Tag Archives: politics

Blue Lantern

Sitting down to write this particular post has proven difficult for me. I think there is a possibility that I may anger some folks and lose a few readers after this, though I’d prefer if that isn’t the case. But I’ve also made a promise that I would do my best to be open on this platform. So let’s do this.

Lots of things have been happening in this country since the election. I think I echo the sentiment of many when I say the 2016 Presidential Election was a nightmare process. For many people, the nightmare is continuing. Donald Trump hasn’t even been president-elect for a month and things aren’t looking good. Hate crime is increasing (some fake instances, but mostly not) and that is wrong. Violence has occurred from some of his more fanatical supporters and detractors. The latter only seems to be helping orange narcissist. He has stated he hopes to be a president for all Americans, but this seems to be another lie from one of the country’s biggest cyber bullies. He’s looking at Washington insiders (the people he claimed to be against) for cabinet positions. He campaigned on a platform of fascism, racism, misogyny, and fear. Trump offered snake oil to people who are financially hurting and they bought it. Now he’s planning to put known white supremacist Stephen Bannon into a key power role. Another guy on his team has called the Japanese internment camps a precedent for how they should treat Muslims. Then you have the nightmare that is Mike Pence and his belief that gay people should be jailed for wanting to get married. The damn KKK is glad Trump won!

I now have a huge number of people in my life who are upset and terrified. I know barely any people who voted for Trump, with those that did claiming it was because of economics or a belief that Hillary Clinton is a criminal. They fact that this other stuff wasn’t a deal-breaker for them is disappointing. Most of the people in my life either voted Clinton or went the third-party route. The point is there are a lot of very scared people, wondering if they will be attacked for just being themselves. I’m scared, though not for myself. I’m a straight white guy. But I’m worried about my wife and daughters. I’m worried about the other women of my family and many of my friends. But worrying isn’t the only thing I’ve been doing. I’ve been thinking about the people who aren’t worried because the things the Trump campaign promised didn’t threaten them. I’m thinking about the people on both sides who are taking the attitude of just giving up and moving on. The election is over and we can’t do anything for the next four years.

I don’t agree with that. So I’ve decided I am embracing the Blue Lantern Corps. This will be a symbol and attitude for me going forth.

There are probably some of you who have no idea what I’m getting at. Permit me to get my geek on and briefly delve into comic books. If you need more detail, get thee to a search engine! The Blue Lanterns are from the DC multiverse and are allies of the more famous Green Lanterns. There are multiple Lanterns, most emerging just before or within the “Blackest Night” crossover story. Each gains power from a specific emotion tied to the color spectrum. Green Lanterns have willpower. Sinestro’s Yellow Lanterns have fear, and so forth. For Blue Lanterns, their power comes from hope.

Hope. One of the most powerful, yet easy to forget, forces in existence. I have forgotten about it myself. Being prone to depression, it’s any easy thing to do. Then one of my Twitter friends made mention of the Blue Lanterns in a tweet. It was a slap to the back of my head that I desperately needed. So I am going to embody that symbol as best I can. I need to be hope.

What exactly does this entail for me? It means doing what I can to show everyone who is scared that I’m still with them. It means I’m donating whatever money or time I realistically can. I’m signing the petitions against the hate-monger appointees. It means making the phone calls to senators and representatives. It means wearing the Safety Pin and doing my best to be an ally. We are quickly seeing that this is an administration that will not unify people. Those that think it will are choosing to remain ignorant. And in case I haven’t been clear, this doesn’t have anything to do with who didn’t win the election. I have yet to see a candidate who I didn’t have doubts about in any election I’ve voted in, and that includes the often deified Bernie Sanders. Donald Trump is the first person I’ve been absolutely adamant against. Frankly, I could have lived with most of the other options. But I am hoping that those who did vote for Trump are realizing it was a mistake. I’m hopeful that most of those people will not stand by and ignore the harassment or the hate crimes. I hope, like me, they plan to call it out and hold those embracing the white nationalist poison accountable for it. We are in for a very long four years. This is not the time to pretend we can do nothing or blame everyone who isn’t ourselves.

The first Blue Lantern is an alien called Saint Walker, who repeats the phrase “all will be well” as a mantra. If we do what we can to protect each other, all WILL be well. But the effort must be made.Doing nothing is only going to guarantee our problems will get worse.

It occurs to me that in the Lantern breakdown, orange is the color connected to avarice. Has Trump has actually been Agent Orange this whole time? Are the lines between fiction and reality blurring that much? Talk about scary!

Enough now. I’ve made my mind known. Time to focus. Stand against the hate. Speak against the fear. Be a safe space. People need you.

All will be well.

 

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What We Are: or, this is when I lose readers

If you know me on any kind of personal level, you know I hate talking about politics. I have a few reasons. I think that most of us have a tough time doing it without getting defensive. Mainly, it’s because I’ve become far too cynical where this kind of thing is concerned. We seem to get little done and the whole system is such a mess. No matter what people say, the ones who actually have any pull don’t seem to listen.

But over the last few weeks, particularly the last few days, I’ve gotten to the point where if I don’t say something I will make myself sick. And while I try to keep my sense of humor when I write, I just don’t feel like laughing at the moment.

I will never be one of those people who shouts their patriotism for all to hear. I’ve had moments when I’ve felt proud of my country and its people, and moments where I’m disappointed. But regardless of if I have pride or not, this is my home. I see it as something that just is, much like parts of my body just are. Whether I’m proud of my right arm or not, it is my right arm. I see no reason to change that. Still, I have to ask some questions.

When did we become so scared? When did we become so greedy?

I just find myself becoming confused these days. I understand being afraid. There are a lot of things that keep me up at night. I also understand wanting money. Not having it causes an insane amount of stress. But I thought that the point was to acknowledge these things and not let them run your life. Yet every time I go on Facebook or turn on the TV or read a news article, the opposite seems to be true. Is it baseless? No. There are scary things going on in the world. The economy, while a little better than it was, is still a mess. Now, do I think this excuses the behavior I’m seeing? Again, and emphatically, no!

What happened? Yes, I know that 9/11 happened. I know war has happened. I know people have been elected and blamed and defended and all that other stuff. Recently, I know that people in this country have been assaulted and shot and killed. I know that other places like Beirut and Paris have been victims of disgusting terrorist attacks. But rather than becoming stronger, we just seem to fall apart more each year. We could be trying to be better, which I understand is really hard to do. Trust me, I’m stubborn. I get how hard it can be to change anything! That’s why I try to make little changes, one at a time. But at least I’m trying. I’m sure a lot of people are trying just as hard, if not harder. But as a whole, I’ve been having a rough time with what we appear to have become. And what is that? What are we now?

What we are is a contradictory, confused mess. I see people who are terrified of refugees and want stricter background checks or to just make them go away. But suggest stronger checks for people buying guns and you hate freedom. You are trying to take their rights away. We lose our minds when people do crazy shit in the name of one religion, but turn away when it gets done in the name of another. People are throwing around hashtags and phrases like “pro-life” and “All Lives Matter” but couldn’t be bothered to do anything for the homeless, some of which are veterans. And yes, I can despise war and fighting and still support veterans. If you get to be complicated, so do I.

What we are is a society in which we demand people pay for what they want, which is fine. Not everything can be free. But not let them earn enough money to do so because some jobs are “more important than others” is ridiculous. We tell kids to get an education, then try to make it impossible to do so. And if they do, we only hire them for jobs they didn’t need an education to perform. And then we don’t have to pay them more because, again, some jobs are apparently more important than others. Besides, education can lead to science and that seems to be a bad thing now. Seriously, when did science and learning and just THINKING become bad?

What we are is a country where the type of person you are matters less than your gender, your religion, your income, your love life, your damn skin color. We are a society with a political system that has basically made the office of President pointless, because the rest of the government just wants to argue and BE right instead of DO right. We have politicians and people running for office who think that internment camps and making people wear religion-based ID is a good idea! And we still have individuals out there who think the so-called American Dream exists? I’m sorry, but the only “American Dream” that I’ve ever been aware of was a wrestler named Dusty Rhodes and he’s no longer with us.

I’m not looking to pick a fight. I’m just tired. And I make a lot of mistakes. But we have to do better and it won’t happen if we stay the way we are. But I don’t know what the answer is. I look at my daughters and as much as I love them, I get sad. I feel like they are doomed to live in a society that will always look down on them for something. Maybe their bodies, or their personalities, or their passions. I have to keep telling myself that there is still a lot of good in this world, but it gets harder the uglier I see people become. We don’t want to help each other anymore. I sometimes wonder if we ever really did.

This won’t break me. I will keep going. I just had to let it out. I don’t know what the answer is. I just know I have enough stomach issues without letting all this stuff turn into an ulcer. So I guess stop following me if I offend you. Stop talking to me if I disgust you. I won’t take it personally. I’m just done. If you stick around I’ll try to make the next post more fun. But right now I need a ginger ale.