Best-Of Advice, Thoughts

On walking the low road

“To engage with them at all is to walk the low road”. Coke I have been with you since 2010 when I was fresh out of high school. This brings a tear to my eye. We don’t move forward or have our own ideas challenged without engagement. You haven’t lost a reader, I will never allow myself to be in an echo chamber like you are creating for yourself. I started disliking what you have to say for a couple years now, but recognize the value in hearing what someone I disagree with has to say.

 

You’ve missed my point entirely. I detest an echo chamber. I need to be challenged by people with opposing viewpoints. I long for the dialectic, and I am desperate for worthy adversaries.

You don’t need to tell me that we don’t move forward without engagement. I’m with you 100% on that point. The problem is that the Trump-loving religious/alt-right has degraded into an infantile, reactionary horde of the cruel, the ignorant, and the stupid. When I say to engage with them is to walk the low road, I mean it.

Trump and all his little Trumpkins simply aren’t capable of joining the rest of us on the high road, and by the rest of us, I don’t just mean liberals or Democrats or those who think like me. I mean anyone with the capacity for rational discourse. I mean people who can rub a few words together and form an original thought. I mean folks who aren’t actual fucking neo-Nazis.

There was a time in this country when the political right was represented by some genuinely brilliant bastards. They were privileged pricks with their heads up their asses, but they were articulate and well-schooled, they were worldly, and they could defend their political views with thoughtful debate using legitimate lines of reasoning.

Take William F Buckley Jr. for instance. That dude was one of the most gaping assholes of the 20th century, but he was smart as a fucking whip. His positions were loathsome, but he knew what he was talking about, and his arguments were exquisite. Say what you will about Buckley’s opinions, but the man didn’t just walk the high road; he fucking paved it. Is there anyone in Trump’s camp articulating the conservative world view at the level of someone like William F. Buckley Jr.? Fuck no. Even Buckley himself thought Trump was a monster.

Take Henry Kissinger as another example. He’s one of the most evil motherfuckers to have ever walked the earth, worse even than Dick Cheney, but he was dangerously intelligent and he knew his shit. He was the very definition of a worthy adversary on issues of conservative diplomacy, and when it came to public discourse, he always walked the high road. Is there anyone amongst Trump’s nominees who has half the brains of Henry Kissinger? Fuck no. They’re all Kissinger-sized scoundrels, to be sure, but with the added indignity of being a bunch of lackeys, lickspittle, and know-nothing corporate goons.

Over the years, there have been a number of right-wing thinkers with whom I have vehemently disagreed, but I still followed their work, because I knew they were making the very best case for the other side — magnificent assholes like Thomas Sowell, George Will, Bill Kristol, Charles Krauthammer, David Frum, and occasionally even David Brooks — but their voices have been drowned out by idiots of such magnitude that I can barely stand to keep listening.

The death of the eloquent conservative voice began during the era of Reagan and finally reached what I thought might be rock bottom during the era of George W. Bush, but things have gotten cartoonishly worse since the rise of Donald Trump. It’s gotten so embarrassingly bad that even Glenn Beck has taken a step back to wipe the shit off his shoes. I’m sorry, but when the likes of Tomi Lahren and Alex Jones are considered legitimate news sources worthy of citation, you can’t deny that there’s nothing left but low road, and you can fuck right off if you think I’m going to walk it.

I refuse to engage the opposition at so low a level, and I refuse to normalize Trump’s administration by dignifying its mouthpieces with any kind of legitimacy. They are simply not worthy of my validation. They are not worthy of yours. If you can’t see that, maybe wipe that tear from your eye and start paying attention.

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Fun-Sized Advice

On fun-sized advice

Serious question: How do we get Trump impeached?
Win back the House in 2018.

Trying to empathize with Trump voters has fucked me up, Coke! What the fuck!
Stop it. You’re trying to take a high road that doesn’t exist. To engage with them at all is to walk the low road, so either accept your surroundings or go find something else to do with your time.

Aren’t you exactly the kind of highly educated professional, white, liberal to which the Democratic party has catered for decades and which has resulted in their political defeat all over the country?
The word you’re looking for is elite, and yes, I’m elite as fuck. The election didn’t change that. Nothing can. Win or lose, I’ll always be elite, and deep down, you’ll always feel inferior. It’s not my fault that you feel inferior, but you do, and that’s why you troll the internet loathing people like me, because you loathe yourself so much more.

Please tell me I won’t get caught in the middle of a war if I go to teach English in South Korea?
Don’t worry. If war comes, it will likely be a nuclear first strike from the North, so you won’t see it coming and you won’t feel a thing.

You talk a lot about cheating in relationships. What do you think of cheating in the academic realm? Specifically, cheating on exams. A lot of people around me do it in college, and they all get away with it.
There’s a difference between cheating and breaking the rules. Cheating involves a breach of your integrity, but if you had no say in the setting of the rules, if they’re arbitrary or serve other interests at the expense of your own, or if you never agreed to follow the rules in the first place, then breaking them isn’t necessarily a breach of your integrity. Academic honor codes can be like that. They exist for the benefit of the institution, not you. That’s why I’m neutral when it comes to breaking the rules in an academic setting. I neither condone it nor condemn it. Feel free to fuck the system, but recognize that the system fucks back, and if you get caught, then you absolutely deserve to be punished, and you don’t get to cry about it.

I can only come (both by myself and with my boyfriend of 3 years) by thinking of getting fucked by my professor. Insight or advice?
Do you have romantic feelings or sexual thoughts for your professor outside of moments when you’re trying to orgasm? If presented with an opportunity, would you actually fuck him? In other words, is this phenomenon part of a larger crush, or is it more of a sexual fixation? Be honest with your answers. If you have feelings for your professor, admit it and then deal with that shit. If it’s just a fixation, try making it more and more abstract until you get up the courage to role play with your boyfriend.

Is it better to break up and perhaps never find love again or to stay in a relationship you don’t enjoy anymore?
This is a false dichotomy created by the weakest part of you, so I won’t dignify it with an answer except to say that you won’t make the right decision as long as you’re motivated by fear and regret.

I’m dating a guy who has a fondness for inspirational quotes. Not even ones that strike me as particularly insightful; really trite bullshit. Why does this bother me so much?
Because it’s evidence that he’s an idiot.

Have just spoken to my choice artist and, next week I’m booking in to have “Stay Wild” tattooed across my knuckles. Thank you for everything.
Fuck yeah. You gotta send me a pic.

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Thoughts

On coachella 2017

I feel like you’ve mentioned going; do you have any feelings on the guy who owns Coachella being an anti-gay, anti-climate change piece of shit? Hope you’re well and you had a banging new year.

 

Yeah, I’m done with Coachella. Not because of Phil Fucking Anschutz, though. I’m done because the law of diminishing returns started setting in the year that it became two weekends instead of one, and I know that it won’t ever get any better than Arcade Fire at the Outdoor Stage in 2005 or Daft Punk at the Sahara Tent in 2006. Coachella isn’t that festival anymore, and I’m not that person anymore. That shit was a decade ago, and things change.

Still, you should go if it’s that time in your life, and regardless of what you think of Coachella, it’s a bit silly to suddenly act all woke because you learned that AEG belongs to a rich white bigoted asshole. Phil Anschutz deserves every last inch of bad press he gets, but let’s not kid ourselves. The world is run by rich white bigoted assholes — especially now, and especially the entertainment world. If we started boycotting everything owned by rich white bigoted assholes, we literally wouldn’t have toilet paper to wipe our asses, so don’t let the bastards ruin your good time.

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Fun-Sized Advice

On fun-sized advice

Hey girl. Just reaching out because we haven’t heard from you in a while. I hope you’re just busy with work or off traveling. Anyway, thinking of you and hope you’re well.
Thanks for thinking of me. (Thank you all.) I’m okay. It’s been a month of sex and love and death. I don’t feel like typing it all out, and I’m not sure if I have my spirit back, but it’s nice to be reading the mail again. And fair warning, I’m gonna be out of the country for a bit, just a few weeks, but I’ll do my best not to disappear.

Does it weird you out that we get worried when you’ve been gone for a while?
It means the fucking world to me.

I just turned 29 and I’m pretty sure I found my g-spot last night.
Nice. If you were ever gonna find your g-spot, 2016 was definitely the year.

Why is it that cutting my arms is the only way to quiet the foghorn going off in my head at all times?
It’s not the only way. Cutting yourself is just a quick fix. It’s cheap and lazy. Summon up the inner strength or self-respect or whatever the fuck it takes and go find some healthy ways of regulating your emotions. Get help. Put in the work. You can do it.

I think I might be a narcissist. What do I do?
Don’t act like one.

I feel so burned out on dating and even casual sex feels unexciting right now. What would Coquette do?
Take a break and go learn a new thing instead.

Wait, so do we or don’t we have free will?
Nothing is free.

How do I stop hating/resenting my rich white friends?
Find value in different forms of capital (cultural or otherwise.)

Can you recommend any podcasts on politics?
The Weeds by Vox. (I have a bit of a nerd crush on Ezra Klein.)

Ugh. Tomi Lahren. Ugh. What would you have to say to her if she engaged in conversation with you?
Tomi reminds me of a well-groomed poodle who gets a treat from her racist owners every time she barks at black people. She seems easily trainable, but I have zero interest in teaching new tricks to someone else’s spoiled puppy.

I’m a fuck up and can’t do anything and nobody knows it but I think about killing myself every single day.
When you hear the words “you’re a fuck up and you can’t do anything,” whose voice is in your head? (It’s not yours. I promise.) Whoever it is, spend your time thinking about how to delete their influence from your life rather than thinking about killing yourself.

I just realized that years of undiagnosed bipolar II have left me with an ugly as fuck romantic history — several older married men, jealous and generally useless outside of the forbidden love myth in my hypomanic head — and I’m horrified. How do I fix this? Now that meds have cleared my mind for long enough, I am disgusted with myself (and frankly with the cheating fucks who were supposed to know better too, but mostly with myself).
You fix it by forgiving yourself, learning from your mistakes, and making healthier life decisions from here on out. (I know this is a very “eat your vegetables” type answer, but there’s really no trick to it. Get your shit together and change.)

My fuckbuddy ghosted me. Everything was going great but he must have become bored with me. Why do I tear myself apart over guys when they decide to move on from me?
Because you’re a human being with emotions and rejection fucking sucks. Also, you haven’t learned how to not take things personally. Also, you should probably make sure that you know the difference between a fuckpuppet and a fuckbuddy.

We’d been together 3 years, long distance (different colleges) for the last 2. I got drunk and let someone kiss me. I called him immediately after and begged for forgiveness, but I think a part of me was looking for a way to end the relationship and did something destructive to make it happen. I know now that I have a pattern of staying in relationships too long out of fear, and now it’s manifested in cheating, which is something I would have never imagined myself doing. How do I break this pattern?
You’re too young for this shit to be a pattern. In fact, it’s a fairly early insight. If you’ve realized that you stay in relationships too long, there’s only one way to change that behavior: break the fuck up. Do it today. You’re each probably home for the holidays, so do it in person if you can. Be firm and be fast. Let 2017 be a fresh start for both of you.

My boyfriend and I are going on a date with another girl later tonight. The only reason I’m ready for this is because I happened across your writing so many years ago. You changed my life. I love you. Thank you.
Right on. I wanna hear how it went.

You’re an uninformed, racist moron. I hope that the misery you heap upon others with your incompetence and vanity will be revisited upon you.
I love the irony of you using ableist language to call me a racist. Also, “revisited upon you?” Who the fuck talks like that? You must own a lot of action figures.

The day after I gave my intern your book, she walked in to work looking particularly empowered saying ‘this book! This BOOK!’ And I was like ‘right?!’ And she went on to say she had been texting photos of the pages to her sister and friends all morning and telling them all to read it and we talked about it pretty much all day. So yeah, thanks for sharing your awesomeness and inspiring us 🙂
Love this. Thanks for spreading the word.

what is the fucking point anymore? protests ended. people are becoming numb. no one cares to speak up anymore? are we not going to fight?
The point is to live. The point is to keep going. It’s okay to let the vigilance mellow into something less acute. It’s not about intensity anymore; it’s about stamina. Dig in, hold fast, and keep a calm and constant pressure as the pendulum swings.

Are you happy?
As I type this, I am something close to happy.

Are we going to be okay?
Ha! No.

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Fun-Sized Advice

On trump-sized advice

CQ, will you please let your sizable fan base know that there is still a Senate seat up for grabs in Louisiana? Every single person in the country who is horrified by the Donald Trump presidency should be trying to get Foster Campbell elected right now, to bring the Senate to an even slightly less terrifying 51-49.
Every last motherfucker who reads this, please go donate to Foster Campbell’s campaign. Do it right now. If you live in Louisiana, get your ass off the couch and go volunteer for his campaign. No joke. This is a big deal.

Do you think they’re crushing up Xanax or some shit and putting it in his soda? Or is he just very, very scared while riding a narcissist’s high?
Please. Donald Trump has no chill. He’s just too busy fucking up already to be in our faces with his usual bullshit.

Not even a Trump presidency is keeping me distracted from wallowing in self pity over my break up. I’m still in love with him!! Please yell at me.
No. I envy you. This is the perfect time to be heartbroken. It’s like getting a two-for-one deal on misery. Go have a shitty round of holidays like the rest of us and look forward to a 2017 where we’ll all be hardened by bitterness and rage.

Let’s say Trump is out of the picture. Maybe he resigns, or is impeached…Mike Pence becomes our next President, right? Isn’t that even more terrifying, knowing his extremely right-leaning position on every platform? What do we do then? It’s like we’re in a game of chess and we’ve just been cornered.
Relax. Mike Pence would be crippled by his association with Trump. He has has no friends in Congress, no mandate, and he would get torn apart by a Republican leadership who would want a chance to hit the reset button in 2020. Yes, he’s a terrible human being, but he’s also an empty suit. We should be so lucky to have his dumb ass fumble into the Oval Office.

Trump the president will not be the same person as Trump the guy trying to win an election. It baffles me that you can be so naive. You give Hillary all these props for masterfully playing the game, yet Trump out-played her. You’re too blinded by your girl power bullshit that you can’t even give props where they’re due. I think you’ll be humbled by the reality of the next 4 years.
What? You think you’ve stumbled onto some unique insight? The candidate is always different than the office-holder, you boorish mansplaining twat. Trump outplayed Hillary by appealing to the worst inside the lowest among us. If you think for one second that Trump will suddenly transmogrify into anything resembling a statesman, then you are drastically underestimating the pathology of that man’s narcissism.

Is it actually possible for him to repeal Roe v. Wade? Please, please, please say no. Please.
Not only is it possible, but it’s likely. It won’t necessarily come in the form of a reversal, but I promise you that women’s reproductive rights will be eroded to the point of non-existence over the next two years. It won’t be permanent. We will eventually win the war, but be mentally and emotionally prepared to lose a number of important battles.

Any chance with this whole “faithless electors” thing?
No. The best case scenario is that enough electors abstain for Trump to not reach 270 votes, which means the Republican Congress would then have to vote him into office, which they would most definitely do. Still, at least it would force those assholes to stand up and claim Donald Trump as their own. They would be responsible for him. It would be their fault, not ours.

I’ve seen people have been donating to Planned Parenthood in Trump’s name, are you one of them?!
Of course I am.

“Embrace the fucking change.” Oof.
Now more than ever. (It’s not supposed to be easy, and remember, embrace doesn’t mean condone.)

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Thoughts

On not being the least bit surprised

Has Trump surprised you at all thus far? Deporting criminals, refusing a salary, backtracking on the Obama care repeal. All good things thus far. Have you decided to hate him no matter what he does?

 

I hate Trump for the grotesque monster that he is. I never expected him to actually do half the stupid shit he promised to all the hateful mouth-breathers who voted for him, but don’t start cutting him slack just because he hasn’t set the building on fire.

Refusing a salary is just a Presidential-level humblebrag. (Notice that he’s not donating it to charity.) He isn’t backtracking on Obamacare as much as he’s just handing off the repeal to a Republican controlled legislature, and referring to undocumented immigrants as criminals to be deported is a page right out of Hitler’s book.

And of course, let’s not forget that he just appointed a white nationalist as his senior advisor and a sycophantic twerp as his chief of staff. No, none of this has been a surprise. This isn’t goodness or restraint. All we’re witnessing is the bluster and bravado of the campaign morphing into a machiavellian exercise in conniving and self-aggrandizement.

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Advice

On serving in the trump administration

Dear Coquette,

I was contacted by the Trump transition committee.

I read your blog religiously, and I think that you’re a measured person. I really need your advice on this matter.

I ‘m an African-American man dedicated to alleviating poverty, housing, and homelessness. I submitted my resume, cover letters, and letters of recommendation to both transition committees before election day. My entire life is devoted to helping people out of poverty. The Trump transition committee, to my amazement, contacted me for an interview. They’d like to interview and screen me for a few positions in HUD and HHS. I was told I will be interview for a policy-related position, working on a team to help implement his would be “New Deal for Black America.” The next position is more managerial, “something like a Deputy Chief of Staff” for an Office. I told them my dates of availability for the interviews, and they said they will soon get back to me for a confirmation.

I didn’t vote for Trump. I voted for Clinton thinking that she would win. I love persons of color, I want to help homeless low-income families and help calm the perverted and pervasive stigma that exists in these systems and institutions, and so I want to act as a pocket of resistance.

What do you think? Should I work for a man who has heated rhetoric with the promise of working on policy issues that could help millions of Americans?

 

Yes. By all means, serve.

Fight for the position. Act as a pocket of resistance. Protect the interests of the left. The Trump administration desperately needs forward-thinking subversives to fill its ranks. The worst possible outcome for this looming nightmare would be if the executive branch of our government were to become constipated with a bunch of right-wing, reactionary goons.

There is no shame in working in the Trump administration. You wouldn’t be working for him. Fuck him. You would be working for the American people, and we all need you now more than ever.

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Thoughts

On knowing better

I was one of those Jill Stein voters. I hated Hillary. I hated the DNC for their betrayal. I hated that Native American protesters were being brutalized over oil while we all stared at our television screens and laughed at Trump. I hated that the corporate media ignored John Podesta’s back-handed scheming. I was starting to see the Democratic party as the death of populism.

But I’ve been doing some reflecting over the past couple of days. I really wanted to believe that half the country had reasons besides racism to vote for Trump – that the kind of economic pain that establishment politics inflicted on rural Americans would make them choose anyone but a Clinton. I wanted to believe this because I know two Trump voters who are very important to me – my parents.

For twenty-three years, I’ve given my parents the benefit of the doubt. I tried to be understanding when my mother would say “people just want to be with their own kind.” I struggled for words when they told me that Muslims are inherently hateful whereas Christians are inherently loving. I even held my tongue when father told me that slavery wasn’t always bad. In spite of all of this, I really wanted to believe that I was raised my good people. I wasn’t. My parents are white nationalists.

Looking into the abyss that is now our world’s future, I realize I had it all wrong. The real problem isn’t the DNC or the corporate media or the Clintons or even third parties. The real problem is that people like my parents still define our culture. I don’t know what to do with all of my confusion and anger. All I know is that I don’t want to go home for Thanksgiving and I want Hillary back.

 

Yeah, go fuck yourself.

Before the election, I said that people like you were worse than Trump voters, because you knew better. I meant it then. I mean it now. You knew better, and yet you still threw away your vote on an unqualified, symbolic candidate. Now look what you’ve done.

You are worse than everyone who stayed home on election day. You are worse than the uneducated white men in swing states who tipped the electoral college. You are worse than your parents.

You are the actual worst.

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Thoughts

On more resistance

People have lives and jobs and families. Your underground resistance movement is fucking cringeworthy and a massive waste of time.

Why can’t you accept this as a victory for the anti-establishment? I realise you’re too far into it now to turn back but you really are looking at Trump’s win the wrong way.

 

If you think this is a victory for the anti-establishment, then you don’t understand how the system is built. Trump is a racist, misogynistic, hyper-privileged white male billionaire-by-birth — he is the living embodiment of the establishment.

We all have lives and jobs and families, many of which are now in peril because this grotesque monster conned his way into the highest office in the land. If you think it’s a waste of time to resist his rise to power, then by all means, return to your knitting and try not to cringe yourself to death, because the rest of us have our lives and families and jobs to protect.

(And for those of you who don’t have such shitty attitudes, stay tuned. I’m doing my best to organize something very real.)

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Advice

On the underground resistance

Are you freaking out? I’m freaking out.
Yes. I am freaking out.

I can’t fucking take it. I hate the news outlets for covering it like this. It’s meant to maximize our suffering. If trump wins I very seriously may commit suicide due to lack of faith in humanity.
Don’t commit suicide. We will get through this together.

I’m terrified.
Me too.

Drop the arrogant tone, kid.
Go fuck yourself.

I’m watching the votes roll in and I cannot stop crying. I’m so fucking nervous right now.
Go ahead and cry. This is worthy of your tears.

Fuck Gary Johnson. Fuck Gary Johnson. FUCK GARY JOHNSON!!!
Ralph Nader did this to us in 2000. History repeats. Such is life.

Coke, I’m watching the numbers come in and I’m freaking out. Help.
I cannot help you. We must accept this new reality with strong minds and calm hearts.

I’m so scared.
That’s okay. Just know, the republic will survive.

I feel like we’re all going to die in a nuclear holocaust now.
This will not result in your death, though unless you resist, it may result in your enslavement.

I am numb but almost in tears. What is happening?
A neo-fascist with a personality disorder conned his way into being the leader of the free world. It happens. Don’t worry. We will all be around to watch his downfall.

Do you have any words of comfort for us in this time of great fuckery?
Yes. In this time of great fuckery, know that you are on the right side of history, and though we may face difficult times ahead, it will only provide wings for the better angels of our nature.

Coke. I’m crying. I’m shattered. I’m in Australia, watching in horror and I can’t even begin to process what you guys are feeling. I’m so sorry.
It’s okay. We got this. The man will fuck up in such a way that he will not see the end of his first term as President.

what are we going to fucking do
Resist.

Coke, I don’t want to live in this America. Trump almost President? I would rather die. It feels like the only option right now.
It is still our America. This is a grotesque fluke. The system will correct itself.

How the fuck is this happening?
America is filled with a small-minded, hateful, and willfully ignorant population of uneducated rural white voters. Trump got them to show up to the polls. Don’t worry. This will not happen again.

How do we Impeach a sitting president nowadays, by your estimation?
It will be quite easy with a con man like Trump. He is imminently impeachable.

What do I do? What do I do? What do I do? Please, give me something tangible that I can work toward to help this horrible country. Please.
Stay engaged and fight. Resist. Do not back down. Never give up.

What Now?
Fuckery.

What the actual fuck?! How, why, I don’t even know what to say right now.
Breathe easy. We will survive this.

This is all just a stress dream, right? I’m going to wake up and Clinton will be in the White House.
No. This is reality. Accept it.

Coke, please? I’m scared of Trump. I’m angry and sad and empty. I was so proud to be an American -so proud to be a Michigander. Where do we go from here? How do we make this okay?
Your state fucked the whole country tonight. It’s not okay, but it is what happened. Now it’s time to pick up the pieces and move on.

Never has “embrace the fucking change” made more visceral sense. What just happened?
History fucked us, as history is wont to do. We have no choice but to embrace it, for now.

Jesus fucking Christ. What happens next? What. Happened.
Tomorrow happens next. It will be okay. This is a shock, but the future is rich with possibility.

I just don’t fucking understand.
Don’t try to understand. Try to accept, and then gird your loins for battle.

I’m sure I’m not alone in asking this, now what? Earlier today when I was living in delirious denial, I was sure we’d elect our first woman president and turn the senate blue. I was wrong. I feel like the end of the world is here. Stock market crash, divided country, and someone truly unqualified, unstable, racist, misogynist, is going to take the highest office in the land in 70+ days. I imagine that Pence the terrifying evangelical will be the defacto president. Coke, I’m lost. Please give me something.
This is not the end of anything. It is the beginning of our call to action. We are on the right side of history, but nobody said this shit would be easy.

I will gladly join the resistance to take down the clown. Also any advice on what actions to take/how to best counteract Trump’s hate would be much appreciated in this dark despondent time.
Depending on how things pan out, I will have more information in the coming days with regard to joining the resistance. I’m not joking about this.

Were you serious about applications? I’m fucking horrified right now. I feel so numb. But something within me has changed tonight and I want to do something, anything. Much love from a longtime reader.
Yes. It’s too early to tell what it will become, but I am deadly serious about starting a movement. We can do this.

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