Rise up! Or, don’t fall into a massive depression, give up and not get out of bed. If you can’t handle that, at the very least, set your alarm to wake up and vote on Nov. 6th. Maybe even get up and about on Nov. 5th in case you have muscle atrophy.
It’s hard when bullies and douchebags keep winning. Makes you feel like there’s no justice in the world. There very well may not be. We do know that everyone dies. Cold comfort. I would just prefer it not be at the same time at the hand of a sociopath or because we just let it all slip away slowly. Being complacent or detached from what is happening is not the way to go.
Bullies with power push vulnerable, rational, righteous and decent people to a breaking point. When they break and lose it in anger the bullies laugh and laugh at the raw pain of emotions. There is no shame in losing it. Anger is the proper response. They will gloat and keep bullying and pushing from all sides in hopes we crumble into ourselves in a hopeless depression and/or until we start taking it out on each other.
I did a couple of shows last week at Dynasty Typewriter. They were intimate shows. Thursday’s show was an amazing improvisational riff night. I got a lot of work done on bits and stories I’ve been working on. The audience was engaged and connected and gave me freedom of mind. On Saturday night it was different.
As many of you already know, the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court was itself an assault on women and on the integrity of the court and our constitutional standards. The emotional, spiritual, psychological and political assault on women is really at the center of it. All women. The women who support him are doing something else with their trauma. It was probably already there in a ‘Daddy knows best’ kind of way. Or a ‘Daddy was mad all the time, now I’m like him because I don’t want to make him mad' Laura Ingraham-ish kind of way. They aren’t my immediate concern. It was also an assault on progressive men and people without power in a general sense.
While I was waiting to go on stage Saturday, the day of his confirmation, I could sense a very specific quality to the laughter that my opening act, Ryan Singer, was getting. I had heard it before. It was traumatized, desperate, scared laughter. The only other time I have heard it was working in NYC the weeks and months after 9/11.
People come not to lose themselves or for distraction but for some kind of relief. A human interaction that could provide a little release of the toxic reality that has infused us. It is laughter that comes in explosive, clipped outbursts that recede quickly. It was painful but the show was great and I expressed my sadness and hopelessness in the moment and we moved through it together with humor.
The fact is, political shifts towards dictatorship, authoritarianism, tyranny, and fascism have all happened in many countries all around us, all the time. We just thought we were the exception. Why wouldn’t we? This is America. I guess we took too much for granted. It’s here. Now.
I know I feel heavy-hearted and angry and powerless. It would be easy to draw inward. Internalize that anger and become paralyzed with depression or defeat, but l wont. We shouldn’t. It is still America. We have lives better than most people anywhere. And we can focus our energy on what we can do, getting other people to step up, speak our minds and fucking vote and help each other. We’re all we got.
Great talk today with Charles Demers. He’s a comic from Canada who has opened for me a few times. He’s sweet, smart guy. He’s also a writer and political activist in Canada and able to speak personally about politics in a way we don’t here. Great talk. On Thursday I talk to musician Kurt Vile. Quirky guy who makes great sounding records. Good talk.