I can tell you exactly what kind of American Idiot I am:
The exhausted kind. The powerless kind. The invisible kind. The kind that worked like HELL to stay current during the 2016 election and all that came after and eventually, after two and a half years or so of busting my ass trying to explain who our #1 idiot is and why that’s a bad thing to people unwilling to even attempt to hear me; after one more unbelievable tweet storm of insults first thing in the morning; after one day too many waking up to “I can’t even believe this is life now, and I can’t believe we are only at the early stages of the maelstrom of horrors unfolding, and that things are going to get so much worse”; after one more conversation with my children where I couldn’t cough up anything resembling hope for THEIR futures without wrapping my words in a lie…I’m exhausted.
I’m mentally drained. I know better than to believe my life matters in the least. I’m poor, and the only thing that matters in this country is MONEY. To succeed in America you have to be a shark. You have to be willing to step on whomever gets in your way on your climb to the top. You can’t afford to have compassion for the downtrodden. After all, more for them means less for you and that’s not where a shark is headed…a shark is only interested in amassing more and more of the pie. If it were up to the shark, he would have the WHOLE FUCKING PIE. He would be the last man standing. And that would be just fine with him.
I’m not a shark. All I want is enough to not be penniless by the end of every pay period and terrified my car might break down and cost me my job. All I want is to be able to pay my car payment AND my insurance both the same month instead of having to choose one or the other.
I want what most people want. Most people arent sharks. There were a few years recently where all my parenting instincts-the ones that tell me to raise fair, compassionate, capable, kind children-were very confused. I worried that what I was ACTUALLY doing was raising children who would grow up to be unable to even basically support themselves. That maybe, really, I was supposed to be raising sharks.
But prey can’t create predators. And luckily, before I had to make that decision my kids became who they became. They’re not sharks. But I like to think I’ve taught them enough about the world’s reality that they’ll be better at swimming with those sharks than I have been. That’s the only difference I’ve been able to make in the future.
And I guess we wont know if it mattered until we do.
I left Facebook and Twitter (which I only used infrequently anyway) over a year ago. I begged everyone I could reach to do the same. I refuse to use Amazon. I pay more taxes than they do and I feel like that’s criminal. Period. I know that logistically, the 99% HAVE, in sheer numbers, the collective muscle to overthrow the measly 1%. I know that if the whole 99% could manage to ignore all the manufactured issues the 1% have fooled so many of us into believing are the cause of all our problems (Roe v Wade, anyone? 2nd Amendment, anyone? OBAMAFREAKINGGATE, ANYONE?) and actually band together against our REAL enemies (predatory capitalism, anyone?), we could change things.
But their misdirection is working. The infighting created by the demented toddler-in-chief, and the social media lords, and the Amazons of the world keeps us so busy and pumped up on adrenaline we dont have anything left over when the wolf comes knocking at the door.
As individuals, we are so tired. And so overwhelmed. And yes, so powerless to affect change. Where are we to find these extra energy stores that are supposed to give us the nudge we need to get moving down a different road, together?