Passage #377: 9 November 2016
So America elected an ignorant, fascistic, racist rapist to be president.
There really are no words.
Except perhaps that I — and pardon me for breaking from our typical first person plural here, but I can only speak for myself — I seriously underestimated how stupid my fellow citizens truly are. I am not sad; I am disgusted. I feel sick. It is not even that I am particularly surprised, actually, but I still had hope for better. I knew it was bad, but didn’t realize it was quite this bad.
So you will get no focus on the positive from me, no silver linings or tunnel-ending lights. And I see no reason to try to bridge divides or work together. You don’t counter ignorance with tolerance. You don’t respond to racism and misogyny with understanding. You don’t meet fascism halfway; you stamp it out. And, yesterday, we failed to do so. I cannot look on any bright sides; things seem pretty dark.
Yet there is a bike ride to lead. And all I can do is what I myself need right now — and hope that it might help some other people too — and that is to climb a big hill.* To push my body a little bit, to get out of my head, to literally, if only momentarily, rise above it all.
* Sorry if this excludes anyone that wants to come out tonight, that could use a bike ride right about now. I can only say that my intention is very much not to cater to the “tough guys” this evening.** And, if being on the top of a hill will help you too, please come. Even if you have to walk some of it. It’ll be a relatively short ride so there should be plenty of time.
** Indeed, the one bit of control I can take amongst the overall current feeling of impotence is to say that certain tough guy attitudes that have been bubbling up on the ride lately need to stop. I am fairly socially awkward and non-confrontational — and hopeful that our generally positive ride culture will be self-correcting — so I have been relatively silent on the matter but, moving forward, if I hear anyone call anyone else a “pussy” for not being tough enough again, or harass someone for not going fast enough or whatever, even in jest, basically any of that masculine BS that a small but vocal group have been serving up lately, you’re out. You will be asked to never return. I’m done with small but vocal small-mindedness.***
*** And, if you are someone who thinks Trump’s awesome, or even just “not that bad,” you can probably do us all a favor and not come back to the ride either. There are apparently plenty of places you can go in this country where that kind of thinking is perfectly welcome, but this ride is not one of them. I have no interest in trying to educate you or change your mind. If his vile character is not to you self-evident, you are beyond help. Go away.