Don’t Read the Comments, But if You do…

My Twitter and Facebook feeds are complicated places to be right now.

There are a lot of political posts. A LOT of political posts. Which makes sense because there are a lot of politics to post about. On a scale of 1 to 10, we are maxing out at 10 politics.

And then there are the surprises. Before the election, I used my social networks to keep up with museums, historians, artists, and museum blogs, history blogs, and art blogs. So between the talk of white supremacists in the White House, people saying “give Trump a chance. He’s not actually racist,” (despite the white supremacist slated for the White House), and just so many Joe Biden memes, there are the occasional, and surprisingly jarring articles about the development of mourning clothes from a well-known clothing museum. Or Anna Kendricks’ new book. Or Georgia O’Keeffe’s birthday.

It’s giving me whiplash.

And I have to fess up to a rookie mistake. For all these articles that talk about peaceful protest and dissent, you know, first amendment rights and stuff, I’ll think “this is great! America! I’ll read the comments on these articles to see who else is happy that people are exercising their rights as citizens and I’ll see that we’re all at least a little rational!”

Did you hear a record scratch? You should have heard a record scratch because don’t ever read the comments. Don’t. Do not. You will regret it.

Because that is not what happened. I did not read comments about people understanding that protest is protected in our country. I did read comments from people calling the protestors sore losers. Saying that our country is too PC and people should get over it. Saying words I won’t repeat here because 1) this is my happy place, and 2) my mother reads this blog.

Still from Footloose, 1984 (Or my apartment, you decide)

So after screaming into a pillow for 20 minutes, and then rage-belting the entire soundtrack to Footloose, I calmed down enough to call Speaker Paul Ryan’s office to express my concerns over Steve Bannon (remembering that heckling isn’t productive on a phone call meant to coherently express your opinions).

Seriously, if I can pick up the phone, you can do it too. It just took a couple minutes. And I’m saying this as someone who really hates talking on the phone. Here’s a link to where you can find your representatives.

And then I turned to art.

Art surprised me on my news feed multiple times today. Art should be surprising, but not simply for existing. As such, I’m going spread a little art to go with your politics and leave you with the Georgia O’Keeffe quote that was posted in honor of her birthday by A Mighty Girl’s Facebook page.

“I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life – and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.” Photo by William Clift, 1983

As an introvert, I’ve been trying to find ways to be vocal these days. It’s really easy to be quiet and to hide. I’m Boo Radley at my worst, Boo Radley in a power suit on a good day, so this quote was perfectly timed to shake me from my thoughts. It’s ok to be scared. Just don’t let it stop you. It didn’t stop Boo.

My last post was about laughter. Loud, inappropriate, attention-grabbing laughter. Today’s post is about anger. Find your way to get it focused. I formally invite you to rage-belt movie soundtracks from the Eighties. Or anger-yoga (instead of exhaling, aggressively sigh and roll your eyes). Or throw a shoe at the wall, but make sure to aim for the wall you share with the person who keeps ringing your doorbell at 3:00 in the morning.* Just make sure it gets you moving.

And for Heaven’s sake, don’t read the comments.

“Sky Above Clouds III” 1963


*Neighbor, it is time for you to be better at keys.


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