In the past, I have written posts about awful everything is, and I am rather skilled at the nastiest of critical evaluations, and I am now often saying, “What do you expect? We live in a failed state!” when confronted with yet another mind-boggling governmental and political disaster.
(And to be sure, not since Hitler has the world faced such an existential threat. At least during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the US and USSR were led by sane people. More or less. Neither the US or Russia can boast that now; Trump makes Putin seems as steady and logical as Eisenhower. Combined with inevitable climate calamity, gushing overpopulation, a never-ending refugee crisis, dystopian-novel-level income inequality, and no leadership anywhere to prevent or stop these things, we’re basically doomed.)
But I can be positive! In fact, I’m pretty sick of the relentless negativity. I don’t mind learning about the awful things Trump and his cronies are doing; we need to know it. But the hyperbolic liberal clickbait about isn’t helping.
Anyway, I thought, in addition to pointing out ways that we can do what I guess we’re calling #resist, I can list some things to be happy about. Weekly.
(Or I hope it can be weekly. I’ve got ADD and stuff. So.)
Here’s what I’m happy about this week; #1 is focused on what is being done and what can be done to stop the national catastrophe, and #2-10 are focused on self-care.
- Those millions of protesters, activists, lawyers, academics, and do-gooders. The Women’s Marches. The protesters at JFK and SFO and LAX and Logan and SeaTac. The ACLU attorneys. The moral and ethical politicians. My friend in Seattle who is starting a service to send meals to lawyers doing anti-Trump pro bono work. My friend who is running a summer school to train mathematicians as expert witnesses for redistricting cases. The anonymous leakers and tweeters at every single federal agency. The mass opposition to Trump is awesome, literally. It might do something. From what I’ve seen on my social media, our current predicament has mobilized and radicalized people who’d been sitting out politics and civic engagement for quite some time. It’s obviously unfortunate that it took electing a racist, paranoid, narcissistic fascist to the presidency, but it’s better to have a silver lining than not.
- Please Like Me. I’ve described it as the gay love child of Louie and Girls. It’s my favorite TV show on the air (or, considering streaming and cable, “on the air”), and the fourth and maybe final season streaming on Hulu is wondrous. I laughed. I cried. It’s the focus of my LGBT Weekly column next week.
- My cats. They’re old and needy and weird, but they cuddle and they’re soft. Betsy lets me spoon her when I’m sad. For a while anyway. Then she gets up and meows at the wall for five minutes. Weird.
- My Dad Wrote a Porno. I had a Lyft driver and an old friend recommend this podcast on the same day, and it is making my commute the best part of my week. Basically: Three English friends read and discuss the astonishingly terrible erotic novel written by the father of one of them. Once, I laughed so hard that I got light-headed and had to pull over.
- The satisfaction of cleaning out my closet. I threw out bags and boxes of ugly Christmas decorations, non-working string lights, broken appliances, and needlessly saved wrapping paper. I have a lot more to excise from my life, and some of it will be harder to get rid of — emotionally anyway, because of my weird nostalgia problem — but the satisfaction is just so good, a thrilling combo of a ripped off Band-Aid and a long, hot Silkwood shower.
- Robyn and Mr. Tophat’s EP. Everything she does makes me happy. This EP is three songs to have sex to. I mean, really. Oof.
- Riverdale. It’s a gritty, sexed-up, supposedly subversive version of Archie Comics. There’s a Gossip Girl meets Twin Peaks after an affair with Desperate Housewives feel to the whole thing, and it’s going to be a guilty pleasure. But it’s still a pleasure. The knowing, pomo Kevin Williamson-esque dialogue isn’t a new thing 20 years on, but it’s still fun as frak.
- Early 90s techno. One of my oldest friends found a dance music mix tape I made for her in college, and she posted the cover on Facebook. Side B was poppy disco hits of the early 90s, but Side A was obscure techno that I barely remembered. Only half was on Spotify. But I recreated the thing. And, oh, Lord, how good is it to relive the sound that served as a constantly recharging battery for my late adolescence: coming out, getting out, and dancing my ass off.
- This guy, and people who just DGAF. While I waited two hours for a tow truck, I watched this guy do his thing. I have no idea what he was listening to on his headphones or what gave him the desire to witness on the corner of Glendale and Berkeley. But he gave me joy. I love seeing someone dancing with absolutely no care as to who is watching or what they’re thinking. Yasss, as they say.
- My students. They’re majoring in Public Health, and they want to fix the world. There are hundreds of them. They work hard, and they give me so much hope.