I don’t get horror as a genre.
That sentence is how I have (on more than one occasion) opened a blog post on my book review site. All my attempts as reading horror have resulted in little more than my frequent boredom. I have a reasonably good idea why this is the case, and as far as I can see there are two ways of explaining that. One would be a long and (realistically) rather boring post about the semiotics of reading. College-aged me would have loved that, but as I approach middle age I become increasingly skeptical that anyone would want to read that outside of the circle-jerk that is academics.
The second way to talk about this is to talk about this past US election season. This conversation is going to go a lot easier if I just state my political opinions off the bat. I am largely left leaning, and while Biden was not my ideal candidate, he is so immensely better than Donald Trump that I happily voted for Joe Biden. However, for a while I considered myself to be something of a moderate person, not politically, but in terms of the tolerances I gave people. I would say things like “I don’t really believe in stupid people, people just come to value different things and express those values as knowledge.” That is how I expressed political differences.
This election has broken my tolerance.
I have been following the US election closely. I am now starting to realize that I can’t stop. I think it is developing into an unhealthy addiction. The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is roll over, grab my phone, and start looking at the news. I do this in order to see what Donald Trump and his criminal gang are up to today.
For those of you not following what is going on right now, Donald Trump is trying to steal the election by not conceding it. Someone reading this might thing that I am editorializing here, and I can assure you that I am not. He is trying to steal the election by accusing Joe Biden of trying to steal the election. He is has, in the Trumpian manner, declared that there are illegal votes that shouldn’t be counted. The only qualification for illegal vote seems to be that it isn’t a vote for Donald Trump.
What is surprising even to me is that I am not actually that mad at Donald Trump himself. What I find myself angry at is a population of Americans that are actually stupid enough to believe him, and a sycophantic political class in the form of those republicans who are working towards enabling him. I see Donald Trump do things that make me worry that there will be violence as a consequence of it from his sycophantic supporters. How the fucking hell is this not analogous to crying ‘fire’ in a crowded theater?
I honestly can’t remember the last time I felt this frustrated at anyone’s god damned pure fucking evil and stupidity. It’s practically cartoonish in its dastardliness.
And I – can’t – stop – watching.
What in the fuck is wrong with me?
I feel like I have a good handle on what is happening in the US and it is something that I hope to write about. It involves an apology to Chris Hedges.
But for now, let me take this back to horror. Maybe you know a horror fan. The person who goes to catch every horror flick out there and then, right as the villain is about to do some characteristic stabbing, they viewer will shield their eyes. One thinks “why in the fuck do you watch these movies to be scared?” I think I get it now. At the very least, I think I am doing the same thing. I check the news every morning and find myself frustrated at all that is going on, hate the feeling of frustration, and check in on the headlines a few hours later to feel the frustration all over again.
And the very worst part about this all is that I know there is some retard republican who is over the moon to hear this, the one that wants to destroy democracy ‘to own the libs.’
Good job, buddy.
On the day of the election I messaged a friend out in California, lamenting that the landslide victory for Joe Biden I was hoping for just wasn’t coming. I specifically lamented how it was that anyone could be so – let’s face it, stupid – as to still vote for Trump despite how absolutely awful his presidency has been. he criticized me back in exactly the tolerant way I once proclaimed myself to be. People have different priorities, they vote for different things, and it isn’t fair to call them stupid on how they vote. He linked me to one of Sam Harris’s podcasts that talked about exactly that, blaming the rise of Trumpism on the ease with which certain members of the left refer to their opponents in white America as racists. I don’t disagree with that point at its heart, but I don’t think it is a good explanation of Trumpism. I think there are other things at the heart of the issue. But that is something I will have to go into at another point. As of right now, I will conclude with this much. I will concede that there are probably non-stupid reasons to have voted for Trump – single issue voting such as those who want to defend abortion. I will also concede that voting for Trump does not definitionally make anyone racist. But I do think that voting for Trump is enabling a certain amount of racism. And I also think that voting for Trump on a single issue is a form of pretty unforgivable ignorance.
And I think for some time I am going to carry a massive grudge about this whole election. That grudge, however, is part of the reason that I am addicted to watching it, and that is something that I need to get up. Addicted is exactly the right word. It is starting to effect other parts of my life.
I think I need an election results support group.