Every day when I wake up, I check the news headlines. Maybe it’s just hypervigilance and wanting to reassure myself that Trump hasn’t started nuclear war yet. This presidency makes me feel like I’m back in an abusive relationship and as a result I feel on guard all the time.
But at the same time, there’s a certain thrill I get from reading stories that seem like they would have been headlines from The Onion just a year ago. It’s not a good kind of thrill, but the kind of thrill you get from doing something you know might kill you but feeling compelled to try it anyway — like, oh, maybe sky diving or trying methamphetamine. Only the sick thrill is always accompanied by that awful, sinking, helpless feeling you get when you realize you are totally fucked and there’s not a thing you can do about it. Maybe it’s a familiar feeling to me and somehow comforting, but I know people who didn’t come from narcissistic families or abusive relationships and report they feel exactly the same way about this presidency and the endless stream of unthinkable news that it’s unleashed.
I want my news to be boring again.
On the plus side, more people than ever before are getting an education in basic civics (now that civility is a thing of the past) and how government works (now that it doesn’t).
I think we’re also learning to be more discerning about which news is fake and which is not. Sometimes it’s hard to tell, especially when the president is waging war on truth.
If you can get angry and stay angry instead of allowing the news to make you depressed or emotionally numb, then there is hope. Every revolution in history began because a lot of people were mad as hell and weren’t gonna take it anymore.