Category: Climate Change

I need lithium for my political mood swings

I’m really eff’ing cranky right now.

Every six months I go see my psychiatrist, who asks me if I want more antidepressants, and every six months I tell her no. When I was there a few weeks ago, my answer was the same. I don’t believe my bad mood is a biological issue, but rather circumstantial. Not that I’m denying being one of those cursed artistic personalities, with a brain as sensitive as it is curious, acting like a seismograph strapped onto the head of a woodpecker. No, that’s not right. A sea sponge covered with taste buds? No . . .

“Lemme just get more exercise,” I tell her, winding down our appointment. She asks me if there’s anything else.

kleenex-boxAlmost as an afterthought I say, “It’s been really hard since the election.” And then out of nowhere, tears well up in my eyes. I struggle to elaborate, but she remains quiet. “Wow, I didn’t expect this,” I say, reaching for a Kleenex.

“You’re not alone,” she tells me. “Everyone’s affected. All of my patients. I’m affected, too.”

Not that she’s suggesting lithium. That would imply that I get the manic highs of bipolar people. Instead it’s just a rotten mood interjected with the occasional sigh of relief when one of Trump’s stupid bills or Executive Orders is shot down. It looks a little like this:

  • Trump announces his Muslim Travel Ban. It’s discriminatory, and doesn’t address the problem. In fact, it will probably make terrorism worse. Sh*t. This is our new President. 

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Welcome to the End of the World

trump-der-spiegelI had an interesting conversation last week with a cab driver, pre-Inauguration. He was listening to the news on NPR — cab drivers I engage with always seem to be as politically frustrated as I am, probably because they’re foreign and have a broader perspective. I learn a lot from them.

This one was wearing a cream-colored knit skullcap, and had moved here from Pakistan 26 years ago. He’d turned the radio down when I’d gotten into the cab, and I’d asked him to turn it back up. After we’d listened to the latest logic-defying Trump move (might’ve been his meeting to discuss Housing and Urban Development with the host of “Family Feud” — but more likely was Trump’s views on Muslims), I saw the driver shake his head.

“I know, it’s crazy, right?” I said from the backseat. My driver replied, “We are going to be in third world war in a year.”

“I’ve said that exact same thing for months,” I told him.

And then he explained Armageddon to me. “Christians and Jews call it ‘Armageddon,’ but Muslims call it ‘Har-Meggido.’ Meggido is an ancient town on the way between Egypt and Syria. In 1400 [BC, I assume], a Muslim prophet said a war will start there that will kill one-third of all people.”

I blinked. “Wow. Sounds . . . realistic. Given what’s been happening, and what’s possible. But Trump’s son-in-law will make it all okay in the Middle East. ‘Cause he’s Jewish and he went to Harvard after his father gave them $2.5 million.” Yeah, I didn’t say the last part out loud. But I’m sure the cab driver would’ve gotten my humor.  Read More…

“I’m Donald Trump, and I’m a love addict.”

That’s how Trump should start each speech he’s making on his current Victory Tour.

Like any addict, he needs to admit his powerlessness over his never-ending need for adoration. To get honest about his compulsion to say whatever gets the loudest cheer from the biggest crowd (which got him elected). To come clean about his soul-twisting compulsion for sending midnight tweets about how Alec Baldwin’s impression of him “can’t get any worse” on the “unwatchable” Saturday Night Live. While he’s watching it.

robertpalmervideo

Um, not that I know anything about that. About seeking affirmation . . . or lingering on FB for “just one more” like. Trying to fill the hole left open by well-intentioned parents who could have praised a little girl in addition to “helpfully” pointing out the problems. Staying in a relationship (or two) past its expiration date, hoping for the magic to return. I mean, I’ve just heard about it “from a friend.”

But if I compare whatever affirmation-seeking tendencies I have with those that Trump displays without batting an orange-tinted eyelash[1], then I look like Miss Self-Esteem 2017. (Read the first ten minutes of the meeting with the New York Times Trump had two weeks ago, the transcript of which I devoured at the time[2]. His parents must’ve done some whammy on him.)

By the by, for this post I’m writing little footnotes — but you can jump right back up after you read ’em. Fancy!

Oh, and I forgot, Trump’s not calling it a Victory Tour anymore; he’s calling it a Thank You Tour.

Unfortunately, since telling whoever’s standing in front of him whatever they want to hear is what got the bastard[3] elected, he’s not even close to hitting bottom, so recovery from his addiction is nowhere near. Meanwhile I’m loving the opening lines of his first post-election rally, held in Ohio last week, because they so completely hit his own nail on the head:  Read More…

From the swamp of devastation, my pledge

On Election Day morning (yesterday, as I write this), I walked through a crisp, sunny NYC, with a skip in my step. We were voting in the first woman President!!

deb-votes

Tuesday morning. Today, not so much.

A homeless man on my street, pushing his shopping cart past me, shouted out and showed me his Hillary t-shirt with a big smile. On the subway platform, I spontaneously sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” in four-part harmony with three older black men when they wrapped up their busking on the train. I asked Mai, the woman with the flower stand on Hudson Street, and popped in to ask Jenny, who studied for her US citizenship while running her nail salon, if they were voting. Yes! they said. I didn’t think I needed to ask for who, and as Chinese immigrants with children, I assumed it was Hillary.

And then last night happened. I had about ten friends over, to eat homemade vegetable soup, watch the returns, and cheer our candidate with champagne. My friends left around 2 a.m.; the champagne bottles are still in my fridge.

As a woman, I’m devastated. As an environmentalist, I’m devastated. As a compassionate human, I’m devastated. I can’t imagine what it’s like today for my gay friends (we not only got Trump, but also Pence), and my friends of color.

For a while now, I have been seeking a way to have a positive impact on this world. Every day I struggle to find the strength to trust that I can, and to figure out how to use my specific gifts to do it. To surmount the negative beliefs that I have about myself, ingrained so long ago, that freeze me up. I’m a few months away from finishing a Certificate Program in Environmental Sustainability at Columbia University, and from somehow translating my learnings into helping to make the future sustainable for the 7.4 billion living, breathing people on this planet. I now feel even more . . . hopeless? Crippled? I can’t find the right word, but I don’t have enough tissues to catch my tears.

Hillary and Bill wore mourning colors for her concession speech this morning. Today I cry. And through my tears, I will try to embrace what Hillary quoted in her speech: Read More…