Thursday, June 9, 2022


It is 8:38, the sun is ever-so-slowly retreating from a dazzling day, and I am listening to Liz Cheney's opening speech for the House Committee hearings on the investigation into the 2021 insurrection at the Capitol.

I have been in the habit, since President Biden and Vice President Harris' inauguration, of watching the stagecraft at play in their statecraft. They are INCREDIBLY good at deploying the psychology of costume and pageant, and right now I am noticing the Republican Representative Cheney - wearing blue. It is a strong statement about bipartisanship, the strongest GOP voice at these hearings "crossing the color aisle" as it were, wearing the color most often aligned with the democrats' side of the aisle.

(I will certainly be watching who wears red - not only the color of the right, but also a color with a millennia-deep association with violence, passion, and blood.)

She's also wearing star earrings and no other jewelry but a badge which I think may be an enameled Lady Liberty - I'll see if I can find out at some point. She is unadorned, looking fresh, not looking fussy, but looking very good. She looks old enough to wield authority, but not "too" old. She doesn't look like she's trying to look any way at all.

These points of presentation, particularly for a woman - particularly for a woman roundly rejected by her own party for supposedly betraying them (by defending our REPUBLIC) - are more important than some may believe. It is painfully important for a woman to be attractive, but not ostentatious, authoritative, but not strident. Cheney, whatever else I may think of her (and I think a lot, believe that), has learned all her life how to do this. She's extraordinarily good at it. It is keeping me from thinking about HER, really - for all the words I am expending on her appearance. She is good at presentation - and I respect her ability to both be at the forefront of this epochal moment, and to place, firmly, the hearings themselves - and, yes, the fate of our government - at the forefront.

This kind of stage-/statecraft moments have struck me with every coordinated event all along, during this administration, and I submit that it is not trivial - and, indeed, affects a great deal more than we usually prefer to believe.


Watching the violence of the breach, much footage I have seen, some I have not - the chaos and trash everywhere, the destruction of the architecture of our government - the gallows...

Impossible not to think of the legacy of colonialism. This IS how we were born - if on no other thing in the world, I can agree with the rioters' understanding of that - and we were here for centuries owing to the illegitimacy of empire and expansionism in the first place - of COMMERCE.

But the romanticization of rebellion this time is gravely, morally, misplaced. It is most literally *sickening*. Far from any idea of throwing off the chains of a monarch thousands of miles away, these seditionists, these insurrectionists, these traitors rose up in SERVICE of a would-be despot. The contrast is inescapable, if you have a thought in your head at all. It is offensive, it is destructive. It is bleakly sad.


I left myself two loads of laundry to sort out, and spent the first 45 minutes of the hearing folding, rolling, putting away. It was perfect, because I felt like I was doing something, and yet was not engaging myself intellectually nor emotionally in anything but the proceedings.

I still need to fold some sheets and towels, and make the bed. But I needed a break, and to concentrate on the video - which was devastating. I cried, even though I'd seen so many of these images before.

Before it even got underway, I did as I did (all night long, in fact) on election night in 2016: my stomach rumbled, and I had to shit from fear. Only once - so far - but it's symptomatic.


I am going to leave this post rather stream-of-consciousness. It is for myself more than anything else anyway.

And it is time to fold the sheets and make the bed.



Instead of going straight to make the bed, I filled my steam cleaner and sanitized the floor of my bathroom, and my kitchen. The scent is both plastic-y and oddly satisfying: I am cleaning, I am purifying. I am coping.

It occurs to me, whenever I use this in future, whenever I smell this particular steam... will I come back to today? This night, this memory?

My phone is bleating - perhaps texts from my brother. He importuned my mom to watch the hearings, but I told him her cable lines were cut by workmen and she won't have phone, internet, or TV until tomorrow. At least she can't watch Fox instead.

It appears this will be over fairly soon. I should make that bed. i should fold the sheets and towels. I should bathe. And, hopefully, sleep.

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