Day 2: Emperor’s New Clothes

Social Justice Warrior, Progressive, and a host of other self given titles to be inquired on upon meeting the remembered fill up our discussions these days. What do they mean now that the ascendancy of the left has been halted?

I was never a member of the new left even when I was anti-Bush. I do agree that we have a bigotry problem in America and that the evidence can be found in the excessive force of our police. Yet I don’t believe in censorship. I think that was the downfall of the new left: their scorched earth strategy that often consumed well meaning allies. Apparently we don’t all think the same.

As the new left publishes their think pieces, some recognize the folly of shaming and demonizing a group that still is the majority. The error in not making culture inclusive to use a term of theirs. Ideas and traditions from all cultures matter including rural white America. Reading the Hollywood trades, I see a mix of those who are going to continue the course but many hardcore leftists reckoning with the reality of echo chamber, they built. Recall Norman Lear and the variety of beliefs his characters held. All both gave and took punchlines. Media’s self-weaponization didn’t transform all culture as created a bubble to escape to. Trump didn’t need Hollywood endorsements, he already had the shine of the silver screen. A name and face broadcast into everyone’s homes for 40 years. His stances changed, but he never wavered from shooting straight from the hip.

Is diversity important?

Yes, but it is a range. Telling a suffering group that they don’t need opportunities and should be embarrassed and guilty doesn’t foster support or sympathy. There aren’t many redneck superheroes either. The poor white kid from the Ozark has more in common with a poor black kid from the Bronx than a white peer in Manhattan. Yet our culture pits the two against each other (Kenneth and Tracy from “30 Rock” is an exception). Simply writing off trump supporters as voting against their interest is patronizing and ignores their interest.

If we are to stop the Trump agenda and bring real economic change, we have to open the tent. Trump sold them a better yesterday we need to show them a better tomorrow for their descendants as well as ours. Small towns gave us the greatest nation in the world and now that nation must help them.

I hope that will be the lesson of this election that no group has a monopoly on culture or politics or morality. There is a very close split.

-E.C. Fiori

11/09/16: Surviving the Red Rage, Nation of the Trampled, A Choir Song Turns to Screams, The Black Years of Mourning.

It is notoriously difficult to negotiate with a suicide bomber. Regardless of the difficulty of making small talk as his thumb hovers over the trigger, the real trouble will start the moment you try to find common ground. His offer is your immediate destruction. Counter offers will not be accepted.

This, of course, is both America’s greatest fear, and the political strategy of one of the major parties. And after years of this behavior, we have willingly elected them to every high office we have. The irony is so painfully obvious that any author would be thoroughly chewed out by their editor for including something so on the nose, with giant red slashes across the page.

I encountered this problem myself when I wrote the majority of a screenplay over the past week called “American Id”. It is the story of a billionaire businessman who runs for president so he can sleep with his daughter. The solution to the “irony problem” was to end the film with the businessman losing the election. In that moment he realizes that he IS America, that in his core emptiness, he is simply a dark reflection: a voice to the racist, an enemy to liberals. Much like America, he can never be defeated: so he refuses to concede. My only sin was subtlety. Reality is much more blunt.

Like so many I feel grief. I feel ashamed. I feel like there is an absolute loss of faith in every institution. And now, I feel like they stripped the last vestige of pride I had in my country. Worst of all, I feel so much hate towards my fellow countrymen for destroying a system they don’t understand. We’ve inherited this nation and are gladly tearing ourselves to pieces.

If we’ve learned anything, it’s that fascist bullies will always use their power. Be vigilante. Be ready. Don’t let them forget exactly who they elected, exactly what they said before the election was decided. We have to hold Trump and Ryan to their promises, every single one. We have to not look away as the nation we love falls on it’s own sword. The government shutdown was an omen of this day and we laughed at the death throes of the Red beast. But the elephant was just wounded, it’s broken ivory tusks ready to impale the American Dream in it’s bloodlust.

We need to be ready. Ready for the secret abortion clinics, ready for a modern underground railroad for immigrants. When an elephant charges, the shock of being impaled isn’t what kills you. Instead, the Red beast uses it’s incredible weight and massive head like a pneumatic press, crushing you to death.

We’ve been impaled. The head is coming.

-Jack Delaney

Why I Mourn: Day 1

“When there’s no way out, you just follow the way in front of you”

-Stephen Mitchell

11/8/16- the day reality died. The day my future died. The day when logic succumbed to emotion. People will say that Clinton was a weak and scandalous candidate, but that honor belongs to our new president Trump. Yes, Our president; I will not tit for tat and further erode our democracy. He has 75 outstanding legal proceedings including the veterans he conned with Trump University. Others might say Bernie would have saved us, but he was an alternate path to the same destruction.

Trump won because the digital age is not grounded in our world. Social Media provides us with a snow white mirror to reaffirm our beliefs. Even if the factories come back, it will be at Chinese wages. Less regulation is less protection for us- the laborer. When I graduated during the previous recession, I knew it would permanently impact my lifetime earnings with a 10% decrease. Now 5 years into my first ten in the workforce: the years which define future earnings. I am faced with the fact, I may not have work and will never achieve the middle class of my parents.

Self pity is not attractive, but it is a good vehicle for self reflection. How have my own choices brought this day. I live in a major metropolitan area like many of my generation. Attempting to make a living through entertainment like many others as well. But what good is fun if we have juries falling under the law and order effect and a reality star in chief. We can love “Unreal” but do we do anything to change its inspiration. There is no such thing as a harmless guilty pleasure. How we are is who we are.

We need to not call but be the better angels of our nature. Return to reality and remember the world beyond the screen. A place of terror but also of sublime wonder.

Hope is an easy word to say and in my despair I put my faith in the Lord. I am blessed to live in the time of Francis. Today, I think of something he said this summer while visiting Poland. “Dear young people, we didn’t come into this world to vegetate, to take it easy, to make our lives a comfortable sofa to fall asleep on. No we came into this world for another reason to make our mark”. It is time for us those who believe in our country and the values for which it stands to make our mark.

-E.C. Fiori