Weird and Bad: 2017 in Review

IMG_3066It’s been a crazy year. Whether it was a nazi versus juggalo rally in Washington, DC, or whether it was literally anything that Trump tweeted, every day has been completely surreal.

But what’s been more surprising than anything else is how we’ve coped. We’ve gotten angry, in the form of protests, and we’ve gotten sad, in the form of quiet commiseration, but more than anything it seems that we’ve found resolve.

In the midst of horror and injustice and humiliation, we’ve found ways to assert the durability of our character. And in the face of those who seek to scare us into submission, and in the face of a brand of absurdity that poses an existential threat to humanity, we’ve laughed.

At times, these moments of what can almost be called joy have seemed inappropriate. Enjoying the absurdity, when the absurdity will have real negative consequences on peoples’ lives is a truly dark humour. But at other times, it has been inspirational. Watching people make joy for themselves and those sharing in their fight, even when things seem most dire, is a true testament to the human spirit.

And I think there’s something to be said for this remarkable durability: that we are more likely to win a war if we can make fighting the war bearable. If we can make it fun to show up and to speak out for good causes, without undermining the seriousness of those causes. If the struggle can be a celebration; a celebration of having found the company of those who are also willing to struggle. Because there is so much more work to be done: political work, policy work, social work, healing. There are generational wounds to be addressed, and there are generations worth of social infrastructure to develop to address the deeper issues that are responsible for the symptom flare-up that has been 2017.

We need to find ways to make doing this difficult work sustainable. We need to find a way of making this work more energizing more of the time than it is draining. We need to keep finding ways of both enduring and confronting a sustained assault on everything that we hold dear with a bright and vibrant spirit. This will serve not only to prove our durability and resolve to others; it will ensure we don’t lose ourselves – and lose sight of our values and goals in the process – to despair.

Posted in: Progress

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