Saturday, October 15, 2016

Snapshots from the Strangest Week

What a very bizarre week, book-ended by the Republican party and its candidate seeming to self-destruct in a very short period of time because all of the allegations (and the triggering effects of hearing all of these stories) and Bob Dylan being declared Nobel laureate.

Here are some snapshots from the week:

--Yesterday, after a rousing conversation with colleagues about the Nobel Prize and poetry and music, I went back to listen to some Bob Dylan lyrics, which isn't as easy to do as some artists who are all over YouTube.  This article in The Washington Post has some embedded videos, and I kept playing "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright."  In my less analytical youth, I assumed the song was about a relationship break-up.  As I listened, I thought about the song through the lens of a difficult worksite, a body that's begun to break down, on and on I could go.

--Like Michelle Obama, the revelations about Trump have shaken me to my core.  Throughout the week, I have found myself wanting to leave the field of education and work for change for women in a more immediate way.  But in what way?

--In my younger years, I created fictional characters who we might now label terrorists, but they were terrorists of the feminist variety.  I realize that feminists of the terrorist variety are not the type of terrorists who leap readily to mind.  If popular culture had more of those, would we see a decline in sexual violence?

--But let me also remember how important the field of education has been in transforming our society for women, for all of us, and in very short time.  Let me not give up on my field so easily.

--Can I also confess how tiring, how distressing, how angry, how many negative emotions have been riled up in me by this week of revelations triggered by the Donald Trump tape?  If I was my therapist, I might say, "Let's explore your anger.  Why does your anger make you so frightened?  Why does your anger specifically feel so dangerous to you?"

--I remember Lollapalooza 1996, where I had voyaged to North Carolina to see Rage Against the Machine, the singer of that band at the end of their set howled, "Your anger is a gift."  I've thought about that statement for 20 years now.

--Maybe this week that has been yet another experience of consciousness raising that leaves me wondering how on earth anyone can still be in doubt of the threat facing women, maybe this week will result in better lives for people outside of the dominant power structure.

--Maybe we will all finally begin to respect boundaries--or at least admit that people are allowed to have boundaries.

--Or maybe we'll continue to have this constant drip-drip-drip of e-mail releases.  I mean, I like to get risotto tips as much as the next person, but why would WikiLeaks think the fate of the nation hangs in the balance?

--Oh, right, because the group just releases them in a flood and leaves it to us to wade through them.  At least my job does not require that!

--Let me not lose sight of the good things that have come this week:  good conversations about the future of education, good conversations about the purpose of literature, an evening at the end of the week with the news turned off under a full moon by a fire pit.

No comments: