The past week here tied together around The Magnificent Seven (it's original and it's remake) and A Bug's Life, and I didn't expect it to bring me to the place I am today, to the rant I expect to get into in a moment. See, here's what the last few hours of my life were like. I had A Bug's Life playing while I was working on stone stuff on the computer, figuring on writing a nice casual blog entry later, wondering what I will do tomorrow between Wonder Woman and it being the 2nd, which means I should be watching Groundhog Day. Then, I turned on Trump's speech about pulling out of the Paris Accord (with an introduction by Trump's official MC, Vice President Mike Pence, and followed by today's Trump Cheerleader Scott Pruitt offering up a bunch of rah rah bullshit). Then, I turned on the soundtrack to the Groundhog Day musical and made some tea to improve my mood. The ants (and the grasshoppers) in A Bug's Life were written and performed by adults, and they're not really insects, but damn if they're not more intelligent and thoughtful about their place in the world than Trump seems like he could ever be. Trump's "America First" rhetoric, with its twistedly hypocritical American Exceptionalism really pissed me off. I mean, so much of what he does annoys me, sometimes confuses me, and sometimes angers me. I'm getting tired of it. I'm tired of living in a country insistent on dragging the world backward.
And, I realized something. We're the grasshoppers. We need the rest of the world to survive but we can't be bothered to admit it. Instead, it's all bravado and dramatic posturing because we're the best, have always been the best, will always be the best, and 1) we don't make mistakes but 2) if we did make any--and we're not admitting to anything--we don't have any reason to apologize because... China. Or whatever else excuse we feel like throwing out there. Radical Islamic terrorism. Libtards holding us back internally. Republican infighting. Communists. Germans. Italians. The Irish. The Chinese... Ooh, brought that one back around, and I didn't even mean to. Just thinking back through history, the obvious scapegoats that we use to keep from ever admitting that we are actually capable of fucking up the world just as much as, if not more so than, any other country, any other people. We answer to no one, barely even God if we bother to pretend to believe in him.
Just last week, Representative Tim Walberg out of Michigan actually said, regarding climate change, that "if there's a real problem, [God] can take care of it." Like he's taken care of wars and poor people and disease and natural disasters, or man made disasters, mass shootings, genocides... As Tim Minchin puts it in "White Wine in the Sun", religious kids are "taught to externalize blame and to feel shame and to judge things as plain right and wrong." Feeling shame now and then--that's not such a bad thing. Being unable to see the shades of grey between right and wrong--that can be pretty bad. But, being unable. to blame yourself when you fuck up--that's destructive behavior, and Trump (and America) has writ that lack of blame large. We're on top so we're not responsible for any damage we might have done or will do. And, we won't do any anyway, so stop trying to back us into that corner. WE choose to use the rest of the world for cheap goods, for resources, for food, but if our exploitation might lead to anyone standing up to us--I've almost forgotten that this entry is ostensibly about A Bug's Life, but this is when Flik stands up, beaten and bruised--it's not our fault. It's their fundamentally flawed world views.
Imagine, if you will, a world in which Hopper works with the ant colony, and his grasshoppers' strength is put not to menacing but to work.
Image, if you will, a world in which Americans can accept that their choices have real consequences around the globe and they choose to take responsibility for those actions.
Of course, Trump cannot even admit to making a typo on Twitter (#covfefe), so of course, he's going to lead us all in our blindfolded journey across the world, stepping on her people and poisoning her water and her plants and her soil.
White supremacist capitalist patriarchy forever. Because, when they say MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, somewhere along the way they forgot that you can be great and still be good. You can lead and still do things that might not immediately benefit you. You can help clean the world, help educate the poor and the those here illegally because it makes the world a better place, help take care of the health of those who cannot afford it on their own because it makes the world a better place, take in refugees because it makes the world a better place, not protect dying industries because of tradition and some rose-coloured nostalgia-fueled idea of what a "great" America looks like, Damn the minorities, damn the women and anyone who isn't cisgendered and heteronormative, damn the foreigners, the communists, the liberals, the media, and anyone who doesn't step right into line, hup two three four.
See, the interesting thing about the ant colony in A Bug's Life is the queen doesn't force them to line up, she doesn't rule with an iron fist. They work for the betterment of the colony, even if that involves giving a large amount of the available food away. It is Hopper who rules by force.
We're the grasshoppers. We're the bandits. We're the robber barons. We're America.
And, I am looking forward to Wonder Woman tomorrow, and I hope there are more women-only screenings so sad men can cry some more and maybe get some inkling that power is not theirs forever.