White students at UC Berkeley started a White Student Union this past week. A black man at a Trump rally was assaulted by a crowd (ironically yelling “all lives matter”) while attempting to protest yesterday. There are currently armed protesters outside of a mosque in Irving. Despite the fact that the assailants of the Paris attacks were mainly European citizens, France has bombed Syria (the UK is thinking of joining them) and US governors are rushing to disavow Syrian refugees. Because reasons.
I can’t even bring myself to type what the leading Republican candidates for the Presidency of the actual United States of America (and not Disneyland) have been saying.
Is this opposite world?
Upside down day?
Freaky Friday perhaps?
I tried to make sense of these things this past week and my brain did something that looked like 8akl;kpoai91ij:+0i977e8ahuj2bfabkuapp and promptly gave up. So I finished reading Emily St John Mandel’s excellent (and completely dystopian) novel, Station Eleven instead. It’s about the cataclysmic end of civilization due to a virus that explodes “like a neutron bomb over the surface of the earth,” and the subsequent rebuilding of civilization. I’ve been thinking about this book all week, drawing parallels between the fictional decline of the world and the one that reads like fiction (see first paragraph).
There’s something very dystopian about current events as they stand. A stench of decay and decline in the air. The incipient beginnings of drastic change. I can feel the incremental ripping apart of the seams of the world-as-we-know-it.
I’m mindful of this precipice that we’re all standing on as I tour Puerto Rico. Climbing to the peak of El Yunqe National Forrest yesterday, I found myself thinking perhaps this is my last hike before the world changes. Or this morning: perhaps this is the last time we will brunchear before it changes.
I wonder if this is what it felt like before Rome started to burn. If the Roman citizenry noted the smell of ash in the air long before they felt the irrepressible heat. I wonder if this is the hesitant flickering of kindling moments before the fire catches hold and burns everything to the ground.