12/17/2016 by syrbal-labrys
If you look only at the surface things in my world today, I live in a holiday card. Snow is falling like a feather-bed unsewn. Laundry is washing, and “all is calm, all is bright” as the song goes. Music of the season is playing. Butter is softening for the baking of the Solstice cake. (I admit, it was jarring to hear a Trans-Siberian Orchestra song about “battles raging” and jungles steaming with Medieval Babes singing “Salve Nos” on the heels of the “Night Castle” album song.) It is as if even the most mundane and placid appearance of reality in my daily life would not hear of me ignoring yesterday.
Yesterday. Ah, yesterday. I sat like one paralyzed in the grip of my own mind flailing and thrashing in response to my morning’s reading of the news. Yesterday made me wonder what the Delphic Oracle of ancient Greece inhaled — noxious fumes of a volcanic vent? And the Sibyl of Cumae at Naples? Likely more volcanic fumes. I live near a sleeping volcano but all I was inhaling yesterday was sugar cookies and peanut butter fudge, trying to numb and silence the screaming in my head. So I should not have felt the grip of prophecy with the tenacity of spider’s silk on a fly, should I?
But I was in that grip. Frank Herbert created a word for it in one of his Dune books, but it escapes me. I wish the things played in my mind’s eye were so easily lost or escaped. I saw my windows broken and holes in my walls, water dripping through a ruined roof. I saw myself packing a bag, before that brokenness — putting away a few tiny mementos of the life I have had in taken-for-granted sweetness that is the peace America has had for the most part.
Yes, yes — another grim, disenchanted liberal sort forecasting the end of all things. I’m sorry to say, I’d rather be that grim Sibylline sort than the one standing in the halls of Congress talking about “orderly transitions” and allegedly working together to heal America. Where are their heads with that cant of useless times past? How does one transition to fascism in an orderly fashion?
I’ve read historically accurate articles listing key moments in the past several years as the many times the GOP has stopped a twice elected President from doing his job – appointing judges and such, basically reaching for a sort of one party rule. I’ve read comparisons of those sort of “marker moments” compared with similar moments in 1930’s Germany; and yet warning klaxons are largely silent in America. In North Carolina, a homophobic asshole lost the election, but his State House is trying to see to it the new governor cannot govern at all save by their permission. Kansas has been in the thrall of GOP governance for over a decade and blames all their continual worsening woes on the “federal government” — what will they blame now, now that the GOP control that, too?
Our President-elect decries the need for NATO obligations and praises Vladimir Putin, a man who seems intent on living up to the meaning of his name. (My Russian instructors defined it as meaning “ruler of the world.”) If America steps back from NATO promises made, it would be like gift-wrapping Europe for Putin. Do both Trump and Putin simply see Europe — and the Mid-East — as places to be plundered by the last super powers with big armies and lots of weaponry to use and abuse? What will stop that scenario?
Will America stand by and watch if/while Putins rapes Europe? Poland is spending madly on military preparedness, in great fear. Sweden has told its populace to prepare for self-defense. We are sending tanks and armored vehicles to Holland to give NATO a chance, before Trump can take office and halt what could be the last efforts to save Europe. But yes, lets all “heal” and have an orderly transition of power — surely that is the only thing that matters?
America’s voters deceive themselves if they think their lawmakers will listen to them; once that GOP horse gets the bit between its teeth it is far too late for Katie to bar the door. Once they fill the Supreme Court, there will be no stopping them. America could rapidly change into something unrecognizable; and it is not hard to see a new alliance with Russia. Will American men flock to Britain, to Europe — as some few went to fight ISIL — as if there is a new Spanish Civil War? My eldest son has already said he cannot stand by if America stands back to watch Putin re-take Eastern Europe or Scandinavian countries.
China is the economic power house of the world right now, Russia’s economy was too long addicted (like ours?) to the military industrial complex. It’s only “profitable” choice is war and if Trump trumpets on about NATO being a no-sum game from his point of view, how could Putin not see Europe as a chicken to be plucked? The only glimmering light will not a silver lining at all — but the flares of any number of dystopian futures once confined to science fiction books if those things come to pass!
America disregards refugees banging on Europe’s doors and smilingly accepts that Trump’s vaunted wall can keep them from our borders. That wall could just as easily end up only serving to keep disenchanted, disenfranchised Americans IN a country sinking into a police state of third world dimensions. Take it from one who has lived within the Berlin Wall — it is not one of those pictures you can wipe from your mind once it is seen. Call me Cassandra, I don’t care.
Freedom is NOT free. It is not gained, nor kept by people who scream with every action, “I’ve got mine, fuck you!” If we keep talking about order instead of what is really happening? It will be gone, past all repair before the average American suffers things going bump in their personal (possibly long, endless) night. Trump has selected men who don’t CARE what “habeus corpus” means. Most Americans have been so dumbed down they don’t even KNOW what it means — so by the time they wake up in a jail nobody can find or question why they are there? It will be too late.
And yesterday? My mental whirl into waking nightmare visions began with a hummingbird flying up to my holiday window — hoping the glowing red balls were flowery food it could reach. I thought, “Oh, my, I cannot do that theme again and so tease the poor birds.” A click in my brain remembered what it had been trying to forget that while decorating, my overwhelming thought had been “I will never do this again, it will not be this way ever again.” Still later, I said to my husband, “I will never decorate like this for Yule again,” although I tried to dismiss that as the emotion of a marital disagreement – it felt like something quite real.
There is this little superstition, that what is said three times is true. Silly, isn’t it? But still, it holds a force in the mind. I have been trying to walk away from it all month and it feels like quicksand I am trying to move through, I am failing. We stand on a precipice. We think we all have golden, unfailing parachutes. But all things fail if not defended, if not taught and aggressively used.
Where are our watchmen? I don’t give a damn about order outside of my pantry or garden shed. I care about right and rights, and rule of law. I care about truth and not whatever fiction moves forward a cause. I care about promises kept and treaties observed. We stand on a precipice. Are we all lemmings?