TOWOIT #233: What Happened Day

September 12, 2017… Day 236

Today, they arrived: What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Unbelievable, by Katy Tur (who covered the Trump campaign for NBC).

In the under-the-radar, “actually-I’m-not-that-crazy-about-Bernie” corners of the leftwing Internet, there’s a buzz of energy surrounding the release of What Happened. What people don’t understand about the women and men who supported Hillary is that the book’s release has turbocharged their commitment to what they were already committed to and talking about. Most immediately, with everybody’s eyes on 2018, those topics are voting rights, voter enfranchisement, voter registration, and voter turnout. Because they are about that action.

I have a deliberate schedule to follow for the next year to maintain my work, classwork, writing, sanity and health. There’s sleep hygiene involved, there’s deliverable dates for finishing book chapters. There are final exams and there are important dates when the big boss is in town. There’s family stuff too. And a boyfriend. But now I know I need to work activism back in more than it has been, because when the election happened I considered every marginalized young person as my young person and I felt responsibility to do my best on their behalf. And I still have to do that.

I also know though, that I have to write like hell. Even when I’m tired and I don’t feel like it. Because I said yes to writing in order to run headlong in the direction of my innate abilities and inclinations. Activism and organizing are not in the direction of my innate abilities and inclinations. They’re the opposite, and I’m going to do some of that stuff anyway. But saying yes to writing will curb my time and energy for activism. So all writing has to be Hell Yes writing. There can be no dilly-dallying in this matter. No dawdling. No equivocating.

(this decaf Americano is having a dangerous placebo effect on me)

I have barely begun to look at either of these books, but I’m already energized.

Hillary Clinton’s and Katy Tur’s author’s notes start out similarly. In What Happened, Hillary writes, “This is my story of what happened.” In Unbelievable, Katy writes, “This is a true story. It is also my story, which makes it a work of memory.”

Flip to the beginning of the next section a few pages later, and Hillary writes, “Deep breath. Feel the air fill my lungs.” It is Trump’s inauguration day, January 20, 2017.

Flip a couple pages to the beginning of Katy’s next section, and she writes, “I’m about to throw up.” It’s late on election night — November 8, 2016 — and a fellow reporter has just told her that Trump is going to continue to do rallies. Victory rallies.

These women felt it in their bodies. That’s the way I felt it — a lot of us did. It was a body blow. We were holding our breaths, waiting for an abuser-figure to finally fade away after a long year of Trump on television, Trump on the radio, Trump invading our nightmares. And instead we knew he would be everywhere, in everything. For years. And not just on television. He would be fucking with our very worlds.

And that’s why I want to hear what Hillary Clinton and Katy Tur have to say about what happened last year.


September 6, 2017… Day 230

Today is Irma day. The U.S. Virgin Islands got shellacked. We won’t know until the morning how bad it is — by the time the storm moved on, it was dark and the power was out. Everyone is staying hunkered through the night. I’ve been listening to the radio at night, to voices from around the Caribbean, wherever they could get in touch with someone.

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One meteorologist laid Irma on top of Ohio to show how big it is.

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Hurricane categories only go to 5, but there was talk of creating a category 6 for Irma. Either that or that was just Alex Jones being weird — it’s been a big day.

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I think we should get used to weather graphics. There’s going to be a lot of these before tribalism and/or AI takes over. Then everything will be on a strictly need-to-know basis.

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I didn’t get what Trump did when he agreed to Schumer and Pelosi’s plan instead of McConnell and Ryan’s plan. I didn’t get it. I needed the internet to create a digestible bolus for me.

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Meanwhile, the DACA fight continues.

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The Internet chased its own tail about the forthcoming Clinton book. Everyone’s a pundit.

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There’s so much to dislike about this string of words. It can be so easily deconstructed. It’s not even worth doing it. These are a dime a dozen. It was posted publicly by a Bernie supporter in response to a woman who said something positive about Hillary, so I’m not going to bother to blur this stinker’s name.

Other odds and ends:

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A lot else is happening but it’s past my bedtime and I need to live to fight another day.

Watch out, Florida.

I love you, Puerto Rico.

I’ll check in on you tomorrow, St. Thomas.