I know I’m not alone when I say that the world, the country, the news, is all crushingly depressing lately. So many of us feel powerless to effect the kind of change we need to make sure that justice, liberty, the pursuit of dreams – all those things our country was fucking founded on – are still attainable. It feels overwhelming. It feels like a lot of our naivety has been stripped away. It feels like everything weighs a million pounds.
First we were turnt up on outrage. Now we’re burnt out on outrage.
“It feels a little like the months after 9/11, when we all just wandered through like zombies because it was all just too much,” my husband remarked the other day, looking up from the glow of his laptop. He’d just sent me a list of civilians killed in botched police raids. I didn’t read it. I already knew there were too many, the instances were too galling.
It’s not that it’s one thing we can focus on, however, like 9/11 – it’s EVERYTHING. It’s the seemingly unstoppable tide of unarmed deaths of people of color by police who are supposed to protect us, and there’s no repercussions at all. At fucking all. The backlash against the victims that makes certain cross-sections of America look embarrassingly ignorant, classless, racist, and awful. It’s Rolling Stone throwing their victim under the bus. It’s climate change, the squeezing of the middle class, the feeling that every politician has been bought and they’re barely bothering to hide it anymore.
It doesn’t help that the holiday season is often a time for intense stress for so many folks. I am one – while I truly want to feel the wonder, the magic of Christmas that I did as a kid, it’s no longer happening for me. I haven’t belonged to a religion since I was a teenager. I hate with a passion the crass commercialization that goes on during December. So while a lot of people take solace in the joy of the holidays, there’s those of us that go the other way.
I struggle to come up with an answer to how I, how WE, how all of us that feel this, can make it better.
Usually our job here at the Clam is to cheer people up – make people laugh, make people think, piss some folks off, but our goal is to MAKE SHIT BETTER. A lot of that we do with humor, sometimes we’re serious, but a heck of a lot of the behind the scenes Clam conversations are about making people, making businesses, making the city better. I want to make this better for everyone.
But I’m not sure how, when I can’t even make it better for myself.
Do I tell you to take comfort in the small joys in life? I guess. Maybe you already do that. Maybe you already sniff out the positive articles on Facebook and enjoy them or share them. Maybe you already look around, realize we live in an incredible time of technology, of medicine, a time when knowledge is exploding, and take solace in that.
Maybe you do all that already and this is all still overwhelming and too big. It’s too much all at once, isn’t it?
I can’t make it better right now. At least, perhaps, by acknowledging the crushing weight so many of us are feeling, we can all stop feeling so alone in our anger-overload. Maybe the fact that we feel the anger and outrage, even if we’re so burnt out, means we care. We’re engaged, we’re listening, and we want to make it better.