In this preoccupied life, the best defense is laughter. Or insanity.
First, read Martin Longman’s essay at Political Animal this morning, a ‘Desperate Sadness’ piece on how the US is fucked, and how the world responds:
This isn’t complicated, or it shouldn’t be.
Electing Trump was the entire nation deciding to stop doing whatever it was doing and stop being whatever it was, and instead just start punching itself in the face all day, every day, in perpetuity, until somehow it ends.
If we were the Ancient Greeks, we would have long ago concluded that this decision had earned the wrath of the gods.
Perhaps Trump killed his father and married his mother.
Perhaps he fell in love with his own reflection, like Narcissus.
Yet, somehow, when the time came to remove Trump from power, the country couldn’t manage to get the job done.
His impeachment acquittal in the Senate was followed immediately by the pandemic, almost as if the gods were exasperated by our decision.
“There is not only no global leadership, there is no national and no federal leadership in the United States,” said Ricardo Hausmann, director of the Growth Lab at Harvard’s Center for International Development.
“In some sense this is the failure of leadership of the U.S. in the U.S.”
The only thing holding me up now is the prospect of getting new leadership next January.
If that doesn’t happen, all is lost.
Now, read the interview with poet and essayist Souvankham Thammavongsa, author of a new collection of short-stories, “How to Pronounce Knife,” at today’s The Paris Review.
Laughter in the midst of shit, more eloquent, though, via Thammavongsa:
“Laughter is very important to me.
The cornerstone of all these stories is laughter.
To me, laughter isn’t frivolous.
It is a way of surviving.
Laughter when things are horribly unbearable.
Laughter when things are uncomfortable.
Laughter when there is nothing else to feel.
Also when there is joy, too.
You have to laugh because that’s how you take back your power.
Deriving humor from pain, and allowing the two to coexist within a single moment, has been integral to my experience of being an immigrant.”
And more laughter here as stuntmen shelter-in-place with some hard-ass knocks (another gracious h/t tengrain yesterday):
— gamaniak (@gamaniak) April 21, 2020
Funny as shit, watched it a bunch of times — can’t get enough.
(Illustration: ‘Shelter From The Storm,’ found here).