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A Holiday Guide to Political Disaster

A Holiday Guide to Political Disaster


The key to staying sane no matter what happens? Ask, What would Yoko do?

Because you're reading this column in the middle of November, you already know how it all turned out. You're in the future. Me? I'm way back here in October, a world away, writing this thing. So between the yesterday when I wrote this and the tomorrow when you've read it, a lot of stuff is going to go down. And that stuff could all turn out to suck pretty badly. But I'm not worried. I'm not fretting about the election or the economy or Proposition 8, the ballot measure here in California that could take away my marriage to my partner. I'm not worried at all. Yoko Ono told me not to. And when a very cool 100-year-old person like Yoko Ono gives you life advice, you might oughta listen.

Yes, I really did talk to Yoko Ono. Four years ago. Right before the last disaster of an election. I was interviewing her for another magazine. And I told her I was freaking out about Bush staying in office for another interminable term. I asked her if she was worried too. And she said that none of us ever had the luxury of sitting around and worrying, that all we could do was keep working for what was right. She used the word "peace" a lot. Yoko Ono loves talking about peace, a topic I tend to associate with loser hippies and whining weaklings. I'm more of a mind to riot and loot some electronics, to get all black-metal on some conservative, antigay church's ass and burn that shit down rather than to listen to one more second of their insane blather.

But Yoko Ono, when she talks about peace, isn't really having a conversation with you. She doesn't care if you think she's a hippie or weak. She already knows things. You just have to listen and learn. And I did. Seriously, I think I was on the phone with this woman for 15 minutes tops, four years ago, and I still remember her calming influence on me. So as I write this I'm going to assume the worst has happened: Those sons of bitches nullified my marriage and pissed on the California constitution, the dastardly Republicans found a way to keep the White House, and we're all on our way to living in cardboard boxes under bridges while they renew their country club membership. Nevertheless I plan to remain serene. Cool. Stylish. Awesome. Ono-ish. Better.

I'm going to donate some of that delicious canned cranberry sauce (well, I think it's delicious) to the local food pantries so other people who're even more poor than I am can have a decent Thanksgiving. I'm going to listen to abrasive, noisy bands at a volume they deserve. I'm going to watch that Macy's parade and write a letter to Santa. (He already lives with me, so that'll save me some postage. And for the record, he's fat, but his beard is mostly still black.) I'm going to make pumpkin pancakes for my friends during December to make sure they don't hate Christmas or Hanukkah or Solstice or whatever. I'm going to continue supporting every planet-sustaining, justice-building, peace-promoting bleeding heart cause I can without completely nauseating myself. I'm going to ramp up the super-kindness to all the right-wing people I know; I'm going to lay on a type of frightening decency that is so thick it chokes the life out of its recipient. I'm going to do this because they, my enemies, most of all, need to have their everyday lives constantly haunted by fags that they will never be able to shake, the kind who hold up a mirror to the antihuman ugliness in their lives like a never-sleeping punk-rock grudge Ghost of Christmas Present. I'm going to be a really rad rock in their shoe.

Then I'm going to go look at the lights on the houses in Beverly Hills. I'm going to go to the firing range and practice my aim. I'm going to watch White Christmas and Black Christmas and A Charlie Brown Christmas. I'm going to practice my Spanish so we can move to Madrid when my as-of-this-second-still-legal husband and I are both fully gray. And I'm going to have a beer. Meanwhile, the world will continue to change for the better around us because I was planning on doing all this same stuff anyway. Now go make your own to-do list.

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Dave White