Underneath my yellow skin

Self-Care in the Time of Hate and Cholera

I’ve written a post or two about the elections, and now I want to write about why I’m not paying more attention to it. I know it’s important–probably the most important presidential election in my life. The consequences are great, and the idea of a President Trump makes me want to cry. I have issues with Clinton, most notably, her hawkish nature when it comes to foreign policy, but I have no doubt that she will be a highly competent president in most ways. Trump on the other hand would be a total disaster. That’s not hyperbole. Look at how he reacts to someone ribbing him on Twitter and imagine how he’d react the first time Vladimir Putin openly laughs at him. When Trump first entered the race, everybody was laughing about it, but I couldn’t even muster a forced giggle. Why? Because I was afraid of this. Trump being one of two people who might become president of America. Even though it was such a slim chance at the time, slim was too much for me. In addition, the sight/sound of him does something weird to my brain, and I ignored him as much as possible. People said he would never make it out of the primary, but he just kept climbing in the polls. Then, the unthinkable happened and he was the Republican candidate for president, and it wasn’t a laughing matter any longer.

Quite side note: I didn’t watch any of the primary debates. I don’t see the point in them because they’re not going to tell me anything I don’t already know. They seem to be more about scoring points and optics, two things in which I have no interest. I already knew I was going to vote for Sanders on the Democratic side, and I couldn’t stomach watching the shit show that was the Republican primary on the other side. I’ve been burned out on politics for quite some time, even though I’m more conversant on politics than the majority of Americans. Once we stumbled our way into the generals, I was totally done with the election, even if it wasn’t done with me.

I’ve stated several times that I’m terrified of a Trump presidency. I thought a McCain presidency or a Romney presidency would be really bad–and it would have been–but that’s peanuts compared to my negative feelings about Trump. It’s hard to articulate without sounding like a raving lunatic because I hate everything about him. The one modicum of credit I have to give him is that he’s exactly who he presents himself to be. Yes, he lies constantly and without stop, but he’s himself while doing it. All the press types who are shocked he didn’t prepare for the first debate bemuse me because what in his history (which they’ve covered incessantly) would suggest that he would lower himself to prep for the debate? I feel like I’m Cassandra here, but this is who he is. There is no more to him. He does not have a different mode, and what you see is what you fucking get. I recently realized that the media has it exactly backwards. They think that because the job of president is so important, anyone who is a candidate for it will rise to the occasion. They’re in a bubble, and to be fair, Trump is way the fuck out of it. But, I think it’s fairly obvious that he’s not capable of being a typical presidential candidate, let alone a president, so why can’t the media types see it as well?

I can feel my blood pressure rise as I’m typing this, which is why I’ve been avoiding much of the media exposure that Trump has garnered. I am not completely ignoring the election, but I cannot not mainline it 24/7 as some people seem wont to do. I am going to vote for Clinton and she is going to win Minnesota, so there is very little I can practically do to help her win. Constantly watching the polls and freaking out about them isn’t good for me, which is how I feel about being in a constant state of outrage in general, but that’s another post for another day. No, wait. It’s a mini-post for right now. One thing I really dislike about social media is how people will fixate on something and blow it out of proportion for a day, then drop it and move on to the next outrage. I’d have to see hundreds if not thousands of tweets on it until I turned off Twitter/Facebook or muted certain keywords, and this has been repeated on a daily basis. I also don’t like seeing dead/hurt animals/kids, and that’s been a thing, too. Constant posts/retweets of those pictures, and it makes me sick to my stomach every time I see one. I felt that way when I used to see Sarah McLachlan’s ASPCA commercials. There wasn’t anything I could do to save all those poor animals, so I just resented her for making me feel sick about it. I don’t think it’s good for the brain to have traumatic images repeatedly burned into it, especially those of us with PTSD.

I’m not arguing that we should all stick our heads in the sand and ignore the very real problems of our world. However, I don’t think we should just steep ourselves in the very worst our world has to offer, either.  Not only is it bad for us, I think it’s self-indulgent in a way. I’m not against clicktivism* because I think it’s done some amazing things, but I am against the idea that tweeting/posting pictures of dead animals/kids is an answer in and of itself. I feel helpless when I see them because I can’t do anything other than say how terrible it is. The internet is a marvelous thing, but it can also be a quagmire of morbidity. I think it’s too easy to go down a rabbit hole of horribleness until it seems like there’s no reason to live. I’ve talked openly about how I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety all my life, and the internet can add to those problems.

That’s why for the last three or four days, I’ve been posting/tweeting Ricky Martin videos. A lot. I needed to crawl into a bubble for a while, and for whatever reason, I decided Ricky Martin provided that perfect bubble for me. I’ve always liked Ricky, but I never was a rabid fan of his. I just liked his high energy videos, his fantastic smile, and how he crams his videos with insanely hot people, including himself. Mostly in Spanish because Spanish is sexy, but also in English. I started tweeting things like:

I also said that he was insanely hot and exactly my type: gay. It’s safe to say that I’ve been obsessed with Ricky Martin for the past few days. So much so, I Googled to see if he’d be in my neck of the woods any time soon. Sadly, I learned that he wouldn’t be, but Bryan Adams would be. NOT THE SAME THING AT ALL. I’m not dissing Bryan Adams–I liked several of his songs back in the day–but a Latin lover he is not. I’ve watched some of his videos a dozen times each, and I’m not tired of them yet. This is very weird for me to say, but I love his unrelenting positivity. Plus, he’s insanely sexy. I think I might have mentioned that a time or a hundred. I’ve seen a couple of his interviews, and he’s very charming, yet diffident. He seems comfortable in his own skin, especially since he’s come out, and he exudes a peacefulness that I wish I could emulate. Plus, the way he shakes those hips…I said he and Shakira should have a shake-off, and one of my tweeters said that we’d all win in that contest. Indeed, we would. Let’s not forget that he started at the age of twelve as a member of Menudo. My, but how he has grown.

I will admit that a small part of my constant Ricky Martin posting is because I’ve now made it my thing, but I’m having a really good time doing it. In part it’s because I don’t do guilty pleasures. I know my tastes in music are suspect, but more to the point, I don’t give a fuck. I like what I like, and I’m too old and cranky to apologize for it. Besides, I’m doing this for me. Sometimes, what I post/tweet is for others, and sometimes, it’s for me. This is definitely in the latter camp. I’ve been overwhelmed by the election and the dire ramifications if Trump wins. I’ve seen him insult everyone who isn’t him, and the media do a collective yawn about it. Yet, when Clinton mentioned a basket of deplorables, they were clutching their collective pearls about how she just insulted voters and you can’t do that!!!!! Yet, they’re perfectly fine with Trump insulting voters as long as he’s not directly saying he’s doing that.

I’m disappointed in my side for sinking to the Republicans’ level from time to time. Like when Cruz was in the running and some lefties gleefully questioned whether he was eligible because he was born in Canada. Yes, I know it’s payback for the birther bullshit Obama had to go through, but as someone who’s been called an anchor baby, it didn’t sit well with me. There are many things to criticize Cruz about (SO MANY), but his citizenship shouldn’t be one of them. All the fat jokes about Chris Christie really got on my nerves as well. Again, slam him for his policies, not for his weight. In addition, many lefties have floated memes disparaging Melania Trump for doing nude photo shoots and possibly being a high-class escort. Really? This from the party of support all sex workers? It really underscored for me that so many people believe that it’s OK if it’s my team that’s doing it.

These are all reasons I’ve drastically reduced my election consumption, but mostly, it’s because I can’t stand what it says about America as a society that Trump has made it this far in presidential election. It says that a sizable portion of my compatriots want me to get the hell out of their country. Never mind that it’s my country, too. In their eyes, I don’t belong here. I’m a fat, old, bisexual, nonreligious, Taiwanese woman. I am the epitome of everything they find wrong about this country. When I’m feeling charitable, I can feel some pity for them because to live in such abject fear has to be exhausting. When I’m short on empathy, however, I just want to yell at them to get the fuck out of MY country. We’re diversifying more and more by the day, and it’s only going to get worse (from their perspective) from here on out. There are more of us than there are of them, and it’s something I tell myself when I get particularly freaked out over the elections. If all of us who are for an inclusive, diverse, tolerant society would vote, this won’t even be a contest. I want Trump to lose by such a wide margin, he’s too embarrassed to show his face in public again. Alternately, I propose that we each kick in a hundred bucks and create a reality show called ‘King of Trumponia’, set in Scranton. Trump can sit on a gold throne, waving a sceptre with his tiny, tiny hands, and pretend that he is king of all he surveys. That’s all he wants, anyway. In the meantime, I’ll be shaking my bon bon with Ricky Martin until the election is over.



*Online activism.

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