In light of the fact that American Democracy is crumbling before our very eyes at the hands of an unqualified megalomaniac who has, in a mere refuse-to-count-them weeks in office, made life more miserable for trans people, immigrants, refugees, and journalists (to name the mere obvious) – pretty stable, probably white Americans can no longer complain, about anything.
To be clear, I’m not complaining about that fact. How could I in a world where the head of the EPA wants to get rid of the EPA?
Remember #whitepeopleproblems – that thing we said after we complained that you can’t bring booze into the Hollywood Bowl during non Bowl-sponsored events? Gone. Can’t say it anymore.
Now you’d have to say #nontranswhitepeoplewithnoimmigrantjewishmuslimfriendsproblems. Oh, and no kids/friends/family members in public schools. Or relationships with sexual assault victims triggered by Trumps rhetoric around women slash people with disabilities triggered by Trumps mocking of the reporter slash… I’ll stop. This is starting to sound complainy.
So what do we say now? We say nothing. There is nothing you can say with a woops guys! forgot to have a ‘lil perspective! eye roll that lets those equally fortunate around you know that you know that life is a tire fire for a huge percentage of the country slash world. Trust me. I tried.
I went with #notatrumpvictim – but try following the word Trump with victim in a light and breezy way intended to diffuse the fact that you just complained about feeling conflicted about going on a 10-day trip to Lebanon after your husband’s network television pilot season wraps up because – even though it’s not one of the 7 travel ban countries – it is over there and – I don’t know – do you need that stamp on our passport right now? Ugh…what a bummer. Mr. and Mrs. Smith say Lebanon is everything.
Roll eyes at self.
Oof. Sorry guys. #NotATrumpVictim, amiright?
See. You can’t do it. You just sound like a giant asshole, because you’re being a giant asshole.
To be clear, you were being one before but now there’s a new line in the sand – an actual line.
And so I am pleased slash devastated to report that this is the end of complaining as we knew it.
I am pleased because perspective is one of the most important elements of a happy human life. It is why the World Happiness Index consistently finds very dark practically empty Norwegian countries where people have bone dry if not totally non-existent humor to be the happiest countries in the world. Last year it was Denmark. People are happy in Denmark because almost everything is boring and terrible so you’ve really got to celebrate the small stuff, every single day.
I just actually went to the World Happiness Index homepage where they explain how the research is done. Turns out Denmark isn’t happy because it’s better than being suicidal.
The researchers ask participants to rank their own happiness. These answers are then weighted based on six other factors: levels of GDP, life expectancy, generosity, social support, freedom, and corruption.levels of GDP, life expectancy, generosity, social support, freedom, and corruption.
So people in Denmark are happy because Denmark is a good place to live!?
Why did I think it was the opposite??
Because I’ve been brain-washed by my own country’s fake news media???
…I do get all my info on the indexes of world happiness on Facebook…and actually all my info on psychology in general from Facebook and –
OMIGOD is everything I know about the human condition a lie???
Roll eyes at self.
Oof. Almost got carried away complaining about not understanding anything about humanity anymore on a day when someone’s mother will be deported to a country she never lived in. Sorry guys. #NotATrumpVictim, amiright?
Still doesn’t work.
Which brings me to why I am just devastated to report that this is the end of complaining as we knew it.
Because complaining is so good sometimes. And so necessary.
It’s by complaining for 3-5 years about how I’m being treated by someone of authority that I develop the courage to potentially challenge that authority. It’s by complaining for 3-5 months about how my whole body is atrophying and I don’t fit into any of my jeans that I finally drag myself to a HIIT work-out class (with no running). It’s by complaining for 3-5 hours that I haven’t gotten any work done in this loud and distracting apartment that I might leave and go work at the library or take a nap for a necessary and well-deserved escape from the frustration of it all.
I almost deleted the whole above paragraph because it’s all bullshit but decided to leave it there as evidence of just how bullshitty it is.
Complaining is a crutch and, now thanks to these times we live in, it’s a (more blatantly) rude crutch.
So how are we supposed to express frustration with truly frustrating things that are still not quite the inability to use the corresponding bathroom of our corresponding gender?
- I have a stomach ache. It hurts, but I’m going to live.
- This is a shit ton of traffic. It’s really annoying, which is why I’m going to put a podcast on right now to distract myself.
- I cannot believe how poorly young writers get paid for work these days. It is so frustrating in every way. I think I’ll go to a WGA meeting and learn more about WTF is up, then, if I really need more money, I’ll explore other ways to make more money. Then, when I realize it’s very hard to do that while building a writing career, I will scream into a pillow about the situation, inside my closet.
- My hair looks like ass. I guess I’ll wear a hat.
And by all means, complain about the government – at a meeting – preferably where a member of the government is present.
We’re going to get through this, America. And on the other side, we’re going to be nicer, calmer, more tolerant people who understand the meaning of enough and content and safe.
Or we’re all going to have giant bleeding ulcers.