Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Don't worry, be sappy.

Says the man whose face is covered in pie hurled by Marion Davies. From King Vidor's Show People (1928), via Fritzi.
Shorter David Brooks, "The Epidemic of Worry", October 25 2016:
America, you need to stop worrying so much. It's not even healthy and it's making me very anxious. 
Concerned David Brooks is concerned about all this worry! If the country needs worrying, step aside and let him do it! "I'm a professional, ma'am." He can even meta-worry, if need be.

I had an ex–mother-in-law—still do, I guess, that's a kind of final-status relationship, just like having an ex-wife or a former home, and never goes away—who used to say "Worrying never solved anything," and she was self-evidently right about that, not that it makes a lot of difference. A big discovery I made at some point in my own life was that there's a difference between being sad, when something terrible happens, and being depressed, when there's a chemical glitch in your brain that won't permit you to feel hope, not that you can't have both at the same time, and in the same way being worried that Donald Trump could suddenly be the Chief Executive of the most powerful government on earth is different from suffering from anxiety disorder.

It's getting a little silly to worry about Donald Trump becoming president, that 40% ceiling to his possible vote seems pretty solid, but it is pretty crazy, as Brooks suggests, that something like 40% of our voters now thinks Donald Trump being president is a good idea, and when Brooks adds that this is an affliction of the elite—
This election has also presented members of the educated class with an awful possibility: that their pleasant social strata may rest on unstable molten layers of anger, bigotry and instability. How could this guy Trump get even 40 percent of the votes? America may be not quite the country we thought it was.
—he is obviously wrong. The people who have been worried about a Trump presidency and continue to worry about the existence of a Trump following do not constitute "the educated class" but something that would more accurately be described as "the majority" including women of all races with and without higher education, nonwhite people of every socioeconomic category, and educated people of every race and ethnic origin and gender identiy, a group that as they say "looks like America". The bright side is that America doesn't look like the crowd of elderly, crotchety, ill-educated but overprivileged white men in that basket of deplorables. (I keep saying this, but I'll say it again, most of the uneducated white male population doesn't vote because they have reasons for thinking the whole thing is a scam.) The dark side is that those guys have guns.

But if that bothers you, that doesn't mean you're suffering from clinical levels of anxiety. And I guess those stupid people who think Hillary Clinton is a combination of Rosa Luxemburg and Catwoman could say the same thing. They think they've seen evidence! "Read the Internet," as Donald himself advised.

If anyone asks you who composed this song
Tell them it was I and I sing it all day long.

Anyway Blogfriend Bethesda 1971 and Drifty both have a bunch of good stuff to say about today's column, and I don't.

If you haven't listened to this since before you found out Bobby McFerrin was a genius, you should definitely listen to it again.

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