During this, the last of the seven stages in this grief model, you learn to accept and deal with the reality of your situation. Acceptance does not necessarily mean instant happiness. Given the pain and turmoil you have experienced, you can never return to the carefree, untroubled YOU that existed before this tragedy. But you will find a way forward.
You will start to look forward and actually plan things for the future. Eventually, you will be able to think about your lost loved one without pain; sadness, yes, but the wrenching pain will be gone. You will once again anticipate some good times to come, and yes, even find joy again in the experience of living.
So Trump’s inauguration is tomorrow (or probably today by the time you read this).
I was talking with my girlfriend who – as both a woman and not-a-white-person – is dreading tomorrow. I’ve resigned myself to the inevitability of it. There’s a strange comfort in the apathy of begrudgingly accepting the fact of it. As I said to her: “I can’t stop it. I’m not going to torture myself watching it, and I already have plans to protest it. I’m gonna go to the gym and beat the shit out of a heavy bag for a while, then go home and have takeout, beer, and sex.”
That last part should only take about 30 seconds, so I’m also going to continue re-watching Breaking Bad and start watching the new Jason Momoa show Frontier.
I’m sure there are some people that will be upset with that perspective, but I think that anger/disappointment would come from a place of misunderstanding. I’m not burying my head in the sand; I’m not hoping that if I don’t look Trump’s inauguration won’t happen. I just don’t see the point in hate-watching his coronation. If his tiny right hand causes the Bible to catch fire, I’m sure Occupy Democrats will post a video of it with the dramatic squirrel. Which is to say, if anything newsworthy happens, I’m sure I’ll hear about it without having to actually suffer through the banality of an inauguration (I’ve never watched one, because why?). I’m also fairly confident that the world won’t literally end tomorrow. It’ll be a historically terrible day for America, but I don’t expect there to be a nuclear holocaust until at least Monday, because as the Orange Urinal Cake said himself to the Times of London:
[D]ay one – which I will consider to be Monday as opposed to Friday or Saturday. Right? I mean my day one is going to be Monday because I don’t want to be signing and get it mixed up with lots of celebration
(Ugh. Fuck this idiot.)
Beyond resisting the urge for masochism, I plan to use my energy in a quasi-positive direction through working out (and working, in general), and I have plans to exercise my First Amendment rights while I still have them by joining the Boston Women’s March for America.
And I’m also going to continue to live my life. It’s a lot easier for me as an affluent, white, male US citizen than it will be for others, but in terms of coping it’s one of the few options that I have. When I think of the impending Russian occupation of the White House, I’m reminded of a platitude that arose after September 11th. There are various versions of it but it goes something like: “if you let this affect your life, if you live in fear, then the terrorists have won.” For me, this means making every effort to derail the Trump Train within my limited power, but also not turning into a (more) jaded and cynical prick. It means not allowing the shadow of Trump to cast a pall over my relationships with my friends. It means not hate-watching press conferences or giving this vapid narcissist the attention he so desperately craves.
My other coping mechanism comes from this quote:
The only thing that saves us from the bureaucracy is inefficiency.
- Eugene McCarthy
The conservative element of America controls the Executive, Legislative, and (soon enough) Judicial branches of our government. Checks and balances will be negligible at best until – at best – the mid-term elections. Thankfully, if our government is known for one thing it’s that it is a lumbering bureaucratic clusterfuck that is run by equal parts idiocy and greed. Not really something to celebrate, until some Russian Piss Puppet decides he wants to spend multi-billion tax-payer dollars on a wall between our country and one of our allies. We can take solace in the fact that such a bill will delayed by every greedy idiot trying to cram more pork into that bill than a competitor at a hot dog eating contest.
There are very real dangers in a Trump presidency. An almost innumerable number of them. But getting angry about what could be is wasted energy. Stewing in front of a TV while the guy from Celebrity Apprentice is handed the nuclear codes isn’t going to do anything to change it from happening. I don’t have any advice beyond that. I’m not an activist. I’m not a “better person” who can not hate the shit out of this vulgar rotted yam. Ironically, I don’t have any more answers than said yam. But there is only so much that can be done, and beyond that… all we can do is hope.