In one of my recent meanderings through Facebook, which sadly has become something I do multiple times a day, I happened on the following little ditty posted and credited to a web site named sun-gazing.com:
“I’m too old for this shit
I’m too tired for this shit
I’m too sober for this shit
I don’t have time for this shit”
My initial reaction was that this was a funny and perhaps poignant statement from someone on the current state of America and the seemingly endless political nightmare we find ourselves in. Something though slowly began to bother me, especially the last line: “I don’t have time for this shit”. I decided to check the web site and clicked on their “About Us” page, where right at the top was the following sentence:
“ The Sun Gazing Community was born out of a growing awareness that suffering is an optional state of being”.
Let me go on record calling “bullshit” on this unexamined bromide and suggest that perhaps the authors have gazed at the sun a bit too long or have way to much privilege coming out of their ass. There is no way I can distort the image of this little boy’s suffering into an “optional” choice on his part or even perhaps more perverted “God’s will”:
The above statement that suffering is something that is optional to me smacks of smug privilege. In looking at my own attempts to ‘resist’ the Trump regime I need to carefully “resist” personally falling into the trap of complacence. I have my Social Security and Medicare and enjoy many of the benefits that seem to effortlessly fall on many white males in America even many of us queer ones.
Can I just sit this out for four years of Trump with the perhaps sad realization that my life may not change much at all? Is it enough to assuage my conscience, as last Saturday night’s Louis C.K. SNL skit pointed out, by sitting on the couch and posting and sharing anti-Trump memes on Facebook or adding Black Lives Matter to my profile? The obvious answer in this great piece of satire is that it certainly doesn’t cover one’s sad attempt at ‘resisting’.
One of the things you sometimes hear these days is “we survived Nixon and Reagan and we will survive Trump too”. I have a couple observations on that statement. It may not apply to the 55,000 Americans that died in Vietnam to say nothing of the millions of S.E Asian lives lost during the Nixon presidency. And it behooves us to remember how gay men fared during the Reagan years. This is poignantly brought home in this photo of the small handful of members of the San Francisco Gay men’s Chorus who survived the worst years of the AIDS epidemic in that City.
Even if I personally may get by the next four years relatively unscathed many will not. My personal call to resist needs action to go with it or it is just self-indulgent masturbation. This was brought home to me very directly with a sign I saw at the Women’s March in San Francisco this last January, it was being carried by a frail and very elderly women and read: “I can’t believe I still have to protest this shit”. A much different sentiment than “I don’t have time for this shit” don’t you think.