The message in the 1951 film, The Day The Earth Stood Still was a warning to Earthlings that they were in danger of destroying themselves. How prophetic.
We have all experienced “The Day The Earth Stood Still”. There are only a handful of those days in one’s life that are vividly remembered as though they happened yesterday. Not just fond memories of a life worth living such as your first kiss or better yet, that first roll in the hay. I’m talking about monumentally, historic days that you live through. Days like September 11, 2001 or November 22, 1963 when John F. Kennedy was shot or more recently if you lived on the east coast when the nightmare named Hurricane Sandy hit our shores on October 29, 2012. These are moments that are emblazoned in our psyche forever. You remember exactly what you were doing at the precise moment that those towers were hit or when you heard about the motorcade being attacked or when the water levels kept rising. You remember what kind of day it was, the hour it happened, what menial task you were doing, the mood of the sky. And if you weren’t alone, you noticed the person next to you breakout into hysterical tears and you instinctively followed suit because you were witnessing something horrific and instinctively knew at that moment things would never be the same.
Had I been alive on D-Day, no doubt that too would have stained my heart and mind as a day that will live on in infamy. Innocence lost. America has lost her innocence on pivotal, fateful occasions. America on the brink of war. Thousands killed by terrorists. The shot of a single bullet. Billions of dollars worth of blood, sweat and tears not to mention the innocent lives destroyed by Mother Nature. Those days when we feel as though we are suspended in animation like the movie title suggests, The Day The Earth Stood Still. Which day was yours?
We just had one of those days…at least I did. It started a few short hours before the final electoral college votes were counted. I began having that eery feeling of doom, not unlike Hurricane Sandy, watching helplessly as it swept towards Manhattan, hoping it wouldn’t. I crawled into bed heavy hearted and went to sleep at 10:00PM PST on November 8 trying to fend off the inevitable pain of innocence lost once again. I got up to pee at three AM and looked at my iPhone and wept. I was numb, still am, and kept weeping. I turned on MSNBC and saw the sullen faces of the bloviators I had come to love over the past eighteen months and immediately felt betrayed. Slapped across the face by those whose every word I hung onto. Rejoiced with. Enjoyed as we tore down the bigger beast than Lee Harvey Oswald, Mother Nature or the entire Radical Islamic State. These round, friendly faces had lied to me every day, every hour. Even waiting till after every fucking self-promoting commercial breaks till they returned to share more of our mutual distaste for the GOP. Those sickening bastards. Those monsters. Those creatures from another planet. Well, they surely are not from mine. Murdering, lying, deplorable animals that have taken my planet and grabbed it by the balls and yes…now the pussy…to have their way with. Crushed. Beaten. Made to feel meaningless. Everything I believed in, hoped for, prayed for daily had been yanked away from me, leaving me uncovered…bare…stripped of my dignity. Innocence lost once again.
I Mean…Now What?!? Not being at all emotionally, physically of psychologically prepared for this horrendous ultimate outcome, how would I survive this catastrophic turn of events? Had Lady Gaga and Beyonce and Oprah coming out sooner potentially impact the results? Would selecting Cory Booker as Vice President have shifted what is now the balance of power into our favor? Had the FBI and James Comey hammered the final nail in the coffin of the hopes and dreams of the reinvigorated Women’s Movement? Undermined the finally engaged Millennials? What is there now left for me in this lopsided culture where everything wrong with human nature has been promoted to acceptable forms of behavior? Will I move out of the country like I did after 9-11 to Amsterdam in order to flea the Freedom Fries Fascists? I’d been jokingly threatening to move to Mexico as a half-hearted fall back plan during the campaign never thinking that it would actually come this. I laughed when I said, “I’m gonna help build that stupid wall to keep these New Americans out of reach!” And now that the unfathomable happened, am I San Miguel De Allende bound? The answer is, “HELL NO, I WON’T GO”. That rallying cry from the Vietnam War era warms the cockles of my soul.
After a week of healing, though not nearly enough time to feel whole again, I realize I have to live by my own set of rules. My new mantra is “Going In Deeper”. That is all that is left to do. Going in deeper to cultivate my creative process, going in deeper with the people I care about, going in deeper to be part of the solution, and yes, ironically, a final solution, though not the one the new majority of our country would love to see come to fruition. Will all the heartwarming anger in the streets, knowing that the youth culture that I had been so disappointed with has turned their own corner and are becoming fully engaged, and the few politicians I admire INCLUDING BARACK AND MICHELLE OBAMA are trying to structure a game plan that will welcome us to going in deeper, I will survive. We will survive. If my parents could survive the Holocaust, I can surely get through this insidious, blood-stained moment in American history knowing what doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger. This is kinda like the test that was referenced in the film The Day The Earth Stood Still. Will we destroy ourselves as predicted or combat the forces of evil? Pick your poison. Mine is the mighty pen.