The center cannot hold

There feels like there is nothing left to say.

Each day, here in these United States, brings a fresh insult to whatever sense of civility, decorum, and respect we should have for all human beings (white or black or brown or whatever color of the rainbow, whatever gender, whatever sexuality, whatever class, whatever!).

It is a daily ask: what in the hell is going on?

I was on a plane crossing over the Atlantic  headed towards The District for the Kavanaugh committee vote. On my plane, that was the only conversation, row after row, Brits and Americans and a smattering of Australians, Kiwis, and Europeans — all trying to figure out just what was going on, how would the committee vote, and what it would mean.

We landed. The news appeared on all of our phones. So many were disappointed; not a single person in my vicinity was surprised.

That is the part that feels unbearable – that no one was surprised.

People more informed than I have already laid waste to the newspapers and blogs and Twitter, et al. about this being about power and partisanship and winning and the patriarchy, etc. I have nothing to add to that conversation.

It’s all true.

What I do have is a question: so how do we live? Not how do we vote; not how do we protest; not how do we resist—

How does one live? How does one exist in a space and a place that has made it explicitly clear that you – your voice, your body, your personhood – don’t matter.

Inequality was best encapsulated for me in the phrase of “you and I both matter, one of us just matters less” – but what do you do when mattering less is now effectively not mattering at all?

In the winner-takes-all environment that it seems that we live in, that parties on both sides of the divide seem to have embraced, we don’t even have old school inequality anymore. We have something new and more extreme and more dangerous.

We have Law and Order. We have Black and White. We have No Compromise. We have No Deals. We have No Center.

Yeats was right: the center could not hold. And no matter what direction this all could have gone in – Right or Left – it’s not a world I like living in. It’s not a world to live in.

It’s bleak today and the forecast remains poor.

 

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