Saturday, November 12, 2016

Looking for a Team That Fits

Did I say I was going to stop looking at election news?

You know, normally I really would--I'm not a news hound-- 

but this election is different. I just wrote to a friend that I feel like a pinball rocketing around the... the playfield. [glossary of pinball terms] I keep looking for things to navigate by.

So here are a couple things I've read in the past couple days that like a lot. They both analyze, mourn, and end up with a call to action.

1. "A letter to America from Leslie Knope, regarding Donald Trump," Vox, Nov. 10, 2016 
“The point of the lesson is: People are unpredictable, and democracy is insane.
The point is: People making their own decisions is, on balance, better than an autocrat making decisions for them. It’s just that sometimes those decisions are bad, or self-defeating, or maddening, and a day where you get dressed up in your best victory pantsuit and spend an ungodly amount of money decorating your house with American flags and custom-made cardboard cutouts of suffragettes in anticipation of a glass-ceiling-shattering historical milestone ends with you getting (metaphorically) eaten by a giant farting T. rex.” 
Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), you know? is the annoyingly irrepressible & optimistic character who "works for the US Department of the Interior, Midwest Branch, in her hometown of Pawnee, Indiana"--in other words, for the Park Department---from Parks and Recreation:

2. Bernie Sanders' "Where the Democrats Go From Here", NYT, Nov. 11, 2016
"Trump won the White House because his campaign rhetoric successfully tapped into a very real and justified anger, an anger that many traditional Democrats feel."
Yes! Thank you for saying that. 

I'm in shock, yeah, but when people go on as if Trump supporters are insane, I don't get that. They may have voted against their own best interest, but that's predictably human (she says as she eats another waffle with whipped cream), and it was in response to very real and obvious situation (waffles taste great!).


Leslie Knope's letter ends,"Now find your team, and get to work."

I'm bad at teams, (and teams are bad at me), but I'm willing to try some on again, see if I can find one that fits--no need to jam my foot into an ill-fitting shoe.

Tomorrow morning, I'm going to the service at that church I  mentioned in my last post. It's important to me that it says it's about social justice... and that it's only one block away. Also, the church building is beautiful red-stone structure from 1886. 

I know myself. Realistically, I'm not going to take a bus across town throughout January (even with global warming) to sit in a folding chair in a VFW basement. 

Anyway, I'm doing this because I want to get more plugged into my neighborhood, in case we all need to help each other (more than we already do need to), even just to the extent of learning where to go, who the point people are.
I'm not judging it as I would if I were on a personal spiritual journey. They have a good rep for multiculturalism and social justice, and that's the main thing.

[You've seen? Americans are borrowing the safety pin from post-Brexit Great Britain to signal opposition to racism.]

But there are some things I see on their website that I do like, personally.
Their Statement of Faith, for instance, defines sin as "an enslavement to self."
I like that. It's a torment to be trapped inside your self. 

It reminds me of a quote I like from Iris Murdoch:
"Love is the extremely difficult realization that something other than oneself is real.”

This isn't achieved by self-denigration, of course, but proper perspective, so I also appreciate the statement says:
We believe that each person is created in the image of God and therefore merits consideration as a person of infinite dignity and worth…"

It does concern me that the church doesn't proclaim itself as LGBT-welcoming. But then, neither did (nor could) the Catholic Church I used to love anyway.
And they DO say,
"All members of the church are privileged by the Spirit to share in the ministry and mission of Christ and proclaim in word and deed the values of God's kingdom",
…which no Catholic Church can say, since the church doesn't ordain women, nor do they seem anywhere near about to start doing so. (Talk about insane.)

So, we'll see...


ArtSparker said...

It's good to know your neighbors, my neighborhood is great for that. Looking forward to hearing about it if you post -

Laura B said...

Unfortunately, I do still believe the trump voters are dumb, or naive, or self-delusional. I see little evidence of the downtrodden, out-of-work, economically challenged people being left behind by manufacturing jobs moving overseas. What I see & hear about are mean-spirited people, like the two guys who beat a hispanic woman walking across campus speaking spanish on her phone with her parents about her exam the next day- being told by her assailants that she isn't welcome here now that trump is elected...
or my relatives: upper middle-class, all employed, all comfortably off, actually saved by Obama bailing out the american auto industry- not blue collar workers but engineers for Ford- who say they just "want americans to have to speak english and act like americans". Ironically, the most virulent one was born in germany and his mother here still speaks somewhat broken english. Just like trump's wife. Which makes me think the problem they have is not the language, but the skin tone color.
An interesting point I have not seen elsewhere, but pointed out by a fellow woman artist the other night- when I said the impact of this was such that I thought people would still remember in ten years this week, and how they felt at the news, and what they did- like 9/11 or JFK being assassinated or the bridge collapse, etc- she said yes, that was 9/11, this was 11/9.

Frex said...

SPARKER: I'll e-mail you a report!

LAURA: Yes, alas, I agree, of course---sadly the world view of soooo many Trump supporters is problematic, to say the least.
As I'd blogged a couple days ago, I worry that Trump & Co. have released a dangerous energy---a dangerous genie---the bad stuff in Pandora's box!

Curious thing about 11/9:
as you know, it is the date of Krystallnacht in Germany,
but also the date the Berlin Wall came down fifty years later...
We are a crazy species.

Bink said...

Noted the Krystallnacht connection myself. Missed the Berlin Wall. So some historical glimmer of good...