That’s one way to start a year.
I didn’t have hope for 2021. I told myself I’d play it by ear, a day at a time. The way I do everything else. I know, I know. Stoicism is boring and you’re sick of hearing me not have expectations for anything, but it is how I managed to survive 2020 in one piece, so I’m sticking with it.
Even with my ambivalence for 2021, I was unprepared to witness an armed insurrection at the United States Capitol.
My emotions ranged from shock to fear to a strange combination of relief and raving frustration watching the events unfold. How else does one react to watching an “army” of goobers throw a revolution-themed rave a block away from what we’re told is the greatest military force on the planet? It could have been worse. It should have been worse?
Instead, it was equal parts dangerous, idiotic, and utterly embarrassing. I do not love America. “Loving” a nation is a strange concept for me, but I live here thus am invested in America’s welfare while not caring much for the myths it tells about itself.
Even with my lack of fucks for America’s image on the world stage, I found myself humiliated.
It isn’t surprising.
One of my quarantine hobbies since March has been the rabid consumption of American history podcasts. You know. To know where you are you must know where you’ve been or some such. While the federal Capitol hasn’t been breached since the War of 1812, state capitols were certainly breached post-Civil War to overturn duly-elected Black and Black-sympathizing officials. If the summer of 2020 felt like a re-do of 1968, early 2021 looks very 1870ish.
Who knows what we’ll see before (or after) the new government is installed on January 20th?
Why am I writing this? Well. Because the humbling (slow destruction?) of an empire is an event worth noting.