Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Biweekly Music Wednesday! No. 43 ~Puzzling Truth~ (Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance)

Origin: Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
Plays In: Map Recaps/Cutscenes
Status: Original
Composed By: Atsushi Yoshida

Three weeks ago, the world as I knew it changed forever. This is hardly anything new, but none of my personal tragedies or cynical coming-of-age developments were never on a global scale as what transpired on Election Day. On that date, every moral principle and ideological construct as I knew it had been proven to be a lie: that racism was a thing of the past. That women were to be treated with respect. That even though I didn't understand gay and transgender people, they were still human beings like me. I learned the hard way of how lies could hurt. That the world will suffer irreparable climate change until we stand up and do something. That whoever held the presidential office, whether one liked him or not, was a respected individual with a wealth of experience and wisdom.

That was all demolished that day. Racism is alive and well in America. Neo-Nazism, xenophobia, and media/government conspiracy theories will grow to be normalized, as will the KKK. Women will continue to be disenfranchised, and gay/trans rights may very well suffer. We rewarded a pathological liar with the most powerful position in the world. We will continue sticking our heads into the sand and pretend climate change is not an active threat, all the while shrugging our shoulders at the latest gun massacre and going "well, they were gonna die anyway; nothing we can do. But hey, thoughts and prayers!"

In short, we are not just well underway to roll progress back to a bigoted America, but as evidenced by the manchild demagogue that is Donald Trump, are set to becoming the laughingstock of the world.

In hindsight, I am perhaps not so surprised. The offbeat events of 2016 all but paved the way, be it the likes of reddit and Twitter doing nothing to stop the onslaught hate and harassment by those who aligned themselves under Mr. Trump's bigotry, or the media hyper-focusing on deleted emails that never once caused harm to a single human being. We clutched to our electorate polls in times of distress, no matter how much red dotted central America. But it was no use, for we underestimated the likes of voter apathy and the bigotry that had seeped into rural America.

Even more than that, though...was it really all a lie? Reading the horrors of segregated America back in high school, I couldn't help but marvel at how I wouldn't have to worry about this a mere forty years later. And yet, a tiny part of me wondered...could such violent friction between races really have healed in such short time? When the famous Trayvon Martin case reared its head alongside the countless similar tragedies since then, it was then I knew my country was heading down a dark path.

Have we made progress as a human society since then? Undoubtedly, but to think we have actually evolved as more moral human foolish of us. How foolish of me. We are, still forty years after the Civil Rights movement, a century and a half since the Emancipation Proclamation, the very same selfish human beings who are eagerly willing to step over others' ideologies and rights just to further our own selfish interests.

And what a bigger fool I was to think this once had nothing to do with me. Politics, I thought, were far too complicated for an autistic individual: what was I to make of caucuses? Filibusters? Legislation? Third-party movements? Parliament? I struggled daily with putting away laundry and making eye contact, so why bother with such vitriol when none of it made an ounce of sense? My college analysis of the Tea Party Movement, whereupon I was told it was a Conservative and Liberal movement, only proved it to me: I was above such petty quarrels.

But now I see I was wrong. Conforming to such a selfish ideology is something that would only benefit myself, and serves not a single member of humanity. Moreover, it was my own inaction that helped lead to where we were today; granted, my father never would've allowed me to not vote, but my apathy may very well have been part of what we witnessed earlier this November. It was only when Donald Trump's momentum grew to horrific levels this past year that I stood up and said, "I have to do something."

I believe, and always have, that America has never been "great." Forget the implications of how "Make America Great Again" means reverting to a time of open bigotry and whatnot; from our very beginnings, we have been hypocrites the moment "all men are created equal" was penned into the Declaration of Independence while we still had black slaves. From the Emancipation on, from the Civil Rights Movement on, from every LGBT movement on, we as a country are still dragged kicking and screaming into the acceptance of those who are different from us.

I do not love America, but I do love what America stands for. The dream of a place where anyone of any nationality can live free. The ideals of "The American Dream" and "The Land of Opportunity". Where virtue, open expression and equality are prized above all else. Where I can look at a broken individual in the eye regardless of their skin color and say, "you are welcome here. You are loved."

And now, the country I live in is in its darkest hour. Hundreds of hate crimes are committed in the name of our presidential-elect, who is too busy attacking the 1st Amendment on his Twitter to actively dismiss such atrocities. There are not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, but SEVEN anti-LGBT members of Trump's cabinet, not the least of which is Mike "Gay people should be tortured and I'm going to roll back Obama's pro-gay policies" Pence (not to mention the presence of Steve Bannon's general fuckery). Climate change denial will be the main policy of the administration, despite not only the overwhelming evidence involved and having everything to lose should you be wrong, but is utterly baffling and self-destructive in the face of absolutely zero repercussions not to care for our planet. (But hey, gotta get rid of that "politically correct" climate change, otherwise known as quite possibly the dumbest shit to ever leave someone's mouth).

All this time, I thought a Trump loss would not only prove the exploitation of racism/biogtry and the presence of a lying demagogue  with no political experience would have no place in a modern White House, but it would serve as a wake-up call to America. But would it really have put a stop to it all? That energized buzz of bigotry wouldn't be going anywhere, and I can hardly imagine the extreme right-wing Congress of today not exploiting that base. If this dumpster fire is what America truly needs to transform, so be it.

But I will not stand for a country built on hate and ignorance. I will not stand for a country where we have to continually choke back our tears and do nothing as gun massacres slaughter our loved ones, our children. I will not stand for a country geared towards self-destruction as the greatest crisis mankind will ever face threatens to erase our existence. I will fight for a country built on acceptance. A country where political parties who serve their homeland not on personal interests but for the interest of the people. A country where the dreams America has fought to earn for over the past two hundred years can finally, finally come true.

I will never build my life on hate. I will fight for a better tomorrow. I hope you will join me.

Final Thoughts: This is the first time I've ever gone political on Leave Luck to Heaven, so I felt Fire Emblem would serve as a proper musical accompaniment. Do you think it worked? It'll definitely be a rare occasion, so savor it while you can.

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