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Saturday, January 21, 2017

"When You're Rich, They Think You Really Know..."

It's a political rant. With F-bombs. And actual mentions of religion (not generally in the same breath). Cope with it or don't read it.

Most of my liberal friends who are posting their protest playlists are referencing artists like Green Day, or Bruce Springsteen, or Alanis Morissette. My theater folk are using music from Hamilton (for obvious reasons if you haven't been living under a rock), or maybe Evita.

I went with something a whole lot older on the Broadway scene, because that title up there seems to sum up this whole big mess for me. Now, Fiddler on the Roof has its own set of issues, but that's not what I'm talking about.

What I'm talking about is the serious levels of cognitive dissonance I'm experiencing here the past few days. It's doing some bad things to my head/emotions, which is why my protesting will - at least for the time being - be limited to online; I haven't the emotional energy to cope with people and this political sideshow.

So here's the thing: I have friends all over the political spectrum. I have friends and family around the world. I have a Bachelor of Science in Intercultural Communication. My personal quote that I use all over the Internet is "I know there are people out there who do not love their fellow human beings... and I hate people like that!" (Tom Lehrer, 1958). Basically, I like people, and I do not grok folks who only want to keep to their own tribe (or turn the rest of us into their tribe... like, say, the Romans did all over Europe back in the day. Or the various European settlers to the indigenous peoples of their respective lands).

The guy now allegedly in charge doesn't seem to give two shits about anyone.

The "America First" shtick strikes me as scary as hell; it's insular, exclusive, and mean-spirited. What happened to "Give me your poor..."? (or maybe we don't like the French anymore). I'm all for taking care of me and mine first too (hence the online protest/support for protesters), but that doesn't mean you can't be decent to other people. All the Abrahamic religions (yes, including Islam) have basic decency at their core, and yet the supposed Christians in Congress and now in the White House have fucked that up good and proper.

All these allegedly Christian government folks breaking the Golden Rule (love thy neighbor... because other countries outside these secular borders? They're our neighbors). Breaking Commandments left and right (at least three of them all the time: adultery (about half of them, though not the Obamas or the Bidens), theft (anyone who uses their government position unfairly, hello oil and banking... and apparently education. Grizzly bears, for the love of God...), and bearing false witness (for fuck's sake, birthers, get over yourselves), and expecting us not to notice?

Or not caring if we do.

And clearly about half of us (less three million or so) didn't notice. Or didn't care. Or are so squicked by the thought of gay marriage or legalized marijuana or decent gun licensing or health care for all or abortions being legal even though legality actually reduces them... that they just went with the loudest voice.

And you guys, my friends who are actual conservatives, with actual conservative beliefs, like small government and staying-the-hell-out-of-people's-bedrooms? I'm not talking to you; don't bother with the "but not all..." or "I never..." This is not about you. I don't get you, I don't grok how you can be people I love and trust and respect, and still support the showman now in office (not to mention the congresspeople with their constant get-over-it-it's-time-to-work-together patter. Like they ever even tried to work with Obama; they actually said they would not. It's recorded).

I love you, I respect you; I don't understand you.

I respect protesters (the ones who are peaceful in these early days until and unless it becomes necessary to be otherwise, says the woman whose paternal family is all Austrian Jews).

I respect the police who appreciate the peaceful protests, regardless of their own affiliation.

I respect the lawmakers who chose to stay away from the inauguration and I respect those who attended even though they really didn't want to.

I respect the people scolding the nasties who speculate about poor Barron on social media.

I respect people who wear pussy hats and safety pins. We all help in our own ways.

I respect my friends and neighbors from other countries and cultures.

I support those refusing to use the President's name online, so as not to help him trend (although I prefer the ones who don't make fun of his face and form in the process; don't call him Tiny Hands or the Cheeto Nazi anymore, k? You have my permission to use "Asshat in Chief".)

So I will do my protesting from my keyboard for now.

And I can only hope that the other quote from Fiddler also holds true, the one where the men of the village ask the Rabbi if he can come up with a blessing for the Tsar.

"May God bless and keep the Tsar... far away from us."