On 12 December 2019, the UK did something I mostly expected we would do, but was still super bummed we did. We elected a majority Conservative government. This bummed me out for a few reasons:
the Conservative Party has been in power the last 9 years, and in that time we’ve had 3 general elections, a referendum to leave the European Union that featured lies, fraud, and Cambridge Analytica, and an unacceptable amount of Jacob Rees-Mogg
Boris Johnson, who, to borrow a phrase, is like a bag of milk with a smug, self-satisfied expression drawn on it, is now the Prime Minister for the next 5 years
the Conservative Party is that Simpsons episode where Mr. Burns blocks out the sun so everyone will use more nuclear energy
That last point I mean quite literally. A new Conservative MP owns a foodbank app that charges foodbanks to list items they desperately need.
It’s hard not to look across the pond and wonder what the British form of impeachment is.² Because when the chips are down—and, dear reader, the chips are pretty fucking down—you want some ultra-democratic way to tip the balance.
But I don’t think the answer is political, or at least not only political. The battle, such as it is, is between some fairly basic ideas about how people should be treated. That’s it, really. Either you think we all deserve the same set of freedoms, benefits, and rights as one another, or only the right people deserve those and everyone else can go to hell.
That’s a tremendous simplification but, for me, a useful one. It condenses my possible response matrix to a single, white-hot point.
Everything’s a choice. I can sit in my London enclave and bemoan the choices of everyone else, or I can get off my ass and do something.
So here’s my pledge for 2020.
I’m going to volunteer.
I used to volunteer. At summer camps, at literacy programs. Volunteering has many benefits, including helping you deal with depression. It’s a really great way to feel a part of something bigger than yourself. I haven’t chosen where I’ll volunteer yet, but I’ll let you know when I do.
I’m going to find voices to amplify.
I don’t have much of a platform or voice, but I have much more than a lot of people. So I’m going to use it. And I’m going to help other people amplify their own voices. There are a lot of people we need to listen to now and other people are trying to shut them up and we can’t let that happen.
I’m going to donate money
Money sucks and rich people mostly suck, but here’s the annoying thing - money is super useful in getting things done. So the plan is to get more money, and then give that money away. Take it from people I don’t think deserve it and give it to people who I think do.
And one last thing.
Assholes like Jacob Rees-Mogg³ are a dime a dozen. Used to getting their way. Well, if he wants to be in the public eye so desperately, the public eye should be terrible for him. Unbearable. Before the last election I’d thought to try and ruin his (political) life, but didn’t. It wouldn’t have changed the outcome in the slightest. But it would have felt pretty good to just piss him off for awhile.
Why Mr. Rees-Mogg? You have to start somewhere with these bastards.
That’s it for 2019. Here’s to a better, more hopeful 2020. As Shea Serrano says, someone has to do it. Might as well be you.
¹ As you may have guessed, this is any amount.
² Turns out, it’s impeachment. But the British version is considered obsolete. We’ll see!
³ I hate this dude so much.