Well it's been a week and we are still here. Shocking as the election results may have been we will survive, maybe not the way a lot of us expected to survive but we will endure. I have had too many emails this week saying; I can't respond I'm still in mourning or still stunned or I still can't get out of bed. I wallowed for 12 hours, caught up on the sleep I missed for 3 days heading into the election and election night and then went to the studio.
Why...... #1 as a working potter, this time of the year I don't have the luxury of being stunned. If I am in the studio I'm generally pretty happy. Why the hell would I make pots to sell or give to friends, family or customers that were full of anger, angst or just plain old lack luster energy. Believe me, your attitude shows up in your work! This pottery thing is not my therapy it's my chosen vocation. You want lifeless lack luster pots go buy shit from China at your local big box store.
Ok that said, I have never taken a handout from the government in the form of subsidies, insurance, bail outs, social security or food stamps. Nope not even when Butch was laid off for way too long and I had little kids and we did a lot of hand wringing and sweating. There wasn't a net, there just wasn't. By the grace of whatever you believe in, we made it and we dug out. There is a part of me that feels very accountable. To whom? To everyone and everything...... my family, myself, the planet, the human race and great scheme of all that keeps things spinning. We always had a big garden, freezer and a couple ways to bring money into the house even though neither of us had a college education. (Yeah, we are the working white, blue collar workers who didn't vote for Trump.) I remember, vividly the stories my Mother and Grandparents told about the depression and what you did to make it through. My Mom could not eat oatmeal and had squirreled away over 300 pounds of sugar in 5# bags...... all over the house. And white cotton sheets and canning jars and bottle caps and coupons and how much butter and sausage did we count in both freezers? Yup, Mom was a hoarder! My Dad got a deer and turkey every year too. Now my yard is overrun with deer and I'm not eating the fish out of Lake Erie due to toxicity. Local communities had to hire sharp shooters to cull the deer herd they were so out of control. In my 62 trips around the sun stuff has been turned on it's head quite rapidly, maybe too rapidly. People are afraid to use public bathrooms ...... and that is sooooo not what this is about, pee freely people, I support you!
That sanity pendulum is swinging wildly these days!
So what happened last Tuesday? My 2 cents.........
as I watched the last 15 month shit show unfold I was pissed.... it's the only word I can think of at the moment. We had a stage full of candidates on both sides but who were the odds on favorites; Jeb Bush, another Bush! But then everybody got it wrong and Trump go it, Wow! Then I watched the democrats and I loved Bernie but thought he was so far left he would end up being a lame duck president so I voted for Hillary but LOVED Bernie and everything Bernie stood for! And he was passionate and deserving and vetted and he was giving Hillary a run for her money.
And then the RNC came to my hometown of Cleveland and backers with boat loads of cash pulled out. Like Motorola, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, UPS, Ford, Walgreens, Microsoft and low and behold CocaCola! Hey these are the big guys and they must know something I don't know but then we all know what a complete jack ass Trump was. Cleveland did make money on the RNC but for local businesses it was a bust, a big bust! It's being reported that local business fared much better with the World Series than the RNC, and we didn't even win the World Series!
Then the DNC happened and the Debbie Wasserman-Shultz story broke so Donna Brazile stepped in. Then the debates happened and the Donna Brazile story broke and then the emails happened again and again and again......... and that's when I got really irritated and I couldn't even get a "do over" and vote for Bernie. So there the country sat with another omnipotent Clinton, who I have to say wasn't very great in the speech department but she had a super fantastic resume' and she had worked her entire life for what seemed to be the good of humanity and she was vetted. Ok I'm in but she still had that guy named Bill standing behind her and she had hitched herself to a very loyal staff member Huma Abedin who was married to the jack ass Anthony Wiener. Huma was pretty impressive after I read up and did my homework on her background but I cringed at knowing Bill and Anthony would be close to the White House and had cell phones and a box of cigars. But the alternative, insert noun, pronoun or verb of your choice here, Trump was not even possible to wrap my brain around and he had hooked his wagon to Steve Bannon and Roger Ailes. I was slogging through the cesspool of election madness.
Another way this plays into my psyche? I have watched our local community college hire a President who double dips and possibly triple dips. He retired and within a month the board hired him back! So here is a guy who made $280,000 a year, retired. Was rehired a month later for $256,500 a year because he gets a pension. And he gets 35 days of vacation and numerous other benefits and he collects Social Security next year. This is also true for our own town. What happened to mentorship? When do we make room for the next up and comers? No we keep hiring assholes who should be put out to pasture with their more than adequate retirement funds. We ran two geezers on the National ticket; a billionaire and multimillionaire! What's a commoner to do?
So am I pissed that Trump is in the White House, you bet. Am I pissed at Hillary, you bet. Am I pissed at my country; you bet. Am I pissed at the media, so pissed I have almost run out of words. Honest to God, I think we are just a bunch of hairless lemmings being lead around by Jake Tapper or Anderson Cooper. Am I pissed at the RNC and the DNC, OMG my hair is on fire!
Am I pissed at myself? No, not really. Why? Because I go to city council meetings, school board meetings, try to get through my day so I can sleep at night and I'm accountable to me. So by Thursday I was able to go to the studio, walk the dog, and sleep at night. And yes I have a lot of neighbors who voted for Trump and I'm not moving either.
When I got up Wednesday morning and I said; Holy Fuck and I think I have said the "F" work more in 48 hours than in my entire life, my roommate with fringe benefits and all around good guy said; Wow but I think we're gonna be ok. And then my hair caught on fire again and I had to take the dog for a walk so Kirby didn't burst into flames too. Later in the day, over dinner we went to the same conservation. He works in construction management and the construction stocks were starting to rally. He said over salad; I think Trump is gonna go after infrastructure and my teeny little company wants that and will do well with that policy; we might have a chance to grow. It's November and we have been lucky the weather has held because I can keep more guys on the payroll which means they will have Christmas. When winter hits early, those guys and their families don't get Christmas. Construction technology has changed so much that some jobs can keep working 12 months and that keeps people working and that flows back into the local economy. It was the first positive spin I had heard. Ok, let me chew on that for a minute. Second point; there are 319 million people here and he didn't win the popular vote.
Young voters primarily went for Hillary.
Oh my hair is still on fire about the women's rights, the environment, global warming, HEALTH CARE and sooooo many other issues. He couldn't go there, he would only let himself go to building and repairing infrastructure..... whatever gets you through, I'm still stuck on the environment and women's rights. We have a bigoted misogynist in the White House that just gave permission for every closet bigot, racist and misogynist to come out of the closet. It's getting ugly, we already see it in the schools and public forums. Buckle up folks but we did this! Yes WE!
Then I went to YouTube and started watching old Carl Sagan interviews and I thought; YES! Science trumps assholes and blackholes! And Carl was spot on as to where we stood in the universe and this place in history. A speck, nothing more than a speck. Thank you Carl Sagan! And sure enough the sun came up on Wednesday!
So for the immediate future I'm going to stay pretty involved with my community, although not in a political way. Plant a bigger garden, say hello to my neighbor and be accountable for myself here on the planet.
and can I remind everybody...... you don't live in Syria!
Carl Sagan I want you to know I'm going to the lab now.........
and the shit show continues as the naysayers and slime slingers are lining up to the kiss the ring that back handed them. So gross, so utterly and completely gross........ on both sides. We as a nation have an awful lot of soul searching to do
this is my last blog on politics for a super long time....... and I don't think I am going to answer comments on this blog post. Regular programing will resume in a week or so.......
Everyone..... helmets and pads!