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Charleston, West Virginia Writings

Dark Nonsense Overtaking Us

This past week it has felt impossible to detach from world events, as though a forcefield above my head was compelling me to pay attention & get involved. This has been interspersed with waves of tears. I hope current events are just a blip which soon blows over. But sometimes there is the panicked fear that things have gone too far and we can never go back. I don’t know which is real, but I believe people always have to fight for what is good, regardless. I doubt God likes surrender monkeys.

Perhaps most disturbing is the suppression of speech. So many people suddenly being removed from twitter, facebook & youtube. The President himself, random conservatives like Ron Paul, youtube channels which covered election fraud (nothing screams This Election Wasn’t Fraudulent like erasing all fraud related content). In fact I got removed from Facebook myself while writing this. It is just for 24 hours, but I won’t be surprised if a permanent ban is around the corner. They took down the entire platform of Parler which was dedicated to non-censorship. Can you believe this is our new reality? I can’t. And when I think about all the places it could lead it is hard not to cry. I guess I always took freedom of speech for granted. Now I find I am censoring myself even in private conversations- oh don’t use that violent metaphor- facebook might be reading this. Oh don’t use the color black as an adjective- they might think you are racist. Everything you say in private could be released publicly. Phrases which are socially acceptable when you use them could be dredged up years in the future to show you are a horrible person.

Do you ever try googling something then realize that all 100,000,000 articles which pop up are saying the exact same thing? Do you ever try to search for the other side of the coin and come up empty handed? Recently, I was googling to find out who killed Ashli Babbitt, for example, and all I could find were articles on what a bad person she was. She had road rage. She believed in conspiracies. It was her own damn fault some creepy guy wearing a suit & black gloves suddenly stepped out from around the corner to shoot her dead. Never mind that she was just doing what people have been doing all year. Never mind that she was unarmed & he gave her no warning, no chance to retreat. Never mind that there were three cops standing behind her, not trying to restrain her nor seeming particularly disturbed by her presence. That bitch deserved what she got. And if you don’t agree you are a nazi.

And what is a nazi? A skinhead? A German nationalist from the 1940s who wants to take over the world and eliminate Jews? No one knows. It is a word. Castro’s supporters called their enemies ‘worms.’ Speech has officially divorced physical reality. There are no truths or lies anymore, because most things have no specific meaning to begin with. You are a nazi! You are a white supremacist! You don’t believe in Science!!! You don’t believe in Climate Change!!! You don’t believe gender is assigned at birth!!! You don’t believe Experts!!! When you break them things down, none of these claims really have a concrete meaning, making it impossible to defend oneself against them. And also impossible to be sincere in claiming them.

And then we have the weird magic of believing words change reality. Pronouns change a person’s gender. Calling Ashli Babbitt a terrorist overrides the fact that she was entering unarmed into a building full of trained soldiers. Saying Trump was calling for violence overrides the fact that his final tweets (the ones which got him banned) were calling for peace & telling protesters to go home. Saying the word science makes something science. Science is no longer the study of the material world. It is a word on a rainbow flag, tattooed on the hearts of Believers. Call a person a white supremacist and they are one. In fact the only way to NOT be a white supremacist is to believe that we live in a white supremacy and attack others for their role in this.

Basically, nothing makes sense anymore. It is both rage-filled and nonsensical like a dark Alice in Wonderland, my least favorite book of all time. I have a soft gelatinous head and I hate it when people lie. It makes me feel all pretzeled up.

Another thing tying me in knots is that I still have an emotional attachment to people on the left. I grew up in a republican house & always idealized democrats as tender-hearted unicorn people. Now I see them scapegoating conservatives- as though to lay down justifications for future violence against them. (He was a nazi! She was a white supremacist!). And I don’t know how to process this. These are people I have LIKED. In some cases, a LOT. And now they are casting me and others I care for in a subhuman light, reality be damned. I want to believe it is a spell they are under and soon they will wake up. I just wish I could understand it and make some sense of it in my mind. I thought they used to be nice normal people. What happened? When and how did they decide they are surrounded by nazis and white supremacists whom they must defeat? If I could just understand and make some sense of my reality I would feel a lot better. Then I would know if I need to cut them out of my heart for good or just wait for the spell to break.

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