Sunday, November 8, 2020

How not to heal a wounded America.

(Stolen from a Facebook post. Happy to credit the artist 
if someone can tell me who it is.)

Our longest Tuesday ever finally ended yesterday, when major news organizations called the 2020 Presidential election for Joe Biden. We here at hearth/myth are pleased with the outcome. We're super grateful that millions more Americans voted for Biden than for President Trump, and that Biden's Electoral College lead looks solid. And to be honest, we'd be okay if President Trump spent the rest of his term rage-tweeting and golfing, as both activities can be easily ignored.

As the election is over, I plan to go back to vagueposting about politics -- starting right now.

This post-election world is very new for all of us, and now that the euphoria has worn off, a lot of folks are sort of feeling around the edges about how to proceed. This past four years has been an eye-opener for many of us, particularly when it comes to how far down the rabbit hole our conservative-media-obsessed friends and family have gone. It's not so bad when senile Uncle Ern goes off on a Breitbart-fueled rant at Thanksgiving dinner -- you only see the old codger once a year, after all. It's much harder to ignore when Uncle Ern friends you on Facebook and then starts shitposting false conspiracy memes on his own timeline and insulting your friends on yours. 

But he's still your Uncle Ern. So maybe you should forgive him his belief that Pizzagate was a real thing and gays shouldn't be allowed to get married and the virus is a Democrat hoax and All Lives Matter. In fact, you'll probably run into folks who will tell you that you'll be sorry if you don't forgive him. 

If you're looking for permission to tell those well-meaning folks to take a hike, here you go: Tell 'em to take a hike.

We've already been over my views on forgiveness. To recap: As a Pagan, I see no moral value in forgiving someone who has neither asked for it nor atoned for the hurt they caused. Anger is a legitimate emotion. It's okay to be mad at someone. In fact, you can continue to be mad at them for as long as you need to be. You don't have to forgive anyone who doesn't deserve it.

Moreover, if Uncle Ern rants about All Lives Matter in front of your biracial children, or if he spouts off on gays when he knows (or should know) that you're gay, or if gives you a hard time for wearing a mask, do not shrug it off. That's verbal abuse. He's hurting you with his words.

We have all spent the past four years being gaslit by the President. He has told us lie after lie after lie -- more than 20,000 lies by mid-July, and tons more since. Hello, that's abusive behavior! It has taken a toll on every last American -- even those of us who haven't yet figured out they've been abused. 

Yes, America is horribly divided. Yes, our country needs to heal. But healing doesn't equate to sweeping bad behavior under the rug. Don't do it. Don't let people who behave badly get away with it in the name of forgiveness. And for the love of the gods, don't listen to anyone who tells you our best path forward is to turn the other cheek.

NaNo and stuff: As of last night, I was right where I need to be on the new book -- which is kind of a miracle, considering I spent all day yesterday on social media. I haven't written anything yet today because I spent more than four hours this afternoon warping the ginormous loom, and it's not done yet. This project is going to be nearly the whole width of the loom -- 360 thread ends, in case you know anything about weaving -- and each end has to be threaded through two parts of the loom: once through a heddle and once through the reed. (On a rigid heddle loom, the heddle and reed are one thing.) I finished threading the heddles this afternoon. Because I'm doing NaNo, sleying the reed (that's what it's called -- don't ask me why) will have to wait for another day.

These moments of advisory bloginess have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell. Wash your hands! Social distance! Wear a mask and do it right! And thanks for voting!

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