I got some good news yesterday, in spite of all the awful. And Blue Skies from Pain, my second novel, is being translated into Hungarian. I'm pretty damned happy about that. There's something deeply validating about being translated into a foreign language. Also, soon there will be an event at Dragon's Lair, and I plan on being there. It's my comics store--as in "the comics store where I've been shopping for decades."
And well, that's that. I wish I had some more happy news that I could share--if you're a liberal American like me, you need all the happy news you can get right now, but I don't. Excuse me while I ramble for a while...
One thing that I find disturbing is the number of Americans telling others: Just accept it and move on, they say. Let's work with the evil man that was elected. We have to heal. Things will go smoother if we do. Blah, blah. For some reason, that sounds an awful lot like Lord Neville's approach in the 1930s. Let's let the bad man prove himself. No. Let's not. Let's keep calling out racism and misogyny. It's the only way to go forward. The time to nod politely and pretend that you didn't hear what you thought you heard is over. It was over a long damned time ago.
I read a series of tweets yesterday about how white America doesn't confront unpleasantness. That, instead, white America walls itself off from whatever it finds it doesn't want to deal with. That this was the reason our maps of blue are parked in urban areas--areas where people of all walks of life live together--surrounded by a sea of red. The same could be seen in the Brexit vote in the UK. That over and over, white liberals have been visiting with relatives outside those urban centers and tolerated their bigotry without a word against it. That we never spoke to them about the things we knew and understood through years of living and working and being friends with people not like ourselves. That this is why those outside of urban areas voted as they did. It's an interesting thought and a compelling one. I'd even venture to say that it's a big factor in what happened. But to me, this is the inevitable result of the type of thinking which declares government useless. This is the result when you insist and insist and insist that government is a failure. Psychology has a term for it: Self-fulfilling prophecy. What's the best way to make sure government doesn't work? Hire a stupid, hateful abuser charged with multiple counts of fraud. Yep. That'll kill it.
My inner optimist can't help feeling like this is the last gasp of humanity's brutal self. History isn't a circle, it's a loop. We've been chewing on the problem of systemic oppression for the past decade, and we've been making real progress as more and more individuals become aware of it. I see systemic oppression as a disease. It invades our minds unobserved, and it camps there, influencing our unconscious behavior. Enough of us became wise to its presence that it decided to dig in--I understand disease usually does before it's finally beaten. Things go dark before the dawn. Here's hoping the dark doesn't stay forever.
is a Science Fiction and Fantasy author living in Texas.