Fuck fuck scary fuck January 12, 2021 5:44 PM   Subscribe

Very scary right now and here is a place where we can be scared.
posted by rue72 to Uptime at 5:44 PM (90 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

I can't stop imagining the parallel universe where the invaders were a little more organized, or the police didn't evacuate the chambers in time, and the world ended up watching in horror as lawmakers were strung up on the Capitol lawn or executed live on the House floor, with the White House ominously silent the whole time. Almost as bad is wondering how many people in my day-to-day would have reacted with joy instead of shock at the decapitation of American democracy. As bad as it was, it could have been so, so much worse; in fact, by thoroughly discrediting Trumpist fascism and uniting so many powerful forces against it with minimal loss of life, it may well have been a best-case scenario for how this inevitable conflict could have gone down.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:14 PM on January 12, 2021 [30 favorites]

I'm still terrified. I hear you and see you and wish you strength, too. We may get through this to the other side of Trump, but it has not been a good week. When an unhinged, looney-tuned traitor who relayed live intelligence to terrorists about Pelosi's location can still walk through metal detectors in the Capitol with her bag of toys, in violation of the law, we are still in a lot of danger. Let's all help each other through this, as much as we can.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 6:20 PM on January 12, 2021 [22 favorites]

When I went into the office back in June, one of our security officers was wearing a "Thin Blue Line" banner on his mask. Back then, it was clearly inappropriate, especially since the mayor had forbidden the city cops to wear masks with that pattern. Now I have to wonder if the Proud Boys decide they have a grudge against us, will that security officer just hold the door open for them?
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 6:43 PM on January 12, 2021 [15 favorites]

I've been too tired to have any emotions at all about any of this. I feel like one day, if I survive long enough to ever not be exhausted again, all of the fear will hit at once and I will suddenly freak out for what seems like no reason in August 2035.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 6:50 PM on January 12, 2021 [49 favorites]

I have had enough doom scrolling for the day, heading for bed. Can't shake a sense that something bad (worse) is yet to come.
America, you stay safe, alright?
posted by nubs at 9:37 PM on January 12, 2021 [8 favorites]

I'm scared, too. I live a mile and a half from my state's capitol building. This morning's thoughts include "can we travel by car to see someone outdoors this weekend, or do we need to shelter in place?" and "should we take down our seasonal yard art so that passing ruffians can't use it to bash in our numerous windows?"

And on top of everything else that's terrible, my cat won't eat.
posted by eirias at 4:19 AM on January 13, 2021 [13 favorites]

I'm scared, too. I live a mile and a half from my state's capitol building.

I'm scared too. I work in my state's capitol building.
posted by JanetLand at 5:50 AM on January 13, 2021 [28 favorites]

I have barely worked at all since the 6th, at least with any efficiency or vigor. I have been able to gloss over this by performingn all of my minimum necessary tasks and attending a ton of meetings. But I have trouble forming a cohesive thought.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:23 AM on January 13, 2021 [19 favorites]

One weird thought I keep going back to is that during previous crises, even worse ones, there must have also been people who had to carry on with the mundane business of their jobs to survive.

Like, there must have been say, clerks who had to keep trudging to the shop during the London Blitz who had to walk through rubble, put on a smock and be all, "Hello there, good sir! Yes, shame about the bombs and all. But in these uncertain times, I am still here to help you find a briefcase!"
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:35 AM on January 13, 2021 [32 favorites]

I'm just stunned by Pence, even though he has been complicit in Trump's awfulness from the beginning. Still, Trump told an angry, armed mob that Pence was the person standing between him and victory and then sent them to where Pence was. And a number of the rioters/terrorists literally said they were there to hang Mike Pence. And Pence's wife and children were in the capitol as well, so if those people had succeeded in hanging Pence, they would have been there to witness it. How can Pence then go on to have any kind of conversation with Trump (reportedly, they agreed that violence is bad)?

I'm in Michigan, and though I'm personally a long way from the capitol, we did have a group of people already plot to kidnap our governor and try her for treason. And our Attorney General has recently said the capitol is not safe because of concealed carry laws. We have a lot of crazies here, so I'm very worried about what will happen.
posted by FencingGal at 8:54 AM on January 13, 2021 [18 favorites]

So many worried/anxious people turning to their spouse for reassurance and mine (Comrade Doll), who is Romanian, is all "You are never more than six hours of fuckery from ending up in a van with a bag over your head."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:10 AM on January 13, 2021 [58 favorites]

I can't look away though my anxiety is great. I have two little kids and too little sleep.
posted by Catblack at 9:19 AM on January 13, 2021 [4 favorites]

Like, there must have been say, clerks who had to keep trudging to the shop during the London Blitz who had to walk through rubble, put on a smock and be all, "Hello there, good sir! Yes, shame about the bombs and all. But in these uncertain times, I am still here to help you find a briefcase!"

"I'm out here trying to sell some fucking videogames and people will not stop trying to overthrow the government for like 5​ fucking minutes."
posted by clawsoon at 9:19 AM on January 13, 2021 [10 favorites]

Yes, I am still feeling like that. I do not want to have to pretend to care about stupid work crap, still.

I am taking the inauguration day off, at least. I won't have to pretend that day. Too bad I can't do that for weeks on end.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:21 AM on January 13, 2021 [3 favorites]

I've been thinking about this old Doonesbury comic about Nixon and how Trump has now knocked off a bank. And it's STILL not enough for some GOP representatives.

CNN reports that there are some Republicans who want to vote for impeachment but fear for their lives and their family's lives.
posted by FencingGal at 11:02 AM on January 13, 2021 [6 favorites]

My fucking ex-boss (I graduated! he no longer pays me!) has emailed me three times since the 7th trying to get me to finish revisions on a manuscript to be sent out ASAP before the beginning of the semester. I am more or less walking around in a fog. I'm supposed to be attending to a conference I badly need to network at if I want to land a job before May, when my teaching gig will run out.

I can't focus on any of it. I am waiting for either a new hammer to fall or for some actual consequences to happen, which I have lost faith will ever come to pass. I have to do all of these things that need me to be charming and hireable and intelligent and analytic and I cannot summon up that ability when I am frozen and paralyzed.

I keep making plans to try and rest and recover and then the moment I think I've got a handle on it, some other fucking once-in-three-hundred-years unprecedented disaster happens and I'm hamstrung again.
posted by sciatrix at 11:30 AM on January 13, 2021 [19 favorites]

Still, Trump told an angry, armed mob that Pence was the person standing between him and victory and then sent them to where Pence was. And a number of the rioters/terrorists literally said they were there to hang Mike Pence. And Pence's wife and children were in the capitol as well, so if those people had succeeded in hanging Pence, they would have been there to witness it.

This is where my brain just STOPS. Not just with Pence, but even with the republican members of the House I saw speaking in the 10 minutes I watched the hearings today that did not seem to understand that they were minutes away from being killed and wearing a little ol' elephant on their lapel was not going to prevent that. I cannot comprehend it. I just cannot.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 11:39 AM on January 13, 2021 [21 favorites]

When I went into the office back in June, one of our security officers was wearing a "Thin Blue Line" banner on his mask. Back then, it was clearly inappropriate, especially since the mayor had forbidden the city cops to wear masks with that pattern.

There’s a small bright spot there, which is that attacking the Capitol guards put the Proud Boys on the wrong side of the "blue line", and some of them at least seem to be embracing that.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 12:21 PM on January 13, 2021 [4 favorites]

It's so bananas that cops wear the Punisher logo. It's tantamount to a pin that says "We'd all be better offer if I could kill the people I think need killing."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:25 PM on January 13, 2021 [8 favorites]

In one of the looooong posts (for which I am grateful, honestly, as the amount of worthwhile information in them is invaluable) there was mention of how this feels like 9/11 - and while I agree with the unreality of it all: that was one of the most surreal/hyperreal and unreal days of my life: At the same time I feel like we're waiting for the other shoe to drop and until it does... nothing will change. The only thing I can compare it to is a couple parties when I was a young idiot, where things got out of hand. Too much booze, too much testosterone, too much stupid - and the pervasive feeling that things could go in any direction and no one has any control over how it will all turn out.

Each time a mega-corp has said, "That's it! No more money until you sort this shit out!" I've thought "Fine, good, now things'll calm down..." and it hasn't. That's the part that worries me. The cops have come, disbanded the party, everyone has left... but now we're under the train bridge and some-one is saying we (who are all barely lucid/sober enough to stand) should hop the coming freight train to the next city over, where they have friends who have more booze... and we're thinking maybe, maybe
posted by From Bklyn at 12:56 PM on January 13, 2021 [13 favorites]

Like duh but still my blood boils. From CNN:

Trump is "clueless what any of this means internationally or historically," senior adviser says

From CNN's Jim Acosta

President Trump has yet to grasp the magnitude of the damage being done to his standing in American history and the nation's place on the world stage resulting from his second impeachment and actions surrounding the Capitol siege, a senior Trump adviser said.

Based on conversations the adviser has had with Trump since Jan. 6, the adviser said the President is "clueless what any of this means internationally or historically."

Trump has told aides and advisers he does fear what the violence at the Capitol has done to his businesses.

posted by tiny frying pan at 1:23 PM on January 13, 2021 [11 favorites]

I've been talking to cops the last couple nights and they are scared too. Sometimes they don't respond to a call because they just can't. Some of the stuff they told me that hasn't made the news hasn't made the news because it is absolutely insane. It's like Eva Braun's last party out there. There's a viciousness to robberies now that wasn't there before. People are missing. Women and children mostly. I see things in dumpsters that shouldn't be there. Things that are probably sentimental to someone.

I'm guilty. I'm glad the mods took down a comment I made a couple days ago. It was true and it was awful. People are devolving and I don't scare easily but I am scared now. I don't want anyone I love out of my sight right now.

I am not in Rwanda. I am home. I shouldn't feel like this here. I moved here from DC. There is nowhere to go. I want my mom. I really do.

Is that too much? Is that too disturbing? I can't tell anymore.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 1:35 PM on January 13, 2021 [11 favorites]

this thread is making me feel a little bit less alone and i am thankful for that. today i called in sick to work and am on my third Miyazaki movie of the day so far and i blocked twitter in my /etc/hosts and i think it was a good plan. but i can't do that every day and i am just so filled with dread
posted by capnsue at 1:48 PM on January 13, 2021 [8 favorites]

Please share how you're feeling...you're not alone. Two separate people acted relieved at my work when I responded to a how are you surface convo with the obvious - I am distracted, overwhelmed, and filled with brain fog. Work is extremely difficult to focus on. I wish our culture didn't demand such doo de doo everything's fine keep plugging away attitude. WE ALL TIRED.
posted by tiny frying pan at 1:54 PM on January 13, 2021 [16 favorites]

I have to do all of these things that need me to be charming and hireable and intelligent and analytic and I cannot summon up that ability when I am frozen and paralyzed.

I feel you! I am stuck in a horrible dead end job right now, and tomorrow I have an interview for what would be an amazing position, great people, great organization, great pay...and I feel like I just can't suck it up and go in and be confident and thoughtful when it feels like the world is about to burn down.

I'm going to have to find a way to suck it up and pretend tomorrow.
posted by nubs at 2:37 PM on January 13, 2021 [11 favorites]

AT&T internet services seem to be down throughout Florida, from what I can see.
I hate that my first reaction to this is to assume that there may have been another attack on our infrastructure, some force wanting us blindsided. If y’all hear anything about this, let us know please.
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 2:46 PM on January 13, 2021 [5 favorites]

So right after I wrote that I go to the liquor store. I can't get a psychiatric appointment. I'm looking at cheap vodka and there is an employee stocking shelves and she is putting things in the wrong place when this guy with a ZZTop beard comes in with no mask.

Employee says hey you can't and he calls her a nazi fascist and leaves. There are no plates on his car. I turn to her and she has tears. She's alone in a pretty big store dealing with that. We talked for a while.

I think maybe talking to people and helping them get perpective on this mess is the best thing I can do. I think that kid will fight now if it goes that way.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 2:51 PM on January 13, 2021 [22 favorites]

I believe we're going to have a civil war. Maybe it'll start this week, maybe this year, maybe ten years from now... but the situation keeps devolving. People keep getting more violent. It feels like we're living in parallel universes. How can a fundamental conflict like that be resolved, except with killing and death? The survivor will determine what reality is.

Five years ago, it would never have occurred to me that the US could have a second civil war -- ever, let alone in my lifetime. It would never have occurred to me that terrorists would storm the Capitol to murder and kidnap Congress, at the bidding of the president, with the staff and Capitol Police reduced to canon fodder (if they were thought of at all). I didn't have my head in the sand, five years ago I was getting into arguments with Greatest Generation suckups that Nazism is as American as apple pie...but I also didn't foresee that consensus reality would shatter and huge swaths of America would become utterly radicalized. My head is spinning.

What really felt like 9/11 to me was the day when the 2016 election was called for Trump. And Clinton gave her concession speech. I was devastated and reeling and felt like I was living in a dreamworld. A nightmareworld.

The Insurrection has been different. It feels like a turning point, not a climax. The trigger for a new, creeping sort of dread. First it seemed like the Insurrection was just more terrorism. Then the goofy outfits made it seem like some sort of bizzaro-world terrorism. Then the zip ties and the Molotov cocktails filled with homemade napalm and...

Just a few minutes ago, Trump was impeached. I was listening to NPR, and even the hosts were nonplussed. They said, it feels anticlimactic. Now what?

And yeah, that was the Democrats' only leverage. Now Trump knows -- this is the worst anyone can do to stop him. Hold a meeting and push paper, that's it. Ground him on social media, freeze a few mainstream PACs, scold him ineffectually from the House floor. This is the harshest thing that even the most powerful people in the world can do, and without a Senate trial, it doesn't matter at all. Pence won't 25th him, McConnell won't try him, and the Democrats' hands are tied. And the last little bit of even symbolic leverage has fluttered away now...

Not that I think the Democrats should have done any different. That's the point. The powerlessness is the point. When we get right down to it, has the coup already happened? The old laws are irrelevant after a coup, because l'etat, c'est Trump. Is that already true?

I keep having nightmares. I can't get any sleep, I keep dreaming of Insurrectionists. Terrorists. Whatever you want to call them.

Nobody understands. Well, maybe my mom. She feels like I do. Her parents fled here from Germany and Austria to avoid being slaughtered in the Holocaust and most of their families didn't make it out. I used to be very hard on ordinary Germans, like none existed but Nazis. Now of course I think differently, because I know that one day people will be saying the same thing about me, an American during the rise of...whatever this era ends up being called.

But my coworkers are going on as normal. I had to give a presentation today and submit four monthly/annual reports. And I have to be kind to my friends and boyfriend and I have to text my parents info on when they might be eligible for the covid vaccine. I need to take my dog to the vet tonight. Life keeps pounding and pounding away and I can't think at all. All I can see are the Insurrectionists and all I can think about is what they're going to do next.

I'm in the DC area -- not in the city, but right across the Potomac from it. The view out of my office window is Key Bridge and Georgetown. A week ago, my phone was blowing up with alert after alert. I was under curfew. I was driving home with my Biden bumper sticker and saw cops talking to each other on the shoulder of 395 and I was scared as fuck. When Election Day went well, I was SO relieved. I really thought that would be...not The End full stop, but an end. But then this.

I feel ridiculous for feeling so traumatized. I was here for 9/11, too. I was a teenager, looking for the smoke from the Pentagon in the bright blue sky as my class was shuffled to the school library to wait for our parents to pick us up. I was here for the DC sniper and for Trump's inauguration and for the covid lockdowns that my boss has always refused to abide by and...

What is happening now is so much less concrete. This is me wondering if I'm crazy for being wistful for what I still have, because I believe in my heart that I won't have it for long, that things are going to take an even darker turn, very soon. Darker and darker and darker. Maybe it's just trauma talking. I hope it's just trauma.

But it feels to me like we're on a precipice...no, it feels to me like we're already falling. I'm bracing for the crash, mourning already for it, but most everyone around me is acting like their feet are still on solid ground. As though just the fall weren't dizzying enough.
posted by rue72 at 2:55 PM on January 13, 2021 [40 favorites]

I took inauguration day off work because I've got PTO to burn and started doing the mental calculations as to whether the helicopters were going to come back next week (they weren't around last week, but they were heavy around the election and have been making an appearance about once a month) and I just got so exhausted thinking about it.

So I told my boss, admitted it was becacuse I am just penciling in being an anxious mess that day, and he did not get why. He asked if I was flying to DC, which, uh. No. I am not doing that. I never have brought up with him that the week that I interviewed for this job white supremacists were setting cars on fire on my block, because the fact that white supremacists were setting things on fire in residential areas during the Minneapolis protests seems to be something that was politically inconvenient for everyone, and therefore forgotten.

I'm trying to keep up, and I'm trying to learn skills for a job that assumes that I have more of a coding background than I actually have, and logically I know that I have a good reason to be not at my best right now, but on the other hand, knowing this and also not feeling like there's an allowance on the job side of things is less than helpful.
posted by dinty_moore at 3:50 PM on January 13, 2021 [9 favorites]

I lost my job yesterday, so I guess the good news from that bit of bad news is that I won't be working in a retail store that's always at risk of looting or violence. (Plus I don't have to tell people to fix their fucking masks all day). Our neighborhood in DC is well out from where any violent insurrectionists might think to go (unless they want to deface traffic circles named after Union Civil War generals) so I'm sad at what's happening in and to my city but I don't have to be out in it.

I got a nice photo of Joe and Dr. Jill Biden during the Obama inaugural parade (we were on the front row of the bleachers next to the presidential stand) so I'll just try to relive that instead.
posted by fedward at 4:20 PM on January 13, 2021 [17 favorites]

On the expat front, the most common sentiment expressed here in the Yucatan is that we're glad we're not still living in the U.S. We feel like the chains have been taken off back home, and that our friends and families are now subject to mayhem. Although not as well reported as the Capitol insurrection, the functional pipe bombs left at both the RNC and DNC headquarters seem like the main opening event -- there may be some brief skirmishes, but ultimately this will be a terrorist movement.

Many of our Yucateco friends are having trouble understanding how upset we are. It's hard to blame them -- 130 politicians and campaign workers were murdered in the run-up to the Mexican 2018 elections. Those all took place in states far away from the Yucatan, but part of growing up Mexican is knowing that there are people willing to kill if the government doesn't go their way.

Another aspect of Yucatecos surprise at our overwhelmed reaction is that they've seen this coming. Our president refused to concede and was rallying a large group of followers to his side -- how exactly did we think that was going to end?

In any case it's cold comfort now. We just worry for our friends, our family, and our country. Hopefully we can find an opportunity to help from here.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 4:48 PM on January 13, 2021 [15 favorites]

I can't. I just can't. I haven't been on social media in a while because I just can't cope. So this is the first I've heard of it. Everything is just so fucked up. I've been on the verge of tears all day for various reasons and well, I'm glad I'm nowhere near DC or Columbus. But I'm fucking scared for friends who are. I came home ready to drink, and I'm not a drinker. I think 2 Klonopin would do better than a bottle of wine right now. So I'm going to do that.
posted by kathrynm at 5:10 PM on January 13, 2021 [4 favorites]

Just kinda hoping the police are too regionalized to join an uprising. That feels like the next gate to me.
posted by fleacircus at 5:21 PM on January 13, 2021 [3 favorites]

Every time I watcha movie from The Purge series, I think, "Chrissakes, why do they stay? Why don't they drive to Canada or Mexico or something?"

"Stuck in place because their shithole country fucked up a pandemic response" would be a great workaround to that plot hole.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:28 PM on January 13, 2021 [11 favorites]

Oh yeah, and I proposed to spouse tonight that at the very least we need to figure out where in the US we can move to that will be relatively safe from the incoming madness and is far enough away from his family to make it incredibly inconvenient to visit (with a plan to downsize to a house that cannot accommodate overnight guests). He suggested Maine. I cannot lie, winters aside, the suggestion is highly appealing.

capnsue our 25 year old furnace failed at the beginning of the week and began spewing levels of CO2 high enough to trigger the detector. I pushed through last week even though I barely slept and decided that the furnace failure was a cosmic sign and took Monday off even though I could have worked and we had a new furnace up and running before noon.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 5:43 PM on January 13, 2021 [3 favorites]

For years, the joke about my Dad has been that he has more lives than the kitten room at the shelter I volunteer at. His "minor" MI that he waited to go to the hospital for because he didn't want to wake mom turned into a 5 vessel CABG. The funky looking patch that they didn't want to take because it didn't look like his normal yearly skin CAs was biopsied because it pinged the student's spidey sense and it was a melanoma in situ. He was dx w stage III lung ca three years ago and has been considered cured for a year and a half. We're pretty sure he had Covid last March when no one was testing.

Well, he went to the hospital NYD w shortness of breath. At first they figured pneumonia, threw abx and O2 at it, Covid was negative. Then they figured it was his pleural effusion, which they tapped, cytology is still out on that. Tonight, Ten days later I get the login for his mychart and login. OK, no cytology, but I see some components are high that could say it was due to his pna. Then I read his dc summary. Pneumonia was ruled out. Chest CT w a new mass that they told him to follow up with his oncologist ASAP.

I've...i've talked to my dad more over the past six months that I have in the preceding 40+ years; I used to joke that I could count the number of times he'd used the l word on one hand after a minor industrial accident. Not that I ever doubted it; just not a big talker, either one of us. And the thing is, I feel like I knew; like as soon as he started calling just to chat, that the clock started ticking. And I'm typing this because the sister who groks this is an ICU nurse and I'm not going to call because it's 10pm and she's an ICU nurse and the beau is downstairs gaming and I don't need his stifling sympathy and he requested a freeze on our fostering doggos so I have no doggo to hang on to and the worlds falling apart and the country's falling apart and my family I greatly fear is falling apart. Fuck, man, just...just more then 12 hours without the feeling of dread?
posted by jacy at 7:24 PM on January 13, 2021 [22 favorites]

Reading about interesting times is fascinating. Living through interesting times is very much not.
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 8:05 PM on January 13, 2021 [14 favorites]

I get the dread, and the losses, and the impending losses, I feel for you jacy and all the rest of us who are fearful. On a great day I have hypermnesia, and see connections everywhere, between not necessarily related things. This stuff is real, and it is us at our worst. People who never resolved their racist programming are terrified of the other, and they glossed it over with feelings of superiority that have no grounds in reality, so they are violently disturbed. People who are of color have been violently everythinged as a result all along. I know a lot of people who have been prepping for this day, for these last days, for the joy of violent thoughts in my personal life, and I left the state of Utah because the undertones had become overtones, with Sunday drivers getting shot in their cars by preppers so new at gun ownership they don't even know how to safely set up a shooting range. Yet I moved to right wing city, home town of Kevin McCarthy. Here I am so isolated, for the most part, for 99% of my time I am completely isolated, I am sick of how my mind works, and so I am having an internal house cleaning, working on how to live, trying to understand what being a member of a "Social Species," means. I live in a nice neighborhood, all kinds of people here, very nice people, but this town has some stuff about it...It also has an incredible Hispanic culture that is so alive, and a party culture that is killing people. The newspaper is so stilted, even this, there was a huge drug bust just over in the next little area north of here, it was all LSD, psychedelic mushrooms, and DMT, plus a small quantity of meth and cocaine. Yet the headline read huge narcotics bust, when it was really a huge psychedelics bust, pounds and pounds of shrooms, man, and 10 pounds of Marijuana. Kevin McCarthy appears on the front page almost daily, now all kinds of apologetic stuff about him chiding the president, even after upholding his crap. This town. Of my two best friends who both have severe asthma and allergies, one has had the vaccination, and the other gets her first shot in the early morning. I am so glad for this. My grandson got to go to school at my house yesterday, because their router was out, it was so great to be around someone else. I felt entirely different, after that. Please hang in there, and stand up for our democracy, don't be afraid to do that. We have made it a habit to fuck with people elsewhere, and now it has come home to us, in exactly the same way. Be brave, and watch out for yourselves and the ones you love.
posted by Oyéah at 8:14 PM on January 13, 2021 [13 favorites]

P.S. I have a kid in Maine, and Maine's towns are one thing, but the countryside is full of rednecks, so it is not as bland as you might think. I kept saying I was glad she is up there and safe, then she corrected me. Obviously she was raised by wolf.
posted by Oyéah at 8:16 PM on January 13, 2021 [3 favorites]

I live in eastern Washington, close to the panhandle of Idaho, which has never been the most settled of places when it comes to matters of race and whiteness and enclaves and "militias" and such.

I've lived for years with vehicles flying literal Confederate flags in the backs of their trucks, or at least the Gadsden flag. More often it's decals or other decorations.

I mean, I've had a gay pride sticker on the back on my car for decades. I sort of take it as a matter of course that I should be recognized as such when I'm out and about because otherwise I look like just like any other old white dude, and it's easy to think one way about me that isn't true.

I guess that's why they're flying their flags, too. And have for years?

Only now there are a lot more of them, and people in this area are becoming belligerent and aggressive at random times.

My workplace is not public facing and I'm glad I don't work in retail. But I still have to go to work every day, and a few of the outsiders who do come in refuse to wear masks (we bar them at the door and help them without letting them in, which I think they're enjoying in a sort of Downton Abbey sort of way), and they're attitudes are visibly changing over the past week.

So, there's this atmosphere around me, which has been around ever since I moved to this area, but also it's been increasing of late.

I'm... not very pleased with this and my PTSD is not handling it very well. I'm coping for now, but it's a struggle not to just curl into a fetal ball every day all day. Better living through chemistry, but it's really starting to feel like being held together by spit and bailing wire.
posted by hippybear at 9:30 PM on January 13, 2021 [16 favorites]

jacy, apologies if you already know this, but just in case, because it confuses a lot of laypeople, when a chart/history says "rule out x", that means that the diagnosis is (or was) being considered/tested, not that x is definitively ruled out. Hope your dad is okay.
posted by praemunire at 10:55 PM on January 13, 2021 [1 favorite]

It is completely normal to feel crazy if you are paying attention to danger signs and others around you are not.
posted by benzenedream at 12:21 AM on January 14, 2021 [21 favorites]

Reading about interesting times is fascinating. Living through interesting times is very much not.
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 10:05 PM on January 13 [1 favorite +] [!]

I think I've been using how interesting 'this will be' as a self-distancing devise for some time now. I keep jumping forward in my mind to a time when all of this is already a college course or an eight part documentary by Ken Burns.
posted by marimeko at 3:40 AM on January 14, 2021 [10 favorites]

Hi. I have no narrative here. I'm sorry for your very real and present troubles, US-located friends. For my own part, I would like to say:


Fuck this.

Fuck all of this.

Fuck it in the ear.

Fuck it in the braincase.

Fuck it



This is some BULL. SHIT.
posted by prismatic7 at 6:43 AM on January 14, 2021 [6 favorites]

I’ve been getting through the last ten months by imagining what the episode of you’re wrong about would be like.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:43 AM on January 14, 2021 [7 favorites]

An Indonesian colleague and his wife, child, cousin, and mother were all killed in the Sriwijaya crash on Saturday. It is very strange and scary, and it's been interesting watching how quickly the plane crash totally disappeared from conversation. One of the many things I resent about the US over the past few years is how myopic it's made me. I miss the rest of the world.
posted by ChuraChura at 7:35 AM on January 14, 2021 [32 favorites]

I have been having a very bad week at work. It's like one of those tv shows where there is a horrible crisis the hero is dealing with at the beginning, and then it is solved, and then in the last 60 seconds there is a NEW horrible crisis cliffhanger set up for the next episode. That has been the shape of every day. It is some kind of cosmic joke that both the inauguration and the deadline for W-2 adjustments before we have to go to W-2cs is the same day.
posted by phunniemee at 8:36 AM on January 14, 2021 [3 favorites]

We are in civil war, just not officially. It's the perennial war between the weirdos and the people who hate weirdness. And the haters won't rest until the weirdos are all gone.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:38 AM on January 14, 2021 [11 favorites]

You know the bizspeak phrase "bandwidth"? Ex. "I don't have the bandwidth for that."

My bandwidth is like 14.4 k dialup now.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:05 AM on January 14, 2021 [21 favorites]

Just checking in to update you all with the latest, which is I spilled an entire full glass of ice water all over myself and my desk. Everything is damp and I am cold. So cold.
posted by phunniemee at 9:58 AM on January 14, 2021 [12 favorites]

What's the frequency Kenneth?

It's ok to admit that there's very little sense to be had right now.

I just got out of my first zoom group for trauma and almost everyone else seemed to be inert in their bed. I was jealous but really? I can still move. One guy had boots on and privately showed me his baby so I think he and I are on the same page.

Get out there and overshare with strangers. Connect. Covid is real but this other thing is what will destroy us. It is awful that both are happening at the same time but you have to weigh it and risk something.

We are not weirdos. We are trying to have examined lives and it's difficult now but there is no alternative that leads to anything good.

When I got home last night I'd spaced on buying anything at the liquor store and the kids had pulled the tv out of the coat closet and were deep into Fanny and Alexander and I got to see their faces when the magic happened. They are chipper today. I can't do that kind of magic so I deboned a couple ducks (i just corrected that from dicks) and terrined them.

The only person in this house that was not abused as a child is my bio son. He is aware of that and he pushes the girls in a good and thoughtful way and he hangs back and gives them all the credit. He was that way in kindergarten. We've never really discussed that. I was afraid I'd ruin it. It's how he wants to be.

This is worth defending. Please help defend us.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 11:26 AM on January 14, 2021 [19 favorites]

So on top of everything else, now the papers are reporting that 1 in 3 LA County residents has or has had Covid -- and the hospitals are already overflowing. Politics has eclipsed whats going on, and I don't think anyone is ready for what we're going to see here over the next few weeks.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:40 AM on January 14, 2021 [6 favorites]

Not that I think January 20th will magically clear everything up, but nevertheless I am relieved to have been told I can work from home Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday next week.
posted by JanetLand at 1:11 PM on January 14, 2021 [8 favorites]

Can we point out here that “I am not in Rwanda” is pretty racist? Way, way more genocides have happened in the United States than in Rwanda.
posted by XMLicious at 1:19 PM on January 14, 2021 [13 favorites]

Sorry. That one hit me pretty hard.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 1:50 PM on January 14, 2021 [1 favorite]

I broke down at work today. I had to have the one administrator we had in the building step into my classroom so I could go outside and cry. Even being short staffed, he sent me home at lunch and told me not to come back for my afternoon shift.

I'm having SI urges, which I haven't had in nearly 20 years. I told my therapist about them and asked her to write me a letter telling my boss I have to have time off. I'm going to call my shrink tomorrow even though I saw her *yesterday* to let her know things are going to hell in a handbasket.

And now I have to call my boss back because I couldn't deal with her this afternoon along with everything else.

Fuck fuck fuckity fuck.
posted by kathrynm at 4:44 PM on January 14, 2021 [18 favorites]

Take care of yourself, kathrynm. You've got your therapist, obviously, but as Miko pointed out in another thread, there are tons and tons of help lines too, specialized in many ways.
posted by XMLicious at 4:56 PM on January 14, 2021 [7 favorites]

hippybear wrote:

I guess that's why they're flying their flags, too. And have for years?

Only now there are a lot more of them, and people in this area are becoming belligerent and aggressive at random times.

I live in Michigan, in a suburb of Lansing, the capitol. Between Michigan cities, it's all farms and small towns, and I love rural Michigan (I grew up in it), but these expressions of racism in the form of bumper stickers or flags (though flags didn't use to be as common as they are now) or god forgive us lawn jockeys feel scary in a way they didn't before, to me. Just two years ago, I went to the UP with one of my teenagers, and we stayed in a funky hotel that used to be a logging camp barracks, and it was in a "town" that consisted of it, a bar, and a tiny church, and we went over to the bar for dinner one night, and I felt Ok there. I'd been in bars just like it since was a kid in the UP, where everybody shows up for burgers because it's the only place to go. But now I feel outnumbered and scared. Last summer I took my son, who is Black (I'm white) to do dock diving with his dog, at a pool in a person's backyard. Partway through the lesson, her husband got home, in a big black truck with a Don't Tread on Me Flag, and when he got out of the truck he was dressed in that semi-military way some men adopt, with the boots and the fatigue pants, and I was sitting there in my own queer- and anti-racist-bumper-sticker-festooned minivan, and I was legit scared. A few years ago, he'd have had some markers of conservatism, like an NRA sticker on the truck and an army haircut, but I'd have been comfortable getting out of my van and chatting with him about the weather and their flock of chickens and the upcoming deer season, because I grew up around people like that—they were my family. Not anymore. I love my state and I don't feel safe leaving town anymore.

I'm estranged from my birth family, but an old friend messaged me the other day that he'd finally unfriended my brother on Facebook for his extreme toxic pro-Trump views. What a surprise.

Oddly enough, I've had bigger problems that the pandemic and the president this past couple years—we're dealing with an ongoing constant crisis related to our 19-year-old's badly deteriorated mental health. But things have been tough for me this past few weeks. I'm struggling to engage with my family, and with my own interests, and every day I say I'll take a shower, and then every day, I don't. I hope I soon find the energy to do better. I still have two teenagers at home who need me.
posted by Orlop at 10:07 AM on January 15, 2021 [19 favorites]

I should say, too, that it has crossed my mind more than once to remove my queer, trans, peacenik bumper stickers, because of fear of how they identify me. My partner and I talked it over, and observed that this is the time to be visible more than ever. A couple of years ago, I put a pride flag on the door of my van, just under the window, and it's amazing how many young people working drive-throughs or bringing us curbside shopping orders thanks us for it or just tell us they like it. We're not young anymore. But we are here for the young queer trans people 100%.
posted by Orlop at 10:15 AM on January 15, 2021 [18 favorites]

If you have teen readers in the house these are two books that gave perspective round here.

The Hollow Years

The Glory and the Dream

Both books are imo about conflict and failure but these kids are talking about how things should be. Are you afraid to talk to kids about this? Do you think they need to be unaware?

Push, push, struggle.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 12:30 PM on January 15, 2021

With that fucking My Pillow Fascist's meeting notes at the White House, I can feel my anxiety increasing exponentially...

posted by rambling wanderlust at 2:49 PM on January 15, 2021 [6 favorites]

The President of the United States* (limited time offer, please stand by) has Michael Jackson Disease. He always has. This is the disorder where one consistently removes from one's company each and every person who questions the sufferer's judgment, ridicules his/her choices, or simply dares to tell him/her "no" about anything.

This has been Trump's pattern and his time staining the Oval Office has been no exception to that. The people who whispered that they'd be the "stable forces in the room" got moved along, one at a time, to be replaced by more ridiculous caricatures. The lickspittles remained until they failed him somehow, then were either punted aside or allowed to grovel sufficiently to regain some favor.

And now, at the end of all things Trumpian, the most qualified person he can summon to discuss his last-ditch strategy is the Minnesota Pillow Fucker, a Jesus-freak huckster who was once so strung out on drugs that his drug dealer held an intervention for him.

There is some comfort in that, in a strange way. But there is also quite a bit of agita.

Because the Pillow Fucker's advice was simple. "Lie your ass off. Blame Antifa and China and Iran. Declare that it's all an elaborate plot by America's enemies and just seize control because you can, and enough people will believe you."

And they would. Or they would rationalize it as "keeping Trump in office is better for me, personally, no matter WHAT he does than allowing Democrats any authority." Or they would go along with it so as not to, presumably, get shot for heresy.

I have sometimes considered creating trading cards for Congress, rating each member on 1-10 scales in the categories of Stupid, Evil and Cowardly. Louie Gohmert is the gold standard for Stupid, for example, though Marjorie the Q*bert and Tommy Tuberville are strong up-and-comers. Jim Jordan is the flagbearer for Evil, with Ted Cruz at his heels. Lindsey Graham gets 10 out of 10 on the Coward scale, unable to form any principles of his own other than "migrate towards whoever will benefit me most."

But the end result is a populace bombarded with rhetoric from stupid, evil cowards, and many who are subject to that bombardment either choose to buy into it or simply know no other way to live.

Like the guy down the street from my in-laws in central Pennsylvania, who still has a sign out on his lawn with a Photoshopped shotgun-toting Trump on it. "TELL 'EM THAT I'M COMING, AND BRINGING AMERICA WITH ME!" it reads.

Or the big Trump/Pence sign that now has a big red Q spraypainted over it.

Or the conspirators in election fraud who are even now still holding office in the PA state legislature.

Or a family member, who listened patiently to the compiled inanities and lies of Trump and still insisted, "Well, I'm still voting for him! I don't like the other guy."

There is, relatively speaking, no immediate danger in my eyes that Donald J. Trump will fulfill his destiny as seen by the Minnesota Pillow Fucker, by going forth to invoke the Insurrection Act and declare martial law and send [citation needed] to capture and execute all Democrats and media and [then a miracle happens] and become Emperor of America.

But we have devolved as a nation to the point where the President is in the Tyson Zone. That Trump would consult with Mike Fucking Lindell is disturbing... but it is no longer a surprise on the level that it rightfully should be.

We're past that now.

And I am so fucking tired.
posted by delfin at 4:29 PM on January 15, 2021 [10 favorites]

Not their best effort, but: If Commercials were Real Life - MyPillow
posted by clawsoon at 4:57 PM on January 15, 2021 [2 favorites]

I have the next two weeks off. But I'm going out of my fucking mind wondering what the hell I'm going to do with myself. I'll miss my babies, and I'm sure I'm going to have to fight the urge everyday to go in and hug them all.

Ohio has decided not to put childcare workers in with K-12 workers for vaccination. On a positive note, my 81 year old dad is eligible. But they're just doing preregistration right now. Maybe by March he'll get his. I might get mine sometime in 2021 the way it looks right now. Fuck fuck fuck.

Now I'm headed home with my takeout (Pina Fajita -- chicken, beef, seafood, veggies in a half pineapple). There's enough food here to feed me and a coworker for 2 days.
posted by kathrynm at 5:29 PM on January 15, 2021 [6 favorites]

I don't have a lot of things to fear in my daily life. Living in Massachusetts means the nutbags are way outnumbered and have exceedingly little power to influence life here. My fear, though, is that there is no way out but through for all of this, and that we are looking at things getting worse and worse for years, because the racists, fascists, and delusionals are not going anywhere after the 20th, and they DO exert a lot of power in a lot of places. Will there be actual armed insurrection on a widescale level in the next week, probably not. Is shit going to go down in pockets around the country, almost certainly. And it will go on and on. Biden is not going to change all of this. Harris is not going to change all of this. Pelosi is not going to change all of this. It's too deep and too widespread to stop or contain, and everyone in this country will pay the price. And I have no confidence whatsoever that our side will win in the end, In fact, just the opposite.
posted by briank at 6:58 PM on January 15, 2021 [7 favorites]

Unrelated to disease and insurrection, last week I was forced to have a direct talk (online chat really — not my first choice but he started it there) with a new-found friend about my lack of interest in relationships and the impossibility of being friends if he insisted on "waiting" for me. He asked if we should go our own ways and I said yes.

Then, as one does after two people regretfully agree to move on, I did a thorough check of all 14 possible entry points to my house, and afterward went back and checked the two inside the atrium in case he came in over the roof.

After that, because he may have stolen a key while visiting I went ahead and placed knives near all the doors and a few other places so one would always be in easy reach. I also set out some laser pointers because I’d rather blind someone than stab them.

Only after doing all that was I able to calm down enough to recognize how completely inappropriate it was to the current situation. PTSD blows.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 8:11 PM on January 15, 2021 [15 favorites]

I’ve been reeling from and grieving the death penalty executions this week.

Everything hurts. Trauma is resurfacing. Mostly I feel tired that fascism is not something you can squash once and for all. That has been the most sobering thought. Prayer groups and the Poor People’s Campaign have helped me cope but my god, I crave justice and morality in this country.

The U.S. is so bankrupt of it.
posted by ichomp at 10:50 PM on January 15, 2021 [7 favorites]

Although the Conservative party in Canada is nowhere as extreme as the current iteration of the Republican party, there leader is a white guy who thinks that comparing him to Trump is unfair, and yet has the slogan "Let's take back Canada, together" on his campaign page. He's also running on getting tough on crime. He will likely be our next Prime Minister too as Trudeau has had several scandals. Fuck.
posted by biggreenplant at 10:57 AM on January 16, 2021 [2 favorites]

I don't have to have any bumper stickers to incite, I drive a VW van. Anyway, prepare to go to peace, put your head there. That is what it is going to take.
posted by Oyéah at 4:09 PM on January 16, 2021 [1 favorite]

Just to prove that we don't live in the most completely shitty timeline - imagine if it wasn't Covid-19 but Covid-20 and we were just getting reports NOW out of China.

Incandescent rage that it took THIS much death and destruction to get rid of Twitler - but at Sunday Mass, halfway around the world today, our prayers included prayers for a peaceful transition and you have four years ahead where a good man will be pulling together the best people he can to look after you.

God knows, he is rebuilding what has been pulled down, but at least the destruction will not continue.
posted by Barbara Spitzer at 6:49 PM on January 16, 2021 [5 favorites]

I posted this in the main thread, too, but if you're avoiding it for stress reasons you might find this heartening:

National Guardsmen having their picture taken with Rosa Park's statue in the Capitol Rotunda
posted by clawsoon at 7:18 PM on January 16, 2021 [13 favorites]

and Amanda Gorman is going to read her poem at the inauguration


a POET is going to be at the ceremony

"The Hill We Climb"

you are not alone
posted by Barbara Spitzer at 8:03 PM on January 16, 2021 [6 favorites]

(for what it's worth it's not that unusual to have poets at the US presidential inauguration. Kennedy, Clinton, and Obama also had them if I recall correctly. Not universal to be sure but not that wild.)
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 10:24 AM on January 17, 2021 [2 favorites]

They're the only three, however. But Clinton had Maya Angelou, and Kennedy had Robert Frost... So that's pretty amazing.
posted by hippybear at 12:03 PM on January 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

I was there to hear Maya Angelou! My sister had worked for the campaign and got us passes, though we were not very close.
posted by tavella at 3:09 PM on January 17, 2021 [3 favorites]

Agreed that Amanda Gorman is not creating a precedent - but isn't that nice for a change?

Could one also posit that a poet would have been a most unlikely participant in the past four years?
posted by Barbara Spitzer at 3:43 PM on January 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

Toby Keith was the Trump poet.
posted by benzenedream at 4:10 PM on January 17, 2021

Well, really it was Oscar Brown, but not in a nice way.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:13 PM on January 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

She was one of the insurrectionists. Go here please: https://theintercept.com/2021/01/14/capitol-riot-covid-vaccine-doctor/

Wow. I just spent the last hour listening to her lecture. Thanks for showing me that... I sent it to the guy that sent me the lecture

Is that viral on fakebook? Motherfuckers.

Pardon my Esperanto.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 7:49 PM on January 17, 2021

There have been a bunch of posts on fb and twitter about removing Biden stickers from your car, and signs from your home and, Nope. Mind you, my area is partly Blue, but I refuse to let them make me that scared. So I got my Biden-Harris lawn sign back out, put it on the deck railing, with lights. My Racial Justice Is Essential sign is too beat up, but I'll try to get a new one made. I trust Mainers to not be vigilante assholes, mostly.

I'm terrified that Biden and/or Harris will be assassinated. Or Obama or any other Dem/lefty leader. I grew up with the assassinations of JFK, RFK, MLK, and the riots, and it was Not Okay. I'm scared that this powerful, well-armed nation will keep moving to the Right, keep channeling money to the already-wealthiest, keep moving towards fascism & oligarchy. I'm scared that 9 months of isolation will be wasted if I get groceries or buy gas, and I'll get Covid, now so much more active in my area.

I feel so much for you all who are having such a hard time. Anticipating the Inauguration is helping me So Much. Hearing Biden's plans is helping. Think about VP Kamala Harris is helping.
posted by theora55 at 8:31 AM on January 18, 2021 [5 favorites]

I'm scared because I don't know how scared to be. Unknown unknowns I guess.

Driving through a rural-ish part of PA festering with Dumpster signs yesterday, thinking about how it would go if Proud Boys manage to derail the inauguration and/or re-install the Dumpster. Would most of these people be ok with it? Celebrate it? Is it limited to the Dumpster, would they also go along with installing, say, Ted Cruz? Close to half of this country actually wants to be ruled by a narcissistic, incurious madman who couldn't care the least for those very people. They want this land of pandemic and violence.

What happens if there's a coup? Do we all just stay home and wait to be told who our overlords are?

I'm guessing the violence we've seen is only one in a string of events. Things might get worse before they get better, if they do get better. I said when Dumpster was elected, it might be a lifetime before we get back to where we were under Obama. It's only a matter of time until the armed extremists start shooting.

Maybe it'll look different from next week.
posted by Dashy at 12:41 PM on January 18, 2021 [2 favorites]

Look up people's voting history and if they voted in Republican primaries ask them if John McCain would have behaved this way. They got nuthin when you say that. Nothing at all. Be gracious.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 1:32 PM on January 18, 2021

Whatever scares you, do not be afraid to get the covid vaccine if it becomes available to you. If you are over 65 or over, in some places, 70 or over, in others it is there for you. I got mine today, only the faintest itch where the shot was, dont with electrifying the arm with the bluetooth mouse, it is causing some sort of migration anyway. Get it.
posted by Oyéah at 5:54 PM on January 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

About 13 hours left til Biden Begins. Hopefully Biden Begins will be a better Nolan film than Tenent
posted by interogative mood at 7:44 PM on January 19, 2021

So my best friend just got diagnosed with Covid. I'm hoping she ends up having a mild case. This really sucks.
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 12:25 AM on January 29, 2021 [3 favorites]

So my best friend just got diagnosed with Covid. I'm hoping she ends up having a mild case. This really sucks.

It really does. Here's hoping everything works out for your friend.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:35 AM on January 29, 2021 [1 favorite]

I'm having a real hard time not spending all day every day being angry about the fact that — alleged — criminal seditionist and dangerously unhinged individual M******* T***** G***** is my fucking member of Congress and she ran unopposed and I don't think there is any way to avoid these hillbilly fucks that I live with yee-hawing this motherfucker until the blood and fire sate their disgusting urges.
posted by ob1quixote at 10:06 AM on January 30, 2021 [4 favorites]

Fuck, I need this stimulus money. I'm still unemployed, and it's been nearly a year. I'm panicking because UI ends in NY State on May 31st. If I can't find a job by then, I'm screwed.

I'm 51, so I'm concerned that I won't find anything by then. I'm terrified about how I'm going to handle my taxes. I couldn't afford to have them taken out because I live in NYC, and NY's UI benefit might be workable for upstate, but in NYC, it's just too little to cover expenses and have tax taken out.


But because I made just over 50K last year (the company where I worked created media for nonprofits), I get nothing.

It wouldn't have been miracle-working money, but it would've been breathing room for a couple of weeks. At least I have no debts.

posted by droplet at 1:07 PM on February 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

But because I made just over 50K last year

The stimulus is based on your AGI, not your gross. If you grossed just over 50K then your AGI is probably much lower, probably by $10-20K (you can check your 2019 1040 to see the exact number). So in that case, you should be receiving the full stimulus.

Also, it is much more likely that there will be a phase-out after $50K rather than a binary yes/no to receiving the stimulus. If your AGI is $50K~ then you might be getting $1,300 rather than $1,400, but it's very unlikely that you'll get nothing.

Another thing is that even if you can't afford to pay your taxes on time, definitely file on time. If you file on time but don't pay, the penalty is 0.5% per mo, but if you don't file AND don't pay, the penalty is 5% per month.
posted by rue72 at 1:53 PM on February 5, 2021 [2 favorites]

Anyhow, I hope that's a bit reassuring, droplet. I'm sorry you're under so much financial pressure. It's unfair and cruel and I wish the government would give us our fucking money already.
posted by rue72 at 1:55 PM on February 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

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