05/30/2017 by syrbal-labrys
Once upon a time in the late 1970’s, I got optimistic. I let my new husband convince me having children was not an occasion of grief, regret, and dread. I reproduced. Damn that optimism of youth shit, anyhow.
It really does remind me of “M” in the Bond movie saying how much she misses the Cold War — you know it is bad when that MAD shit looks sane by comparison. Imagine, in the last decades of the Cold War, I felt optimistic enough to reproduce?! I love my sons, including one adopted as a returning veteran — but I apologize to them consistently for them inheriting the world I thought was changing for the better.
It is changing now, alright. Just not for the better. I am a consumer of science fiction – when I read fiction at all that is. But lately? I remember why I never cared much for the time travel trope. Because much of the past SUCKED.
Does anyone besides old history buffs recall when corporate asshats of the last alleged “Gilded Age” hired Pinkerton agents to beat up pro-unionists and labor organizers? Because this shit right here reminds me of that rather too strongly. But we’ve gone one better now, the modern juiced up Pinkerton stand-ins treat citizens like terrorists or foreign wartime enemies. That Patriot Act shit is some steroidal crack, eh?
I remember thinking at least voting rights were secured. Oh, I was so wrong.
But the biggest thing that makes me stagger into the kitchen in the morning to stare at the year on my calendar is a pervading sense of “This has happened before…” is not so innocently indulging in racism or profiteering as that.
I spent part of my childhood in Germany in the early 1960’s. It was the best part of my childhood. Yes, the horrid “if they are not Jewish” stories, ARE true. Germans love children. I was a blond blue-eyed little thing and all the Germans loved me. I was love-starved, being my father was a narcissistic racist who punished me for playing with black American kids and my mother simply hated my existence and beat me for anything she could and boasted about it. As an adult, I lived (and served militarily) in Germany again and again had many German friends.
We talked about World War II and the lead up to it. Many could recall the ending of Weimar Germany; the fears, the promises, the sense of destiny that beat starving under the Versailles Treaty. They recalled the aftermath, too. Some of them as prisoners in Russia until the mid-1960’s. Some of them as teens with rifles put in their hands and put in position as the proud local SS units pulled out and ran from American tanks coming in. Some of them as teen girls, drawn to US soldiers by the promise of food for their families. Some as children, begging sugar by the spoonful to make a Christmas cake — only to fall on icy cobblestones, spilling it and weeping over the loss.
Do I sound too sympathetic? Worry not, my friends included survivors of the Holocaust, too. That horror is never far from my mind. But my personal “minority report” on that topic is not popular either and I am going to tell you why. From my youngest years in middle school, studying world history and listening to Germany derided as the most monstrous thing EVER? I felt that was BULLSHIT.
Germans are the blond hulking blue eyed beastly bad guys of every third movie. It could ONLY happen there in Germany? Not so fucking much. Sorry, the bad news is EVERY human breast harbors a beast capable of atrocity. With the right stressors, the right conditioning, the right timing? Any person is capable of horrors. And the time machine that feels like it is sucking me into its gaping maw right now is that precise moment of German history. Somewhere, briefly lost in the night, just before “Kristallnacht” — that is where our possible dystopia hovers.
You don’t think so? Look at what France has endured, and England? So far, we have been lucky in that sense….but if it happens here? What will happen to Muslims in America? When AMERICANS feel they can abuse and murder at will based on their hatreds, daring to call it “religious freedom”? We have a lot of angry frightened white males out there with lots of guns, knives, and fists. They want to put blacks, Hispanics, women, Moslems, Jews, and others “in their place.”
So attend, please. If I sound so sympathetic to the Germans? Perhaps you should be glad. Perhaps you should hope that someday in the future, like ten or fifteen years down the road other people in the world will be able to muster that same sympathy. For us. For the U.S.A. Because I admit, I fear what we may do if nobody calls “time” on this Administration. Russia is doing their level best to destabilize our government and our faith IN our government. The man who can loose the nukes is a narcissistic spoilt child who revels in attention and shiny things. The deepest thought he ever had in his life likely involved some woman’s bust measurement.
Attend. Show up. Yes, we are limited in scope due to money in politics, gerrymandering, and corruption. But attend to public life — watch the news, talk about it, argue about it, call Congressional staffers. Protest, fight. SAY “NO!” I know everyone of you reading has watched a movie with skulking villains speaking German and said “Boy, if I was there, it would have been different.”
Prove it to me. Prove it to me now.