Great? Not Today.




January 20, 2017

My high school English teacher was big on avoiding what she called bland adjectives — amazing, fantastic, wonderful. Great she especially loathed. Even telling her to have a great day could result in a death stare, but perhaps I’m taking too much creative liberty.

She was very old then so chances are she is no longer with us. Maybe it’s better she doesn’t live in an age of Twitter and Trump, who with his limited vocabulary, is very fond of bland adjectives, especially great. He built an entire platform on great. If she isn’t already dead, it would kill her. Bigly.

Great, she argued, is also relative. A great day for a serial killer is someone else’s bad day. Can’t argue with that. Just like you can’t seriously argue that fifty years ago was a greater time for women or people of color. I’m going to go on a limb here and say civil rights violations and crotch grabbing seemed more likely fifty years ago, even with our new Groper-in-Chief. Some might find that scary; others just call it progress.

That said — it’s not a great day.

I had a professor who professed if you say something often enough, you start to believe it. At the time she used O.J. Simpson as an example. She was certain O.J. didn’t believe he was lying because he had told himself the lie until it became his truth.

“He actually believes what he’s saying,” she said.

Seems more like a sign of a psychopath, but she blamed his ego. With a big enough appetite, ego doesn’t care for truth. It’s an insatiable monster always looking to be fed. Ego will blind you, which explains Trump, and his hair — truth lying behind a carefully combed secret.

I’m quite certain she’s not having a great day either.

I’m trying not to be fearful here when fear is what got us into this mess. So I’ll just settle on today being a Not So Great, Very Bad Day for America. Today marks a day when everything that is unjust has been validated. Set aside party politics, we now have a man in charge who ran a campaign on fear, disrespect, and intolerance while courting racists. Sure, party loyalists can forget that bitter little pill. But he should have been crushed. CRUSHED. Period. Seat at the table – pulled away. Otherwise a disease spreads, as we have seen since (and before) the election, and I’m not even going to mention his views on climate change or yanking away health care for millions. America, you’ve been conned by a douchebag.

No, today I won’t be telling anyone to have a great day. Not when it is clear our country has a disease.

Today, I will say, is a day we must start looking for a cure.


29 thoughts on “Great? Not Today.

  1. Phil Ryan

    A resplendent post (Had to consult a thesaurus for that one) but should have kept it simple and stuck with marvellous.
    Hopefully Trump’s rise will lead to the great (oops, knew I couldn’t last) and the good making sure their voices are heard. Good luck America, but at least you voted for your leader. Democracy eh!

  2. TheFeatheredSleep

    My friend. I will say this … we need to be mindful of what is ‘right’ and act upon it before the wet-ass-hour, rather than at the last moment, or as a knee-jerk response. We’re not mindful of the future, we don’t think of it, we think of the NOW and we react accordingly. I think of say, women, and how they do not stand together, and support one another, they undermine one another, until the wet-ass-hour and then they march. It is too late. We need to act before it is too late. We need to consider a long term rather than the moment. We cannot live in the moment when it comes to politics and the future of the world, if we put things off we end up polluting our best intentions. xo xo xo BIG HUG

  3. FictionFan

    Well, my dear friend, as a non-American, I suppose the best I can do is extend my sympathies to your nation and keep my fingers crossed for you all. However, I will say that I suspect Trump’s megalomania will take a severe battering when he comes to deal with other world leaders – I suspect he’ll find we don’t think of him as “the leader of the free world” or the US as “a guiding beacon of democracy” quite as much as he does. Isolationism is a risky policy – it tends to mean you lose friends, as those of us who opposed Brexit fear for the UK too. I had to laugh when he thanked the people of “the world”. I guess he hasn’t realised that large parts of “the world” thinks he’s a sad joke, and a shameful (but temporary) blot on America’s reputation. I also suspect that he’ll struggle internally as people see that the US doesn’t suddenly become “great” again, whatever that means. I suspect the people who fled there to escape persecution and dire poverty in their own countries thought it was pretty great before Trump started calling them names and legitimising hate…

    1. Desert Dweller

      You know, FF, your comment is reassuring. Of course, anything negative against Trump he considers “rigged” and now he has latched on to “fake news” whenever the press states an inconvenient truth, so we shall see. With his lowest approval ratings for a modern president taking office, I’m hopeful people will remain vigilant, demanding honesty. Isolationism is no longer viable in today’s world, not to mention irresponsible, especially considering our warming planet. Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I always look forward to your take. I’m sure the view across the pond isn’t pretty, but hopefully we pull it together!

  4. Ancient Skies

    A powerful post, and you are right today is a tough day. I think most people voted against Hillary and her husband, and certainly due to fear. And now? We must stand up for the right and do what we can until the nightmare is over. Maybe Pence will help with some basic common sense. I have to hope so. Peace.

  5. walt walker

    This was a well-written and heartfelt post, Ms. Dweller. Thank you for putting into words nicely what I am too angry to say coherently or constructively. You’re looking at this more positively than I am. This is the end of the Republic, I’m sorry to say, and I say that lightly, but I mean it. President Palpatine has made his move. That may read as a joke, but I’m not joking. This man is a demagogue, a tyrant, a liar, and a fascist. But hey, let’s give him a chance! Let’s set aside our differences and support the new President!

    Every person on this continent should put aside any notion of partisanship or politics or nationalism and devote the next few months (hopefully not years) to removing this man from power. He’s going to break laws. He’s going to abuse power. He’s going to destroy things and punish.

      1. Desert Dweller

        The desert. We had 20,000 women, men and children marching. That’s a lot for a red state. Gave me lots of hope for accountability during the next 4 (gulp) years.

  6. Don Royster

    I usually don’t write about Trump because I get so angry. Anyway you said it so much better than I could have. On my way to work, I listened to the speech. It sure sounded like a declaration of war. And now the great man is going to be boss of the United States. Not President, but boss. And he will go forth and bully all those poor souls who oppose him. Unfortunately 100 million eligible voters did not vote. That’s 60% About the only thing I can do these days is go take a shower to get the slime off me after I hear the great man speak.

    1. ladytappe

      I agree with the term “boss” as in mafia boss. His demeanor is that of a thug a little higher up on the ladder. How in God’s name did this anomaly become a leader of the USA?

  7. Professor VJ Duke

    See, I suppose when you’re very old, you outlive all the words you used lots and lots when you were a youth. I bet she used great all the time growing up. I bet it was her go-to word, in fact.

    1. Desert Dweller

      Hah! I’ve missed your strange logic, Professor. To be fair to my sweet teacher, she only demanded better vocabulary when discussing books or anything of consequence. I think she probably edited her dreams too, slashing away with her red pen. I am quite confident Trump’s vocabulary would make her cringe with his repetitive usage of mundane and superfluous words. It’s truly word salad, like a cup of alphabet soup supped by a second grade bully.

      1. Professor VJ Duke

        *laughs* Trump is quite…the speaker, in truth. I always wonder how Mark Twain would be…probably scathing and vicious! That’s probably how I’d speak too…I repeat everything too much.

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