I’m going to start this out in a way I’ve never felt I had to start anything out online: this is just me, talking. Not for any of the schools I teach at, any organizations I’m in. Just me, on my personal site. Check the URL up there: it’s my name, one of my book titles. There’s no corporate or university brands or endorsements or intended associations or anything here. Just me and me alone. Why I’m doing that? Because I’m not sure what country I live in anymore. In a climate of fascism, the elite guards, they can come disappear you. Sometimes physically, sometimes professionally. And, I mean, my people, we’ve got a bad history with being scooped up, having our hair cut, our tongues cut out, our lands taken away.
We’re still here.
Anyway, I guess I should be pasting up images of Trump from They Live, from Back to the Future II, all that, or all those dummied-up images of him in Nazi gear, but I just don’t have the heart, really. Or, I don’t have the . . . I don’t know what to call it, exactly: I don’t feel like it’s going to make me smile. Not anymore.
For a long time, Philip K. Dick’s been my bar-none favorite writer of all time. Not for his prose stylings—there’s none—and not solely for his paranoia, his nested narratives, his bootstrap-imagination that comes up with whatever’s needed for this scene. No, it’s his sincerity. Every line I read from him, I feel like he’s, right here, right now, trying to stay alive. That he’s trying to figure everything out. That he’s putting it all on the line here, and also here. I really respect that. And I’ve always suspected that what drove him more than anything, in the later years anyway, it was a sense of betrayal over Nixon. This cut PKD so, so deep. I was always a bit jealous of that, too. A sick impulse, I know. I always thought, well, that was then, Nixon lit a fire under a whole generation, he catalyzed them all. But I never once suspected that, in my lifetime, I would ever feel that deep a betrayal.
Tuesday proved me wrong.
I am scared. I’m scared for people who have some color to their skin. I’m scared for women—for my wife, my daughter. I’m scared for boys growing up with a sexual predator in the highest office, and what that tells them is acceptable. I’m scared for the protestors at Standing Rock. I’m scared for how long it might take the country to undo what’s coming. And I’m scared that we voted for all this, somehow.
I don’t claim not to be part of the problem, either. Online and in the circles I move, Trump was such a joke that he was almost beneath fighting against. Like, that would legitimize him. But, too, man, a few weeks ago I was driving across Montana with friends, and we chanced upon this guy out on the road:
It was hilarious. Seriously, it gave us fuel not just for the rest of the drive, but for a few days. But, it turns out, there were a lot more of those trucks on the road than any of us figured on. Everybody’s right, too: it’s all about resisting, now. It’s all about protecting people who are going to need protection. This smart dude says it so much better:
No jokes tonight. Do not laugh and look away. Watch this, stay here. Burn this into memory. Wake up tomorrow: the fight will await you.
— Near deGrasse Tyson (@DrNeilTyson) November 9, 2016
But it takes a comedian to cut right to the heart of it:
What I’ve learned so far tonight: America is WAAAAAAAAY more sexist than it is racist. And it’s pretty fucking racist. #ElectionNight
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) November 9, 2016
Anyway, like a lot of you, I’ve spent the last forty-eight hours just poring through articles, sifting all the posts, trying to . . . not so much figure out what happened, I guess, as get a glimpse on why it happened. My suspicion? I think fear of having guns taken away might have been a big part of it. But there are so, so many parts. Below’s the best of what I’ve found. Of course though we can’t just retreat to analyses and Monday-morning-quarterbacking. We’ve got to use our voices. I think, probably because I’m a writer, that we’ve got to do good art. When art’s working as it should, it resists tyranny. It makes the world better.
Let’s make the world better.
Anyway, I haven’t written word one in my current novel since Monday. After three days where I did sixty pages total. But, now, I’m going to alt-tab over, and get back to work. If what happened Tuesday shuts us up, leaves us paralyzed, then we really did lose.
hollywood/2016/11/aaron- sorkin-donald-trump-president- letter-daughter
commentisfree/2016/nov/09/ donald-trump-white-house- hillary-clinton-liberals?
501451368/here-is-what-donald- trump-wants-to-do-in-his- first-100-days?
- Day One: https://twitter.com/i/moments/796417517157830656
- But, ACLU: https://www.aclu.org/blog/speak-freely/if-donald-trump-implements-his-proposed-policies-well-see-him-court