Another month of 2020 in the history books.
And, whelp, the his story books.
It’s been so hard to write and be upbeat/peppy (ha—I have not done this) during this year, as the covid death toll rises, my government continues to flail about in fraudulent apathy and many of my FB friends are more concerned about looting and property damage than the fact that Black people are being murdered by a police force who by and large refuses to look internally and correct themselves, and local governments who continue to buckle down and give more funding to them instead of reallocating resources to nourish marginalized and under-privileged communities.
Work has also been fun (not), but also in different ways. Compared to what’s happening in the rest of the world, it’s incredibly trivial, but my mental health is shot and I just can’t do it anymore. I love my job, but I don’t love being undermined and gaslit by my predecessor at every turn and the strain of managing front-line staff as a middle manager during a pandemic has reached unsurmountable levels. A vacation won’t fix what’s wrong. We have one last big thing rolling out, and I will see my team through that, and then I am done. I feel like such a failure, every day. It breaks my heart to say good-bye, but I cannot do it any more.
2020 broke me.
And the seeping, bone-deep knowledge that the election is not going to fix…anything is just…
It’s literally going to mean life or death for much of marginalized America. It’s about choosing between authoritarianism and not-authoritarianism. It’s about keeping federal laws and courtrooms away from our bodies. It’s about acknowledging people as people, no matter what their sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, nation of origin, age, ability, culture, skin color—hell, even political affiliation. It’s about dismantling the structure of systemic racism and misogyny that this country was built upon.
It’s about continuing at least the fucking pretense of ethical government, where nepotism, foreign meddling, graft, fraud, waste, abuse, and outright lying are overlooked for the sake of an agenda. I was a Marine Corps officer and I took an oath, and I took it seriously because if I didn’t that was my integrity and the lives of others and government funding that came from taxpayer dollars, and these mother-fuckers have been playing with that shit like lives and money come from Monopoly. It’s not just Trump—it’s the large swath of enablers behind him that makes my blood boil, and the even larger minority of impoverished followers who have been suckered in by hate and a last gasp of a tainted view of America that (spoiler alert) never existed.
It’s about equity and the focus on bringing those who have been pushed down up, so that we all have a fighting chance at a life free of discrimination and a system devised to keep some people at the bottom and others at the top. It’s about looking at the past objectively, acknowledging the good and the really awful without the lens of authoritarian patriotism, because to be a true patriot is to acknowledge the wrongs and work to do better.
So this was less a September wrap-up than a rant, but I’m just so tired.
I did read some books, though. 15 books total, for seven books, seven audiobooks and one graphic novel: 4936 pages read and 45.5 hours listened.
Too tired to give mini reviews, so here’s a brief summary:
- The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by VE Schwab
- The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart
- The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
- Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark
- Range by David Epstein
- A Deadly Education by Noami Novik
- Fangirl, Vol 1 by Sam Maggs
- Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
- Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me by Anna Mehler Paperny
- Burning Roses by SL Huang
- Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga
- The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix
- Conjure Women by Afia Atakora
- Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi (I need to read the print version)
- Wayward Witch by Zoraida Córdova