Saturday, November 26, 2016


Thanksgiving is almost over, which means that I am emerging from a tunnel of activity into a couple of weeks of relative calm, Christmas notwithstanding. In the last month I have had: the election and canvassing, the death of my uncle Marty, going to a conference of Russian Studies people in DC last weekend, my old field, where I felt like I was very much on the outside looking in, and now the holidays themselves. On top of just doing my job.

Also my lake-owning HOA's annual general membership meeting, where I, as a member of the Board, faced a little bit of challenge from frisky members of the general population who have issues with some of the things the Board does.  Which I get. I shield you from most of this stuff, gentle reader, because it is boring and deeply provincial, but contentious at times. Older people worried about money, liability, erosion, blah blah blah. If I could step back from it with sufficient distance -- as I will in future years once I am able to rotate off, it could be interesting. For today, let's just call it a distraction.

I will note that this meeting was the week after the election, so that people were still generally pretty freaked out. Which was entirely appropriate. Even now, coming up on three weeks later, it is so hard to figure out how to react to the rise of Trump. Does he represent a general Existential Threat to Democracy and Civil Society As We Know It, or has he just been fucking with us and he's going to pull back and become pragmatic now. Certainly empowering a guy who seems that psychopathic and putting the nuclear football in his hands is scary.

And then there's the Supreme Court.

I will try not to let this devolve into another election-related screed. I already tried that, with limited efficacy, and that is a genre in which all too many in the chattering class have indulged ourselves, all of us seeking to sum up what happened in the Most Profound Manner. Clearly what is needed is greater listening and focus on forward-looking action.

And there you have it, unawares, the election has interjected itself back into a reflection which I had not intended to focus on it. Sigh. Meanwhile, my task list overfloweth.

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