In the last month or so, I’ve tried several times to write my response to recent world events, particularly the back-sliding of Western countries into older models of nationalism and selfishness. My misgivings have been slowly brewing as I’ve read about nationalist groups across Europe. Then my concerns got serious Brexit, They finally came to a head with Donald Trump winning the US election. In the middle, there has been an increase in far-right sentiment elsewhere in Europe, with an especial backlash against Syrian refugees fleeing a catastrophic civil war.
At first, I chalked a lot of this sentiment to news cycles. I was seriously hoping that we were having one of those artificially inflated crises where the news focuses only on the doom and gloom and ignores the fact that such behavior is actually in decline.
But then Brexit. And Trump. And it got me to thinking…
What the actual fuck?
Now, it’s important for me to clarify. I’m not wondering why these events happened, or how we could have regressed so far. I can get that. It’s anger, pure and simple, and I’m intimately familiar with the entitled sort of anger of someone whose privilege is threatened. (More on that in another post.)
I was more wondering what the actual fuck I could have done.
Because if you’re reading this, you know that I have a voice. It’s a quiet little peep in my own small corner of Cyberspace, but it’s a voice nonetheless. And it was completely silent. Nothing besides a couple snarky memes on Facebook with a caveat like, “I try to stay out of politics, but this made me laugh.” Of course, now I want to cry.
But what could my little peep have done? If we’re being honest, probably nothing. If you’re reading this in one of the possible futures where I’ve become a best-selling author beloved by millions, it would surprise you to find out that at this point in my career my reach is limited. It would have been one small voice in a sea of billions. It would have been a tiny drop in a bucket. It’s kind of like a vote in that way.
And it’s also like a vote in that it’s not a single voice (or blog post, tweet, meme, etc.) that makes the difference. Instead, it’s the sum total of everyone’s voices crying out in unison that makes real differences. Sure, the odd influencer can nudge events in a particular direction, but really it’s all about putting our voices together to be heard.
With that in mind, I’m now committing to getting involved. It’s not the sleeping giant awaking, but it is the spring peeper coming out of hibernation. My little noises of discontent will be added to the others, and I hope that together we can be heard. And just maybe we can work together to make a more peaceful, happier world for the next generation.
Because I’m a father now. This is bigger than me and my sensibilities. Now it’s about what kind of world we will leave for her and her generation. I can be silent no longer. It’s not much, but it’s something.
Not to worry, however. I’m not going to take myself too seriously in this. There will still be my particular cantankerous, pretentious sense of humor to deal with. And this isn’t becoming a political blog. There will still be lots of posts about writing, which I also haven’t been staying on top of, but there are lots of drafts lurking behind the scenes. I’ve also not forgotten that I’m a fantasy author who writes about elves and such that get a little stabby.
Until next time reader, why not leave a comment or two below? I’d love to hear your thoughts on recent world events and the direction we’re going. (Just make sure to read my comment policy before saying anything too heated.)