Coping with Thanksgiving

“In light of recent world events (the election of Donald Trump), many Americans are facing a particularly daunting Thanksgiving dinner with relatives who voted differently on Election Day, and may be in need of a lighthearted activity to reach across the aisle. Here are some art projects to help you and your family work through your feelings and heal political divisions — if only for an hour or two.” Source

It’s weird that the world has come to this. Thanksgiving was always a fun holiday, but it was also always a nightmare for folks who don’t get along with their folks. And that’s a lot of people.

In the same way, the US election has had the world — and the US, of course — divided beyond recognition. With red and blue flags waving all around, some people standing with her, yet some others vouching to make America great again, I’m pretty sure Thanksgiving isn’t the most anticipated holiday right now. And it’s understandable too. After all, I wouldn’t want to talk about politics with my family. Or talk about anything at all, if I could.

But times are blue and red has taken over. So how would you deal with a whole day locked up in a room with people you don’t like, stuffing yourself with stuffed turkey? Alanna Martinez from the Observer (quoted above) says you should do some craftwork together. It builds teamwork and can keep you from raging into a political debate, she says.

I agree. Crafting is a nice activity and it would make the day all the more bearable. But here’s what I don’t understand: why have we come to a situation where we need art to keep our mouths shut?

Sure, art soothes your soul, calms your nerves, and helps you dial down your tone when speaking to the uncle, twice removed. But as a humanities student myself, I can say that the Arts are a way of life, and not something you do when you can’t find an alternative coping mechanism.

In this piece, the author explains a few specific “Thanksgivingy” crafts which, I think, are all great. What I can’t agree, though, is that we need a reason—president-elect Trump in this case— to make these crafts. People should turn to art because they like creating art and not just because their therapist told them to. Proud though I am that therapists recommend art, it’s still an insult to us who’ve been insulted our whole lives just because we spend our lives on arts.

I’d share this article with my friends, I’d tell them it’s all true and that making these crafts together with their families would make Thanksgiving more like giving thanks than giving sparks. However, I still believe that by limiting arts and crafts to such petty issues, we limit the potential of art itself. We don’t need art as a temporary stress buster. Art for the sake of art — that’s what we need more of.


incredible-blogger-marathon-challenge-7I’ve signed up for the Incredible Blogger Marathon Challenge. It’s a ten-task-challenge that can span up to fifteen days. This post is my response to the seventh day: The News and Paper Challenge. The challenge is to discuss my views on a news article.

Flash news

“Hey, Jude! Did you hear? Hilary lost, Trump won!”

Oh hey, Jason. Trump won, you say? That’s such a surprise. When did this happen, anyway? I must’ve been living under a rock or something. I can’t believe I didn’t know he won. Well, it’s not like I had stayed up watching the three debates live or had discussed with my friends in the US about Trump’s chances. No, thanks so much for letting me know that Trump won the election. You’re my only news source. I wouldn’t have known otherwise.

By the way, how’s that project coming along? Do you realise that our client doesn’t care about the outcome of this election? How far are we on that?

Oh, we haven’t started yet? That’s brilliant. No, that’s fine, we can tell them it’d take a while. After all, we were busy watching the US elections and so was the whole world — our Russian client won’t mind at all. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’d like to get back to my email.

What’s that? Oh, you just watched Trump’s speech on YouTube? Cool. Huh, the comments say he was high? Well, I don’t know. And you know what, maybe I don’t care. He was scary, you say? Sure, it’s not like I watched his speech live or anything but whether he smokes or not is his problem. Nope, I did not watch the recorded version. You think it was better than watching him live?

Anyway, thanks for the chat. I had been working for ten minutes straight and needed a fifteen-minute power break. By the way, since you know so much about the elections, do you know when Trump’s signing in as president?

Well, that’s weird. How come you didn’t know that there would be an official peaceful transition of power? You’ve been so religious about the election news so far today that I thought you’d know. Anyway, never mind. I guess it’s on the 20th of January. Well, it doesn’t matter anyway, check your mail. The client just emailed us asking for the report. Would you reply to them? And don’t forget to tell them you were busy with the elections.

The Start of an Era

“No matter what happened, this would be a historic day,” Kevin thought to himself as he adjusted his tie for the fourth time that morning. Everything had to be as perfect as planned. His had his suit custom-made so that not a stitch would be out of line. It was an important day.

A few blocks down the street, Mary was examining her long dress in the mirror. She wanted to make sure nothing had gone amiss. If anyone noticed even a small flaw in her dress, it would become her nightmare. Her parents would be disappointed and her brother even more so. She couldn’t afford anything going wrong. It was an important day.

All the hard work of the last few months had led to this day. For far too long now, they had both given up their personal lives, working through long days and longer nights. And as they both looked at the unmistakable dark circles under their eyes, they thought, with a tinge of regret, of the barrels of coffee they had drowned. It had led them to this. It was an important day.

They left their buildings at the same time. He in his Hyundai Sonata with his best friend at the wheel, and she in her Chevrolet Cruze cruising down the street towards the same towering white building.

It was an important day. Over a year of campaigning and cheering and jeering had resulted in the whole world talking about the election. And yet, no one knew that the lead staff of both candidates were just about to get married.

“No matter what happened, this would be a historic day,” the pastor began.

The Lesser of the Two (D)evils

siblings

I don’t understand the American political scenario. Sure, I know Donald, and I know Hilary. As I typed their names, however, I realised that though Autocorrect knows Clinton it doesn’t recognize Trump.

Solace, at least I’m not the only one.

I don’t follow the debates on stage, and I don’t follow the debates behind the media scenes. From all I’ve heard and seen, both of them bicker at each other like siblings who can’t stand each other. And having an elder brother myself, I know that’s not pretty.

And to imagine they are representatives of the United States of America! From being a once-great country — looking at you Abraham — it’s funny how cheap US standards have become. Nevertheless, that’s how this pair is. You’d see sibling rivalry oozing between the two as they face each other, clinging on to their podiums.

I’ve tried and failed numerous times to fake interest in the matter, but I’ve failed every time. I just don’t care. Besides, the two of them only remind me of spoilt brats snarling at each other.

Donald Trump
He’s the younger sibling. Shouting is his way of handling an argument in which he doesn’t have a strong opinion (or a clue) about. He’s immature to engage in a conversation and has a lot of growing up to do.

If he takes his shouting it a little further, it becomes high-pitched wailing. He looks as if he’s ever-ready to start whining and moping. And when he’s not doing any of those things, he interrupts everyone else. He tries to override the other person by talking louder, harsher, and by repeating his weak statements.

And his idea of a healthy debate is to force people to hear him out.

Sounds to me like a schoolboy dying to get the world’s attention. And oh, he has incredible stamina. Hilary doesn’t have it, by the way.

Hilary Clinton
Going with the sibling theory, Hilary’s the older one. Compared to a six-year-old Trump, she’s a thirteen-year-old who’s just realised the power she exudes at home. Her parents trust her because she’s older than her brother, and therefore has more experience in society.

She just has to look them in the eye and remind them of previous occasions where Donald had been mean to her. And the best part — her arguments get stronger when she throws in real life examples of Donald’s bad mouth. It’s not that difficult.

All the girlfriends of the sister would help pick on her annoying, conniving, and thieving little brother. Remember, every woman Trump has insulted will vote this November.

And unlike little bro Trump, she doesn’t throw tantrums. She realises that by staying mute in the face of his outbursts, she’d come out looking good.

She never has to pull herself together to retort because when there’s a child such as Trump in the scene, no one expects the big sister to argue like a child, too.

Hilary is the mature one. She’s the bigger person. Trump makes a fool of himself even without her help. And she’s counting on him to ruin his candidacy.

Of all the people you could’ve chosen, America, you went for a pair of squabbling kids. Well done, and all the best with life after November.