Sometimes It Gets Overwhelming

The original idea was to cover the Democratic and the Republican National Conventions. And all of Trump’s “events.” And all of the Biden and Harris events. Because I am tough, goddammit. I can totally handle all of the political shenaniganry. No sweat! Like water off a tarp, or however the saying goes. I mean, I managed to do that in 2016, right? Why should now be any different?

On Monday, I live tweeted both of Trump’s “events” (he called them “friendly protests.” Ew) and those two events kicked my soul’s ass. I do not remember the last time I felt that world-weary and tired and defeated. Even my bone marrow felt like it was giving up. It felt like I was filling up with The Ooze from Fern Gully. 

It was dark enough in here that I couldn’t bring myself to watch the first night of the Democratic National Convention, and on Tuesday I took most of the day off from the internet. And people. I took a lot of naps, I watched a lot of NCIS (shut up, it’s soothing). I played silly games on my phone and wrestled with Poppy. I felt better in the evening, but not enough to watch the second night of the convention.

Yesterday, I was scrolling through social media, checking out the reviews of the first two nights of conventioning. Everybody loved Michelle Obama’s speech. Some people were put off by what they thought was an overly schmaltzy approach in the new format. Others loved the new format and said they hoped we never go back to the old way. Pretty predictable stuff, right?

What I didn’t predict was just how dang annoyed I’d feel as I scrolled. Over and over again I saw tweets whose message was something along the lines of “THE DNC LET SOMEONE I DON’T LIKE SAY WORDS. THEY SUCK. THEY ARE THE ENEMY OF EVERYTHING AND MUST BE DESTROYED. I’M NEVER VOTING AGAIN UNLESS THEY CATER ONLY TO MY EXACT WISHES.”

Obviously, I haven’t seen anything that literally said that exact message. I want to be clear about that. But the sentiment was there, in tweet after tweet after tweet after Facebook post after Facebook post after Facebook post. 

Y’all, I am so flippin’ sick of this kind of BS. THIS BS is one of the reasons our country is in this mess in the first place. And I’m reaching the point where I do not trust myself not to go full SNARKE SMASH on every person I see posting it…at least not right now. 

Let me be clear: All of us have the right to post whatever we want (mostly). I would never tell someone what they are “allowed” to post about. 

But right now? I do not have the patience or the filter to not excoriate every person in my feed (some of whom I love dearly!) who writes posts like that. 

SO. I’m stepping back. I didn’t watch the convention last night and I probably won’t watch tonight. I’m not going to watch the Republican Convention next week and will be taking a huge step back from social media until it is over. I am angry and exhausted and just…cannot with all of this right now.

I’m hoping that the time away will help me rest and reboot so that I’ll be ready to take on the next two months with the energy it will require. I’m hoping to figure out what kind of approach to take to, well, everything that will let me keep posting without filling me up with The Ooze(tm).

Of course, I’m not PLANNING anything. We all know how that turns out in 2020. 

Stay tuned! 

Plans are for Other People

I had a plan. I was going to go to bed at a reasonable time, get a good night’s sleep, get up at a normal hour, eat a real food for breakfast and then get some paying work done before my day turned into Politicalpalooza. 

It was a good plan and I liked it a lot.

I know, I know: human plans, deities laugh. 

Well in this case, the deities decided to wage their revenge via my bladder, which didn’t let me get more than about thirty minutes of sleep at a time before deciding it had to be relieved RIGHT NOW IMMEDIATELY OR YOU WILL BE DOING EMBARASSING LAUNDRY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. It finally decided to let me get some real sleep sometime around 4 AM. 

My alarm went off at 9. 

That was when I was supposed to get up and go for a walk before making a real food for breakfast.

Instead I accidentally (shut up) turned off my alarm instead of hitting snooze and fell back to sleep until 11. Then I got up, drank some soda, chatted with one of my housemates for a bit and sat down at my computer in my pajamas to cover the first Trump rally of the day.

In all honesty, I missed the first little bit of Trump’s first rally…er…”event at which he delivered remarks.” He started before his scheduled starting time and then railed for a while about how much he rocks and how much Joe Biden sucks with some racist garnish thrown in there for funsies. 

About an hour after that first “event” was done, Trump began another and y’all. There aren’t enough evens to can’t. I honestly couldn’t tell you what was going on during that event. Trump seemed cracked out of his mind—he was sweaty, rambling, jumping from topic to topic sometimes in mid-sentence and kept trying to joke with “Scott.” He shouted about how the Governor of Virginia wants to kill newborn babies and praised Putin and Erdogan for being very smart and talented chess players. 

I have seen plenty of Trump speeches where he veers off his teleprompted course, but this was something else. Whatever they gave him on Air Force One between events to keep his energy levels up? They gave him way WAY too much.

Now that those events are over for the day, I should be covering the first night of the Democratic National Convention. I want to watch speeches composed of complete sentences and coherent thoughts and hope instead of fear and truth instead of lies. I want serious people who actually know how the law works to tell me how we’re going to fix this mess we’re in and be able to trust that they believe what they are saying. 

But y’all. I am so tired. I am so so tired. 

And I’m not just tired because of a day filled with Trump buffoonery and too little sleep and not a lot of real food. I’m tired in my bones. I am existentially and spiritually tired. My soul feels weary and even though I know I will keep fighting the fight tomorrow, tonight I just…can’t. 

I’ll catch up on the speeches later. I especially want to see Michelle Obama speak. But right now, there is a cat and a couch and snacks that are calling my name. And even though I feel really guilty about missing tonight’s festivities, I’m just going to take some time to chill the eff out. 

Here’s a link to my tweet thread for the first Trump “event.”

Here’s a link to my tweet thread for the second Trump “event.”

Joe has made his decision!

What it is is anybody’s guess.

So. Trump is scheduled to do a press briefing at 5:30 (EST) today. Joe Biden has reportedly made his decision about his VP and that announcement could drop at literally any second. 

If Biden really wants to troll Trump, he should wait until the moment Trump begins the briefing. Any network that is still airing that thing live will cut away (okay, maybe not FOX). The WH Press Corps will get the announcement notification on their phones, guaranteeing that it will be the first thing they ask about. Trump will have had no time to prep.

We all know that the worst thing for Trump is for the public to witness him trying to process information in real time. This would force that out and into the open…though I would feel really bad for whichever reporter asks the question. They are going to be on the receiving end of a Trump Meltdown(tm) and those are never fun. 

Anyway, this is going to be a long LONG afternoon and evening. May the force be with you all.

It’s 2016 All over Again but It Doesn’t Have to Be

Photo description: Trump on a lot of television screens
Image source: Reuters/Jim Urquhart

“It’s 2016 all over again,” a friend tweeted this morning. He was talking about how CNN made a point of carrying Trump’s Big Racist Bullshit-stravaganza Campaign Rally on Saturday, but hasn’t bothered to mention more than a passing acknowledgement of the events Biden has been holding. Even the virtual event he did with former President Obama got very little play.

My friend is right, of course. The same thing happened four years ago—all the major networks and news outlets were falling all over themselves to cover every single word that sputtered out of ToxicOrange’s McNugget hole. Meanwhile, even the best attended events held by Hillary Clinton were mentioned mostly in passing. Maybe, if she was lucky and it was an otherwise slow news day, the anchors would tune into the rallies for a few minutes before going back to “but her emails-ing.” 

Honestly, I wasn’t that much better. I spent FAR more time covering Trump’s events than I did talking or blogging about Clinton’s. I own that. I was incredibly naive to think that simply pointing Trump’s nonsense—even as I was doing my best to explain why it was nonsense—was enough. In retrospect I should have spent just as much time talking about Clinton’s ideas and policies, how they would work and why they were better. 

What makes me angriest about that is that I knew better. It isn’t enough to talk about what you’re against, you need to talk about what you’re for. Punk Rock is Bullshit, and all that. 

This time, I want to do better. I’m not sure what that will really look like just yet, but I want to start by calling your attention to this Washington Post article about the event the Biden campaign held today. It’s a short read and it definitely gave me some stuff to think about. 

Like Peas in a Pod

He pays the best attention.

In pretty much any other timeline, a foreign dignitary visiting the White House and meeting with the President would feel like business as usual. This is, after all, part of the job of being President, right? 

If only we lived in one of those timelines. 

In this timeline, we get Trump. 

It shouldn’t have surprised me, then, given how familiar I am with the Trump administration’s bullshittery, that the very first foreign dignitary to be hosted by the White House post-lockdown would be the President of Poland.

Oh wait, yes it was surprising. But only because that honor wasn’t given to Putin or, if Vlad was too busy, Kim Jong Un. 

If you’re not familiar with President Andrzej Duda, here’s the TL;DR: he’s a bad guy. 

Among other constitutional crises and other disgusting stuff, Duda has attacked the LGBTQ+ community in Poland, saying that, if re-elected he will not allow LGBTQ couples to adopt, will ban teaching about LGBT issues in schools and has said that the LGBTQ movement is a “foreign ideology worse than communism.” 

Hatred of the LGBTQ community, constitutional crises, criminalizing speech against the state…and he’s up for re-election! Sound familiar?

It is not a coincidence that this guy is the guy awarded the first post-lockdown WH visit. Of course, as usual all Trump wanted to talk about was how high his ratings are, to brag about strong-arming other members of NATO…something that Duda was all too happy to echo, usually choosing to fluff Trump’s ego instead of actually answering questions he was asked. 

The only real surprise during today’s joint presser in the Rose Garden is that Trump didn’t verbally attack any reporters. 

Anyway, here’s a link to my tweet thread of the event, if you’d like to check that out! Enjoy?

Trying New Things

One of my biggest issues with our current socio/political environment is just how f*cking fast everything happens. I’m working on a few larger stories but in the meantime on this here blog? Even the crickets have gotten bored and moved on.

This, as you all already know, really bugs me. I’m super active on Twitter but when it comes to sitting down and taking the time to type out more than 140 characters at a time? Somehow that never ends up happening. I mean, if I’m writing I might miss a breaking development! There are, like, half a dozen a day now! I have to keep up!

Okay, look: I know I really don’t. And I’m working on cutting the cable news cord a little bit at a time. It’s sort of like trying to cut through a super well-done steak with a plastic spoon but I’m trying.

…I feel like there could be a super witty marrying of that simile and the spoon theory but I probably won’t think of it until about an hour after I hit publish on this.

Last night I realized that, like so many projects I take on, I am making all this way harder than it needs to be. I’m stressing out about creating original content on Twitter. And original content on Medium. And original content here.

WTF, Self. Why not just work once, post thrice?

One of my current favorite Twitterers (Tweeters?) is @AlexandraErin (and if you’re not following her you really need to fix that. She’s amazing). She writes primarily on Twitter, creating these awesome threads full of insight and information. Sometimes she writes long-form too but she’s very open about her preference for Twitter.

I spend most my time on Twitter too, but I’m also very conscious of the fact that Twitter is not everybody’s jam. So, I’m going to try something out for the next couple of weeks: I’m going to try creating posts out of the things I tweet. Sometimes it will be pretty basic, like what you’re about to see. Other times I might add some context, summation, long-form friendly stuff. I don’t really know yet. Let’s see how this goes first. Ready?

Here is my Twitter coverage of today’s White House Daily Briefing via Storify because I wanted to try that out and see how it went.