We Didn’t Make This Storm

The hate! I see hate in everything written now, casual hate in fashion blogs and celebrity blogs and design magazine, offhand hate as if in passing – even from a therapist I instantly dropped. It is our signifier of community now. Of course we are close because we both hate the same thing and we are solid haters you and I.

I seem to have signed up for a half dozen different social networks in haphazard fashion, over the past few weeks. I am pissed at the top four digital empires. I don’t like saying in passing to Jamie, “We need this,” and immediately see an ad. I don’t like being harvested for data, I don’t like being censored by idiots, I don’t like everything I’ve written down to the tiniest alteration of text available for any hacker jackass to read. I did an interview for Russian TV a few months ago, and a week later, all my passwords had been breached and I had to redo everything. This New Age means I’m vulnerable. So are you.

Plus, I was a journalist for 20 years, trained at the old Time-Inc and I sure as hell know how to research and evaluate information. I also have a graduate degree where I mostly learned economics and statistics, and I would say that Facebook’s checkers are dead wrong 75% of the time. It is freaking insulting. Google is truly an evil outfit, so I am dumping gmail, dumping google drive, not using google as a search engine. I’ve signed onto Brave and Proton Mail and next laptop is going to be from the deeply privacy-walled Purism because Goddammit, I belong to myself and b)fuck off.

I am also searching for a social home now that all the old-fashioned homes have turned into fight club, and we are so divided, I am scared.  I have gathered together some fellow travelers over the past few years, people whose spirits I love, I say spirits because we don’t see each other, a state we seem to be making permanent. If I lose a platform, I lose them and that would break my heart.

There is a lot of talk about how to speak to the other side after this election. Some say not to talk to them, not any of them. Revenge is in the air. Why? Who caused this? Who turned us into fire ants?

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I have a serious mind for someone who is naturally entirely frivolous, and last summer I read into criminal reform, a guaranteed income, and replacing police with teams of social workers. These suggestions proposed by the left are greeted with derision by the right, who point out the vulnerability of the poor and old in bad neighborhoods that depend on the police. This is indeed so true as to be a truism, crime rises wherever the police are decommissioned, and those hurt are always always always the most vulnerable. In the cities with the BLM riots, the police have withdrawn and crime has shot up.

But in fact, in order to stop the cycle of black teen violence, which is a sin and a crime that we have allowed to continue, you need precisely what they propose, financial help, and members of the community, trained, a resolution to not let any fall through the cracks. Let me repeat that: Members of the Community, men and women intimately involved in their community, not bureaucrats with police power who can ruin you with a signature.

Must have told dozens of people – professors, columnists, think tankers, friends, family members – to watch HBO’s Stockton on My Mindhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nVqsNtOZOI, where Michael Tubbs, a young black mayor has done just that, instituted a $500 month guaranteed income for the most vulnerable and created teams of community members to stop any child from falling through the cracks. It is working.

No one watched it. No one bothered to see the other side.

We didn’t make this storm. We are being manipulated into hating each other. But by whom? Davos Man? A cabal of technocrats? The autistic geniuses of Silicon Valley? China? The central bankers?

Who is shaking the jar?

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