Normal is a fairytale we tell to children

I posted something on Twitter the other day, some joke about how hilarious it would be if Trump and Pence both went down simultaneously on impeachment charges and we wound up with Paul Ryan as president. It just brought to mind this mental image of that Australian speed skater who won a gold medal by being the only person who didn’t fall down in the giant dogpile right before the finish line.

And then some guy replied that there would be nothing funny about a Paul Ryan presidency.

I’m not really mad at the guy, because obviously he’s right, a Ryan presidency would be shitty, because Ryan is the vapid love-child of Ayn Rand and P90X.

But can we laugh again? That’s a serious question. Are we allowed to laugh? Are we allowed to find humor in the world, even when everything is shitty? Because I am telling you that everything is shitty and has been shitty and will be shitty for a long time to come. A long time to come. The fissures opening in our polity are Mount Doom-sized, and you better not hold your breath waiting for Sam Gamgee to show up with that ring.

And yet I get this sense from a lot of people that they’re just waiting until the current crisis is over so that they can go back to the way things were before. Back to normal, you might say. I sort of remember thinking that for a while after 9/11 too, like, woo-ee, it looks like Congress is allowing a lot of crazy shit to pass right now, but we’re all living in a fever dream of grief and vengeance. Surely when it fades, everything will go back to normal, right?

Nothing ever goes back to normal. It didn’t then and it won’t now. And you can either decide that you are going to wear sackcloth and ashes and live your life in mourning for normalcy, or you can share a fucking laugh with your friends every once in a while and act like you are a human being with a life to live.

Which you are.

This is where I’m supposed to say “but of course don’t forget to call your Congressperson about important legislation.” I’m not going to say that (I sort of just did, but ignore that) because calling your congressperson is not the price you have to pay for living as a complete human being. It may be the price you have to pay for living in a society that isn’t going to shit. That I will grant you. But I think sometime real soon here we need to take off the sackcloth and remember to live our lives, because this year is not a year you are getting back once things return to normal, which they won’t. This year you get once. Last year you got once.

Make the most of it.

6 thoughts on “Normal is a fairytale we tell to children”

  1. Indeed. Laugh at the Twitterer-in-Chief. (“But wait, I didn’t really write that tweet!” OMG.) Laugh at oneself. Laugh at people who don’t understand that things don’t last, bad or good. That’s the spirit!

  2. Until last year I never imagined that I would live through the end of the US of A, but now I’d be shocked if it lasts longer than I do. It’s a very weird mental change. At this point it seems like most of the congressmen have openly sold out to the highest bidder and aren’t even trying to be subtle about it any more. I’m not sure calling them does anything at all. Yet I still vote and I still try to make myself heard.

    But yeah, you have to laugh. And I think that image of Paul Ryan is funny.

    1. Prior to last year, I certainly thought that while GOP senators/representatives had different values from me, they still believed in the core principles of the United States. I no longer believe that, having witnessed the complete and total sell-out of all principles over the last year. It’s disheartening to say the least.

      I know many smart people who think it’s still salvageable, and I hope they’re right.

  3. I loved this entry. Because it’s so true…and so terribly, terribly depressing. Mary has it right — we laugh to keep from crying! My grandchildren will never be able to relate to what I would consider “normal” in the way that my children can’t relate to why the Kennedy’s were special. I’m sad to think f what they will tell their children about what was normal “in their day.”

  4. I’m more fine with a Paul Ryan presidency than with either Trump or Pence. He and the rest of the GOP will be almost completely powerless after a double impeachment.

    It’s lovely that you are posting again!

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