Saturday, November 7, 2020

Why Do We Feel Like Crap Even Though Trump Lost?

It's the big baffling question of the week. And I can answer it.

If you've been in enormous pain for a very long time and the pain improves 50%, you will not process it crisply. You will not proclaim "Why, I'm half relieved by this half reduction!" You will, depending on your temperament, make one of two irrational declarations:

1. I'm completely better!
2. I'm still completely fucked!

And since there's pain - and pain, being bad, does not put you in a particularly world-loving mood - you will almost certainly choose #2.

Trump lost, so it all just got much better, but it's not all better, so we still feel completely fucked because there's still pain and you’re sick of it.

I hinted that this was coming last week. Remember this?
What's the scenario where you fully exhale and decide you like the world? Have you even fleshed that out? For example, if Biden's sworn in but Jared Kushner escapes jail and Don Jr comes to lead a zombie army, would that be enough? If AOC becomes president, all the guns are melted, and no man ever explains anything ever again, but the Supreme Court remains 6-3, would that be enough? What's the "All Better!" point?
If non-Republicans had taken the Senate, we'd still feel fucked. If wormy Lindsay Graham had been put out to pasture, we'd still feel fucked. Hell, if MAGA world issued an apology (consider the Armenians and the Turks in link above!), we'd still feel fucked. The following line (from this posting) cuts close to the issue:
Once you’ve escaped the ISIS prison camp, and made it back home, it’s a good idea, when you stub your toe, to resist the urge to cry “DOES IT EVER END??” If you don’t watch out, that can be the rest of your life.
We are as traumatized as ISIS survivors - though we haven't actually suffered to any remotely similar degree (I'll explain how that happened in a moment). So our pain has been quite high. And we react to different pain levels (and healing therefrom) differently. Upon healing a sprained ankle or broken heart, we freely celebrate. But when emaciated filthy prisoners were liberated from Auschwitz, I doubt there was much fist bumping or hearty laughter. They didn't all go have a drink together to blow off steam and commiserate about - phew! - how harrowing it had been. So that's the other factor here.

We haven't actually suffered much. Trump was roughly a "5", which felt awful because we've enjoyed a long run of presidents who were 7s, 8s, and 9s. If we ever wound up with a truly brutal president - a "2" or "3", or, god forbid, a "1" - we'll be as warmly nostalgic for Trump as we've felt lately about Bush/Cheney (I imagine George Bush cuts off approaching strangers with "Yeah, yeah, I know; you freaking hated me for eight years but now you realize I wasn't so bad after all. Thanks for the day brightener and have a good one buh-bye").

We haven't been through great trauma, but we've traumatized ourselves greatly over minor trauma. We've framed ourselves in Auschwitz (framing is powerful). As rich aristocrats, we absolutely can't bear to be afflicted with the sort of dishonorable, corrupt, racist, perpetually lying king our ancestors lived under for time immemorial.

So as we emerge, with squinted eyes and sunken cheeks, from the gates of our imagined Auschwitz, pain points remain, and we're not disposed to fist bump. And so we feel completely fucked, and will continue wailing “DOES IT EVER END??” at every utterance by this humiliated, desperate POTUS, who will, obviously, never shut up. And so it goes.

That's why we feel like crap. We've framed ourselves into hell, and will remain self-confined there until we grow bored and try shifting - just for kicks - to some other perspective.


Anonymous said...

I don’t know. I see lots of people celebrating like it’s the second coming. Me? I think it’s highly likely the next 10 weeks will be pretty crazy. At least some lawyers will make a lot of money during this.

Jim Leff said...

Yeah I wrote this a couple days ago, when it rang more true.

I still published it because I still thought the reasoning was interesting.

Also, just as the real country is less obnoxious than the loudmouths on social media, I don’t think everyone opposed to Trump, in their own quiet lives, is in full celebration mode.

Blog Archive