Ten miserable minutes, I put myself, my beautiful-spoiled-girlfriend & Lex through ten miserable minutes out of respect for the precedent of an Oval Office Address. Turns out, precedent is a hoax.
“I just hate him,” Lex said over and over. “I just hate him.” The response to this presidency is so visceral, so raw, it feels like it’s happening to us instead of something we’re all rooting for.
My beautiful-spoiled-girlfriend brought her computer in from the other room to watch. She never looked up from her computer. Pinterest is her thing. She loves “pinning” and who am I to pull her away from something she loves only to listen to a racist turn the southern border with Mexico into the new Mason Dixon Line.
Earlier that night, I met Lex at an open mic. “We’re so lucky,” I said. “Uncommon Ground is directly in the middle of where we both live.” But when we got to the front door, the restaurant was dark. I called. There was no answer. Lex checked the website and saw the open mic had been cancelled. There was no explanation. Maybe it was a cold night and they decided to stay home. Maybe they’re out of business, God forbid. Or maybe they were closing out of respect for the precedent of an Oval Office Address.
So I invited Lex back to my place to practice. Truth be told, we were debating about getting a beer when Lex suggested rehearsing instead. I jumped at the opportunity. We need the practice. Don’t get me wrong, things at the open mic keep improving. The more we show up, the better we get. Consistency plus time isn’t a magic formula, but you’d be surprised by how many excuses we put in our own path to getting the reaction we’re seeking from the room.
The room never lies and last night the room was cringing!
What a horror show!
What an asshole!
I couldn’t take my eyes off Trump’s hair. I know Trump’s hair has always been a thing, but I’d never seen it up close for that long, ten miserable minutes of wondering how he gets his hair to look like that, a racoon hat wrapped around puffy eyes and a fat fucking baby face.
How did we get here?
What’s the precedent?
Oh yeah, I almost forgot…
The racists couldn’t handle Barack being black. The homophobes lost their minds over marriage equality. The gun fetishists longed for another sadistic Vice President to shoot someone in the face. The Anti-Semites hired Manafort to leak critical data to a hostile foreign power and Donald Trump was their dream candidate, the Birther-In-Chief.
All of the worst parts of who we are came together to lift up a lie and now I was sitting in front of my TV, like a Good American, for ten miserable minutes, listening to a con man pull apart the fabric of common decency.
As much as I hate to admit it, there is precedent for this, it’s called American History 101.
We’ve always been racist. We’ve always been homophobic. We’ve always hated women. Barack was a fluke, a glimpse into who we could be, but not really who we are. Not yet.
Maybe we’ll never get there. Maybe anger is stitched into the flag. Maybe looking down on people is more satisfying than putting in the effort to lift people up. Consistency plus time isn’t a magic formula and we’ve been consistently racist for a very, very long time.
Four score and seven lynchings ago.
I owe my beautiful-spoiled girlfriend and Lex an apology. I stole ten minutes from their lives. By the end of the Oval Office Address, Lex had put away his guitar and was done playing music. I stole music from Lex. Sorry about that, pal. Luckily my beautiful-spoiled-girlfriend never did look up from her computer, she never stopped “pinning,” so I didn’t derail her obsession with food shaped like animals.
When she gets home I’ll make it up to her with her favorite after work snack, baloney and cheese shaped like a racist pig.