Black Lives Matter protests

It is difficult to summon up what I really think about everything happening. Is that because stress hinders brain function, or because the pattern of events going back a long ways suggests that the only reliable expectation for the months ahead is centrifugal forces growing stronger?

Is there a practical difference between the two?

It’s weird to watch all of this from home. Not that I’m just watching. I’m making my contribution with related activism.

It’s just weird. I was out early, protesting the obvious direction in which things were headed in mid-November 2016. (For that matter, I was out protesting the Cleveland police union’s endorsement of a racist for president even earlier in 2016.) I marched on Washington in April 2017. I have been out there over and over, in all conditions, with big groups or small groups or, once, on my own. I would have gone out to join BLM demonstrators at least once, now, even with the police aggression in larger cities, if not for COVID-19. As it is I’m still not going out anywhere, really. A daily, solitary hike outdoors and a shopping trip a couple of times per month is it.

In a way this becomes a physical metaphor, for the feeling of detachment I had toward this year’s political convulsions before 2020 even began. In 2017 and 2018 I threw myself into protest and midterms volunteering as though it all depended on me. In 2019, I had more of an outlook that things were playing out on a scale far larger than me, but in addition to local politics in which I felt able to make a significant difference, Elizabeth Warren just inspired me to get into the Democratic primary in spite of myself. But then her campaign was sunk by forces, arguably, set in motion long before it began, and I kind of settled to doing my bit, accepting that big affairs would go how they go, and trying to tease out some wisdom for the future.

Then we had COVID-19 and massive socioeconomic disruption and a mass police rampage and mushrooming public protest and it seems entirely possible that Republicans will by year’s end be ready to e.g. put the postal service out of business because the bamboozle has captured itself and it’s still only one week into June.

” … “

What can I say. I remember for a while in this nightmare people would say things like “buckle up!” and I would suggest that the time for that advice had been long before. Maybe that point has sunk in for more people, finally? I don’t know. Now it seems more like “buckle up but go loose because ahead is an ongoing challenge to avoid whiplash (also COVID-19).”

We’re under 150 days to the November election, for whatever that’s worth.

In the meantime, yeah. Events become a metaphor for themselves, the serpent swallows its own tail, and, naturally, what I’m watching is the collected three seasons of Millennium.

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