3:41 PM - Fri 8.04.17
(Had been working on this entry for the past couple days, was almost done, and was pretty happy with how it had turned out. But, long story short, my laptop's been acting up, and now it's gone - And while I mourn for the "entry that might have been", I must soldier on...)
Like anyone in America with half a brain, I've been having a big problem with Donald Trump.
It really messes with my fundamental sense of right and wrong that this giant orange ignoramous, this evil Oompa-Loompa on steroids, is President of the United States.
What I felt about "Dubya" I feel in spades about Trump - I'm horrified that we handed over the highest office in the land to a dummy (And in Trump's case, not just a dummy - and I think he may actually be dumber than Dubya - but a mean-spirited, amoral, pathological narcissist to boot).
What it comes down to, really, is that I don't think you should win prizes for being a giant piece-of-shit.
That offends me.
I'm also not a big fan of his army of sycophantic toadies, slimy douche-bags ready to
(If you haven't guessed by now, I don't like these people. Not even a little.)
I thought I woke up feeling depressed yesterday, but wasn't sure that was really true (In my previous draft of this entry, I wondered if I'd had a bad dream just before waking up that left me feeling sad and anxious), or whether I'd simply read my first story about the latest shitty, stupid thing Cheeto Mussolini had done too early in the day, and it "set the tone".
Because I basically wake up every day feeling a sense of dread - "Okay, what has this idiot done now...?" - and the best I feel I can do, as someone who thinks he has a duty to know what's going on in the world, even if it's unpleasant to hear, is postpone the inevitable wave of anger and disgust by holding off checking Facebook or reading the news, if only until later in the morning, so I can at least enjoy my breakfast before the world turns to shit.
And that bothers me on a personal level - I'm angered by what he does, what he says, his stupid fucking tweets, and everything else about the man, and outraged by the professional liars working double-time to aid and abet him, but what bothers me more than anything else, I think, is that this asshole has me right where he wants me.
Which is "constantly paying attention to him".
It makes me think how, for a long time, I used to be the guy who was constantly "on", wanting to be the center-of-attention at all times - Over the years that waned, not so much because I didn't crave the attention anymore, but because it's just really exhausting to be "on" all the time.
And I do think that's true to a large extent - With age and sleep apnea, I'm just too tired to constantly sing and dance for the world's attention - but I want to believe there was also some level of maturity involved, where I eventually realized that it wasn't just exhausting for me to be "on" all the time, it was exhausting for everyone around me as well.
Donald Trump needs my attention. And I don't want to give him my attention, because I want this worthless piece-of-shit to be a worthless piece-of-shit who doesn't matter to me. That would be fitting and proper - I want to ignore him the same way I ignored The Apprentice. He should be on the long-list of reality show "stars" and D-list "celebrities" who contribute nothing of value, to the world in general or my life in particular, and thus just don't matter.
I should be able to ignore him, the same way I ignore the Kardashians, or Kathy Griffin, or Carrot-Top.
But I can't. Because he's the fucking POTUS.
So now I'm stuck watching the shitty reality show we're calling "The Trump Presidency".
And I hate it - All it does is make me feel angry and depressed and hopeless...but I can't look away.
One effect the Trump era has had on me - When walking to Zumba, or getting groceries, or driving to work, I used to listen to music or stand-up comedy on Pandora.
It was nice.
Now I am almost constantly listening to news broadcasts on YouTube (Mostly CNN and MSNBC, though occasionally Fox, and often NPR when I'm driving), and reading articles and opinion pieces on Facebook, Huffpo, and Slate.
On the whole, it feels much less nice.
One unhappy realization I've had is that it's very easy to become addicted to outrage - It happened to me before I realized it.
I thought I was seeking to be "informed", and I may actually have been at first. But eventually, I was just seeking to feel righteously indignant (Cause let's be honest - There's no time a paid Trump flack is on CNN and the segment ends with you being better informed than you were before. Cutting all those lying assholes out of my "news diet" would leave me a healthier, happier, probably better informed individual. But on some sick level, there's a satisfaction in seeing Kellyanne Conway, or Jason Miller, or Jeffrey Lord
To give myself a break from impotent outrage, I often switch from watching the news to watching The Atheist Experience on YouTube, a call-in show out of Austin, Texas that's been going on for something like 20 years.
At some point while watching an episode of the show, I wondered what I was watching it for - I'm pretty solidly entrenched in my beliefs at this point, after all, haven't had a philosophical confrontation with a Christian in years (I absolutely despise the public face of Christianity, but know two or three Christians IRL who I like a great deal), and am still in a place where I find the idea of just not-existing after I die somewhat unsettling (Though I'm getting used to the idea. And it's way better than my childhood "I'm going to die and burn in hell forever" belief).
Then I realized what the main appeal, at least at this point in time, of watching the show is - It's the way I want the world to be, in microcosm.
In the world of the show, smart, rational people run things, good arguments rule the day, and stupidity is argued against and (sometimes) made fun of.
Seriously, if you transferred the group of "Hosts" and "Co-hosts" (Matt Dillahunty and Tracie Harris are my favorite Host/Co-host team) from the set of The Atheist Experience to Washington, and had them take over for Trump and his team of flunkies, they would immediately do a better job - They are intellectually, emotionally, and morally superior to the freaks and losers who have taken over the White House (I just wish there had been a "Matt" or "Tracie" around when I was a kid - It would have been nice to have someone tell me that not only was my non-belief in God okay, but intellectually and morally superior to the alternative. It would have saved me years of guilt and existential angst).
While the show does provide me the satisfaction of a "world where the smart people win", and I really need that right now, it has also actually made me think more about where I stand on the issue of "God", "Life", "Death" and all that.
While I have to intellectually acknowledge the possibility of a "god" - there's no evidence to that effect, but how can I know with absolute certainty there isn't? - I'm positive it wouldn't be Yahweh, because the older I've gotten, the more and more clear it's become that he's a completely human creation.
And as such, he's a massive asshole (Richard Dawkins refers to him as "The nastiest character in all of fiction", or words to that effect). If any being is worthy of "worship" - and that's a weird notion all by itself because it doesn't seem like something an all-powerful god should need - it sure isn't this guy.
So I don't believe in Yahweh, intellectually acknowledge the possibility of "a higher power" of some sort, but don't believe that exists either, and think it's a moot point regardless - higher power or no, I think we're on our own (It's a good point that's gotten made on The Atheist Experience - The fact that an all-powerful god has never definitively revealed his/her/itself throughout human history means either there is no such god, or he/she/it does not wish to be known, and thus doesn't matter in terms of our daily affairs).
Similarly, with death, I have to intellectually acknowledge that I can't know with 100% certainty what happens after, but very strongly believe the answer is "Nothing happens after. You die, you're dead, and that's the end of you".
There's just no evidence of anything else, and to posit some alternative with no evidence is just wishing you didn't have to die.
I think there's just us, and there's just now.
And I sometimes despair that I'm going to die and be forgotten, and my life will have been "meaningless"...but while that's probably true, it's also true that my life means something right now, to me, and if I'm doing it right, to the people I interact with.
And on that lofty note...
In my original draft, I had a whole other thing I'd written about (My weight and food "issues"), but I think I'm gonna save that for next time - I've written enough, I need to go buy some groceries, and I'm afraid my laptop is going to crash again, and I'll have to write a third draft of this fucking entry.
Peace be with you...
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