Why does this week feel like the End Times? (Rant Part 1 of Many)

I’ve been thinking about the Women’s March a lot this week – not just because people are still uploading their pictures or because estimated totals are still rolling in (although, yeah, those signs are amazing and I just can’t believe so many humans attended). But because this week has sucked (personally and professionally for me as well as politically for basically everyone). And the March memories have been a comfort me.

We are 8 days into Trump’s presidency and shit is already hitting the fan (I guess whether you agree with that statement depends on your political beliefs and whether you were or were not hoping he would follow through on a single campaign promise but it seems like even people who supported him before are upset now so it feels universal):

  • Those goddamn cabinet nominees. UHG. They all feel like the kind of suggestions you get in a meeting where someone says “There are no bad ideas” and then someone jokingly yells out what is clearly a terrible idea but it gets written down to prove a point. He seems to be choosing people to run departments specifically based on whether they have previously made public statements about wishing they could dismantle that department.
  • The environment is maybe the thing I’m the most worried about at the moment. Because in two years (at the midterms) or four years (at the next presidential election) it may be too late to reverse whatever damage is done to the environment and climate change will be severe and irreversible. He’s already approved work to resume on the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Keystone Pipeline and, again, it’s day 8.
  • Women’s rights – by reinstating the global gag rule he’s rolling back women’s rights and medical safety across the globe. His VP spoke at the March for Life. And it’s clear he’s made other groups who are hoping to put an end to a woman’s right to choose feel safe introducing legitimately illegal legislation. Of course, it’s Texas  which already has the highest maternal mortality rate in the industrialized world trying to make abortion a felony.
  • Alternative goddamn facts are a thing now.
  • He did not, as many had irrationally believed, forget about the wall.

(This list is already too short and out of date and I started it YESTERDAY)

But somehow I’m optimistic. Terrified but optimistic. There are SO MANY of us. And if we work together I have a hard time believing there’s anything we couldn’t accomplish (barring nuclear war or the heat-death of the universe). I am hopeful that we can at least start turning that around at the midterm elections.

I was just so heartened from so many different groups marching together, talking to each other, and supporting each other even when they didn’t agree on all points.

*** I find it crucial to note that I have also seen the same misunderstanding pop up a lot in response to the marches, something vaguely along the lines of “I wanted to go but I’m Pro-Life and knew I wouldn’t be welcome even though I believe everyone should be able to do whatever is best for themselves.”

A) First and foremost Pro-Life people were welcome at any of the marches. The only thing I’ve read is that they were taken off the list of hosts for one.

B) What you are describing is Pro-Choice. Pro-Life is when you don’t think that anyone should be able to get an abortion no matter what. Pro-Choice is when you think everyone should be able to decide for themselves even if you personally would never choose to have an abortion. Because that is your choice and no one else’s. ***

Wuthering Heights Wins at Everything

Wuthering Heights is, quite seriously, my favorite book of all time. I’ve read it easily a dozen times and every time I notice something (or somethings) that I never have before.

The characters are amazing. They are all intriguingly damaged. Romance is mostly between good girls and bad-for-no-reason boys. The boy sees this nice girl and realizes that he could be nice to her and they could be nice together and then they skip around. Or some such nonsense. (Occasionally I am a fan of skipping, but this book is better than that. This book contains 0% happy skipping.) It is a cautionary tale about how love makes people miserable and insane. This story tells you what happens at the end of the uncontrolled love road – if you are a sociopath and/or none of your friends has the decency to slap you and tell you to get it together (or if, in the case of Catherine and Heathcliff, you have never had any friends). Hint: it’s brainfever.

I do love a frame. I feel like this is a plot device under-utilized in books but over-utilized in, say, mystery TV shows. We are shown the eventual outcome and then the story jumps backwards – about 30 years in this case. And then we all get to be detectives with Lockwood. PLUS two stories in one!

Unreliable narration just makes me happy. It leaves the entire interpretation up to the reader. It is a story that seriously expects more of you. Lockwood is wrong about everything. And he’s decidedly un-omnicient. (There has got to be a better way to say that.) He’s actually pretty stupid; he mistakes Heathcliff insisting his new tenant sleep outside in the snow for shyness. C’mon, that’s priceless.

You have to read it twice. I know this is bad news because it is written in a dense, old style that’s time consuming and the characters are all basically jerks but, I promise, everyone who’s terrible gets what they deserve. But even if I told you everything that happens in it, and I will if you ever foolishly mention this book in my presence, you would still have to read it twice. The first time you adjust to the flow of it and realize that the plot is never going to go where you think it will; the second time it’s amazing. AMAZING. Plus Kate Bush wrote a song about it with a ridiculous video. AND Kate Beaton felt it deserved two comic strips. So the two best Kates I can think of approve.

In conclusion, it wins at everything.