The dominant narrative among my friends these days is one of horror, anger, cynicism and despondency. Never one to accept the story that's handed to me, I want to offer a counter-narrative — not to put a falsely bright face on a horrible situation, but to identify a true opportunity that I see emerging from the darkness.
What no one has put forth (that I've seen, and PLEASE, tell me I'm wrong), and what to me is central to all of this, is how to dismantle the GOP machinery that cynically, methodically, and with billions of dollars of support, brought us to the place. Brilliant, creative fellow citizens: What can we do to defeat this cancer?
It is the end of Day 1 of processing the news that T (I cannot write his name) will be our next president, and I am on the subway ride home from work. I look at the other people on the train, calculating that most of us are scum as far as T is concerned: Women who don't look like Barbie dolls, people of color, immigrants, likely a number of people who aren't straight. I feel, increasingly, like I've been living in a fantasy land, thinking I have power in this world...
Alan asks PopTech co-host Carly Chaikin to carry the empty glass across the stage and put it on the other table. She does, easily.
Then he takes the pitcher and fills the glass up to the very top. "Now," he says. "I want you to carry that glass back to the other table — and if a single drop of water spills, your entire village will die."
We live in times that can feel toxic and bleak. But (and) we have power, every single one of us, to help make the world we want to live in. Maybe you don't self-conceive as an artist, but you are a maker; we all are. Every act, every word, it's part of the story of this world.
I've spent the last few hours wandering around my neighborhood without an agenda, fueled only by a desire to fill my brain with something other than the noise of my last few weeks at work.
When I say "noise," I mean it literally and figuratively: I work somewhere with an "open work plan," so I am surrounded by people talking all. day. long. More than this, though, I mean the noise of our business strategies and brand stories, and of the narratives I construct around my standing with every single person on the team at any given point in time. I mean, too, the noise of the language I find myself using to fit into the culture, that I would never use elsewhere, except that sometimes I do, before I can stop myself.