It has been a while...longer than any stretch of time since we launched the site. For that, I'm sorry. But the deal is that I've been on a really wild ride (literal and figurative) since we opened Spring Awakening. We ran the show, closed the show, struck the show, took a vacation, rode some roller coasters, met some princesses, made some plans for next steps, expanded the team officially...all the while we watched the continued rise of white supremacy keep on oozing out from its sad little hidey hole. I've got so much to say. We've got so much to say.
Because it has been a while. Not just since the last time I posted anything. It has been a while since I've felt the way that I've been feeling lately. The nagging fear at the back of my mind is, I think, 30 years old? 300? 5000? And it has been such a long while since I've felt it. But I feel it now, and now more acutely than I remember, but with a different tone, or a different aftertaste. I used to feel this fear, but like a kid. Now, I feel like, I hope, like an adult.
But despite its having been a while, I recognize it well enough to tell that something is different. Now, all I keep coming back to is Fuck. The. Nazis. So much. There are a bunch of reasons not to swear and use bad language on the site or in a blog...the internet is, after all, forever. But I really, REALLY, can't come up with a whole lot more than Fuck. The. Nazis. I know I should get more complex in my analysis, and, I know that I'm late to this party...but yeah...I can't. Because.
I just think of myself as a kid. I remember vividly a time when I went, with my parents, to visit my Uncle and Aunt at their home. We (my parents, my sister, and I) were sharing a guest room. I remember trying to fall asleep on the floor at the foot of the bed that my parents were in and I remember crying and being unable to sleep. When my parents asked what was wrong (I don't remember which parent this was) I told them I was afraid that there were people who hated Jews and would try to hurt us. I don't know what motivated this particular moment of fear, I don't know why it came up at that moment. Probably just an overtired kid identifying some deeply held fear as the cause for the weird feelings that were actually just exhaustion of the moment. I've got a new appreciation for what that moment might've been like for my parents when I see how my own kids are handling similar moments. My parents were reassuring that, yes, there were bad people out there, but the things they did were illegal and the people who were supposed take care of us, police, the government, etc, wouldn't let them hurt us. And, of course, there were so many people who wouldn't let anyone hurt me. And, I guess, that was sufficient, because I assume I must've gone to sleep.
And it has been a while since I've felt that fear, but I'm feeling it again, and it is now accompanied by an anger that I never felt before. Which makes me swear in a format that is forever. I swear Fuck the Nazis and I swear that when I have to-
-and that has changed...since the election...from "if" I have to, into "when" I have to. We talked a lot after the election when swastikas started showing up on Subway platforms and sidewalks about how if we would have to deal with explaining that to our kids right away, or if that moment of "permission" would pass and normalcy resume...and it didn't...and now that "IF" feels a hell of a lot more like a "WHEN"-
-when I have to explain to my two beautiful children what those symbols mean and who those people marching and chanting are..."The Jews will not replace us"... "Blood and Soil"... "both sides"...
I sit in my white privilege and recognize that my personal ivory tower is waving in the wind. I have it so much better than my black and brown friends who have to teach their kids how to best avoid murder at the hands of police. I have it so much better than my Latinx friends who have to teach their kids why they are viewed with suspicion or, for those who are in the process of establishing themselves legally in this country, why they might have to leave. I have it so much better than my LGBTQ+ friends who are facing the stepping back of their so recently won, but anciently deserved rights. I have it so much better. And now, they're coming for me and mine too.
And I want to make art about it. And I want to yell about it. And I want to dress up in clown suits and stand next to them as they spew their hate and make them look silly. And I want to find a strength and a rage that I don't know that I have and I want to fight them. With fists. and I know that we don't use our bodies when we're angry, but I want to. And I want to hide in my house and ignore it. And I want to go back on vacation.
But they've tainted Disneyworld...not literally...but I saw a lot of big mean looking white dudes with tattoos and a couple were wearing German flag shirts, and camo baseball hats...and I suddenly shrunk to a Woody Allen nebbishy stereotype and I thought the worst of these men. Who were just on vacation with their families in the Magic Kingdom. I can't imagine that any self respecting Neo-Nazi Alt-Right Shitbag would be caught dead at Disney, what with it being so gay and all...but they got me. They got into my head and I saw an enemy where there wasn't one. And I felt fear for no reason. And it felt like I was sitting at the end of a bed crying because I was afraid that people hate us and wanted to hurt us...
And it has been a while.
Tomorrow we will be announcing our new initiative as a company. Our next steps. And it will, I hope, help me give more appropriate voice to these feelings and fears than this forum. It will, I hope, do the same for many others. Tonight I feel afraid and I watch the videos of these marching tiki-torch bearers...and part of me thinks they're ridiculous. The mini-van driving weekend warrior that I see in my own mirror turned into a funhouse fascist version. Tonight I'm tired and sick and so mad. Tonight I'm listening to Pete Seeger (whose music I was given by my parents as they handed over the politics as well) and feeling comforted by the fact that as I wrote this self indulgent rant we passed midnight and tonight turned into tomorrow without me noticing and tomorrow the work starts again.
And it has been a while.