Thursday, January 19, 2017

Inauguration Day

Tomorrow I choose instead to celebrate that, despite explicit and implicit racism we’ve successfully gotten through a full two terms, eight years, with the first African-American (well, half) President, without some crazy asshat shooting him. At least one black guy wasn’t regularly pulled over by the cops. Downside, one more unemployed black man.

As we head into a new Presidential administration and Congress whose tenure I expect to be more disastrous than the Red Wedding was to the Stark family, it’s my hope that when the new President is left to govern, he’ll handle the office with combination of humility and intellectual curiosity that people deserve. I don’t expect it, but I do hope for it.

Do I expect the world to end? No, fate doesn’t like me that much. Do I expect that unchecked, the combination of a thin-skinned, aggressively reactive Executive and a bickering, hypocritically partisan Legislature will do extensive damage to our economy, society and general discourse? Yep. Not what I hope for, but certainly expected. Look, my life probably won’t change much day-to-day. I’m male, on the higher side of upper middle class and Asian. That’s like white +. We’re white + good at math + Chinese food is just….food. What I hope for is that those in power, seek understanding of those who aren’t me, who consider the effects their decisions will have on those who haven’t had the opportunities that I have and don’t have the opportunities that I continue to have. The real measure of a soecity is how well it treats the least among us; how well we can embrace change and unite us instead of untie us. But if all else fails, DJT can go fuck himself. Literally. There’s a buttplug with his likeness. He can literally go fuck himself with himself.

Two things I want to point out. First, for all the discussions around fake news that have happened since November, it’s incumbent on all of us to stay informed and to think critically, not cynically, about the information we receive. I’m not going to blame Briebart or MSNBC, I’m going to blame all of us for listening to them without asking for verifiable, credible sources. I understand that it’s difficult to you know, pay attention to stuff. It’s hard. There’s a lot of great shows on HBO to watch and only so many hours in the day. Do it anyway. The future of society rests on the critical thinking and intellectual curiosity of its people. If I didn’t have a kid I probably wouldn’t care, but since I do, the future deserve you to pay attention and think critically.

Second, and more importantly, because I’m guilty of it as well, as recently as this week in fact, that Homeland Security slogan “when you see something say something”, it doesn’t just apply to security. And it implies more nuance than a game of “I spy” where all you spy is a dark guy with headgear. If you see something dumb, like say, Giuliani being appointed a head of cybersecurity even though a 12-year old with access to Google and nmap could replace his company’s website with goatse (if you don’t know, go ahead, do an image search for goatse). If you see something dumb, then yes, say something. But make it constructive. Criticism without constructive suggestion (for example, perhaps begging Richard Clarke to come back and take that cybersecurity role) is not just a waste of time, it’s detrimental to society as a whole. Say something by way of starting a conversation with the other side that begins with “why is it you believe that is in our collective best interest?” and “help me understand.”

I also implore all of you to go to Twitter and petition them to shut down DJT’s account. Communications at the level of high public office has significant implications on domestic, and in this case global events. A President has multiple means of communication at his (eventually her) disposal. If he wants to make a statement at three in the morning, you better believe there’s an entire staff devoted to getting that message out in ways that don’t carry the threat of misinterpretation contained in a 140 character limit. He’s free to go an criticize actresses through the Press Secretary and Twitter isn’t a news desk.


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