Twelve years ago today, I moved to San Francisco. I moved to the City by the Bay at the height of the recession, with no job prospects but an endless well of love and hope. I exited the terminal at SFO, smelled the salt air in the eucalyptus groves, felt the sun on my skin when I walked out of the terminal and I knew I belonged. SF was the first place outside of Calgary in which I was at home, the first city I could nestle in and make my own. And the day after I landed, I stood by myself at City Hall and watched Obama’s inauguration, surrounded by joyful San Franciscans and their own personal hopes.
In many ways, tomorrow is just another day (HA!) but for me this morning, Biden’s inauguration reminds me of that fearless young woman, moving to a big city with nothing but love and hope and a sense of adventure, standing amongst strangers to witness a peaceful transfer of democratic power, enthralled with the idea that it can be better, WE can be better. I’m older now, with crinkles by my eyes and flashes of silver in my hair, in a larger but stronger body, more cynical than I was but also smarter and more savvy, now sober and divorced and as content as one can be in a pandemic, now finally comfortable in my own skin. But I’m still in love with this city that welcomed me with open arms and blue skies and oysters at the Ferry Building. I wish I could go back to that woman in the City Hall plaza and tell her how resilient she is, how she’s more powerful than she knows, and how she shouldn’t tolerate anyone or anything that treats her otherwise. How it gets harder, it always gets harder, and yet we persist and persevere in ways we never knew we could.
To the internet.
Ezra Klein’s Biden’s Covid-19 Plan Is Maddeningly Obvious does such a perfect job of summing up the combined relief and fury I have that a) tomorrow we’ll have grown-ups who care about people running the show and b) my GOD we could have had all of this figured out months ago if the current sociopaths-in-charge had even a drop of empathy.
On MLK Day, the Trump administration released what they called the 1776 report, or what historians are calling “a hack job.” It’s a 45 page report on the history of slavery, a giant middle finger to the NYT’s 1619 Project that argues (without citations or seemingly reading anything!) that affirmative action isn’t what MLK Jr. would have wanted. OK. Read the WaPo piece for delightfully bewildered and angry quotes from historians. Then read the tweet threads from Ibram X. Kendi, Raffi Melkonian and David Roberts , with the latter stating “The writing is so much worse than you think. It's like some twisted kind of performance art: how many plodding, pedestrian, ham-handed cliches can you pile atop one another?”
Just gonna drop this here: How Taxpayers Covered a $1,000 Liquor Bill for Trump Staffers (and More) at Trump’s Club.
Stay safe tomorrow, always wear your mask, and be kind to yourself, won’t you?