Home > Uncategorized > January 6, 2021

January 6, 2021

This one is for me.

You can read it if you want, but I just want to get it down on virtual paper….how I’ve been feeling the last 24 hours. It might be a bit disjointed, but then again, that’s to be expected, right?

Other than our parent’s religion, nothing is drummed into us as Americans more than the mantra “we live in the greatest country in the world”.

Flags and pledges of allegiance and apple pie and July 4th picnics and visiting the cemeteries on Memorial Day……our freedoms a sense of wonder to people all over the world. That shining city on a hill….that beacon of democracy. Pick your phrase. Pilgrims sharing turkey and stuffing with the Indians, all men created equal…unalienable rights…..life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It’s enough to make you feel red white and blue all over. As a kid, it’s pretty powerful stuff. As we grow and become more and more ignorant of history, it becomes dangerous.

We rarely live up to our own ideals.

Images from yesterday are what dance in my head today. Watching them in real time was familiar, because we’d always seen this sort of thing on the news….from someplace else. From “shithole countries”. Places too dumb or too dark to embrace the blessings of democracy, and the infallibility of the “free market”. Foreign correspondents being jostled by mobs as they reported from some unenlightened corner of the world, and we’d look up from our TV dinner trays with the smugness of God’s chosen people. It could never happen here.

And yet there it was…..as a mob waltzed into a strangely undefended Capitol building, and chased a lone terrified mall cop up a series of staircases, looking for the V-spot of their rage……the place where traitors had gathered to officially brand their Dear Leader a loser. To stamp it into the history books once and for all. It would not be allowed to happen. They screeched and they preened and they posed for LOTS of pictures. They waved flags, of course. But mostly Trump flags….they seemed to outnumber the red white and blue ones by miles. And then we all saw it. The confederate flag. In the halls of the United States Capitol. The flag of treason and racism, being waved in support of a treasonous and racist President, with no sense of irony at all. Meanwhile, our elected officials huddled on the floor, behind doors that were barricaded with whatever furniture could be dragged…..instantly calling to mind American classrooms during the height of school shooter season.

Cut to a side window. Weird to think that the US Capitol building could be breached by the simple act of breaking a window, yet here we are. Dudes straight out of central casting. Wild-eyed. MAGA hats. Incel beards. All flabby and pale….the color of snow mixed with dog’s piss. Clearly being filmed……and making no attempt whatsoever to hide their identity. They pour into the building one at a time, for the window can only fit one fat guy at a time. Being a revolutionary takes patience.

There are lots of wannabe Robspierre’s in this crowd, although I don’t expect this lot to know the reference. One poses in Mike Pence’s chair on the Senate floor. Another sits with his feet up on Nancy Pelosi’s desk. One is shirtless, carrying a bullhorn, and wearing a viking head and face paint…..but the look is sorta soothed over by the Steve Kornacki khakis. All I could think about seeing him was….”he’s somebody’s next door neighbor”.

Is that what my Father’s generation fought and died for?

And outside the more limber Patriots are scaling the wall like Avengers, surely a bad look for the “build the wall because that will keep ’em out” crowd, but there’s little time for retrospection when you’re live streaming on Facebook to your high school buddies back home. Talk of this day will fill barrooms for the next 50+ years. Assuming we’re ever allowed to go to bars again, that is.

This goes on for…..hours. Cops are….well…..nobody really knows. We do see one. Quite prominently actually. He’s taking selfies inside the Capitol with the rioters.

We’re repeatedly told the National Guard has been mobilized. Apparently they’re coming from Brazil, because they are nowhere to be seen.

All of us are asking the same question inside our own heads. What if the rioters had been black? How bloody would your shoes be from what was running into the sewers?

If you don’t think there’s such a thing as white privilege in this country, you’ve earned your self-inflicted lobotomy.

Finally the Capitol is clear. And by this I mean Trumpers had to be flushed out of the building……as they were everywhere. Finally they’re pushed back by an unfailingly polite police force……who have not made a single arrest caught on camera. Some of the mob are holding pro-police flags as they scream “fuck you traitors” into the face of the police…..the same force that used truncheons and tear-gas to clear a path so Trump could take a picture with a borrowed bible during the summer’s BLM protests.

It’s all enough to make you think….well….you know….

Four people have died.

I couldn’t sit down as I watched any of this. My steps were being counted by my fancy watch….and were increasing by the thousands as the night wore on. At 8pm the House and Senate re-convened…..almost like nothing had happened at all. Republicans stood up after enabling a brazen coup attempt watched by the entire world, and continued to contest the results of a fair election.

It was like a bad dream. We all woke up……and nothing changed. The same shitheads. The cartoon characters who invaded the United States Capitol were allowed to walk away, unmolested.

I can’t get that Menzingers song out of my head…..

“America I love ya but you’re freaking me out….”

With no accountability, there will be no change.

Trump should be removed. He should go to jail. As should his enablers.

What kind of shithole country allows the very man who fomented a coup stay in power?

In a bit..

–tf

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