BY JENNIE MCNULTY
Happy New Year! My editor asked me to do a “2016 Year in Review” piece. It sounded like a good idea. So, I sat down at my computer. Then, when I finished crying, I’d summed it up thusly: A crazy number of amazing people died, we elected an idiot and the Lions lost the division — again. OK, new idea. How about a “Year in Preview?” Better, but maybe too scary.
I’ve heard a lot of people say they’re really worried about what’s next. Are you afraid of this New Year? Does any day after January 19 scare you? Fear not, my friends. Here are a few simple solutions to ease your trepidation.
Solution No. 1: Become a bigot
The bigots are in fine form and feelin’ swell. I believe “swell” was the correct superlative when it was last OK to say the things they’re saying now. The prejudiced have been persecuted, man! They’ve had to suffer. They’ve had to bottle up all those comments that political correctness wouldn’t allow since the 90s. Oh, sure, deep down they knew the correctness wasn’t just political or they wouldn’t have stifled it. But, now, oh boy now! Now, they can say what they really think. Just like the next President! They are in heaven. They have found their joy. Why not join that? Who says ignorance is bliss?
P.S. You will be hearing a lot of “blissful” talk in the immediate future. From surprising people you never thought were blissful. I am sorry, for all of us. But listen to it (not to all of it) and remember who said what.
Solution No. 2: Become a Russian
OK, so bigotry is not for you? Well then, here’s Solution No. 2 for your New Year’s worries: Get Russian citizenship. The accent is not that hard and you’ll seem like you’ve got connections. Change your name to Vlad and score lots of sweet financial deals. Besides, hockey is fun to watch, vodka is delicious, and I’m sure you’ll still be able to vote here.
P.S. You might want to be careful about what you put in your email correspondence.
Solution No. 3: Drugs
The 3rd Solution is in no way an endorsement. I do not suggest you attempt Solution No. 3. I am merely pointing out that it exists. There, am I clear? Okay, solution No. 3: drugs. Lots of ‘em. Chased with hard liquor (again, joke, not real suggestion). However, the DC Cannabis Coalition really is handing out free joints on inauguration day. Seriously, this is not a joke. They are handing out free 4,200 joints. And they intend for those joints to be lit at 4 minutes and 20 seconds into Trump’s speech as a protest to get cannabis legalized at the federal level. Probably the only way the rest of that Inaugural address will make any sense.
P.S. If you’re at the inauguration, don’t really light that joint at 4:20 into his speech. It’s still illegal to smoke it on public property. And, Jeff Sessions will be there to personally arrest you. If you’re at home watching, fire up!
Solution No. 4: Pray (mostly for Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s health)
Finally, if bigoted Russian stoners aren’t enough to assuage your fears, well there’s always Solution No. 4: prayer. I don’t necessarily mean that in a religious context. But, if praying to one Virgin or 73 works for you, go for it. Can’t hurt. Personally, I send my prayers out to the universe, to that energetic source that has no stake in our game and makes no judgments. It just is. And like any force, the more mass that goes into it, the stronger it becomes. I honestly believe it helps.
And, my “prayers” right now are focused on one thing: the health and stamina of Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Seriously. I keep saying that at my shows lately and people always laugh — good for my line of work but, in this case, I’m serious. This election’s bottom line for both sides was the Supreme Court. Think about that tonight before you go to sleep and send out good thoughts for the notorious RBG. And, again, I’m serious.
P.S. You may have weird dreams about people in funny robes chasing you yelling “overruled” and trying to make you do jury duty.
I was at a party on election night. Well, it started as a party and ended up more like a wake. There was a lovely lesbian couple there with a beautiful brand new baby. As those final results came in, I leaned in close and said to the baby, “I’m so sorry we just ruined your future.” We laughed (well, the kid didn’t). Then the baby’s mother said to me, “God, I hope they don’t take him away now.” And this was in Los Angeles. I can’t even imagine the fears some people in some parts of the country are experiencing now.
So now, more than ever, if you can speak up against injustice, do so. And do it loudly. Those Neandertrumps out there will be emboldened. They’ll be spewing all sorts of hate in the name of freedom and the new, “good ole American way.” And, they’ll have that same “look at my big balls” strut that my cat gets when he knocks something over to get attention (I like to call it his “Phantom Ball Walk”). Unfortunately, we can’t just lock those ball-less bigots in the spare room. We gotta keep an eye on ‘em. We have to hold them accountable for their words and actions.
Pay attention. Speak up against injustice. And, speak loudly. Many voices will be scared into silence, speak up for them if you can. Shout out for them. Scream so the whole country can hear. At least, over here on the West Coast we have the jet stream to carry the voices. Those on the East Coast will really have to yell. But we can do it. Look at the cacophony one blustery New Yorker has created.
Jennie McNulty was named one of Curve magazine’s Top 10 lesbian comedians.