I make it a priority to spend my weekends unwinding, so I don’t expect to be doing more than brainstorming and quick posts such as this. A few things are floating around my feed that I want to comment on briefly.
Last week was a week of mourning, and not just because Hillary Clinton lost the election. Leonard Cohen, influential Canadian singer, passed away at age 82. Last night, Kate McKinnon performed a cover of Cohen’s “Hallelujah” dressed as Clinton.
As a musical cover, I loved this. I thought McKinnon nailed the somber tone of the evening. I can’t speak directly to whatever political opinions Mr. Cohen had, and I won’t pretend to have been a die hard fan of his, but it felt exceptionally cathartic to me.
Nevertheless, I don’t find myself a fan of the Clinton addition. I’ve never been a fan of turning politicians into celebrities. I think this requires exceptional diligence in an environment that will undoubtedly become more personality driven.
Governments are composed of fallible men. They’re just people, and even though they can inspire, they don’t exist for adoration or martyrdom, at least not generally. I suppose we can make exceptions for politicians who have literally died for a cause, but that’s certainly not the case here. I know this makes me a wet blanket, and I’m not trying to be contrarian, but I’m hesitant to be as moved by this celebrity/politician marriage, even well intended portrayals.
Due to the aggressively alienating rhetoric Donald Trump employed throughout his campaign, many targeted minority groups have felt increasingly more vulnerable since his election. A similar sentiment was felt in the UK after the Brexit vote, which was also spurred, in part, by anti-immigrant (among additional ‘othering’ views) movements.
A response to this was for allies of these groups to wear safety pins in order to indicate non-threatening status and solidarity. Unfortunately this sticks to the traditional paradigm that it’s on the victims to modify their behavior in response to aggressors. I suppose that might be a sad reality in terms of simply staying safe, at least in the short term.
I do want to caution employing this now that it’s widely known. Bad people use the internet too. It would be too easy for someone with malevolent intentions to wear a safety pin as a lure as much as anything else. Regrettably, while this might have some rhetorical benefit as a visible show of support, I’m hesitant to recommend employing it more actively.