Doing my best not to look away and disconnect, but also to not lose myself to the hopelessness. Not really always succeeding.
This year, the devastation is hitting much harder, much closer home. It’s getting harder to look away in the name of self-preservation. And yet, that is exactly what I seem to need many days — a balance between knowing what’s happening such that I am not ensconsed in a bubble of privilege, but also not getting totally caught and dragged in the undertow of it all. Just being in contact and witnessing has felt important, but difficult at this time.
The thing I am finding most hard to do in this moment: separate my anger towards this current regime, that has quite honestly been building since 2014, and everything that they are doing to further worsen the situation on hand — the denial, the complete lack of empathy, the extremely twisted priorities, the pure evil in no longer even pretending to care — from the actual brokenness of the system. I think the system was always broken, and us rich folk were always protected by the brokenness that favours those who can afford care. It took a virus that doesn’t distinguish between the haves and the havenots to bring us all down to the same level, making essentials like life-giving air a scarce commodity, and suddenly our brains are broken from trying to comprehend how and why we got here.
We didn’t get here. We were always here, we just didn’t face it in the purely devastating way that each one of us is at the moment. This time around the virus has come so close to every one of us, that there is no acerting out attention. There is no opportunity to create a safe bubble just because it feels too much. This is business as usual, even pre-pamdemic for more than 70% of this country. But it did take about 7 years of being under a government with a brazen and continuous focus on everything other than governance to bring this to the fore.
What is hurting and boiling my blood on a daily basis, even now, is that this government still doesn’t want to act in any other way except ways that fuel their megalomania. I try and separate my anger about this with the other feelings I’m feeling at the widespread calamity, but some days I feel like this is an important step too. To call out the BS, to articulate where I stand and what values of mine are different. This feels like that stage in an abusive relationship where you move past the guessing and approximating at the abuse, gain so much startling clarity about the abuse, and calling it out is empowering. It feels scary and unsettling because the obvious question is, “If not this, then who/what next?”
I know the options are grim, and close to none. There is no opposition to speak of. For seven+ years they’ve been given opportunity after opportunity on a platter to rise up, mobilize, do something to get a leg up.
And so now, I’m at the point where I’m willing to take anyone that doesn’t have this much blood on their hands. Literally anyone, even incompetent, without this demonstrable and proven trackrecord of genocide. And maybe we begin with calling out the BS, demanding some accountability in an atmosphere where there is none, and realising that in this situation, literally any other option is better.
Maybe then we’ll chose better next time.