Kage Baker – daughter of a soldier, granddaughter and greater to a lot more, related through various complexly twisted rose-vines to the First Families of Virginia and the DAR – or what it the Daughters of the Confederacy? Probably both – anyway, she would not believe the state we are in now.
This, despite having predicted that the United States would start coming apart just about now, in the timeline of her Company Universe. “I speak as I see,” she often said, “and most of what I see is weird shit, man.” She wrote things that could be reasonably construed as coming in the near future; but she tried to make them as unlikely as possible, for the shock value. She’d be appalled and astonished, though, at how quickly the sanity of our country has been enthusiastically thrown out the nearest window.
It’s not the outcome of the election that would astound her, really. Kage had a low opinion of the democratic process; the stupidity of the majority is not actually worth more than the intelligence of the few. However, like Winston Churchill, she thought it worked better than most other things humans have tried. She had faith in the system of checks and balances, the sort of faith wherein a decent education in civics battles against a long study of historical reality. Kage rather expected people to do the stupidest thing they could. Where I think she underestimated the available force, was in considering what the stupidest thing might have been.
Although I think she would have been surprised to see fascism making a come-back when there were still people alive who remembered WWII …
I’m glad she isn’t seeing this. But I miss her more than ever, wishing I had her to man the barricades with me. I wish we could be taking turns at being in despair – it’s not the best way to get through hard times, but it does help. Right now I’m trying hard to keep up a good front in the face of all the people I see losing their minds. Some of them are going crazy with fear, others with hatred; others still with simple combat fatigue – there are a lot of people looking round and exclaiming, “We have to fight for this again?” For this, you can read so many things we looked like we were finally winning – civil rights, marriage equality, women’s rights, racial equality, economic parity, simple justice. The Cold War, for pity’s sake! World Wars I and II! The freaking Crimean War!
All I can do is hang on to what I can hold – my family, my friends, my little patch of roof and walls and garden. My morals and convictions, courtesy and compassion and duty. Freedom and responsibility.
Is it really all to do again?
I am so tired. But, hey, you can’t just give in, you know? That way lies madness. It’s hard to fight, but I am sure as hell not going to avoid the fray.
*Post Trump Stress Disorder
This will be a wild ride, all right, but all is not lost. I’ve always fancied being part of a resistance movement.
‘Be strong saith my heart; I am a soldier, I have seen worst sights than this.’
— Homer, the Odyssey
I’ve always been ready to fight for what I think is right. I’ve even done so … I just have my depressed moments; and, being a writer, I immediately blab them all over the place … logorrhia, one of my English teachers called it.
I spent a lot of years prior to this sounding like Cassandra — or worse yet, Chicken Little. I’ve always been aware that any gains made could be reversed, and that there were a LOT of people out there who’d like nothing better than to do that. I take no joy in being proven right, especially because I am just. too. old. for this. But one can only pick up the banner and march, because not doing so simply isn’t an option.
Yep. I am just going through the “Why me?” phase right now. Of course, the only answer is “Why not you? You can handle it.”