Daily dispatches from Post-Electoral Purgatory
Ahh yes, take it all in, family. The fresh smell of republicanism in the morning! It’s Day 1 of the political purgatory and we are doin’ our damndest not to dissociate, baybee. The counts are in but not counted. Our reddened tearful eyes are begging for respite from media bloviates bloodin&crippin interactive digital mappings of these looted states of America. This (eighty-)four-year sports spectacular got the homies physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically, physiologically, and interpersonally spent. The fact that we even have to continue to speculate which geriatric is about to power the next little era of American empire in this period of transitory leaderlessness seems like a lot to tack on to the whole rona thing. But here we are persisting, hurling toward a void of death and uncertainty! Let’s get comfy.
Last night, under the chorus of “Too Early to Call,” we witnessed a ridiculous study of desperate, exasperated stalling by our fellow medialites. Stats on voting demographics — locations, race, gender — deluging the timelines, updating by the minute allowing us to aim our takes at each other — at poor people, southerners, the elderly, — and not the obscenely narrow choices (that ultimately end in non-choice for some, WEB DuBois among them, who would say the choices are so narrow, that “no ‘two evils’exist, there is but one evil party with two names”) at our disposal. The sick part is, this time, that the reality of non-choice will be drawn out over several days of political limbo. The ol’ transferral of power is not looking so peaceful from where we sit.
But that peaceful transition of power shit is a myth set forth by Americanist poli sci heads to further colonize the mind; a corruption of intellectual imagination and potential understanding. Talk to 1–2 colored folk about how peaceful life in the subaltern is. No matter where they stand on the political spectrum, peace ain’t have no part in this. You’re either living within the cruel uncertainties of the world through the experience of a Black life, learning vicariously through various entanglements and voyeurisms, or running from it.
But now, an entire country of Usain Bolts couldn’t outrun this shit. We are all here now. If there is one thing we maybe/hopefully/possibly learned is that the leadership of this country is not in the business of meeting the basic needs of its constituents. So we must fill in the gaps for one another. The most prized, most commodified, most celebrated, debated, and hated culture on the land; the one living rent free in the minds of the postmodern power-hungry hoarders of human life, body and labor since our kidnapping; all that grace and magnificence in the face of oppression was developed on a structure of providing, in our own way, the means to survive. Whether in the form of food, housing, intimacy, rebellion, education, spiritual alignment or entertainment.
If anything can be learned from our first 24hr news cycle of sweaty white men frantically waving their stat reports and hedging the hell outta ever-changing poll data, it’s that we are (and have always been) in it for the long haul. But there can be some comfort in the uncertainty. That comfort is not easily attained. Especially not in just seeking it for oneself. To do the work of comforting our people in this time edifies the spirit, too. And often in ways that go beyond language. It’s become (for some, very suddenly) obvious that we are living together — insofar as we are in it together — under constant states of repression. But that is one version of the world. The most visible, very large, somewhat untouchable world. There are so many other worlds. Each of us have a version of our own. The people that live within them each have a version of the world that lives within you. And you have a vision of their worlds, too. In limbo, we find that our worlds, as isolated and static as they might feel, are constantly running up against one another. But there is always a choice in the nature of that interaction. Will it be one that does the work of providing the need? The comfort? Or one of constant collisions? That choice, regardless of who or what is leading us, has always been ours to make.