Coming Up For Air In the World of Trump

Trying to deal with the endless barrage of news, rage and rage-filled news

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I don’t know how to keep track of everything.

I put my daughter to sleep last night and by the time I was done and took a glance at my phone the Acting Attorney General had ordered her people to ignore Trump’s Muslim Ban, a little girl had finally bought Corduroy and it was revealed that Trump’s source for his voter fraud gripes was ironically enough, registered to vote in three states – because of course he is.

A few commercial breaks into The Bachelor and the Acting Attorney General was fired.

There are protests happening every day, pick a topic and you can find the one that best suits you, and Trump is signing Executive Orders with the same level of speed and attention to detail my daughter exhibits when coloring. With some of these Orders, he appears to be reading them for the first time moments before signing them. It’s like when Trump would be forced to read off a teleprompter during the campaign and he was real-time commenting on the speech. There are cracks in the foundation of our country and…cracks, no good people, bad stuff there…and those cracks are threatening to undermine what makes America great…gonna make America great again, we are, gonna happen people.

Amidst all of this, and despite my best efforts to stay informed, is the reality that I want to think about other stuff too. I really do. It’s not because I want to turn a blind eye towards the disgusting hate-filled slobber spewing out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but because I almost need to think about something else to effectively process everything.

Social media has become an avalanche of turmoil. You can spend only a few choice minutes scrolling through a timeline or news feed and the amount of links to click, articles to read are overwhelming. There’s hot takes, cold takes, hot takes on the hot takes, funny takes, sarcastic takes, blunt and honest takes and luke warm takes. There’s not only too much news, but too much news covering the news. When this dust-up with the former Acting Attorney General happened, I was at a loss to find clear and concise reporting on what exactly had just happened. Twitter is great for reactions, but sometimes you just want the facts. Facts aren’t just fungible these days, they’re kind of hard to find. You have to dig, have to really look. Ah, but the looking is where the bombardment happens.

That bombardment is what I need a break from. I want to read about the Super Bowl, I want help deciding whether or not I should continue watching The Young Pope. Yet even if I find one of those things, the pull of Trump is hard to resist. Super Bowl stories mention Trump, The Young Pope can remind you of Trump. The world we’re living in has become like the pool in Passengers, there’s no escape.

How can we come up for air if up doesn’t exist? Well, we need to create an “up.” This should be easy to do, but it’s getting harder and harder to do each day. If all we know is down, down becomes almost acceptable. The down can’t become acceptable. We’re better than that. Ideally.

I don’t want to minimize the danger Trump poses or take away from the damage he is doing to our country. I don’t want to make my problems your problems unless my problem is with Corinne on The Bachelor – then I want us all to feel that pain. If you want to spend every waking hour of the day consumed by the news and the commentary and the takes, that’s your trip, man. I don’t want to take you away from that. I want to take me away from that. There is still a life to be led, still happiness to be had. It’s too easy to get consumed and wrapped up in the terrible and for that wretchedness to overwhelm and consume you. That’s not good, man. It’s not healthy.

Yes, you could counter that Trump and his goons want you to look away. Looking away will make it easier for them. I’m not advocating you look away by any means. Those bastards will rob us blind if we do. Hell, they are trying to do it with all of us looking directly at them. But we should be able to multi-task our way through this. We can maintain our outrage, our disgust and our anger, but we can also take a pause and gush over something like The Good Place. I personally don’t think staring endlessly at a Twitter feed is healthy and I’m making a point of stopping myself from doing so. I’d encourage you to do the same, but I also understand if you don’t want to. You do you.

But we can’t live like this, can we? Can we function with our eyes glued to our devices, watching the systematic destruction of our democracy happen? It’s just not healthy. That pit in our stomachs will only continue to grow, fester and stir. At this point I don’t how it’s possible to get more upset at the Trump Administration. They routinely spit in our faces. How has it only been less than two weeks since the Inauguration? Good God it feels like it’s been at least a year, if not more. It’s suffocating. It’s nauseating. It feels like it’s never going to end.

It will, though.

Until then, I just think it might be best to turn away occasionally.

Just for a second.

Don’t worry. The outrage will still be there.

 

  1. Sorry for the late response, I just saw your post today. Thanks for the friendly reminder not to lose sight of the good things in our lives. WordPress is the closest thing I have to social media in my life because of the reactionary tone of Facebook and Twitter, and I still get a bit of a trolling here.
    Sure, there’s a bit of outrage. BLM and the police both make me mad. So does John Oliver, as well as the Nazis who give decent southern people a bad name and make Oliver look like he has a point.
    For all that, as well as other things that crowd my mind with negativity, my life is really good. I try to stay focused on my life now and the fact that, in less than a tick of geologic time, all of this will end and become meaningless, so I should be sure to have as much happiness as I can. I hope you do too.

    Reply

    1. Sounds good. Take care!

      Reply

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