Greetings fellow Americans,
Three weeks ago we all received a shocking and historical blow. While the election is over, many fellow citizens are bemoaning the fact that this actually happened and "the Donald" pulled this off. It is time we stopped being shocked and instead start moving towards some action.
Here are my ten ways to survive in our new world order.
1. Stop bitching-Start a Revolution. I saw this on a bumper sticker some years ago and never forgot it. Probably because it's true. The time for belly aching is over. What we need are powerful people to build powerful coalitions and fight like hell to make sure we don't regress as humans. We also need powerful people who can actually listen to and be with people and their pain.
2. Make sure that all of your finances are in order. Moving beyond just paying bills and living paycheck to paycheck, it is important that we invest, understand what money can and can't do and plan for our future. So many of us are waiting for the government to save us/ bail us out and yet we turn a blind eye to their stellar record of handling money. No folks, we have to make sure all life insurance policies, wills, trusts and power of attorney paperwork is filed.
3. Pull your loved ones in closer and begin to work towards creating new and stronger alliances with people who are vastly different than you. For example, watch the great film , Lorenzo's Oil. In it the white female middle class mom unties with poor people of color in an effort to create and sustain change. When the world gets crazy, it is imperative that we get more sane.
4. Start obsessively reading and watching the fine print. Whether a written piece or a ridiculous talking head, task yourself to question, scrutinize and challenge. In the past 18 months, I've seen more tom foolery and hijinks than ever. Television interviews and news sources just love a good comeuppance and my god have we had our share of it this last year. Fine print in the written word is somewhat easier to spot. Incidentally, feel free to use this time to bone up on your vocabulary because mark my word, we are getting ready to see a whole lot of name changing, i.e. high falutin' code switching designed to confuse and immobilize many of our citizens.
5. Get all travel documents in order. For those of us who have done international traveling, make sure those passports are current. As a black gay man, I know that understanding and acceptance can be eliminated in a blink of an eye with awful repercussions. While it is wonderful and brave to stay and fight, let's not be the idiot refusing to cover all bases as opposed to hoping that good people will stand up when it counts and that humans eventually do the right thing.
6. Do you speak one language? Two? Three? As Americans, myself included, we are notoriously arrogant in our refusal to learn about other cultures and languages. With this new world order, it is wise to start learning Spanish, a language spoken by more than a third of the world's population. As comrades in struggle, we must join forces with a community that has largely been dismissed and overlooked. By joining with our Latino brothers and sisters we have the opportunity to harness the same power that made a Trump victory possible. We organize around people whose voices have been systematically squelched. Scared, voiceless people in serious pain can be a scary and misguided group. Scared, voiceless people who are self directed with a united voice can move mountains.
7. Figure out what the hell the Electoral College is so that we can either improve or eliminate it. I have no idea what it is, how it works or why in the entire hell it only seems to elect Republicans. It requires further examination and a firm commitment to making sure things work for everyone (all Americans).
8. Pray. Pray for courage and wisdom. The wisdom to know what to do and the courage to actually do it. It is easy to hand wring and fret. Be bold and take the right action.
9. Get a sense of humor and know that every loudmouth idiot has his day. Keep in mind that anybody over 40 has seen these type of shenanigans before. There are those of us who've lived through not one but two Bush Administrations and of course the one who promised to save us (Clinton Administration); he served us with Don't Ask Don't Tell and a failed war on crime/drugs with the lovely and highly effective "Three Strikes Rule". Humor helps with all this crazy shit. I live in the great state of California and when I arrived in 2008, the governator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) was our governor. Personally, I've always felt many folks liked him being in office because they could mispronounce his name Schwarzenigger and get away with it. Californians had no problem allowing a man with no previous knowledge or political experience to run our state. An out of work actor decides to throw his hat in the political ring and no one objects. I can't be held responsible. It happened before I arrived. The big question remains- what the frig are we gonna do now? Do you resist with angst riddled protests and demands for justice that quickly burn us out? Or do we say this shit is f#$@ and let's find something comedic that joins us as a nation and provides a way out of this mess?
10. Strive for personal and professional excellence. In a world of mediocrity and feeble minded individuals, it is time to buck up and smarten up. We're going to need everyone of us in this battle and no excuses.
The Summer of 2002 proved hot, steamy and highly productive.
I was 34 and thought my life couldn't get any better. It is amazing the things we either let ourselves believe or create in an effort to hold onto joy and constant good feelings. I was very happily married. Had learned to cook and was running a household with a man I thought I was going to spend eternity with (see until the end of time).
If someone had told me, you will hate this man and rue the day you ever met online and found him, I woulda socked ‘em right in the eye.
I want to call attention to what happens as we age and realize things have changed. If you have ever looked around your life and said either silently or aloud, “my god how in the fuck did I end up here ?” This post is for you. If you have ever done everything you knew how and the shit still blew up in your mug, I feel you.
This piece is for you.
I chose to call it the "death of childhood" because there is something very sad when you have your hopes bashed against cold, unforgiving cement.
There is something very dark, painful and unforgiven about having to watch a child be disappointed or willingly skip into the lion’s den and you, the viewer, know he’s gonna be somebody’s lunch.
I want to shed light on the point at which things suddenly and inexplicably change and all you can do is cry, scream, beg for mercy and hope for a quick painless death. Things do get better. I will stop here before I trot out the platitudes that even I am not interested in hearing.
I never thought I’d have a long term relationship.
Having weathered so many disasters in my 20's, I thought, why bother ? Even with the knowledge shared with me by concerned friends, I continued to find myself deeply disillusioned and in constant pain. If I had heard or currently hear one more version of, "you’ve got to start by loving you," I will set myself on fire then puke and not in any particular order.
The point remains you can have all the self love in the world and do all of the right picking in the world but if the person you’re seeing doesn’t see you or you don’t see them what good will self love do ?
Self love is valuable. It is always valuable .
However, the feel good optimist fail to recognize that picking is half the equation and is not the finality for this solution. Things change and die. Where is all the cheery help then ? Who is the poster child for, I’ve built my life on something (a relationship) that failed.
If after having done the work and the person you care for very deeply says: I’m not interested in being with you. Then what do you do ?
Marriage, any type of commitment, and being truly, terrifyingly, unabashedly, emotionally intimate is for grown ups. This is the reason we now have this insane obsession with marriage.
When I was a little boy, my father's best friend was a pimp.
Uncle Calvin was dapper, charming and always sported the latest fashions. I had no idea what this man did for a living. The only thing I knew was that there were all of these women around him and I couldn't figure out which one he was married to.
When I was ten, Tanya Nelson repeatedly tortured me by jabbing me with a compass. She sat behind me and constantly tormented me along with others for being a sissy. I took the abuse. I learned to tolerate it and even enjoyed figuring out ways to endure the humiliation.