On My Mind: WTF Is Happening to My Country

by Rachael on June 1, 2017

These days my pinned tweet says “WTF is happening to my country is the biggest open loop draining my psyche rn,” and recently I found myself wasting so much time trying to close this loop that I’ve set up the Freedom app so that I cannot look at social media or the news for most of the day. How foolish I am to try to close an open loop on the Internet of all places, especially on Twitter, my favorite poison, where the general theme is mostly OMG we’re all going to die. And yet much of what I have found here on the Internet has been a help to me in recent months.

I’ve Been Reading Ecclesiastes (not originally an Internet find, of course, but I most recently read it here) reminds us that nothing is new under the sun. Masha Gessen advises on how to survive an autocracy; in particular, her counsel to “remember the future” is a touchstone for how best to make our way through the present. (The Twenty-fifth Amendment is not going to save us; nor do I think it should, for example.) Alyssa Rosenberg cautions against calling basic civics “resistance,” which is why I keep promising myself that the kind of work I’m doing now with Indivisible is work I will be doing for the rest of my life. More recently, Rebecca Solnit tells us that equality keeps us honest, whereas inequality creates liars and delusion.

I’ve Been Listening Last summer Alex Goldman and PJ Vogt answered the phone for 48 hours straight; in November the resulting episode of Reply All restored some of my faith in humanity. Yesterday on Trumpcast, Virginia Heffernan and Jared Yates Sexton discussed covfefe, postmodernism, and whether we should just “surrender to the gibberish” (of course not).

On Twitter Recently I was marveling at the freedom with which my kids draw and wondering what happens to that freedom for most of us adults, and then I remembered Josh Marshall’s freewheeling drawings on Twitter. Follow him for his astute analysis of our national politics, as well as for the adventures of Red Pen Guy and Randolph the Dog.

Art by Michelle Vaughn

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