I’ve been musing recently on the fact that I haven’t been touching at all on current events with my posts and, especially for those who know me, how odd and maybe even offensive that might seem to some of you considering the horrifically misguided state much of the world, tragically led by my home country, currently finds itself in.
The truth is, I’m inherently a passionate, outspoken student of history and politics. Remember when I said a favourite pastime of friends and family
is was to get me drunk or high and sit back to be entertained while I pontificated about something or other? Well, that something or other was often politics, history, current events, religion, or the like. I’m just fucking fascinated by humans. Often disgusted, sometimes delighted, but always fascinated. And my feelings on the subject of history, my greatest passion, can be well summed up by my favourite quote from Harry S. Truman, the 33rd POTUS:
“There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know.”
I studied mostly history, political science, and religion in college, and have always been more than happy to go toe to toe with literally anyone on any subject contained therein. I once got into a heated discussion when I was no more than 19 or 20 about the folly of the Vietnam War with my ex-BIL’s father, your somewhat typical old, crotchety, white, NRA-supporting, Fox News-watching, racist Republican (wait, that was all super redundant, I think…), whom most people made a policy of treading lightly around, in his own living room, no less. The spectacle was entertaining to the surrounding family members at first, but as the volume rose and I refused to back down on my position, something he wasn’t used to experiencing, the room slowly and quietly emptied of spectators for fear of how it would end. It eventually ended by him getting up red-faced from his sacred recliner-throne and storming out of the room. But you know what? He came back a little while later and admitted that he had never known or considered some of the things I had said and actually appreciated the discussion.
I used to LIVE for those moments and take pride in the fact that most people on the other side of an argument from me are often willing to concede that while they may not agree with me, they do respect me and my position because I tend to be passionate, yes, but also extraordinarily reasonable and logical and well-informed.
So PLEASE know that I know what the FUCK I’m talking about when I say FASCISM is ALIVE AND WELL in the US right now.
See? I can’t even type that without using lots of caps. And therein lies the problem for me at this point: I don’t refrain from discussing current events because I don’t care–I refrain from discussing current events because I care too much. Like, to the point that it affects my somewhat fragile mental health.
To further illustrate how worked up I can get about history and politics, I’ll share a scene from our family room yesterday evening.
The scruffy-looking nerfherder had just put the wee folk to bed (it would be another two or so hours before they were actually asleep, aided finally by the SLNH singing a lullaby and lightly scratching their backs, for those wondering) and I had settled in on the couch to write, like you do. Afterward, he came and sat with me so we could connect and have a bit of adult conversation before he went off to conquer the world. And since I don’t really get to talk to adults much during a normal day, I often take this opportunity to inundate him with my saved up verbal diarrhea from the previous 10 or so hours.
Last night’s verbal torrent consisted of my retelling of and thoughts on the 1842 British retreat from Kabul during the First Anglo-Afghan War, because that’s what I had spent some downtime reading about yesterday.
You know, LIKE YOU DO.
And, of course, the SLNH knew a bit about it anyway and was totally into listening to me rant about this instance of epic incompetency on the part of Imperial Britain in Central and South Asia in the 19th century because he’s a sexy history-lover like that. But apparently I was getting really fucking worked up discussing the deadly absurdity of Major-General Elphinstone’s “leadership” during this affair and how we clearly didn’t learn anything from this and many other historical ventures into Afghanistan because the SLNH put up a hand at one point and said, “I realize how passionate you are about the British retreat from Kabul in the 19th century, but I just put the kids to bed and you’re literally yelling about Afghanistan right now.”
And he was right. I was quite literally yelling out my passionate diatribe about the ignored lessons of British Imperialism. And when he brought it up jokingly this morning, I laughed for a minute and then couldn’t help but launch into it AGAIN until he stopped me.
If I can unconsciously get THAT worked up discussing the incompetency of a foreign army on yet more foreign soil two fucking centuries ago, imagine, if you will, how fucking worked up I have the potential to get in discussing current events in my country and around the world.
Go ahead. Imagine. I’ll wait.
I felt the need to put this out there because what’s happening right now is hugely important in the grand scheme and cycle of US and world history. I have insights, I have perspective, and I have opinions on ALL of it–but I can’t let any of it really surface right now for fear of it consuming my brain.
So, as far too many are bent on dismantling right now, I’m choosing to focus on creating instead.
But please don’t mistake my silence for complacency.
It’s really just self-preservation.