Today Is Shakesville's 13th Anniversary

Thirteen years ago today, I launched Shakesville — then Shakespeare's Sister — because George W. Bush was making me so angry and I couldn't get over that he was our president and Al Gore, who won the popular vote, was not. I couldn't even contain my simmering fury that such an aggressively unqualified, incompetent, dishonest jerk was sitting in the Oval Office, while his sinister vice-president dictated the most bigoted policy. And boy oh boy was I in fits about the fact that their rank partisanship and lack of patriotism underwrote heinous actions that warranted investigation by a Special Counsel.

Gee. How things have changed.

(Where's my goddamned Christmas tree?)

If I sound jaded, that's because I am. How could anyone who pays attention not be? It's demoralizing to be right back in the place — except even worse — than where this community started. The arc of the moral universe doesn't feel like it's bending toward justice; it feels like it's coiling around my fucking neck.

That doesn't sound terribly celebratory, I know. But it wouldn't be honest if I wrote this post and pretended that my thirteenth year of blogging was anything but the hardest so far. It has been the worst year since I began, by distances for which humans don't even have names.

All of the good things I wrote last year on this day are still true: I am profoundly grateful for this community, which I think is full of awesome people, and I am forever changed for the better because I made the decision to start this blog. Y'all help see me through the hard times, and I hope I help see y'all through right back.

In an era of cultivated divisiveness, community is more important than ever.

I find, in my personal life, that my friends and I are having increasingly frequent conversations the purpose of which is to center us, to shore our connection, to tether us lest we come unmoored; get lost in a vast sea of anxiety and rage and general overwhelm.

Sometimes we make literal plans for worst case scenarios. Sometimes we just try to figure out how to exist in this time and place.

I once wrote: "Democracy at its best is, after all, unlimited optimism shot through with a cold streak of cynicism. ...That is the way I have always practiced democracy. That is the way I will always practice democracy." But, if I'm honest, that isn't how I feel now. That equation has reversed. I now feel like I'm practicing unlimited cynicism shot through with a bolt of optimism. Which makes me feel very off-balance, for a start, and quite profoundly sad.

I'm incandescently angry at what's happening to my country, and to the world, because of this garbage president and his garbage administration and his garbage party, all of whom are vile scum with hard stones of petrified malice where their empathy should be.

I'm scared to do this work in a way I have never been before, too, which is really saying something, given that threats of violence have long been a routine part of my every day.

But I am also resolved. I am nothing if not tenacious.

As you might have noticed.

In the first thing I ever posted, I wrote about my intention to connect dots that others hadn't connected: "The thing I've noticed about the political blog culture is that for people who spend their days immersed in it, often we are the first to draw connections between a story we read here and a story we read there. It's not uncommon that I'll see a post on one of the blogs I read regularly that reflects an insight I've had myself, though sometimes the dots I managed to connect don't form a full picture anywhere else for days."

What I wanted to do when I started this thing was to tease out full pictures of what is happening, from a perspective that doesn't have much representation in corporate press. What I wanted to do was tell the truth, and defend progressive values.

I think I've done well, even if it makes me a Cassandra and a broken record and a drag, sometimes.

I'm going to keep doing it. For a whole lot of reasons, not least of which is this: Fuck Donald Trump. I resist him and everything for which he stands with everything I've got.

image of me wearing a t-shirt that says NASTY WOMAN

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