Can we please have an election do-over? I had a wonderful article about where I’d like to do my shopping that ends with my favorite junk and antique shops. It’s gonna have to be for a another time.
Before I proceed, I want to clarify that I don’t mean to downplay the severity of our recent predicament or trivialize the seriousness of our future well-being. I too live in a “fantasized reality” where I worry I’ll be snatched off the street in the near future and placed in an internment camp, never to be be heard from again, and that is way too depressing to deal with. So, excuse me while I make light of the next four years.
I have chosen to do what I always do when faced with diversity and that is … make my own. Let me let you in on a little secret if you’re a youngster, or remind you if you’re not. There is a silver lining to this storm cloud.
I’ve lived through 32 years of Republican rule and partied through at least half that. That’s the key to the whole Republican rule thing: the partying gets real underground and real good, as does art and culture in general. People need to indulge in escapism from the bullshit they have to deal with and I predict the world will be exceptionally Wonderland-like because of the fucker-y we are soon going to be faced with.
Let’s start with some optimism, shall we? What we have achieved in the the past eight years is incredible! Some of the personal issues I and those like me have faced in this life was just starting to get the recognition that it deserved; like the obvious of suicide and acceptance and the biggie, bathroom usage. It’s all fucking ridiculous that it has to be a conversation but trust this genie when I tell you that we don’t go so willingly back into a bottle. Yes, we will meet with a bit stronger resistance, but we as a society and humans don’t go backward. People might make us try, but I feel confidant that progress will continue.
Let’s talk about this silver lining shall we. The birth of the LGBTQA movement started under a Republican rule — one of the worst, Nixon. In 1969 we had enough of it so we started to riot in the streets and not only that we kept fighting to get what we wanted and didn’t stop. Ford came to the White House and we got the disco era, Studio 54 and the Warhol Factory. Literally people were fucking in the streets, women’s lib, Patty Hurst. Nobody sat around and cried because there was a Republican in the White House; we overcame and we started to party and protest.
Next we had a couple years peace and recovery with Carter, which thank god because then we faced AIDS and Reagan. It’s really tough to say which one was worse. As much as you think Trump is Hitler, he seems like a pussy next to Reagan. We were all convinced the old has-been actor of his time was gonna piss off the Reds (Russians) and we were gonna get blown to the nuclear sky.
On the bright side we got Punk Rock, British New Wave, Keith Herring and Cindy Sherman. Salt Lake started to blow up with night clubs in the mid-1980s like Maxum, Palladium and London Under Ground. This is when I first started to discover the seedy underbelly of SLC at the ripe age of 15. Hanging in smoke-filled clubs in the basement of a Main Street office building. It was kind of a magical time.
Then we had to endure the first Bush and he was … ugh, real special. Without him we would never have had the angst of the mid-1990s. Sure, by the time Grunge got really big Clinton was in office but the development of artists like Cobane and Love had some serious issues with the society that Bush built, the first war in the Middle East and the economy and … Oy, it’s all too depressing.
Then we had the last Bush and we all have memories of that mess, but nightlife got really fucking good all over the country. In the big cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York, the underground was insane! That’s when I was living my dream as a drag superstar and the party life was way better than the rave crap I did during Clinton. I traveled to other countries and I wasn’t embarrassed to be American and I had the time of my life, despite the fact we had a crazy Republican president. I’ll just use my no fail Republican motto and replace the name. Suck my dick Trump!
We are poised for a full-on revolution and everyone is going to have a part in it. I’m glad I have my super political friends to police the politics because I’m gonna to be honest, I get a bit blank after five minutes of political rant. There are going to be hundreds of ways to contribute; art, music, literature — the weirder and more controversial the better. Find your forte child and hold the fuck on, it’s gonna be one hell of a ride! I promise we’ll make it to the end.