Kage Baker stayed quietly but adamantly uninvolved with politics. It was self-defense; in order to concentrate on the writing, she had to make sure that it was the foremost concern in her mind. Whatever the it was, during the current story line.
She always said it was relatively easy to ignore Bushes I and II – they would have upset her quite a bit, but they were ridiculous enough for her to refuse to think about them. She mildly approved of Clinton because most of the time he behaved; his peccadilloes were, she felt, rather reminiscent of Kennedy and also easy to ignore. Obama was the favourite President of her lifetime – he occasioned no scandal, he wasn’t an idiot, and he actually got some work done.
Had she lived long enough for the ACA to help her – she died 50-odd days before it began to work – she’d have liked him even better. In the 7 years since Kage’s death, President Obama’s ACA has saved my life no less than 3 times, and made it simply easier to live in half a dozen different ways.
I’m not too worried about the present health care fuckarow, oddly enough. I was terrified at first, but came to realize that living in California is affording me more protection against the Republican’s predatory Trumpcare than will be given to most Trump supporters. I hate them for what they are doing to lots of old, sick, poor, female people – but I, personally, am less likely than many millions to suffer directly. Choose where you intend to decay into senescence, Dear Readers; it does make a difference.
However, the screaming and yelling and running in circles, the cursing and threatening and lies, the hideous vulgar uproar of the current Congress and President is making me insane. I am therefore trying very hard to carve a new peace in my life, wherein to retain just enough of my sanity to write. And – although a writer doesn’t need all that much sanity anyway – it’s not easy.
I’ve stopped reading most of the papers I usually peruse. I skip all but the local news; half the time, I don’t indulge regularly in Rachel Maddow (whom I like tremendously). Even the lovely Stephen Colbert is oftentimes too much for me – though I did catch his defense of Face the Nation‘s John Dickerson, and it did me good, by God. I’m mostly eschewing Facebook, except to see if anyone I know has died, and to check on a friend’s specialty page that only prints photos of cute animals: squee and obituaries, that’s as much as I can take most days.
A little writing gets done. Mostly, though, I am soothing my troubled psyche by reading. I read all the collected short stories of H.P. Lovecraft, and grieved when I ran out of them. Sadly, dear Howard is not publishing at the moment: he’s rumoured to be dead, of course; but, you know … That is not dead which can eternal lie, and all that. Having run out of not only Lovecraft but several tasty recent pastiches, I am now re-reading Stephen King novels. Those always comfort me, oddly.
What does it say that I’m reading Lovecraft and King for comfort? I suspect it means that I can abide current events even less readily than I am willing to admit. After all, I can tell myself, there are no vampires in my basement. (Raccoons, yes. Vampires, no. Do not even suggest vampire raccoons.) None of my neighbors is turning into a fungus. Fish and chips are not objects of horror. And while I would not mind being pressed into service to aid a gunslinger, all I get are daily emails from Congress critters asking for money …
Lovecraft is infinitely gloomier than King, but he still improves my mood. My own verbosity dims to razor-sharp witticisms compared to his; my fondness for semi-colons pales in comparison to his mighty run-on sentences. But King, in particular, does make me feel better. There is genuine good in his stories, real heroism, and evil is usually defeated. And the soundtracks are always good.
Thank goodness for the Kindle, though. I can expand the font and turn the lighting up and down, and avoid blue light late at night – all to accommodate my new corneal lenses. They are doing well, and I can watch telly (rare, but I do) with NO GLASSES, which is a first time ability in my entire 63 years. Close up is fuzzy, though; and writing on the computer is a bit of a strain – although at least possible. But tomorrow I am off to the optometrist for new glasses anyway. So all will be well.
Gonna get me some new glasses while I still can. This is because I have not “lived right”, and thus have accrued some small smarts and cunnings …
In the meantime, I shall continue to favour kittens over C-SPAN, and just about any literary creepy-crawly over the U.S. Congress. There’s only so much dread an old lady like me can take.