My Super Bowl Prediction

Ready for my official Super Bowl prediction? Here it is…

Honestly, this is the first Super Bowl in 20 years that I literally do not care about at all.

Not only has this been the least interesting and most apathetic NFL season in about that same time, not only is the NFL becoming more and more of an exercise in cognitive dissonance (which I have a feeling will become a defining term for 2017), but most importantly, the US is quite literally doing its damnedest to impersonate 1925 USSR and 1935 Germany.

With each passing day, it’s more and more clear that we are on the cusp of a frightening new world. One built on populism, nationalism and xenophobia. One that’s less “We the people” and more “Us versus them”. 

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Photo by Brian “BT” Twitty Photography

As a country, we are not that far away from repeating the mistakes of the past, specifically race-based internment camps like those that held Japanese people in incarceration during World War II or the Immigration Act of 1917, which, in addition to barring people whose bloodline I share, is eerily similar to the one that is currently being haphazardly pushed through by Donald Trump.

Knowing that this is the direction we are headed, where many of our friends, family, associates, educators, political and activist figures might face a similar fate, how the fuck can I muster up any real enthusiasm for this game?

Admittedly, it would probably be different if one of my teams (Colts or Panthers) were playing today. But with the NFL becoming harder and harder to watch each year, and society beginning to fray at the seams, what good is a Super Bowl title ultimately?

What good is a Super Bowl title if we’re locking away the millions of non-white non-straight people in this country? If we’re trading a volley of missiles with North Korea? If Russia is invading our soil?

What good does the Lombardi do then? For Boston, Atlanta or any other city?

My prediction: New England DGAF, Atlanta DGAF.

My Post-Election Night Thoughts

I woke up this morning firmly in the icy-cold grip of an ominous fog of helplessness, the same disturbing sensation so many others across the country felt as well. Upset with myself, I wondered aloud how I could fail to fully realize how imminently possible a Presidency backed by hate and oppression was. There was no longer anything I could do in my power to prevent a future America backed by intolerance, and I was quick to blame myself for not doing more in the first place.

However, I quickly reminded myself that there is little one person can do that could present a devastating catastrophe on the national scale like the one we bore witness to Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Besides, there is no time for assigning blame or justifying fault.

gohjo-black-and-white

Photo by Brian “BT” Twitty Photography

It is my belief that fear of the unknown is the strongest motivating emotion in human existence. I usually use the same example to illustrate this: If someone tells you to do ten push ups, you do ten push ups and then you’re done. No worries. Now imagine someone tells you to start doing push ups until they say stop. Gets a bit more dicey then, doesn’t it? With each consecutive push up, the uncertainty of your directive doesn’t allow for you to relax, making the aches and sores in your shoulder that much more difficult to ignore.

Fear of the unknown is exactly what had me worried the most today. Fear of what will happen to my friends and family that aren’t straight white males. Fear of what regressive policies will do to the Earth’s already fragile and wounded environment. Fear of what a pro-ignorance Presidency will do to an economy that is just beginning to see the light of day again. Fear of what Russian influence and Vladimir Putin could have on a bombastic yet morally weak and easily manipulated leadership.

This cloudy uncertainty is the feeling that is hitting me the hardest at this moment. Will we start rounding up all those who don’t fit a certain profile and send them to modern day concentration camps? It wasn’t all that long ago we did exactly that to Japanese Americans, back in the day when the new leadership constantly reminds us that America was supposedly great. Will free speech be banished and replaced by a state-sponsored system of propaganda? Will a Gestapo-like force knock on my door one night to make sure I’m not protecting people of color? Will it be determined that I have just enough color (and an odd enough last name) in me to be the person the Gestapo is looking for? Just like I’m not sure when I have to stop doing push ups, I’m not sure when I might need to go into a Hunger Games-like mode of survival.

Fear and uncertainty, however, cannot win.

Despite having a person that epitomizes all that I stand against in the greatest single position of power in this country, I still have the power to put positive energy into this world, and no one can take that from me. I still have the power in me to stand up for what I believe is right. I still have the power to set a positive example in my community, at a time when it is needed the most. I still have the power to stand firmly against the persecution of my friends and family. I still have the power to become more educated and, in turn, help educate others. I still have the power, while there is still a single breath in my lungs, to speak truth to power, and hold accountable those who seek to oppress, diminish or marginalize anyone in my community. I still have the power to volunteer for causes and the money to donate to charities. I still have the power to create art and music and share it with the world. I still have the power to make positive contributions to my neighbors and my society, for building a stronger foundation of knowledge and respect is how I, personally, can make a difference in the face of seemingly impenetrable hate. I still have the power to do all of these things, and no one, certainly not an elected official, can ever take that away from me.

I’m trying my best to remain confident and optimistic that our state of affairs seems much more bleak than what will actually transpire. Regardless, now is the time to stand tallest and most proud of who we are, and to lift up those around us. We are at our strongest when we are together, and we will overcome whatever uncertainty we may face.

This is a new reality. As painful as it may be, it’s one in which we will be forced to become the best possible versions of ourselves, and maybe that’s not as bad as it seems.