I Just Can’t

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I am usually the very first person saying: “Let’s make some lemonade!” The person who is secretly wishing that people would just stop complaining and get on with the business of life.

This time, I JUST CANNOT. I cannot get over this. I cannot get on with life. I cannot stop the grief. I cannot move on. I cannot stop the rage.

 

I think I can put my extreme level of upset into three categories: Trump Voters, The Electoral College and My Mother.

Generally speaking, I feel a good deal of pity for the average Trump voter. These are often hardworking people who consider themselves Christians and they have been left behind by modern society. These voters are people who have graduated from high school, believe that their diploma is worth something (in truth, it is merely an attendance certificate but that is a topic for another day) and twenty or thirty years ago these voters would be able to obtain a reasonably well paid job with reasonably modest skills. Often these jobs were in manufacturing. In modern society, THIS NO LONGER EXISTS AND IT NEVER WILL AGAIN. We have moved on to a knowledge and service based economy. Unfortunately, these voters were left behind and without the job skills needed to cope with this massive shift in the US economy. When you are a proud and hardworking person who has been indoctrinated to believe that being poor is because you have been lazy, this will make you very angry.

Pittsburgh is an excellent example: on paper, the economy looks great. It has reinvented itself from a coal and steel town to a town prospering from the medical technology industry. This is great. However, there aren’t too many med tech jobs out there for a former steel worker or coal miner. These voters see prosperity and understand that it is firmly out of their reach.

Then, one day a guy throws in his hat to run for president and he taps into your anger. “Hey buddy, you wanna know why you can’t pay your mortgage or feed your kids?” This guy gives you someone to blame and empty promises for a solution to your problems. We’ll deport the cheap labour, we’ll back out of our trade deals, we’ll tell the environmentalists to eat shit (or tar sands) and we will restart our steel mills and coal mines. This voter is so desperate to improve their circumstances that they eat all of this up and ignore common sense: if the steel mills and coal mines were profitable they would likely still be open. I get this. I feel like I understand the motivation of a lot of these voters. When times are desperate you look after yourself and this is just human nature. It isn’t racism and it isn’t sexism, it is the politics of desperation. This should be an extreme wake up call to the DNC (as a Bernie supporter I have massive beef with the DNC but that is a topic for another day).

So, Trump has been given his mandate from the Heartland. Or Heartless-land. Right?

Well, not so much.

There is no mandate. Two million more people across the country have voted for Hillary. Trump merely won the Electoral College. Look, this was the goal post at the start of the election. Anyone who voted in 2000 knows how badly this can go. WE KNOW. I am not suggesting, as many are, that we should change the result of this race. I AM saying that this should not happen again.

We grow up, go to school, try Rocking the Vote with MTV and the message we are given is this: one man, one vote. Except that this is complete and utter DONKEY DICK SUCKING BULLSHIT. Yep. I just typed that. Why is it fair that some voters have more say than others? If you poke around you can find all sorts of infographics  (most from long before this election cycle) explaining how much your vote is worth depending on the state in which you live. Since I am a NY voter, my vote is literally worth chicken shit.

So, thanks to antiquated rules, a man who lost the election will win the election.

Fucking Awesome.

Finally, there is my mother. I cannot bring myself to speak with her right now. I WILL say something to damage our relationship forever. I am so angry with her hardline ideas and attitude. Her belief that she is the more Christian person because she is forcing people to help themselves. It is such a Victorian way of thinking. She’d have debtors prisons and workhouses. She can’t wait to get rid of Obamacare. WHY? Because her policy isn’t as good as it once was and, apparently, who cares about the 20 million who have insurance now and weren’t able to before. She wants to go into schools in her area and speak to the children about abstinence instead of birth control. She is a hardline pro-lifer. She blames Obama for pretty much everything but especially racial unrest in the USA. Usually, I can handle all of this and we just avoid politics. This time? I am just too angry. I blame her and her peers for being nostalgic and holding an entire generation of people back by denying modernity. I blame her and her peers for denying science and refusing to believe in climate change. For destroying the environment for my children. I am so very disappointed.

Some of you might read this and think I need to “put my big girl pants on.” If so, fuck you.

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Sanctimoms, sigh.

I don’t ever want to be accused of not embracing modernity. I use the internet, I have a Karcher Window Cleaner (but I am not very impressed with it). We use state of the art German car seats. However, as a kid this was how my cousins and I would ride around during the summer in my grandmother’s station wagon:

I wish I had an actual picture because, in retrospect, it was astonishing. No seatbelt, hell there wasn’t even a seat!  Miraculously, we all survived.

I am not advocating a return to the reckless 1970’s. Kids should be kept safe and child seats keep children safe. This is without question. Like Climate Change.

Until this happens: Sanctimom in my neighbourhood: “I keep my children rear facing until they are 8.”

I seriously thought she was joking. I know, Sweden, but that is only until age 4. Now there is a movement to keep the poor kids rear facing until 8? Why 8? Why not 10 or 14? Maybe the whole family should ride around backwards all the time?

What does that look like?

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Not very comfortable is what it looks like. Can you imagine riding like that for 21 hours to Disney World?

I know that this will really bother some of the Sanctimoms out there. They will shout in the manner of Marge Simpson: “But the children!?!” Worse still, they might brand me a bad mother. However, I have nieces and nephews who throw up when they forward face, this would make every school trip or supermarket run a journey into the very depths of hell. At what point do we draw a line? I fear that by the time my kids get married, they will have to first climb out of their rear facing car seats and then get out of the limo.

Sanctimoms, sigh.

Hiatus

 

I recently met up with a new friend from ‘back home’ and was encouraged to pick up my barely started blog, once again. So, it’s been 3 years of near constant adventure. Little Clark is now Big Boy Clark (BB) and he’s been joined by Little Girl Clark (LG). Clarkarama is now a foursome.

Last weekend we went to Munich. Mr C is a big BMW fan, BB likes cars and Mrs C has a deep appreciation for German cities (they are very impressive). Munich did not disappoint! It was a terrific place to spent 3 days and we could easily have spent more time there. We went to Biergartens, fabulous parks, the beautiful Old Town and saw the Glockenspiel operate (11am) at the Rathaus. We saw castles and statuary, the BMW Welt and even a pretty decent aquarium. It was action packed and everywhere was very welcoming of the children. We can’t wait to return.

Moving Day 5 and a bit.

Day 5 was pretty straightforward. We got a flight. We landed. Bang, presto, new life!

We are still in early days. Exploring the supermarket, finding weird ‘foreign’ bugs, Sightseeing.  The reality will be more likely to sink in when we get a car or a permanent place to live.

Its important to take things one day at a time.

Early observations:
I need to learn French.
The pastry is outstanding.
The lake is massive.
The air is lovely and sweet.
The little one sleeps very well here.
I think we will be very happy here.

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View from our current home.