Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Too Distraught to Come Up with a Title for This Post

Go back to bed, folks. The world has been cancelled for the foreseeable future.

Yesterday I published an anxiety-filled, depression-laced, yet trying to remain optimistic pre-election result post. It appears the worst case scenario has taken place. People the world over are waking up this morning, sipping on their morning bevvy and trying to digest how such a thing could take place. Or perhaps, they are taking one last swig of their highly alcoholic drink in an attempt to fall asleep and hope that when they wake up it will all be undone… somehow.

I woke up this morning at 8:02AM. The little boy who usually cries between 8:30 and 9:30 every morning had gotten an early start. But the sun was peaking in through the cracked in the window. I heard birds pleasantly chirping, chickens nibbling and cock-a-doodle-doodling, and goats goating…or whatever it is they do. It appeared to be an ordinary morning. But something told me it wasn’t and the countless social media posts about the Canadian Immigration site crashing, Florida’s results, and an array of quotes and comments of friends and family in disbelief confirmed what I’d been afraid of.

I laid there, in the comfort of my bed, for a few minutes trying to process. I couldn’t find anything definitive, so I took to the ‘ol Book of Faces to see who was online. And within minutes, a friend deciphered the cryptic messages I’d read only a few moments earlier. And I could do nothing more than just lay there… stunned.

I felt (and continue to feel) numb. My whole body hurt. I felt that same wave of confusion, sadness, denial and disbelief as I did when my brother arrived at my apartment to tell me my mother had died*. How the FiretrUCK did this happen?

This was a bet I did not want to win.

For those of you unaware of my many useless talents, I seem to have an ability to jokingly make a comment and then *poof* – it actually happens. Usually it’s less impactful, smaller-scale things, like the time I jokingly said to my flatmate after our landlady called and asked to meet with us immediately, “wouldn’t it be funny if she told us she was kicking us out of our flat? and then when she arrived she tried to do just that**… Most times I do this as a means of playing devil’s advocate, in the same way, I embraced my role of “Stephen Harper supporter” in an environmental studies program so well, that I convinced a good number of students that I really did love his policies and ideologies. I do this to get people thinking, to start conversations, and to attempt to get those who engage to develop arguments that support their stance. This time around, it appears I advocated for the wrong devil. And, for the record, I’d take ‘ol Stevie back in a heartbeat if Trump were the alternative!

In the case of Harper, it began as a means of finding the good out of a bad situation. I was repeatedly heard making statements like: yeah, but he loves cats, or but he’s in a rock ‘n roll band, or my favourite go-to but he’s writing a book about hockey! Leading up to this election, I have been witnessed saying such things as yeah, but just think about how great SNL will be for the next 4 years, or, yeah but, how funny will it be to watch him to try to build this wall and get Mexico to pay for it? So while sitting here, trying to apply that same methodology, post-election, I can only come up with this: at least people came out to vote. The final numbers aren’t in yet, but so far, voter turnout has been indicated as higher than in previous elections. So, even if the end result wasn’t the desired one for the vast majority of people outside of the United States, it is important to recognize that citizens of that country actually exercised their right to do something that many, MANY people in other countries are not free to do. But what that says about the state of said country, and the world, really, is the most troubling bit of it all.

Let’s just take a second to process this… What does it say about the state of the US, or the world for that matter, that “we’d” rather vote for a former-reality star, with a proven track record of bankruptcy and mismanagement than a woman to run the “leader of the free world”? What does it say that a man who relied on misinformation, hate, and fear-mongering, and who routinely made sexist, racist and homophobic remarks (amongst others) could be elected President over a woman? Sure, Hill may not be the model first female President that many of us would have imagined, but even I can see that would have been the better option.

My heart just hurts. My faith in humanity is at a new all-time low***. I am actually afraid of what the next few months and years might bring – and this coming from someone who has spent the better part of the last decade trying to combat the very real environmental crisis that is already upon us. I fear for my friends and fellow humans that do not fit the heterosexual, white male category. I fear for the rights of women. I fear for the already and presently contested rights of indigenous people. I fear for the rights of Muslims, members of the LGBTQ community, and the long list of other disenfranchised and degraded minorities of this world. I am amazed at how overnight the world could go from taking one step forward, to taking far too many steps back to even begin to start counting****. But to these groups I have noted above, I’d like to say: the views that we have been hearing are not a reflection of the Western world as a whole, nor do they reflect my own personal beliefs.

There is a young boy in the US who is known as Kid President. For a number of years, he has been a source of hope that I turn to when my humanity tank has been depleted. The first video of his I ever saw starts by saying, “the world could use a pep-talk” and today, these words ring true. So, I will leave you with this video – one I’m sure I have posted on a number of occasions in the past. And, maybe another classic – Goats in Pyjamas – because we need all the reminders of good that the world can give us right now.

Bonus video: Baby Tedster - a delightful little Canadian kid, and Beliber - reacting to catching his first fish. 

Here’s to Kanye 2020… because it can’t be any worse*****.

-the Orange Canadian

*I’m not saying a country that is not my own making possibly one of the most disastrous decisions not only of my life time, but quite possibly in the history of the human species, is equal to the grief and pain of losing a parent… but at least in the case of my Ma only a small population was directly impacted – even if it felt like the whole world had come crashing down. At the same time, I’m so thankful she is not here to witness the events that will soon unravel, as I’m pretty sure there isn’t enough bread and cookies she could bake to even begin undoing the suffering that will soon result from this decision.
**We weren’t evicted, it just happened that there was another party interested in taking our flat before we moved in. Apparently they were waiting on funds of some sort so that they could rent it, and found said funds some months later. So the landlady was actually asking us if we could switch flats, rather than kicking us out… but still.
***Don’t get me wrong, I know there are a great number of people and things in this world that prove that we aren’t completely hopeless…yet.
****The sarcastic message behind the infamous quote “We’ve come a long way, baby!” sure resonates with me today!
*****Actual campaign slogan… I think.


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