Tuesday, November 29, 2016
You may think, from the title, that this post is about Internet trolls. But no, it's about actual trolls -- the toy kind, with the wild hair. Remember them, from the '70s? I guess they're still around, because while Olga and I were walking yesterday morning, we came across this blue-haired guy lying on the ground.
Olga gave him a sniff but didn't seem otherwise interested. I set him up on a planter where whoever dropped him will hopefully see him more easily.
Nearby, we found his Cousin It-like friend. I put him on the planter, too.
As I often say, you never know what you'll find while walking the dog.
I had an incredibly busy day yesterday. Tons of stuff coming back to the library after the break, and tons of people stopping by my desk to chat. I'm one of those very public people at school, always sitting out in the open, and I consider it part of my job to make time for people who stop by to talk. Consequently I felt like I was getting pulled all day in this direction or that. I was frazzled by the time I got home. If I had hair, I would have looked like one of those trolls.
I haven't mentioned politics lately, but of course that's at the back of my mind, too -- my lingering sense of dread regarding our world leadership. I don't know about you, but I have friends who have been seriously incapacitated by the American election. A couple of my colleagues can barely function. They're prone to crying in the hallways.
My personal coping mechanism is to clearly recognize what I can and cannot do and/or change. The election outcome is awful, but under the American system, Donald Trump is (almost certainly, despite recount efforts) the legitimate winner. Lots and lots of Americans wanted him -- a winning assortment of Americans, under our system. There is nothing for those of us on the losing side of history to do but bite the bullet and live with him, and respect, if not the candidate himself, then the wishes of our fellow countrymen and -women. That's democracy, right?
People say we can't normalize him, but the fact is, we have to -- to some degree, if only just to move on with our lives. We don't have to roll over completely. We can guard against the darker impulses that helped fuel his rise -- the racism, the xenophobia. I'm seriously weighing some Christmas donations to organizations that will fight for causes I believe in, now possibly under threat. That's something I can do.
Meanwhile, as I've written before, I'm also trying to remain open-minded. We really don't know much about how all this will unfold. I'm trying to make room for the possibility that it won't be terrible. The system itself is built to protect us from an inept leader. I'm not sure it's healthy to prematurely expect or anticipate disaster.
Admittedly, I do shudder every time Donald Trump issues another tweet. (I don't use Twitter, but I do read about his tweets in the paper.)
And hey, look at that -- this post did turn out to be about an Internet troll!