Specifically, a 15 year-old cis, hetero boy. And one who needs to get his shit together.
I should have written this post months ago. And that fact that I’m still capable of writing it- because nothing of significance has changed – kinda pisses me off. Alas…we’re here and there’s nothing to do but accept it.
Think of each country in the world as a person unto itself. We might imagine Ireland as a beautiful red-headed woman of about 30 years. She’s been through some violent growth spurts, raging inside herself to decide who really rules her, but she’s finally come to peace in the last few years. We can imagine England as a an older man, still white and cranky, but not so hell-bent on penis-waving conquering as he was in his 20s. (I think of England in its empire-building stage very much like Maverick from “Top Gun”- ready to prove its superiority at every turn, no matter the cost. These are simplified metaphors in many ways, but still valuable for examination and insight purposes, I think.)
And then there’s America. How can we tell America is a 15 year-old boy and not something else? We look at American culture and see: what does America like? What does it value? Uphold? You can tell a lot by what a culture produces and prefers- just like what a person produces and prefers.
It could give a shit about education or facts.
Addiction, and social circumstances that cause a fuck ton of depression.
Lack of critical thinking skills.
Prefers short-term solutions.
Political masturbation of the lowest sort.
Personal (white) supremacy. In other words, ‘if they ain’t me, fuck ’em.’
A distinct lack of wisdom.
Blaming others for its circumstances.
Just wants to go fast and fuck.
Playing power games with bravado and stupidity.
Easily entertained with bright lights and not much substance.
Heroics instead of actual care.
Lack of compassion.
[[I apologize to 15 year-old boys who don’t fit this mold; I know your smart, compassionate selves are out there.]]
And you can most certainly tell that America is a 15 year-old cis-het boy because a significant portion of the electorate felt Donald Trump was a good leader. A man who said so little of substance that everyone could project their hopes and ideas on him- and look at what they projected. Racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, class warfare, and white supremacy for miiiiles.
We’re kinda disgusting. And I say “we’re” on purpose- because even if we didn’t vote for the Trashman, we are part of this culture and contributing to it with our every decision and indecision. Unless we are actively fighting it, we’re contributing to it. And I include myself in that judgement.
Here’s the thing, though. America has a better side. It has a better persona that is fighting to make its way out. Which is also how we know America is a 15 year-old; it’s still deciding who it is, and probably will be for a while.
What I know about the other side of America is that it is a side that it holds the opposite of most the qualities I listed previously.
The other side of America, the side that is fighting for its very breath, is so much better. It contains a lot of white supremacy still, but it also contains:
Acceptance of science and facts.
It reads books.
It’s gone to therapy for its issues.
It has broken, wailed, and healed- it knows the path of growth.
It knows that the value + integration of diversity and equality are necessary.
It might like sex, but it asks for consent.
It values transparency, vulnerability, and honesty.
It takes responsibility for its actions.
It seeks long-term solutions that are both efficient and effective for the Earth and its people.
It applies wisdom.
It upholds the feminine.
It doesn’t put up with immature bullshit.
There are people fighting daily to keep this America alive inside the body of the 15 year-old boy version of America. It’s a hard fucking fight- most especially for those who are fighting despite marginalization and resources withheld by policy and policing (and they are often the groups fighting the hardest. A lot of white ladies who marched in pink hats last January are still stepping on the necks of black women).
Here’s the thing about 15 year-old boys, though- nobody really wants to be around a kid like this. Most (not all, but many) other countries have gotten past this age and while they will nod and smile, they’re not about to let this dolt do any damage to the greater good of the planet (thank god). And 15 year-old boy America can stand around and swing its dick everywhere, but eventually everyone gets tired of the show (and really, 15 year-old dicks have no useful experience to offer us anyhow).
I believe that the majority of America, who voted for ‘not Trashman,’ have the upper hand and will eventually win out. It may take a while to undo the pissing contest mess that’s been created in a single year, but I trust it will be done. And I trust that actual jobs bills will be passed and single-payer healthcare will finally get rooted, and maybe even basic income will become a national thing. Because the one thing about fighting with ourselves is that we either die psychologically in the process (which would be fine, we can begin all over again, in that case) or the more evolved side wins out (check your personal experience with 15 year-old boys and see if I’m not right). Human culture always wants to move itself forward, and so I trust in that.
In the mean time, give yourself to the fight for America to grow up and get its shit together as often as you can. Our daily choices spread out beyond us in the same way that stones dropped in a lake make waves and eventually change the shoreline. America can be something smarter, more compassionate and fair, and a good person in the world again. I believe that because I know the sorts of people who fight for this- we are healed, we are aware, we are compassionate and intelligent. And there are more of us.
I’ll leave you with the words of our great leader, Beyonce: boy, bye.