hungry for some real leadership or direction because what I'm doing so far doesn't feel productive. Some of it has to be in the long run, right, so maybe what I really need is just patience. I don't know.
posted by barchan at 11:50 AM on December 2 [21 favorites]


How do you not just look at your child and despair?

My 2 year old has a stomach bug right now and is passed out on me after throwing up for a few hours...so, I approach it twofold:
Mostly I don’t have the time to despair because I’m busy washing load upon load of laundry.
And secondly, having a child fills you with totally irrational pride and confidence in their abilities. My girls are so smart and brave and spunky, they can take on anything.

But, of course I know that’s not true. Basically, we’re all gonna die sooner or later. Despair is justified. Sorry if this reads as dark, it’s not even meant that way. You can despair and still live and we’re all doing it, all of the time.

Fuck those fuckers, though. I don’t even want to write what I’m thinking.
posted by The Toad at 12:38 PM on December 2 [3 favorites]


I am so angry. I don't know how much longer I can survive being this angry and sad every single day. I really don't.
posted by sarcasticah at 12:39 PM on December 2 [12 favorites]


I have been reaching out on dating sites again, for the first time in about ten years, even just for the hope of finding someone to hug or talk to or walk with in these troubled times. The fact that I've sent out 20 messages and gotten 0 replies actually doesn't bother me as much as it normally would have, because after all, who can really feel any hope, these days?
posted by The otter lady at 12:51 PM on December 2 [7 favorites]


I haven't partcipated in these threads yet, mostly because I completely disengaged the night Trump was elected. I had utterly no energy within me to resist, call, send letters, what-have-you. I respect as hell those who expended their energy, but it feels as if ...

I mean, look at the utter, complete insanity that has to exist for literally half the country to vote for Trump. To vote for Dubya to begin with. It feels like in 2000 the country just went into the shitter when the Supreme Court actually decided an election for the rich guy. Then, a year later, we had planes fly into our buildings.

I thought the insanity might be over when Obama got elected, but basically, Congress went fucking insane and for eight years decided to stick their fingers in their ears and go "nah nah nah nah I'm not LIST-en-ing to you nah nah nah nah" and literally abrogate their basic responsibility to do their fucking job, thanks to the Democratic Party shitting their pants in 2010 with the whole "let's let Republicans gerrymander the entire dman country" thing.

So after eight years of hard work, I suspected there might be a backlash, especially when Hillary Clinton of all people was nominated. Sorry, I know it's not fashionable to dislike her on Mefi, but she is a crap candidate elected by the DLC elements of the Democratic Party and the sheer corruptness of the political machinations that got her to be the frontrunner ... yes, it wasn't an excuse for voting for Donald Trump, but, sorry for being a fucking snob, but you cannot expect the vast majority of Americans to actually plan their vote in a political and strategic sense; it's too high a level of intelligence to ask for.

But what blew my fucking mind staritng when the votes started coming in -- and I'm still not sure that this isn't all a vast computer error, either in the "new person takes over the controls of our particular simulation" sense or the less surreal "hack the fuck out of ALL the voting machines" sense -- is how the fuck we Americans can be so stupid as to vote for Donald Trump. I mean, listen, I got the shit beat out of me, I don't have many friends, and little love in my life, so I have never been particularly trustful of my fellow Americans or their intelligence level -- it's a crappy position to take, I agree, but it's what currently lives in my heart.

But nothing has been so fucking CORROBORATING of this as, first, the sheer jaw-dropping flabbergastedness of millions upon millions of Americans going, "Hey, yeah, THIS guy could lead our fucking country," followed by the fact that we have sociopath upon sociopath upon sociopath all congregating in Congressional halls and going, "Yes! FUCK the country! FUCK 'em! FUCK 'em right up the ASSES!" in literally every single way that they can possibly maliciously think of.

It's hard not to think that we're heading into a worse and worse of a fucking dystopia right this very minute. One of the scariest pieces of fiction I ever read was John Womack's Random Acts of Senseless Violence, and it is hard not to think that anywhere from 5-15 years from now, someone's going to look at it and see it as a piece of prescient fiction.

That is my howl for the moment.
posted by WCityMike at 12:51 PM on December 2 [14 favorites]


I bailed out in despair last night, got up this morning, read the news, and had a flashback to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Remember the character who had dedicated his life to insulting, in person and face to face, every living thing in the galaxy? I want to be that guy, except just for Republican US Senators.

Fortunately I live in a part of the country that these guys often visit, so with luck I will get some opportunities. It's irrational, and will change absolutely nothing, and I still want to do it. Just so full of spluttering rage today. Thanks for giving us a place to rage.
posted by martin q blank at 1:03 PM on December 2 [6 favorites]


Huh. I don't know if it's a sign of resignation or some sort of growth and maturity, but I don't have much desire to yell at WCityMike about that comment. Maybe I'm learning to direct my anger at better targets!
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 1:05 PM on December 2 [4 favorites]


It's like a political sociopathy. A sociopathy brought about by a lot of different factors that leads to a blinding ideology and with that a need to act that is otherwise incomprehensible. I'm rewatching Breaking Bad off and on, and I'd left the series with Walt as Evil stuck in my head, but in the beginning, at least, he's motivated by sympathetic impulses. He vomits after he kills his first person. He cries before he kills the second. He tries to get out and die without expensive treatment. But he has a family.

At the end, Walt has become something almost unrecognizable. But the forces that set him down the road are his love of family and his pride. His pride becomes monstrous and he becomes a monster. But there's little to suggest that he wouldn't have broken bad and ultimately let his pride drive him to great wrongs if he hadn't been faced with his initial circumstances.

I'm not saying feel bad for the GOP. Walter White's demise is understandable, and I don't understand what has happened to this country. My shrink, recently returned from Germany, is all about the decline in American culture (he's like 89, an Ivy League guy, and a classical musician with some famous doctor father, so who knows if he's right about that; if he listened to say Cardi B for a minute I don't know if he could take it).

I do hope that I live long enough to understand it, because without understand it, I lack sympathy. I have been Arya-listing for a while now, and I'd much rather be reading about these now baffling but sometime in the future understandable fortunes of history that are making a large portion of the population act like fucking barbarians.
posted by angrycat at 1:07 PM on December 2 [1 favorite]


without understand it, I lack sympathy. I have been Arya-listing for a while now, and I'd much rather be reading about these now baffling but sometime in the future understandable fortunes of history that are making a large portion of the population act like fucking barbarians.

I think about this a lot. I have a family member who is living in Serious Rural Redlandia and he has been struggling to understand it, too. I know it sounds like it should be an oversimplification, but here is an insight he shared with me:

He knows people who definitely voted for Trump, and still support Trump, but who, in their day-to-day lives, and in their decisions at work (both as employees and employers), do not at all act in accordance with that support. Like, he has acquaintances who have spearheaded recent-immigrant hiring initiatives, who volunteer time to help newcomers learn English and get comfortable in a (small, quite white, but actually pretty welcoming, considering that) community. Yet they voted for Trump. As far as my friend can tell, these people really don't know what Trump *is*. They haven't paid enough attention. National news really doesn't concern them; they might have Fox News on as background noise, but when they consume news it's really mostly local reporting. The weather, the farming report, local high-school sports. That's pretty much it. They invest all their attention in their kids, and in their kids' sports. They can tell you who coached the next-town-over's high-school football team to the State Championship back in 1986, but they can't tell you what is happening in Congress. They totally outsource their civic responsibility for anything beyond the local level. They know, in broad strokes, that Republicans are 'good for farmers' and against abortion. They know Trump is a Republican. And pretty much that's all they feel they need to know, because the rest of life is so consuming. They literally don't know Trump is a monster. They didn't hear the negative stories about him in the campaign, and they still haven't heard them. Where do you even begin trying to explain?

I don't know if that makes people more sympathetic. By and large, though, at least where my friend is, this support for Trump isn't coming out of anger, spite, revenge, or hate. It's just... a lack of interest. A lack of concern. A lack of knowledge.

To be fair, getting informed can take a lot of work, especially in small media markets. A lot of local media have been hollowed out or compromised by intentional purchasing, by Sinclair and company. And a lot of local media just sort of... collapsed. So in these communities, unless you really try, your regular media diet may be dangerously insufficient. And people seem disinclined to try. My friend is not totally sure why; when asked, people often just sort of shrug and say the media is 'biased,' and don't really elaborate. And this is upsetting, but at the same time... they're not wrong. The media is broken, and these problems go back even before the winding back of the Fairness and Equal Time doctrines. Horse-race reporting has been a problem for decades. It doesn't help voters become more informed; it just trains them to think about politics the way they think about sports. Attempts have been made to fix it, but it never got fixed, and now I fear it is unfixable. Without a decent media, and without a population taught to think critically and to understand the workings of their government and their civic responsibilities, our system can only function like... well, like it currently is.
posted by halation at 1:59 PM on December 2 [9 favorites]


It's not about taxes, but if you want some words to help with grim determination, I recommend Freedom From Want by Carlos Bulosan:
When our crops are burned or plowed under, we are angry and confused. Sometimes we ask if this is the real America. Sometimes we watch our long shadows and doubt the future. But we have learned to emulate our ideals from these trials.

...

Our challenge to tyranny is the depth of our faith in a democracy worth defending, although they spread lies about us, the way of life we cherish is not dead. The American dream is only hidden away, and it will push its way up and grow again.
There's a ton in this essay. One thread of his writings I hold onto right now is that America is not its institutions or land. It's us. It sure as hell isn't Trump and his band. America is you and me, and we must embody its ideals especially in times of despair and fear. We hear this over and over again.

I'm a shy man, but I've lately got myself to the local Democratic club. I'm writing letters to my representatives. I hope to muster up courage to even make calls like so many of my fellow Americans, and maybe who knows from there. Maybe many of us fail. Just keep marching on. There are no saviors but us. Bulosan live to see the success of the unions that came in the 60's. But we must leave something behind for other people to pick up, build on, and keep struggling towards that ideal America...
posted by Mister Cheese at 2:34 PM on December 2 [4 favorites]


With the mood I'm in, I thought, I better get out for a walk. Hey, I'll go to the nearby lakeside park.

Whereupon sensitive animal-loving me sees: two dead gulls along the beach, and later, one that looks injured, in between some concrete blocks. I quickly walked away, but then thought, what if it's stuck and I could help it. I went back & enlisted another hiker. We tried lifting it up with my walking stick, but it didnt move.

Because hashtag
#EverythingIsAwful #EvenAtMyHappyPlaceThePark

As I went back to the car I was in tears, and obviously not just over the on-the-nose metaphor this poor animal makes.

Crying for a country that seems bent on destroying itself. (Not to mention, speaking of wildlife, our precious natural beauty like ANWR, etc.)

And certainly tearful and fearful for myself, in a precarious financial sitiation (and nearing what used to be considered retirement age hahaha). Me with Nazi-adjacent relatives I dont want anything to do with who fucking support this evil.

Yet, just the day before I was in a store, and I suddenly had this sensation come over me, a thing that's happened occasionally. I don't know quite how to describe it. I glanced at a woman, middle-aged, bit pudgy, working behind a bakery counter. And I started wondering what her life is like. I just felt so *empathetic,* like I was looking at her from some higher plane.

You have to understand, I'm often kind of a misanthrope. I'm also an agnostic/ atheist, so it's not like I have this strong sense of some higher power. But I just had this feeling of how everyone's just living their little lives, you know? And things are sometimes tough, and sometimes better. And why are we (including me, sometimes) such shits to each other?

And if an agnostic/ atheist misanthrope like me can have those feelings, why are so many so-called "religious" people so incapable of love. How many of these trumpkin voters and these mercenary members of congress will sit smugly in their churche this Xmas, imagining Jesus somewhere saying, "I'm Jesus, and I approve of what you do."

Ugh, anyway, I wish I could come in here and offer more help/ hope to others. But I too am depressed and full of questions.
posted by NorthernLite at 2:35 PM on December 2 [14 favorites]


NorthernLite, I too am an agnostic misanthrope, depressed and full of questions.

Helping others can be as simple as saying, "Me too. I understand" or just "I hear you." At least that way neither person feels quite so alone.
posted by monopas at 2:51 PM on December 2 [8 favorites]


Well it turns out I make enough money and live-in a blue state, so my taxes will actually go up. And honestly, as I've said before, I'm ok with my taxes going up if it goes to infrastructure, kids, healthcare, hell, I'm kind of ok with it going to better military resourcing. I am not ok with it going to corporations and folks richer than me.

I'm just sad, and I don't have much in it in me to keep fighting.,

So I'm volunteering more, with SAGE, and other groups, where actually showing up in person directly held someone. It's the only response I can have....
posted by larthegreat at 3:22 PM on December 2 [2 favorites]


Maybe the Mayans were right, the world did end 12/21/12, but "not with a bang, but with a whimper." This would explain Trump and the concoction of lunacy and/or ignorance since.

I know things always look bad while living through them, that George Bush was an objectively worse President. Trump hasn't launched us into one endless war, let alone two, as well as the great depression of 2008.

But it seems we're balanced on a precipice, with one political party desperate to push us off the cliff. Besides reversing any action Obama did just out of spite, giving control of the federal judiciary to the Federalist Society, appointing a legion of idiots to the executive, we can also look forward to war in North Korea, probably triggered by the soon-to-come bursting of the tech/housing bubble. After all, war is good for the economy, think of all the jobs rebuilding a couple of nuked cities will generate.
posted by Marky at 3:40 PM on December 2


Not to be a turd in the punchbowl again, but I can't see how we're going to avoid war. If Obama was president, I'd be very anxious about North Korea. Now I'm just waiting for it. NK leadership is insane. U.S. leadership is insane. How the fuck is this magically resolved? What will Trump do when he receives blow after blow to his insane sense of self? We know that he doesn't reflect. He lashes out.

And then we have Iran, Pompeo in State, Cotton in the CIA. Now, I don't think Iran is insane, but from what I read about those two their giant hard-on to get Iran is terrifying.

I feel like foreign policy misadventures is a foot that is about to fall upon our heads.
posted by angrycat at 3:48 PM on December 2 [4 favorites]


Do we have any evidence that the NK leadership is insane? Cruel, sure, but insane? It seems likely to me that the only way we'll get into war with NK is if we start it.
posted by ragtag at 4:03 PM on December 2 [1 favorite]


Well, considering that F22 Stealth fighters just arrived in South Korea, I'd say there's even odds things are about to get scary.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 4:37 PM on December 2 [2 favorites]


I've had a migraine for three days now. I'm so used to living through psychic pain that I simply take meds which help a little and keep going in to work every day. I don't know what else to do and I may as well be paid a few pennies while I feel like shit rather than stay home and feel like shit and compound it by loss of income.

The state of our world seems so bad that I cannot cope any more with hearing about jabba the elected demagogue and his henchmen. My house is quiet: a sanctuary from the noise and chaos swirling in the airwaves. It feels as if everything I do is meger and futile.

I work with people who elected that thing and feel my loathing growing to the point that I'm going to lash out and spew forth a tirade against the next person who parrots stupidity.

It's so damn hard .
posted by mightshould at 4:52 PM on December 2 [4 favorites]


I lived through the endless "surely this?" threads of the W Bush years. There was no this.

Trump is much worse.

But there is no one coming to save the day. Mueller might get there eventually. Congress don't care. The GOP are stripping the country for parts. We are on our own.

That, as it turns out, is a Great Thing. Because when you're angry enough, you turn up and Get Shit Done.

I could sit back and lament during the W Bush years. I can't with this Nazi bullshit. I am so angry it gives me energy. And there are lots of us.

I recently spoke to a gathering of like-minded activists and professionals and activist types. This was not your usual gathering of ineffectual hippies wishing everyone could get along. They were, like me, incandescent with rage. The kind of white hot focused rage that works really well as a blowtorch. And we had found each other.

People who know how to get shit done are organising like never before. People are turning up and doing things.

There will be a reckoning. Come join in! It turns out to be really easy to do. Much easier than I'd ever expected.

And it works.
posted by But tomorrow is another day... at 5:20 PM on December 2 [11 favorites]


Really fucking glad my new grandson is a Canadian/American dual citizen, and that my son will be a permanent resident of that sane country soon.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:48 PM on December 2 [2 favorites]


As previously noted, the abovequoted Caitlyn Johnstone is, at best, a clickbaity troll for medium.com, and at worst, a paid propagandist for Putin. She does occasionally get something right, but her assessment of the Democratic party, who were essentially locked out of the 'pseudo-tax reform' process and whose opinions were mostly ignored by the 'liberal' media was dead wrong. Which will probably help her land a plum gig at the NYT.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:48 PM on December 2 [2 favorites]


I'm so fucking angry. So. Fucking. Angry.

I find myself seething with anger and disbelief at the hypocrisy and self-destructiveness involved with this bill. I can't sleep well.

AND IM NOT EVEN AMERICAN.

Answer me this:
Where are the protests? Why are people not in the streets? I comfort myself in thinking that the rage is building silently into a groundswell that will peak in November 2018, but for the time being everything seems so complacent? Is it really so easy?
posted by cacofonie at 7:06 PM on December 2 [1 favorite]

AFABulous: “How do you not just look at your child and despair?”
I'm "some kind of uncle," and not really a parent, but I've wound up with a little one in my life that I help care for and love dearly and this weighs very heavily on me. I'd joke, "booze," but the reality is that I love them and teach them like normal and whistle past the graveyard on the rest of it because what choice does one have?

NorthernLite: “Crying for a country that seems bent on destroying itself.”
I share your tears, but the country isn't destroying itself. Certain people are doing it deliberately and with malice aforethought.
posted by ob1quixote at 7:32 PM on December 2 [3 favorites]


Answer me this:
Where are the protests?


Here at metafilter, we are super informed. Most people are not. They don't know what's in this bill, they don't know how it got passed, and the media is working overtime to keep them pacified.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 7:40 PM on December 2 [4 favorites]


[Hey, jeffburdges, this is the existential screaming thread, not the news thread. Post them in the catch-all on the blue if they're worthy, or don't post them.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 8:39 PM on December 2 [5 favorites]


I guess I"m now at the stage of just recognizing this is our current reality. Life under crisis is still life. I need to get more connected with some kind of activism (keep putting the next DSA meeting in my calendar and keep missing it cuz of life business), but I know that getting some regular engagement with politics, however narrow, will be what gets me through these next few years of horror.
posted by latkes at 8:54 PM on December 2


Regarding how I look at my child: When I think about it, I feel horrible. She is absolutely suffering under this regime, she struggles with depression etc and I am certain our current politics contribute. There is no easy answer to this. I try to surround her with an environment of love, compassion, and social action, but this is a horror. I try to think though about others who have lived through dark periods of history, worse periods and places of war, enslavement, etc. People do persevere, survive, create, grow.
posted by latkes at 8:58 PM on December 2 [5 favorites]


I'm just so fucking sad right now.
posted by litlnemo at 9:32 PM on December 2 [3 favorites]


We were dancing around to Outkast earlier and I was having fun but now I again want to see trump cultists all scream in agony in a giant flaming Sarlacc.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:43 PM on December 2 [1 favorite]


NYT and WaPo keep framing their headlines to pander to people who worship Trump as a king: “Trump wins major legislative victory!” No, Trump spent Friday night shitting himself about what would harm him less: steamrolling Flynn who could get him imprisoned without access to Big Macs and golf, or steamrolling Kushner and never getting to grope his favorite daughter again (not trolling, it’s well documented, Google if you must.)

A modest proposal: let’s stop paying attention to the Kardashians that a foreign government installed in the White House. What’s the worst that could happen if we put a hard block on Trump, Fox News, and Breitbart that wouldn’t happen anyway?

I would love to see what a hard-blocked Trump/Foxnews/Breitbart/Channer discussion would look like about the current Republican policies, but I have yet to find a spot for that.

(Not abusing edit window, iOS did that thing again)
posted by SakuraK at 1:30 AM on December 3 [1 favorite]


...I wish it would all change. I wish it were different, that money was taken out of politics - at least to the extent that it is in the rest of the world (not perfectly, but adequately.)

I wish FOX news would go away. I wish there were punishment for those who are screwing the stupid. I wish there were a unified sense of 'America' that could swing the crazy racists into the fold and convince them to drop the shit.

Cause me and my dream of America, man, we're heading for divorce.
posted by From Bklyn at 2:50 AM on December 3 [2 favorites]


I'm all angry and upset on behalf of all of you. Listen closely towards the east and you can hear me howl in rage from across the ocean.
posted by Too-Ticky at 4:21 AM on December 3 [1 favorite]


Last night I was taking somebody home from a bar and when we were almost at his place I saw a young woman walking on the other side of the road. It's 02:30. The sunken road has no shoulders.

Dropped pax off and came back and when she hears me coming she does this incredible jump up claw the dirt and grab a tree thing. I stop and down the window on her side.

She looks frightened and she should be. Signs in many yards demanding sidewalks for this road. Strange man stopping.

You want a ride? No, I'm fine. You are hanging over a road from a tree. You are not fine. Saw you when I was going the other way to drop someone off. I have to go back to civilization anyway and I don't want to hear about somebody getting hit by a drunk on this road. She drops down and gets in and asks if this is a dangerous road. Yeah.

18-20 I'd guess. Very nervous about accepting the ride. She thinks I don't know she has drawn a punch knife and is holding it against her far leg. Are you in trouble? My friend is. Just get me up to Haywood. There are sidewalks there. I'm going past that for a woman who closes X restaurant by herself. Where is friend. X Avenue. That's perfect then.

But when I don't take the turn she is used to she screams that I should have turned and starts shaking and where am I taking her and I get all airline pilot just a little turbulence and tell her this next left gets us there too and she didn't brandish the knife. We pull up in front of the house and she is exploding with thank-yous and I tell her to go help her friend.

Pick up restaurant closer. The place is new and she has a bit of a share in it. It's 30 minutes to her place and it is probably the 100th time we've done this ride. I always ask how the place is doing and she always asks about my night so I tell her about what just transpired and she says You know, I think that kind of fear is why I am fat. And because the people who want you you don't want and then you get fat and nobody wants you. I missed a turn and we stopped because I couldn't think and I got the survivor story while we sat by the noisy river.

Never stop listening. Never stop giving. Fight if you must.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 4:23 AM on December 3 [23 favorites]


$Deity! The Cheeto is going to Utah tomorrow to announce he's scaling back the size of Bears Ears National Monument by nearly 85 percent and reduce Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by almost half. *Screams into Pillow*
posted by Mitheral at 4:41 AM on December 3 [3 favorites]


I don't know where everybody is in this grief process, but or me at least I've found the other side. Somebody mentioned incandescent with rage. That was me, yesterday. I now have some mental space. Not enough, because this is my writing time and here I am in metatalk. But I got into the Lin Manual Miranda headspace today and was trying to lead with love, stopped tweeting at Toomey that he was a liar who was going to hell. He doesn't care, anyway. But the dem senators might appreciate some messages of support. So I did that.

I'm lucky because in two weeks I can spend a bunch of time with ADAPT and Philly Socialists, so it's like, give me a minute and I'll be at the barricades, brothers and sisters. It's a good feeling. I know not everybody has the luxury of time, or rather few people do. Part of my intense frustration this week is that I have shit to do that has kept me chained to my desk over the last few days.

And Metafilter helped me calm down by thinking about what's potentially going to happen with the bill--not reassurance, because everything is shit, but I get less scared of the monster when I understand it. So thank you.
posted by angrycat at 4:56 AM on December 3 [5 favorites]


They don't know what's in this bill, they don't know how it got passed, and the media is working overtime to keep them pacified.

This is all true. And our police are heavily militarised, and have all sorts of crowd dispersal weapons and tactics, and people who protested at the inauguration (or tried to provide media coverage of the protests, or aid to injured protesters, or even just happened to be walking by the protest at the wrong time) are being prosecuted, right now. (Which is a great way to lose one's job and then become unemployable.)

And people may not have the resources to protest, since we have a limited social safety net, making it hard for people to find childcare, to take the risk of time off work (especially if they might get arrested or detained). To find money to travel to DC where protest could be centralised and might be interesting enough to catch the media's eye, since local protests often get no coverage at all, even as they happen, just as the angry calls and letters to the offices of the cowards who passed this bill get little-to-no coverage.

And when protests do happen, there's effort in the media to diminish their effect by going quiet on the coverage, or framing the desires of those protesting as 'unclear,' or giving equal time to a tiny pocket of 'counterprotestors' dwarfed by the numbers of the actual protesters.
posted by halation at 7:49 AM on December 3 [6 favorites]


Like, every single person that ever told me the Republicans were the "fiscal responsibility" party I want to just scream and scream at them. Take their faux-intellectual-highbrow George William F Buckley bullshit books and shred them into kindling for the bonfire of the ideas of my enemies.
posted by Cookiebastard at 7:56 AM on December 3 [6 favorites]


Not to mention their garbage lie about being the Family Values party. Let children become homeless & die without healthcare, and prop up the politicians who have sexually violated them, a real American Value!
posted by latkes at 8:00 AM on December 3 [6 favorites]


I was out goth dancing Friday night after a long week filled with so much crap on both a macro and micro level. My friend and I both got push notices on our phones when the vote passed. We locked eyes for about 15 seconds of despair before getting up and hitting the dance floor. I'm usually more of a spinning, ethereal dancer but I pounded the floor so hard I have now have bruised feet. Now I get why all the stompy rivetheads wear boots.

My husband lost his job in banking IT last year shortly before the election. Once the shock of a Trump win wore off, we sat down to take stock of the world, our country and our place in it. We decided to change our lives to be more in line with our values.

Among other things, this has meant a midlife career change for my husband who is now in nursing school. A large part of our ability to do this is the current economic safety net. We are on Medicaid and SNAP. I have an autoimmune disease with 4000 dollar a month medication. I have small children and elderly caretaking duties that prevent me from picking up the slack and working more.

I am terrified right now that these programs will be drastically cut before my husband is done with school. 18 months. I also feel guilty that we might squeak by with the worst cuts coming after we are on our feet again. So many other people will be hurt even if we are ok.

For my part, last November I made a decision to start speaking up for my values and to use my voice to support and defend others when needed. I'm super avoidant of conflict so this hasn't been something I've done much in the past. I been doing this both with larger scale political stuff but also smaller scale injustices in my social circles and local community. I’m not letting things slide anymore. I'm not doing it in a mean way - just pointing out facts, standing behind victims and pushing back against racist and sexist statements when I hear them. Gently. With love.

Well….I've now lost most of my family, a large part of my social circle and as of this week - my best friend of 4 years.

The social circle thing is particularly hard because the situation is a fractal of the larger harassment/abuse reckoning in the wider world at present. Charismatic person with multiple allegations of abuse...seemingly reasonable people turning a blind eye and shunning victims...people who do believe allegations shrugging it off because it doesn't affect them. The only difference, and what I think is providing cover for these victim deniers, is that the abuse perpetrator is a woman (as are all of the victims). It is so hard to see all of these people posting #metoo stuff online while completely shutting out marginalized and hurting people in their own lives.

I just feel so isolated right now. Fuck.
posted by Lapin at 10:44 AM on December 3 [13 favorites]


I feel ya, Lapin. I'm in a similar situation, socially. It's can feel pretty lonely. I think that's why the politics threads blow up like they do, for a lot of us, it's the only place we're getting any validation for what we think, or the actions we're taking.

Which is to say; I see you, I hear you, and you are not alone. 🙋
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 6:31 PM on December 3 [4 favorites]


100% agreed, and I see you both, Lapin and SecretAgentSockPuppet. And Mr. Yuck who is kind to strangers. And everyone who takes the time to post here and in the politics threads, because these are one of the few forums where it is OK to talk openly about our thoughts and experiences.
posted by SakuraK at 10:07 PM on December 3 [5 favorites]


Yesterday my partner of 37 years and I were at each others’ throats. Seems we were both really angry and the only targets within reach were each other. The birds and cats bore frightened witness as terrible language was deployed for no clear reason.

I took a break to hide and check this thread while making tea, and as I brought out the cups I commented, “It’s not us, it’s Trump!” after which we enjoyed a brief, queasy laugh, apologized to each other and our housemates, and resolved to take further aggression out on household chores.

These are difficult times and there is tangible pain in this thread. Thank you for this space, those who share, and its moderators—I value MF as a very real mental health resource, more now than ever.
posted by kinnakeet at 6:05 AM on December 4 [8 favorites]


I feel instead like we should talk about how to get them out if the country that hates them so much.

Hate to break this to you: FATCA applies to any US citizen anywhere. Thanks to FATCA, many international banks have simply stopped providing service to US citizens, or severely limiting their services – things such as, oh, getting a home loan. But that's not all. It also affects transactions done in US dollars! Which means that if your line of work has anything to do with that type of transaction (see also: finance), you might not be hired because of the hoops your employer has to go through. Not even because you're forbidden from it! Just because of the reporting hoops even when you can do the work!

Oh and if you think you can go to a different country, earn citizenship there, and then renounce your US citizenship – well, the US charges you for that. It used to cost $450. But after FATCA passed and record waves of US citizens renounced, welp, they upped it to $2350. Yes! Two thousand three hundred fifty dollars to renounce your citizenship.

Meanwhile you have to report every bank account, every financial instrument you hold, and your income to the IRS every year. No taxes on it so long as you meet the physical residency test in another country and fall under the limit, but you have to file. That's in addition to filing & paying in your tax residence country.

All that was before Trump, too. With the quiet gutting of diplomacy, who knows what will happen.

I am fucking pissed off, and saddened, for all of us, inside or outside of the US.
posted by fraula at 6:46 AM on December 4 [6 favorites]


A good friend of ours is married to a Trump supporter. She knew he was conservative, but not One Of Those Conservatives, even though all of our friends were like LISTEN HE IS ONE OF THOSE CONSERVATIVES DUDE WAS TRYING TO TALK SHIT ABOUT FILIPINO PEOPLE TO ME AT YOUR FIRM CHRISTMAS PARTY OKAY

They got married.

Then Trump.

Mr. Machine had breakfast with her this weekend. She said that they'd been planning to have kids, but then November 8th happened, and also the past 15 months or so, including when he hung up a pencil drawing of Trump (!) in the house without telling her. Apparently, she had an emotional meltdown, and they still haven't talked about it.

I didn't have the heart to ask whether the drawing of Trump is still up.
posted by joyceanmachine at 7:55 AM on December 4 [9 favorites]


I very much feel like Uma Thurman in Kill Bill right now. WE HAVE UNFINISHED BUSINESS MOTHERFUCKERS

From the brief mentions of Uma Thurman in the news lately, I'm pretty sure she's channeling her Kill Bill character too.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:50 AM on December 4 [1 favorite]


If you need a little pick me up (and really, who doesn't?), here's a short YT video of the 2017 Annual Hershey Bear Teddy Bear Toss.

(It's an annual holiday plush toy drive: After the home team scores its first goal of the game, fans toss their donated toys onto the ice -- more than 25,000 teddy bears made it onto the rink when it was all over with.)
posted by notyou at 9:22 AM on December 4 [5 favorites]


Not to be an upper in the screaming thread but I get great joy out of every mention of a teddy bear toss because it started in my little home town. Stores in town completely sell out of any sort of plush toy in the week of the toss.
posted by Mitheral at 10:19 AM on December 4 [2 favorites]


this is the existential screaming thread

Note: Everyone needs a hug.
posted by infini at 2:07 PM on December 4 [1 favorite]


I am fucking pissed off, and saddened, for all of us, inside or outside of the US.

Yeah, unlike most countries, the US makes things complicated/miserable for people living overseas. Tons of tax work, reporting requirements, restrictions, etc. Basically no other country has this.

That said, it still seems quite preferable to actually living in the US these days. My own path keeps getting delayed but still hoping to exit next year and then deal with all this.

On the "plus" side, the tax bill has made it slightly more advantageous (now that my state tax will probably not be deductible, I'd have a big increase here due to that, but overseas I can mostly avoid state tax --- even though CA will try its best even if you're 100% nonresident). But the details of what will be deductible here vs there and how much can be excluded and where I can hold money and where I can't... ugh, its pretty messy.
posted by thefoxgod at 2:22 PM on December 4


I had to spend all day in come chaotic, poorly planned, and excessively juvenile offsite meeting for agile today. I don't know what it was. Maybe it was one of the PM's wearing an engineer hat and tooting a whistle at the beginning of every segment because they named the thing 'Crazy Train' or squeezing a rubber chicken at the end of each segment. Or that one of the teams is named 'Shark Beard' and they brought and inflatable shark with a Party City beard on it. All this stupid manchild bs and I'm an adult woman who wants to write stored procedures in peace. I'm stuck in a convention center conference room with all of this ridiculous shit happening and the world is falling the fuck apart and there are goddamn grown ass men trying to outdo each other with reddit memes. It seems like a stupid thing to break over, but it took me over an hour and a half to get home tonight because of multiple accidents on the highway and i pretty much cried the entire time.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:26 PM on December 4 [12 favorites]


I too have entered a new kind of depression since the house passed their tax bill.

I study how to improve hearing aids for people with hearing loss. Hearing loss, the second or third most common disability in the country. It affects some 50 million+ folks. We all love to joke about it, but it is a devastating condition for people and families. Only something like 20% get treatment, because treatment only sort of works, which I'm trying to help fix. I have 3 years left of my PhD. This bill will be financially devastating for me, possibly making it impossible for me to finish. Why would they do this? Do they think it was all MBAs who were able to bring America to the forefront of technology and medical innovation? It's a terrible time to be alive, it feels these days.
posted by Lutoslawski at 8:27 AM on December 5 [9 favorites]


I've basically retreated from the world and cocooned myself in my apartment and my neighborhood with my pup. It's easy for me to do so because I am pretty insulated from immediate political clusterfuck consequences by various forms of privilege. I'm looking for a job in my field, but it all feels so useless and futile these days. I try to remind myself that local activism creates real change, that e.g. pushing the public housing authority in NYC to actually enforce their mold laws helps real people. I try to remember that POC and especially WOC and trans/GNC/non-binary POC have survived much worse in this country (let alone the world) for centuries, and that it is okay to feel despair but fierceness and resilience and love are what keep you going.

Some days, it works.

Other days, I think about moving to India. Like someone upthread said, the politics there scare me even more -- I just happen to be in the majority in India, and my US passport still holds weight, so I'd be okay. But I gave up international development work on purpose, because I can't fathom trying to tell people in India how to solve their problems when we can't even get our own damn house in order.

Mostly, I just cuddle with my dog and drink tea and spend too much time on the internet.
posted by Ragini at 10:19 AM on December 5 [3 favorites]


I work at a feminist nonprofit. Today someone tweeted at us to let us know our ads are appearing on Breitbart. After a little digging we found out that you have to specifically block Breitbart and other white supremacist sites from your ad buy on Facebook and Google, because those companies have not banned them from their ad networks. You have to do this even if you are a feminist nonprofit whose ads have no business showing up on Breitbart.

With all the other shit that's going on, I'm not totally sure why this hit me in the emotional gut, but it makes me feel slimy and helpless. Facebook and Google have choked the life out of my city, concentrated money in the hands of a few, and spread their foul tentacles through every aspect of modern life, but their algorithms are not even fucking smart enough to not put ads for a feminist nonprofit on Breitbart? Or (what I think is more likely) they just hate humanity and want to burn it all down for a buck? I deleted the facebook app from my phone but I just want to smash things.
posted by sunset in snow country at 11:22 AM on December 5 [12 favorites]


Sunset, you reminded me that I wanted to make sure everyone here knew that Harbor Freight and Tool advertises in NRA publications. Saw this in three issues of National Rifleman at the tire shop last week. Let them know what you think of that right here.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 2:18 AM on December 6


Oh, and I got called to the house where I dropped the passenger I picked up upthread on the 3rd. A little probing and this is the person I was taking that passenger to.

You saved her a long cold walk and she feels bad that she thought about stabbing you.

I knew she had that knife. What I think I could have done better was to have told her that I have a sister, had a mom, live with two young girls who I adore and one of their moms. Do psychos say things like that?

I want your number. Can we call you? Yeah but I could be anywhere so if you want me I need as much as notice as you can give so I can be there and not way out of town. How would I pay? You plug it into Uber and I charge you what they would and Uber gets nothing. Fair? Hell yes and we get to ride with somebody who won't put their hand on our leg and tell us we are a nice girl? I will refrain from telling you you are a nice girl.

Next two young women have been abandoned by their dates and are sleeveless and holding each other on the sidewalk when I pull up. The wind has whipped up and they must be cold. Temp dropped fast.

One of them has a very musical accent that is not quite from the subcontinent and she's telling the USian that you are not ugly to no avail and then to me says James, two guys ditched us in a bar and we are really intoxicated. We were wearing their coats and they asked for them back and just bailed on us. What do you think about that? I've just been enlisted by someone psychologically spry who has a really good compass and maybe learned the ropes around here from her friend and is now bucking her up.

I and everyone I know think the dating scene here sucks. Probably thirty years on you and I don't bother. The kid from somewhere else thinks the guys were assholes and the kid from here thinks she's ugly and that caused it.

So where is your accent from? Her friend has passed out and I have to keep nudging her off of my shoulder. We've got the car to ourselves. Tajikistan. It's a Persian country. So I ask her in Farsi if she doesn't just say Persian to avoid saying Iranian and it blows her mind in a very happy way.

I want to ride with you. Can I get your number?

So I think I have I have a new business idea. Two people in mind for other drivers. I'm thinking hard. There's a need for people to feel safe.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 5:46 AM on December 6 [5 favorites]


The tax bill ruins me. I mean, literally ruins. Between the fuck-you-freelancers provisions and the gutting of the individual mandate, it will put me out of business inside of 15 months. I have spent the better part of a goddamn decade building this business. I'm fucking GOOD at it. I have done nothing wrong. I am a net positive to the nation. I ask so little of it and try to give as much back to it as I can.

That's what I keep coming back to.

I've done nothing wrong.

They are just destroying me for no fucking reason. Like a toddler knocking over a block tower. Just BECAUSE.

So yeah when the tax bill passed I finally went from "hoo boy, I'm having a hard time keeping my depression under control in this environment" to "oh shit, if I don't get intervention now, I will end up dead."
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 8:41 AM on December 6 [8 favorites]


Hello muddah
Intifada
'Cause our preznit
He knows nada
Better follow
Sheldon's orders
So we'll war over Jerusalem and borders

(everybody sing along!)
posted by delfin at 11:22 AM on December 6


A few folks have posted about how recent policy decisions are causing them enormous suffering and despair. It seems wrong to mark those comments as "favorites". I need a "mark this comment as sharing your horror and showing love and empathy and rage on your behalf" I guess. But I just want to say I read your comments and I hear you.
posted by latkes at 11:44 AM on December 6 [3 favorites]


My boyfriend, who was the love of my life and my best friend, died unexpectedly 4 days ago. (How is it that it's been 4 days already!)

He was just as political and enraged as I am, and the nihilism of the past year...did not help with his depression. Every bit of bad news for the administration feels bittersweet. I can't believe he won't be here to see Trump leave office! Or Jared go to jail! I will find a way to celebrate with him.
posted by lalex at 11:53 AM on December 6 [20 favorites]


Oh, wow, lalex. Really sorry to hear that and I hope the next few weeks are as easy as they can be for you.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:27 PM on December 6


oh my gosh lalex. I am so sorry.
posted by AFABulous at 12:30 PM on December 6


I'm so sorry, lalex.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:35 PM on December 6


My Irish friend rarely discusses politics with me, and she texts me even less. But today, at a time she must have just previously watched her evening news - which no doubt spoke of Darth Cheeto's latest indignities - she texted me:

"Will someone PLEASE quieten that man soon???"

I laughed, then texted her back that we're trying, believe me.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:44 PM on December 6


Oh, lalex, I'm so sorry for your loss.
posted by hanov3r at 12:46 PM on December 6


lalex, that's awful, I'm so sorry.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 12:47 PM on December 6


❤❤❤thank you folks
posted by lalex at 12:48 PM on December 6


lalex, I'm so terribly sorry.
posted by ChuraChura at 1:03 PM on December 6


Christ. I'm sorry to hear that, lalex.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:14 PM on December 6


20fucking17, y'all
posted by lalex at 1:15 PM on December 6 [3 favorites]


Lalex, I’m so sorry. Let me know if there’s anything you need.
posted by corb at 1:31 PM on December 6


Thank you, corb. I know you've had a tough loss this year too. ❤

I have tons, tons, tons of family and friend support, and a significant portion of that is from MeFites who I've met and become irl friends with over the years. There are so many amazing and kind and wonderful people in this community and we're very lucky to have it.

And I'm hugely grateful to all of you on AskMe, and especially to jessamyn for cultivating it, because it's so comforting to know that when I'm more functional I can head over to the green and ask you all about things to read, how to cope, and probably more.

Hold your loved ones close. And go to meetups!
posted by lalex at 1:48 PM on December 6 [9 favorites]


Oh lalex, that's the horrible by deepest sympathies.
posted by From Bklyn at 2:16 PM on December 6


Lalex, I'm so sorry for your loss.
posted by ZeusHumms at 2:17 PM on December 6


lalex, please imagine these are giant RL hugs {{{{{{{{{lalex}}}}}}}}}

We are all with you.
posted by NorthernLite at 2:22 PM on December 6


I'm so sorry, lalex.
posted by halation at 3:20 PM on December 6


Thanks, angrycat, for "Here's a list I posted in the mega thread: NYT list of federal programs that would be cut"

If it is any consolation ranked at #62 Department of Education, Student Financial Assistance Debt Collection, 10 million cut. So, maybe after so many students take it in the neck at least they won't get hounded quite so badly?

Pretty cold comfort, that.
posted by Gotanda at 3:22 PM on December 6


And, on posting now see all the comfort being sent to lalex and wish I'd waited. So sorry, lalex.
posted by Gotanda at 3:24 PM on December 6


no, please continue! I didn't intend to take up so much air. Bad things are happening for everyone, that's why we're all in the thread.
posted by lalex at 3:30 PM on December 6 [2 favorites]


Oh, lalex. I am so sorry to hear that. Damn. That's rough. Hell.
posted by sciatrix at 4:15 PM on December 6


I'm so sorry, lalex. That's just terrible. Peace and strength to you.
posted by suelac at 4:55 PM on December 6


Oh no. I’m so sorry, lalex. My heart hurts for you.
posted by bookmammal at 5:37 PM on December 6


lalex, I am so sorry to hear that. If you need anything I can help with, let me know.
posted by ferret branca at 5:47 PM on December 6


I’m sorry lalex, great heart.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 11:36 PM on December 6 [1 favorite]


I've not been finding much to laugh about lately, being a kinda shitty time of year for me, but I was reminded of Obama's car in the ditch metaphor and got a fantastic laugh from imagining everything since playing out in that scenario.

The car was finally pulled from the ditch after much arguing about which tow company to call, we get it patched up enough to continue the journey, and just as we start the car back up Trump jumps in the driver's seat, throws it in reverse and floors it right back into the fucking ditch and then blames Crooked Hillary and the Muslims for wrecking the car again. When Mueller comes along and asks to see his driver's license, he and all but one of the Republicans pull out sledgehammers and start beating on the car like the special stage in Street Fighter II, but with wheezy old white guys. Now they're saying "what car? There was no car!"

Maybe not as funny to you guys as it was in my head, but it worked for me for a few minutes anyway.
posted by wierdo at 8:43 AM on December 7 [2 favorites]


hugs hugs lalex
posted by angrycat at 8:48 AM on December 7


Is "alabackwards" an inappropriate term to use around here?
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:09 AM on December 7


lalex, I am so deeply sorry for your loss. Here's a big hug for today.
posted by GrammarMoses at 11:34 AM on December 8


Oh lalex, I'm so sorry. Let me know if there is anything I can do for you.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 4:57 PM on December 8


Oh no, lalex, I'm terribly sorry. Sending love your way.
posted by limeonaire at 7:35 PM on December 8


I just saw a national geographic video about the threat of polar bear extinction and i'm not at all crying and not at all so angry at the world that we're doing fuck all and fuck all this fucking fuck
posted by dis_integration at 11:00 PM on December 8 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I hate getting into work on Monday when I'm all "I took these tangible steps to help mitigate my impact upon the environment last weekend, you?" and my coworkers say "I binged this TV show all weekend, it was great, you should watch it!"

It's hard not to despair when it feels like everyone is fiddling while Rome burns.

Indeed, it's hard not to despair when it feels like you're required to fiddle while Rome burns just to participate in our society.

Fucking fuck.
posted by ragtag at 6:35 AM on December 9 [4 favorites]


More hugs and condolences to lalex.

I also saw that polar bear video and was gutted by it. Meanwhile, my cousin's kids in Alabama are playing in the snow. We truly have fucked up the climate.

it's hard not to despair when it feels like you're required to fiddle while Rome burns just to participate in our society

Yes. Someone in the megathread mentioned choosing forced optimism because the alternative is not being able to get out of bed in the morning and that's about where I am.
posted by Flannery Culp at 2:28 PM on December 9 [1 favorite]


If it's any consolation, the polar bear researchers I know think that that bear in particular had other health issues; the polar bear populations begins monitored don't seem to be wasting away. Not that their conservation status is great, but there are not hordes of emaciated bears.
posted by ChuraChura at 2:56 PM on December 9 [7 favorites]


❤❤❤ I'm so sorry lalex.
posted by daybeforetheday at 8:46 PM on December 9


oh, lalex, i'm so sorry.

i myself-- i was fine, during the election. i was working, and it consumed literally my every waking moment and some of my sleeping ones, too. i had something to do since january, and now i don't.

and like. i haven't left the house since but to go to the grocery store. it sucks, apparently even when you win. i miss my campaign family, again. i need to stay busy, but it's hard to find what and where, and how i can contribute that's not, y'know. getting out the vote. i didn't have time to look at the garbage fire when i was in the trenches. now i have time to look.

midterms are coming and i'll be fine once that starts rolling, but in the meantime, there's this winter to get through.
posted by dogheart at 12:30 PM on December 10 [1 favorite]


but like here's the other thing, the other side of that-- like i saw so many people this year completely lay down their lives for seven or eight days on end to get out the vote, or who hadn't volunteered before, ever, or who now wouldn't vote for a republican if their lives depended on it. people who overcame anxiety and disability and learned new and scary things in order to help. people who opened their homes up for phonebanks or to let some young tired campaign staffer stay in their spare room.

and there's a lot of them. a lot.

it's not just mefi. there are a great deal of people who have the same sense of rage and despair that all of us do-- and in increasing numbers they want to do something about it. and thinking about that makes me not want to give up. thinking about all of those pissed off people is what gives me hope.
posted by dogheart at 12:50 PM on December 10 [4 favorites]


One of my interns asked me the other day how I can be so calm in the face of what's going on out there, and I almost laughed (and then tried to cast about for something office-appropriate to say). The truth is I'm not calm. I just unwillingly have zero emotional reactions anymore to pretty much anything, I assume because my body is trying to prevent me from getting 5150'd or arrested or something.

As someone who's battled depression for many years, it's sort of fascinating to discover what it's like to be depressed almost entirely from external inputs.

Meanwhile, my mouth is riddled with godawfully painful canker sores, which I've gotten more of in the past year than in my entire life up to 11/8/16. Similarly, I used to get stress hives once in a blue moon. Now it's more like every ten days. And my teeth, after years of being in perfect condition, now suddenly have "concerning" damage from bruxism and hurt all the time. Republicans are my preexisting health condition, I swear to God.

Edit: lalex, I'm so sorry.
posted by desert outpost at 1:11 PM on December 10 [1 favorite]


Well, Alabama's special election has seen the Democtatic candidate overcome long odds and voter suppression and just plain insanity among the populace. Which is generally to the good.

However, it is now super important to McConnell to play totally by the letter of the law, so Jones won't be sworn in until after the election is certified. At some point after Christmas. And well after they've (still thoeretically) passed the tax bill (which has been agreed to in some fashion today because must pass and just needs to be written. again). Not to mention a possible government shutdown.

All of my friends and family are going to be hurt by this tax bill. Even if they don't realize it. The willful ignroance.

California, my birth state. So much destruction this year. (THE PEOPLE! The history! ) (THE WINE, DAMN IT!)

Net neutrality. Jerusalem. The National Parks.

(insert slightly manic broken screamy laughter here)

and lalex, and ocherdraco... I don't know what to say. I'm so sorry.
posted by monopas at 10:42 AM on December 13 [2 favorites]


Another one of my little brother's friends overdosed this weekend. I've just scheduled myself to get trained to administer narcan. I'm not really sure what else there is to do.
posted by ChuraChura at 12:19 PM on December 13 [3 favorites]


and lalex, and ocherdraco... I don't know what to say. I'm so sorry.

Thank you. Weird twist: ocherdraco and I are friends and have been spewing feels at each other through these terrible events. She's one of the many wonderful, amazing people I've met through this community who've been unbelievably supportive throughout this nightmare.
posted by lalex at 12:24 PM on December 13 [4 favorites]


And now I'm crying. Again.

Glad/sad for the both of you.
posted by monopas at 12:53 PM on December 13


Fuck, Chura. I am so sorry.
posted by sciatrix at 4:14 AM on December 14 [1 favorite]


Man, fuck all this. I just lost a dog a little over a month ago to cancer. Now I find out my little fatso dog has the same kind of cancer. Fuck fuck fuck.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 12:21 PM on December 14


fluttering hellfire, I am so very sorry. That is almost exactly what happened with our two cats a few years ago. It's a special kind of emotional throat punch, 'nads kick combo. The sort of thing that again almost makes me wish I believed in a higher power so that I could tell it to fuck right the fucking fuck off.
posted by monopas at 1:40 PM on December 14


Love to those who need it, and we all need it.

My dog has a vet appointment on Monday because she's showing signs of a cancer cocker spaniels are predisposed to.

I'm about to initiate a lawsuit that, while unrelated to my job, might cost me my job. I wish I could rant more about that.

Of course, this all happens the week I go back to work after a leave of absence to dry out. 141 days now. I'd be lying if I said I didn't want a bottle of wine right now. I just want to get drunk and hug my dog. Instead, I'll drink this peppermint mocha coffee and hug my dog and text the mister to say that we're getting takeout tonight because I am not up to cooking and I didn't defrost anything anyway.

The first night of Hanukkah was fanfreakingtastic, but it all kinda went downhill from there.
posted by Ruki at 10:18 AM on December 15 [2 favorites]


I just had a chemical pregnancy, after using a genetically normal embryo. Total losses is now three, total number of live children remains zero.
posted by daybeforetheday at 12:05 AM on December 16


That's gotta be incredibly tough, daybeforetheday. Hugs if you want them.
posted by Too-Ticky at 4:54 AM on December 16 [1 favorite]


daybeforetheday--I am so, so sorry. Sending a virtual hug/hand squeeze/ arm around the shoulder to you if you want and/or need any of those.
posted by bookmammal at 7:21 AM on December 16 [1 favorite]


Hey Ruki, that's fantastic. Hang in there—speaking from experience, it gets easier every day.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:17 PM on December 16


FUCK FUCKITY FUCK FUCK FUCK MCFUCKWITTY FUCK

My current roommate is moving out on January 1st. He told me on December 1st, so I could jump on the roommate-hunting bandwagon. I found someone PERFECT 3 days later, and we were going to be all set.

But then Friday night (she works late) she learned she was going to be relocated and had to drop out. So now I have only TWO WEEKS to find a new roommate for an apartment that I absolutely cannot float on my own, even for just a month. And for a weekend out of that period I'm going to be out of town for Christmas (oh, yeah, the christmas alone is now not a thing) and for the week after Christmas I was hoping to be still and quiet and solitude-like and was even going to maybe entertain a guy for some nookie - but now I'm going to have to be scrambling to find another roommate at the last minute.

My parents have said that they can help me with the other half the rent if need be, and I have to try again for February, but FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:31 PM on December 17


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