“Is this the stark reality?” says actress Jennifer Lawrence in a new letter penned on behalf of, and sincerely directed to, those who suffer the recoils of the recent election result. “The people who guided Trump are the darkest forces in our country” says film-writer Sasha Stone in a published letter to her very own daughter – but the message is universal. It’s a real double-take after double-take this new American hustle. Every photo I see of that buffoon I am reminded he is America’s new President. And then reminded again the next time. It is a reality, sure, but one which will take some time to sink in, to believe that really happened – all the while those good Americans that ticked Hillary Clinton’s name with a seemingly undefeatable pride and joy are left fallen amidst the broken pieces of a great nation who right now can’t find any sort of playbook for a silver lining.
And this no film. This is real life. For the good half of America (who haven’t been hiding under rocks), and thousands of us outside that are also in the firing line to some extent, there has been a horrid, head-shaking shift of emotion. The support, strong-will, no-surrender, months and months of hope, fight, potential euphoria and exhilaration, for a vastly essential and exciting fistful of changing times – has, in one night been shot down dead, burnt to the ground, crushed like a once prosperous, ambitious bug. Fists opened and flattened, fingertips charred and sore from the fire and the blows. What an awful chain of events.
“I want to be positive;” says Jennifer, who means well by that simple notion, “We shouldn’t blame anyone, we shouldn’t riot in the streets. We should think strongly and clearly about what to do next because we cannot change the past.” And that’s what is happening. The riots. The thinking. The past. The future. Most of the good Americans I know haven’t stopped talking about it. They can’t stop talking about it. Their good fists have re-clenched and bang the table hourly, honorably, their knuckles still red and tender though. They’ll take some healing.
With this fiasco comes a distinct lack or loss of laughter, wit, happiness – smiles. I miss that. I miss those good people. Instead there are rants, rage, turmoil, tears, of despair, devastation, the frightening unknown of a future untold. They’re not all American, or women, or part of the LGBT community, or even immigrants. We’re all swept up in the this explosion’s fall-out one way or another. We all have an opinion it seems. I do. You do. Jennifer does. Sasha does. How can you not?
“I don’t know what I would tell my daughter if I were you.” says Jennifer, “Except to have hope. To work for the future.”. Well, sure. Sasha knows what she would say to her daughter: “I can say I believe in you. I believe in your future. It looks bright to me. There is a lot of nasty shit in the way of that brightness but shines for me nonetheless.” – wonderfully poignant words. I’d want to say something like that to my own daughter. And son. Both are British Greeks, two other great nations grappling with recent social torment. All worth fighting for, without any doubt.
“Do not let this defeat you – let this enrage you! We’re all allowed to be sad that the present isn’t what we thought it was. But we mustn’t be defeated.” Jennifer goes on to say. I myself manage to interrupt my own thought-process, of what will happen next, of concern for my friends, not to mention our very own, and similar, Brexit shenanigans, with the usual elements – devoting time with my own, beautiful little family; watching, taking and writing about films; eating well etc. But it comes back pretty quick. In fact, it never really goes away. And it’s only been a few days. 2016, haven’t you taken enough from us? Sasha’s wise, loving words to her daughter, can go some way to repairing the good people I know, and those I don’t:
“You are strong. Stronger than you know.” – Now go watch your favorite movie.
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And I eagerly await your comments below.