New world order vignettes

December 5, 2016

new-worldVignette #1

I  haven’t watched or read most news since a few months before the election and now it’s even more viscerally painful. So right now it’s either the holiday music channel or the weather channel. I’ve never been as up to the minute on weather across the nation as I am these days.  Oh, the DVR is also getting a workout with Hallmark Holiday Movies and so is Netflix.  It’s news that I can’t watch.

We’ve cancelled our subscription to the meagre daily newspaper here and we now get the New York Times on weekends. I carefully scan to avoid reading the political news, which means that I page through the meaty front section rather rapidly and focus on Arts and Entertainment. This is especially ironic since I majored in journalism and do some reporting, still, on a freelance basis. These days, there’s political news in practically every section. It’s hard to avoid and it upsets me so much.

“I don’t know how I’m going to spend four entire years without news,” I said to M.

“Honey,” he said, “we’ve got a president elected by people who have gone their whole lives without news.”

He paused a beat.

“Ignorance is bliss,” he concluded.

“Right,” I said. “It’s no longer find your bliss. It’s ignorance is bliss,

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Vignette #2

“Sessions has said “good people don’t smoke marijuana,” my husband said, in an unmistakably incredulous tone.

“Stop it!” I admonished. “How can I avoid the news if you’re telling it to me?”

It didn’t pass unnoticed that the medical marijuana dispensaries in my area seemed to be doing a booming business on the Saturday after the election: post-election stress syndrome, I’m sure.

California has passed a recreational use law that begins January 2018.  That horrible man who lost the popular vote has said he’s a states’ rightist and ok with medical marijuana, so don’t know what Sessions is talking about. But then, that horrible man has said a lot of things that aren’t true.

And his fascists are losing no time pushing their agenda.

new-worldVignette #3

In a time when so much that’s said lacks credibility, one thing always stands out as ridiculously not true: the idea that there is hate-filled activity on both sides of the political spectrum. It’s a false comparison. The hateful, vulgar and vile acting out that’s done is primarily–and that is VASTLY primarily–done by right wing xenophobes who scream insults to strangers and even threaten them for their ethnicity or political beliefs. This behavior is just not a hallmark of the progressive agenda. To claim there is equivalent behavior on both sides is 1) completely false; 2) a weak intellectual argument and 3) is usually proposed by ignorant people trying to justify hateful behavior.

Am I saying that no one on the left has ever made a slur? I’m not. Naturally, individuals can be flawed. But as a group? Not a progressive response or tactic. Not at all.  This is a technique of the right and that argument is reflective of the kind of ignorance that characterizes its candidates, too.  You can say that the earth is flat all you want, but it won’t change the fact that it’s round. So please, don’t insult our intelligence with that fake argument. We’re not buying it.

Of course, they don’t care that we don’t buy it. They justify away, anyway.

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Observation #1

In yet another display of Christian hypocrisy, the number of so-called God-fearing, “Christians” who act exactly opposite everything Christ stood for continues to astound me. Their definition of “Christianity” bears absolutely no resemblance to reality. But they sure can quote the Bible and they wave the book around as if they knew what it meant. Their attitudes and behavior, however, show how ignorant they are of Christ’s teachings.  I can’t think of another religious group that is so openly hypocritical and/or completely clueless about the origin of their faith.

Let me quote Matthew 23:28, who calls a spade a spade:  “Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” Take that, evangelicals. Right from your Good Book.

And I”ll call a spade a spade, too: Jesus was a liberal, folks. Yep. Peace-loving. Non-violent. A lib, kids. A lib.

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Observation #2  

It’s pretty clear that progressives have both the moral and intellectual high ground. But that works to our disadvantage. Because appeals to fear and the basest human impulses don’t work with us, we assume others see through them, too. But, as this election demonstrated, there are a HUGE (Yuuuuuge!) number of people in our country who fall for these appeals and who have bought the idea that THEY are superior to certain groups, even as their attitudes and behavior show us they aren’t.

There haven’t been a whole lot of conservative intellectuals. William Buckley and George Will come to mind, but intellectuals don’t gravitate to that point of view. I feel certain Buckley would have denounced the acts of hate and this candidate. Here’s a quote from something Will wrote a while ago that struck me:

Trump is a marvelously efficient acid bath, stripping away his supporters’ surfaces, exposing their skeletal essences. Consider Mike Pence, a favorite of what Republicans devoutly praise as America’s “faith community.” Some of its representatives, their crucifixes glittering in the television lights, are still earnestly explaining the urgency of giving to Trump, who agreed that his daughter is “a piece of ass,” the task of improving America’s coarsened culture.

But here’s the point: Bottom line: we progressives are too kind and too smart for our own good.

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I’ve done a pretty good purge of my social media friends list to be sure that I don’t have to listen to the ignorance spouted by supporters of that awful man. But every once in a while I see that one got past me. I feel no obligation to listen to the other side as I know more than enough about it. It’s a hateful and bigoted agenda and it has more than a few fascist undertones. Some may feel that’s an exaggeration, but I’m here to say that a reading of history tells me it isn’t. It’s painful to read or hear that kind of hatred and I’m just not going to do it.

Dark times ahead.

So tell me how you’re coping in this new world order.

20 comments on “New world order vignettes
  1. Robin herman says:

    Still having to actively cope. Staying away from the visceral impact of television news footage/pundits. Reading makes the news *just* bearable. No social media after dinner through to bedtime. Using my husband as filter i.e. Anything I NEED to know?

  2. Diane says:

    Not coping, Carol. Yesterday, at a supposedly peaceful gathering of Conservatives (Our Republicans) here in Alberta, the gathered people started shouting “Lock her up!” I was literally sick. The vitriol is just spilling everywhere and I don’t want to walk for fear of stepping in it.

  3. I’ve definitely gone on a news fast, cutting back on watching/reading the news. On social media, I only click on a handful trusted news sites, and keep that to a minimum. I don’t/won’t spend time with hateful, bigoted people. And when getting together with like-minded friends, we generally have a bitch session then move on to happier topics. And wine.

  4. I’m avoiding the news at all costs. This is the main reason I don’t believe in organized religion. There are definitely some very dark times coming.

  5. We all have our own very unique ways of coping. I plan on focusing on the love and joy of family and friends during the holidays. My daughter is co-chairing the San Diego Women’s March on Jan 21. This march is in solidarity to the Women’s March in Washington. Most cities are doing a march in solidarity. This is not an anti-anything march…this is a pro-women’s human rights march. As my daughter puts it- women need to — #riseupshowupshineon

  6. Helene says:

    Say it, sister. I’m with you 100% and I have also given up TV and radio news.

  7. Barbara says:

    As a news junky, it’s hard to avoid everything but, I’m narrowing my sources and reading less. I know it’s unlikely but I still hold hope for a Christmas miracle in the recount. The most disturbing thing, to me, is how this wave of ignorance has taken over the globe. Too many drumpf like clones are becoming leaders around the world and it frightens me to the core. Every time I read articles about the fools who voted for him the lack of education and disinterest in reading is frightening. We need to push for better education going forward. I had no idea it was this bad. Of course, his pick for Education secretary is enough to give me nightmares. Maybe it’s time to get more involved in local politics and let it all play out. I still feel like a deer in headlights.

  8. sue says:

    It has certainly hit you hard Carol and although it might be difficult at first it is a good thing to not read the news. We also get so much media about US politics in Australia I feel like I’m a US citizen. Stay positive, four years will fly!

  9. Your observation No. 1 hits the nail on the head! And I’m a Christian. The many hypocritical ones give the rest of us a pretty bad name, unfortunately.

  10. I am a Christian, but did not vote for person you speak of. I know much of what you say has merit.I also know that many followers of Jesus do not agree with DT. The way I am coping, as disappointed and shocked as I was, is to pray for him. Because I know that no matter how awful I think he is, he is a flawed, sinful human being just as I am. I may not say the things that he says. Yet my sin is no less repugnant to God. So, I’m sad to say the DT and I are in the same boat. Unable to lead a sinless life and in need of Jesus. And because I believe in a Sovereign God, I believe that he can work through anyone. I trust God, even when I don’t agree with the outcome.

  11. I had really hoped the furore would die down once the election was done and dusted. This doesn’t bode well for the years ahead does it?

  12. It keeps me up at night. Seriously. I can’t help clicking on CBSNEWS just to see what moronic thing he did today. The Twitter rants are ridiculous. I’m trying not to post anything political on Facebook. but I still react to posts in my feed. I’m just hoping to wake up and have it not be real. I refuse to get over it so don’t tell me to. At least there is Saturday Night Live and Stephen Colbert. There will be plenty of good comedy to watch for the next 4 years.

  13. I am barely coping. I have avoided the news since the election, and basically get the important info from my FB friends who I’ve also culled to get rid of the toxic, ignorant people who used to raise my blood pressure. It’s going to be a long four years and I keep hoping for an end of the year miracle.

  14. I am am optimist and believe we will have 8-years of conservative leadership and then another 8-years of liberal leadership. It keeps us balanced and from swinging too far either way.
    The years will fly by, the last 8 did.

  15. Jennifer says:

    I still think it’s a dream and I’m going to wake up. Then I remember that it’s reality. He’s still not even participating in the full security briefings. What did he think the job was? Maybe he should have done a “walk a day” in the White House before he ran for president so he could understand what the full job was about.

  16. Elizabeth O. says:

    Avoiding the news is healthy for your mind especially these days. There’s really so much negativity out there that you simply cannot handle anymore. It’s heartbreaking and disappointing.

  17. Lisa Rios says:

    I am almost with you when it comes to avoiding the political news lately, but hoping to make sure we stay positive and move on. The Observation #1 on the so-called God-fearing, “Christians” is very much true and irritating most of the time!

  18. When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile.

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