These days people say to me, “It’s too bad you can’t write about the president anymore, what with the political climate being so volatile.”
While it is my dream to be the Ann Coulter of the Left, the truth is, it isn’t the volatile political climate that keeps me from writing about our pussy-grabber-in-chief. Because the Sopris Sun is a weekly, there is no way I can turn something in on Monday that will still be relevant— much less current, by Thursday. So be it. Just one more example of how fast our attention span is moving now that we’ve let the little-fingered monster out of his gilded cage.
Trump is like an evil Genie who has been released from his lamp and is running amok, only granting wishes for those who can do something to benefit him directly. He is the poster child for never having to face the consequences of one’s actions, and without accountability, there can be no self-discovery or personal growth.
I recently spent a few days near Fraser, Colorado, where the energy of the place was impressed on me like newsprint on silly putty. Whenever I travel to new lands (whether it’s another continent or just over the next hill) I try to get a feeling for the new place. I acknowledge that I am a visitor and I do my best to acclimate, rather than bringing my expectations to a place I have never been before. I embrace the unfamiliar for what I can learn, instead of trying to impose what I already know on those around me. And it usually works, as I have fun and interesting travels wherever I go.
Also, I don’t assume that I know more about any subject than those around me. Even if the conversation turns to small mountain towns with a penchant for building new strip malls instead of renovating all the outdated ones already in existence, I try to stay open to hearing new or unique perspectives. My favorites are the conversations when I have no idea what the other person will say next, even if it’s offensive. In my opinion, offensive is better than mundane.
More often than not, offensive speech simply comes from ignorance. We all stick our foot in our mouth at some point, but if we’re using our words authentically, then it’s usually a forgivable offense and may even create the opportunity to learn something new. And here’s a little tip from your rural Miss Manners, if you don’t belong to the group that is the butt of the joke, it’s probably not your joke to tell. For instance, I’m cleared to tell blonde jokes and Irish jokes (luckily, two of the funniest joke genres!) Otherwise, like my Gran taught me, if you don’t have anything nice to say, and you like pie, then shut your piehole (cake lovers can substitute cake for pie.)
Speaking of pie, I saw a great meme stating that equal rights are not like pie, i.e., when others receive a bigger share, it doesn’t cut into ours. Humans have been slinging heavy ammunition pie (verbal and actual) at each other since the beginning, but isn’t it tired? It’s high time we stop operating in lizard brain mode and move on to more sophisticated means. I daydream that that is Trump’s real purpose; to help us realize our faces are covered in pie and wake up to what we have become— a self-obsessed nation with a screen-time eating disorder.
We are so bloated with our own consumption that we’ve lost sight of the buffet. America used to mean variety: in people, in places, in pie. In fact, some would say our differences were what made us the whole package. After all, not every country has a dream named after them. But I’m afraid we can no longer see the nuances of our success because our focus has wholly turned to the shiny tray that brings us our daily serving of bigot and bias. Personally, if I had three wishes, I would wish for humans to share: their unique stories, their stewardship of other species and this planet, and (of course) their pie.