Welcome to The Blog About Nothing. It’s the 18th of November, and we are just a few days away from Thanksgiving. While, I’m not one for holidays, I do like any opportunity to stuff my face with some good food. Plus, there is football involved too? I’m in. Who can say no to that?
It’s been said, that I often write the best when I place a piece of myself in the writing. I guess, the best writing comes from an honest place. I was going to initially blog about the election, and add another post script to what I wrote last week, but who wants to read that? I don’t, but then I figured if I put my own spin on it, it might be worth reading.
As The Verve’s Bitter Sweet Symphony churns in my head, I will finally try to place a nail in the coffin that was election 2016. As someone who has a tattoo of Sisyphus pushing a boulder up a mountain on my left arm, you shouldn’t be surprised that I like a song called Bitter Sweet Symphony.
My outlook on life is fairly simple: live your day to day as best as you can. Some days can be harder than others, but as long as you do what you have to do then it really could not be all that bad. So, with that said you might be surprised that I’m a fan of Voltaire.
Well, maybe, not. That might not surprise those who really know me but yes I’m fan of the French philosopher from the Age of Enlightenment. In particular I’m a fan of his satire Candide. I’ve probably read Candide a 100 times since I first came to know it in high school. What was a basic exercise when I was 15, has become a lifelong love.
This is the best of all possible worlds uttered countless times by Dr. Pangloss and Candide is something that sits on my desk at work. Basically, in the words of the optimist we have to believe in the best. I do not think President-Elect Donald Trump was the best candidate we had, but he is who we have now. Protesting, and saying things like he is not my president, is counter-productive.
Now I might be too optimistic in thinking that we are all going to band together and America will march into a brighter day. I’m not that optimistic that a man who ran on division, and embraced elements of sexism and hate can really “Make America Great Again” but he deserves the chance to govern. We have to sit and let him try to navigate the ship. Hopefully he won’t sink it.
Also on my desk, is a passage from near the very end of Candide, where the characters meet a Turkish dervish who ask them why are they so concerned about the existence of good and evil? In short, he says to them, do not concern yourselves with things that you have no control over. All you can do is, what you can and what you have to.
That is where I am right now. I like to stay woke, as the youth will say, but I don’t want to over consume myself with this either. I spent last Saturday night in the company of friends, and of course the overwhelming topic of conversation was the election, and the anger, and despair that they felt over a Trump presidency.
Now, I’m more of an observer by nature, so I tend to listen more than I speak, but I was so worn down by the conversation. I felt like a dead battery. Breaking down the result, analyzing, and over analyzing every speech, every tweet, is just nauseating to me. By the end of the night, my voice was hoarse (although that was mostly because the bar was playing some cool 90s alt-pop and I love a good sing along) but I was also sick.
I’m sick and tired of this whole thing. I’m sure I’m not alone, but I am tired of the speculation. I’m tired of the “what will he do next” and honestly, I’m thinking about avoiding people who like drowning in the toxicity of the political process. That cannot be the only thing you’ve got to talk about. There’s so much other stuff going on that you can be enlightened but you don’t have to make it the only thing you’re willing to talk about.
No. In the words of Voltaire: “Travaillons sans raisoner, c’est le seul moyen de render la vie supportable”. In English those words mean “Work then without disrupting, it is the only way to render life supportable.” Yes, I have those words on my desk at work as well, but I live by those words. Work. Do what you need to do, but don’t let things you have no control over drag you down.
Stay above the swamp. Don’t let it drown you for it’s a bitter sweet symphony. That’s life.
Thanks for reading.
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