Yesterday I posted a tone deaf rant, which I later deleted out of embarrassment, in a knee-jerk defense of a certain group of people because, well, let’s be honest. My Southern White Man fee-fees were hurt. I’m over it now, but I felt that it was worth addressing again today.
While I still believe that the vast majority of your fellow Americans are good folk trying to make it in a tough world, I also realize that the very moment of your shock, anger and dismay is not the time to launch into a defense of some of the people who put you there.
You can love your family and they can make terrible mistakes. You don’t have to defend the former or the latter, and I won’t.
I don’t hang out with Reddit sociopaths or Sons of the Confederacy, but yes, you are correct. Even grandmothers have some questions to answer. Even the knitting group, if they made your life potentially Hell on Earth. They do. I hope that, in the future, we can all sit down and talk about this, but now is not the time. Be afraid, be very afraid. It is warranted.
I spent the election season trying to write about other things. Initially, I tried touching it from an angle when I had to with a short story about an arcade, but even that felt weird, so I went back to my regular silliness.
A couple of weeks ago I guess it got to be too much to stand, so I started in on the Bob Talbot 2016: FULL COMMUNISM, BABY, thing. I had a great time doing it and I really felt like I was about to experience more of the same, a Clinton presidency, and I felt very comfortable ranting about the threats of incrementalism because that’s what we’d definitely be facing.
Everyone else thought that too. Trey Parker and Matt Stone had to throw out an entire episode of South Park because it was based on Clinton winning. Newsweek had to send out a massive recall for a print run of their new cover story, “Madam President.”
I’m not sure what we’re facing now but I want you to know this: I am on your side. I want to cover this thing from the ground, here, in Arkansas, and show you the real life effects of what has happened. I want to give you stories, not rants about bullshit I know nothing about, and I know I can do this, but it’s going to take some time.
I’ve been searching for stories but so far, to me, this is a sleepy, quiet little town. That will likely change. I am still off work with my newborn son and I return to the store this coming Monday. I’ve been sheltered in this cave with only the Internet to guide me and, as you all know, that is a terrible idea.
I am not sure what the path forward means to me as someone who enjoys writing. I am going to stop telling people how to feel or what to do and either start being funny again or begin to present stories of what is really happening in this community. Either way, I am not going to spend time ranting defending the very people who led us down this dark path. I realize that I am at my best when I present life as I see it, without a lot of conclusions since we all know there really aren’t any. That is my mission.
I have spent the last few days locked to my computer and phone to the point of illness. Until I have something worth writing about, I really need to limit my time online. I gain nothing by gazing hard into Facebook looking for answers when there are not any, and I know from experience my best results come when I go out and live life and report on it. This is my plan going forward.
In closing, I am sorry, people. I don’t want to add to your hurt and misery. I’m not even going to say, “We’ll get through this,” because we may not. Or I may and you may not, and that really is the point, isn’t it? I recognize my privilege in this situation and it’s not my place to tell you how to react.
I am so, so sorry.
Until then, I’ll be here, watching, thinking, and maybe coming up with an original angle on this whole mess we call life. I’ll spare the Earth my fifth-grade-reading-level rants.