“Aye, aye! and I’ll chase him round Good Hope, and round the Horn, and round the Norway Maelstrom, and round perdition’s flames before I give him up.”
– Captain Ahab in Moby Dick, Herman Melville
Apologies Shifters for not writing very much. It just seems that almost everyday now, another level of outrageousness is being unleashed on all of us that it makes me wonder if I can even keep up and write about it any meaningful way of what’s happening in the world and by correspondence, on the subtler plains.
I’m going to just be honest but it would seem that everything is a mess. I knew things were going to get ugly and degenerate with Agent Orange Baby Fists as president but I wasn’t expecting it to happen so quickly and barely 2 weeks into his presidency. It’s almost impossible to focus on anything else, even up here in Canada because of the influence and centrality the US has on the international order.
I spent a week in New York City by myself and came back a few days ago. Rates are cheap right now given it’s the low season, they were practically giving rooms away at 5 star hotels so I decided to take advantage of it. This wasn’t really a Trump trip or anything of the sort, but like I wrote earlier, there’s no escaping him. New Yorkers and Manhattanites are a very tough breed but practically every soul I encountered there was beyond disgusted at what’s happened and the direction that country is going in. I mean they know Agent Orange Baby Fists the best, he comes from the same town and they’ve lived with his obnoxiousness for years. I had one conversation with an amazing Wicca/Pagan witch where she pointed out to me that Agent Orange Baby Fists’ team seem to be all reincarnated Nazis. They couldn’t pull through with their plans the last time and now they’re going to make sure they do everything they can and of course instead of Jews, the Muslims will be the new canary in the coalmine. You have to remember that in Nazi Germany, Hitler didn’t only go after the Jews, but also homosexuals, gypsies (the Roma), people of color, intellectuals and professors who disagreed with Nazi ideology. I can totally see that happening with this current crew.
One night I happened to be in Greenwich Village and the sound of thousands cheering brought me to Washington Square Park with a full pro-immigrant, pro-Muslim, anti-Trump demonstration in full swing with everyone under the Sun in attendance, black, white, brown, yellow, straight, LGBTQ.
The night after the Executive Order banning Muslims from specific countries was issued, I happened to go for some curry take-out at a place frequented by Pakistani and Bangladeshi cab drivers, all of whom , who normally are a cheerful bunch, were in a sombre mood and quite worried what the future would hold for them.
Another afternoon, I happened to be strolling down 5th Avenue and needed to use the ladies room. Trump Tower was in front of me and from the street I could see a Starbucks inside so I figured there had to be a restroom inside. After walking by SWAT-team members with machine guns and uzis, having to put my purse through a detection machine, I walked around a bit to take in Trump Tower and it is by far, the ugliest, tackiest, energetically most terrible place in NYC.
The over-the-top pink marble everywhere, rose-tinted gold mirrors everywhere, brass finishings. Even the people at the Starbucks cafe on the second floor looked depressed. The cafe downstairs was cheap-looking and empty. You had a lot of waiters and hostesses standing around trying to look busy or lure in tourists. I don’t know why but there were quite a number of Chinese and Japanese female tourists with head curlers still in their hair. I went to powder my nose and left. I have no idea what kind of an insecure loser you’d have to be to want to live in such a garish architectural abortion.
There wasn’t even any escape in Central Park. One rare, sunny and unusually warm afternoon, I was munching on a sandwich while sitting on the warm rocks in Central Park South, and admiring the skyline when I suddenly see an ice rink and a zamboni clearing up the ice both with ‘TRUMP” displayed prominently. It completely ruined the moment.
But there were other moments of grace. Mostly spontaneous encounters with people on the street, bus or subway, random deep conversations about what’s happening. To me this is the most beautiful thing of what has happened: People finally GET IT that they have no choice now but to work together and fight together to look out for one another, because if they don’t, they could be next. Jews are lending their synagogues to Muslims to pray in. I saw a huge contingent of the LGBTQ community come out in force about the Muslim ban. People who normally never speak to each other are now coming out of the woodwork to defend each other and are talking to each other. Everyone knows who the common enemy is. And this is just after week 2.
I don’t have the gift of prophecy but if this is what’s happened in just 2-3 weeks and the population’s energy is frothing and churning like a maelstrom like this, there is no way in God’s Good Earth that Agent Orange Baby Fists will complete his term as president. *Something* will go down, either impeachment or an assassination attempt, I think. People generally can’t live under than level of constant stress for very long before someone or something eventually breaks down and there are always weirdos and unstable types around.
The question to be asked at that point is what will replace it? I don’t think we can go back to how things were. The age of neoliberalism and capitalism is drawing to a close and the people who are forcing this change are the young because they’ve been left out in the cold and they’re not drinking the capitalism Kool-Aid anymore.
This is where we’re going to need the dreams and ideas of fools, poets, writers, thinkers, artists, anarchists and the marginalized. If you look at the history of human progression, good ideas almost always start off in the margins, in the fringes of society and once they move to the center and capture the public imagination, they suddenly become policy or reality. For instance, basic guaranteed income started as an idea in anarchist circles because, to paraphrase Professor Chomsky, people should not need to rent themselves out in order to live, and now several countries are seriously thinking of implementing it.
To that I say, dream big, people, dream.