Thu 10 Nov 2016 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | 6 Comments | Posted by: Gavin

Twenty Sixteen Shirt

Our friends at Topatoco are selling a succinct t-shirt which captures some of the despair I feel over the US election result. A man who cares not a whit about anyone except himself and his businesses was elected despite lies, deceit, rudeness, misogyny, racism, bankruptcies, and more. Although he lost the minority vote and although he has various legal charges against him and although he can’t even be trusted with his own Twitter account he received at least 59,704,818 votes — plus some others who voted for Trump to win by voting for third party candidates.

I voted against him along with 59,942,916 voters who voted for Hillary Clinton. I don’t really care about third party candidates (I am a single issue voter against anyone who is anti-vaccine) or their voters because while the two-party system isn’t great, it is better than a one-party system (no: the 2 parties are not the same) and the country has not managed to put forward viable third parties in recent years. I am registered as Undeclared in that neither party is humanist or progressive enough for me.

There are bright signs that this country is not a heaving mess of white racists but there are also millions of people who sat out the election. I have no great takeaway. I can barely not just lie down on the ground and wish to stop breathing. But this body keeps going and I suppose the body politic might, too. I grew up in Scotland where Thatcher was the prime minister — although, like Trump, she never won (was never closeto winning) the popular vote in Scotland. She was awful for the country. Here I am again, back in opposition.


6 Responses to “2016”

  1. Ben Parzybok on November 10th, 2016 8:00 pm

    [weeps into beer]

    Just spent the last hour researching west coast secession initiatives, which I suppose is not the answer. Still, hard not to toy with it with the likes of who was elected.

  2. Gavin on November 10th, 2016 9:31 pm

    If anyone’s going to make secession happen it’s you. I don’t think it’s the answer but am totally with you on distraction as a coping strategy.

  3. Nish on November 11th, 2016 7:19 pm

    We mourn and then organise. After Brexit happened in the UK, I become one of the many who faced racist attacks. Traumatising, but through that I saw my white friends learn about how to work with me in the battle against racism. They are standing up. I don’t feel alone with them.

    My PoC friends shared their stories, we held hands and we supported each other. We do still.

    Scotland isn’t as bad as England, but even here the rise of the SDL and other groups is scary.

    But when we support others, when we build communities, when we organise together, we can face the worst time.

    And don’t discount your own work in the upcoming rough times. Small Beer Press – in my life, at least – has been a beacon of hope. Stories are the best way to bring people together and you have achieved that and continue to do so. Your publications and stories are a form of resistance. They are access points for many people feeling disenfranchised to find meaning, hope and escape.

    Don’t give up. There is more work to be done and you are not going to be doing it alone.

  4. Gavin on November 12th, 2016 11:00 am

    Nish, thank you for writing. I grew up on the west coast of Scotland and moved here after college. I am very happy Scotland voted against Brexit and finding it hard not to despair here. But, yes, the work must go on.

  5. Susan Stinson on November 13th, 2016 12:12 pm

    I want to echo that Small Beer Press is a beacon of hope, in my life, for sure. You’ve published my work, of course, and, as you know I’ve loved the books you publish from way back. I just reread Ted Chiang’s “Story of Your Life” again, getting ready to go see Arrival, and am about to read it again. I want to teach it to in a fiction class, if I get a chance. Woke up thinking about how what happens with time in that story might be one model for working with, through, the despair of this election, and all of the echoes it brings up — one big echo is struggling to come out in Colorado in the Reagan years. Thanks for publishing it, and for all of it.

  6. Gavin on November 14th, 2016 3:07 pm

    Thanks, Susan. ARRIVAL is very timely. Although if it is an external stimulus prod that the world needs before we smarten up and realize we’re all in it together then we could be in trouble. Anyway, hope you enjoy it.

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