Monday, December 12, 2016

I Named My Blog The American Human. Why Does That Seem Harder to Be Right Now?

No, it's not presumptuous to attempt to speak for American humans. I thought about it, and it turns out I am one. So...

Yeah, I know, shit's getting weird.

The notion of an American human isn't meant to be complicated. A friend of mine pointed me to a way of thinking using models, actually multiple models. That's complicated but probably wise.

Choosing to frame myself as an American human was a shortcut for saying religion isn't a favorite model. Works for some, for me not so much. It's superstition, mostly, and a pretty ancient collection of it at that. Jams us up pretty bad, from my perspective. If I had to choose another way, I'd go with science.

It's funny. What's got me jammed up lately is the bizarre turn that the United States has taken in electing Donald Trump president. I liken it to the Brexit vote in the UK. The day after the referendum passed, a good number of Brits said, "If I'd have known it was going to pass, I'd have voted against it." Counterfactually obtuse but likely true. Hard to measure, just as it's hard to measure how many Jill Stein, Gary Johnson, or didn't-bother-to-vote voters now feel they'd have voted differently if they had known Trump could actually win. Hard to know, anymore than we can know how many people fell for the manipulation by the Russians or the connivance of the FBI's James Comey in announcing further investigation of Hillary Clinton ten days before the election and a week later saying, "er, never mind!"

But for a lot of us there's a sort of otherworldliness surrounding us, as we watch a government of billionaires being assembled before our eyes that appears to be constructed on "Just how much damage can we do to a system that was, okay, maybe running on five cylinders already, if we pour a bunch of rat poison in the gas tank? Just wondering."

So I'm going to try not to be too obsessed with a HOLY SHIT WHAT THE FUCK DO WE DO NOW? kind of imperative that sucks up all the oxygen in town and leaves us, well me at least, in a fog. Because probably I'll still shop at Safeway, look for cheap gas on, drink a little too much, and work on my golf score. I might even notice that nobody's coming to get me, at least not yet. I mean, I'm not black and live in some hellhole like Florida, for christ's sake.

So I'm going to write less about politics and more about life or LIFE or, more likely, my life because I'm familiar with it.

Here's a start: I thought I'd write about the fact that I couldn't remember my first favorite song, you know, the one your mom sang to you when you were a baby or something. And I thought the reason probably was that my mom couldn't carry a tune if her life depended on it. Oh well.

Then I realized that, wow, it was probably "It's Howdy Doody Time," the theme song for the first TV show I could remember absolutely adoring. Howdy was Buffalo Bob's sidekick, a kind of little cowboy dude, like the real meaning of the word dude, and a puppet at that.

And then I thought, fuck, Howdy Doody, a freaking puppet, would make a significantly better president that Donald Trump, and the whole edifice of I can think about something else besides Donald Trump just sort of fell apart. Hopefully, I'll get the hang of it with a little effort. Maybe I need a model, a specific model or way of thinking that doesn't have Donald Trump in it. That should work. That and maybe a couple of Zanax.

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