It’s curious how little things can set me off or trigger depression. Granted, this is the depressing dawn to a depressing era, and while there is a possibility of a Christmas Miracle that might right all wrongs (or at least right enough wrongs that we can work on some of the old wrongs while looking at some of the new, uncovered wrongs), it would, indeed, be a miracle. The odds of it are nonzero but are not better than 50%. Or even necessarily 3%. It’s a true hail-Mary situation.
But this morning Ren bit me. I was asleep. He was under the covers (some dogs like to burrow and find themselves a cavey cubby), and he stirred and unawake, I reached down to check on him and he snapped at me. No blood, but he broke skin. Ren is notoriously temperamental when he’s under covers, and I’ve accounted for it before, but sometimes his temper gets through and I don’t take well to open hostility.
I’m not taking well to it now. In my rage, I want to throw him in the kennel outside where temperatures have been occasionally dipping into freezing. The old WWII POW camp cooler, where misbehaved prisoners are sent to toss a baseball against the wall. But yeah, that would be too cruel.
Instead, I’m passive-aggressively ignoring him and his insatiable thirst for approval. Fuck you, dog. The hand you bite will still feed and walk you, but it doesn’t have to like it.
I don’t approve of him today. I want him to know what he’s done and to be genuinely apologetic about it, and to strive to never do it again.
I want the impossible.
So, today, I’m depressed. The Trump election victory has been a sore indicator that this is no country for pluralists and collaborators any more than it is a country for Latins or Muslims or women. Then there’s the active effort by the President-elect and his cabinet (including his kin) to utilize the position of leadership for self-enrichment, all the while our legislators are eager to cut benefits to poor people, because fuck these guys. And I haven’t really even touched on the ideological denial of anthropogenic global warming and climate change* epidemic in our government. That may set the world back decades in curbing the rising global temperature rate, if we get lucky and climate change doesn’t start its runaway (self-perpetuating) cycle.
People talk about the Trump era as if it’s grieving a loss, that we go through the (apocryphal) stages of grief, because we suffered a loss. But the Era of Trump is not the death of a thing, but an ongoing dying of a nation. It’s like your favorite aunt dying from Parkinsons. Every day yet another part of Aunt Liberty is gone, and we have to grieve that we’ll never see that part of her again. And then there’s always the hope that there’s going to be a cure, or something that will stop the deterioration process.
So I’m angry, and I want to get active, but there’s so little impact I can have, so I feel depressed and hopeless. This cycle is, incidentally, that very same process that builds up that numbness to the world that rampage shooters reach when they flash out. Most people (by far) who get to this internalized gray space don’t rampage shoot, but rampage shooters and family annihilators and suicides all make their final exit in this grey space.
And then my dog — who I really try to treat well — bites me because he’s grouchy when he sleeps. I’ve had enough.
So, I’ll resume my ranting and analysis and crap tomorrow.
* At some point I should talk about The Great Filter, an implication of the Fermi paradox (With so many stars out there, the galaxy should probably be teeming with advanced civilizations. So where are they?). So far, the human species has not been able to organize well enough to develop a strong enough space program to even seriously consider colonizing other worlds. (We fantasize about colonizing mars or reaching exoplanets, but still, these are futurist fantasies that require stronger economies, healthier societies and solutions to power and construction that we do not yet have and cannot yet attain without wrecking the planet and breaking out into ideological wars. So there are plenty of filters ahead of us — that is, circumstances that will sooner leave us extinct before we colonize other worlds with self sustaining colonies — and we may yet be no more capable than bonobos or wolves of becoming a space-faring, offworld-colonizing civilization. Hence, we are as doomed to perish here on our homeworld as they.
But I’m not going to write (more) about it today.