How To Turn Your 2016 Fury Into Fuel For 2017

Let’s be unreasonable—our future depends on it

OUR CULTURE TELLS US that anger is a problem to be managed. It’s healthier to find closure, be reasonable, mend fences, “process” our pain and move on. But I’m not ready yet. This was no ordinary election—it was a paradigm shift into a new reality. The only way to get ourselves out of this desperate mess is to stay emotional and reject the idea of closure entirely. We must nurture our anger.

The far right knows how to do this well. They do not rationalize their way out of fear—they stoke it. They neither forgive nor forget their opponents’ scandals, even when proven baseless. After the supposedly most liberal president in American history took office in 2008, the voters who felt left behind didn’t encourage their leaders to reach across the aisle to further progress. They revolted and formed the Tea Party, which used government gridlock as a weapon. Last year, I attended a Trump rally to see what the other side was like, and though his supporters were more polite than I expected, the mere mention of Hillary’s name inspired fury and revulsion. Sound familiar?

In my lefty Brooklyn enclave, we pride ourselves on our progressive values. We’re empathetic, tolerant, logical, and patient. But we haven’t had to listen to Donald J. Trump console the nation after a mass shooting, or give a State of the Union address. Next time you hear our “Big League” leader’s voice, you’ll have a choice to make: You can either lean into the disgust and outrage his inane patter dredges up in you, or you can mentally flee. Instead of turning down the volume, I suggest you use your exasperation as fuel, the way the Stonewall rioters did, or the people in Selma and Standing Rock.

[quote position="right" is_quote="true"]Some of my Facebook friends are asking me to “relax” and “tone it down”—I consider that a win.[/quote]

So far, my anger has inspired me to call my representatives. I’ve donated to democratic upstarts like Foster Campbell. I’ve protested in the streets and organized gatherings with activists in D.C. All of that’s important, and I encourage you to set aside time and money, if you’re able, for similar actions. More than that, though, I recommend you ask yourself what you have to offer to the cause. I’m a writer, so for me, that means putting out pieces like this one. Before the election, my work was occasionally political, but that wasn’t really my primary focus. Now it is. Once you figure out how you can best serve, I urge you to do so with zeal. Be aggressive. Be annoying. Some of my Facebook friends are asking me to “relax” and “tone it down.” I consider that a win.

That doesn’t mean I won’t live my life. I’ve committed myself to boring my closest friends and family with in-person Trump rants rather than virtual. I’ll keep writing fiction; in my bleaker moments, this feels frivolous, but making art is more urgent now than ever. Want a road map for the next four years? Here’s mine: Stay sane, strong, and yes, angry enough to survive the difficult times ahead.

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The problem with American Sign Language (ASL) is that over 500,000 people in the U.S. use it, but the country has over 330 million people.

So for those with hearing loss, the chances of coming into contact with someone who uses the language are rare. Especially outside of the deaf community.

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Looking back, the year 1995 seems like such an innocent time. America was in the midst of its longest streak of peace and prosperity. September 11, 2001 was six years away, and the internet didn't seem like much more than a passing fad.

Twenty-four years ago, 18 million U.S. homes had modem-equipped computers, 7 million more than the year before. Most logged in through America Online where they got their email or communicated with random strangers in chat rooms.

According to a Pew Research study that year, only 32% of those who go online say they would miss it "a lot" if no longer available.

Imagine what those poll numbers would look like if the question was asked today.

RELATED: Bill and Melinda Gates had a surprising answer when asked about a 70 percent tax on the wealthiest Americans

"Few see online activities as essential to them, and no single online feature, with the exception of E-Mail, is used with any regularity," the Pew article said. "Consumers have yet to begin purchasing goods and services online, and there is little indication that online news features are changing traditional news consumption patterns."

"Late Night" host David Letterman had Microsoft founder and, at that time the richest man in the world, on his show for an interview in '95 to discuss the "the big new thing."

During the interview Letterman chided Gates about the usefulness of the new technology, comparing it to radio and tape recorders.

Gates seems excited by the internet because it will soon allow people to listen to a baseball game on their computer. To which Letterman smugly replies, "Does radio ring a bell?" to laughter from the crowd.

But Gates presses Letterman saying that the new technology allows you to listen to the game "whenever you want," to which Letterman responds, "Do tape recorders ring a bell?"

Gates then tells Letterman he can keep up with the latest in his favorite hobbies such as cigar smoking or race cars through the internet. Letterman shuts him down saying that he reads about his interests in magazines.

RELATED: Bill Gates has five books he thinks you should read this summer.

The discussion ends with the two laughing over meeting like-minded people in "troubled loner chat room on the internet."

The clip brings to mind a 1994 segment on "The Today Show" where host Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric have a similar discussion.

"What is internet anyway?" an exasperated Gumball asks. "What do you write to it like mail?"

"It's a computer billboard but it's nationwide and it's several universities all joined together and it's getting bigger and bigger all the time," a producer explains from off-stage.

Photo by Li-An Lim on Unsplash

The future generations will have to live on this Earth for years to come, and, not surprisingly, they're very concerned about the fate of our planet. We've seen a rise in youth activists, such as Greta Thunberg, who are raising awareness for climate change. A recent survey indicates that those efforts are working, as more and more Americans (especially young Americans) feel concerned about climate change.

A new CBS News poll found that 70% of Americans between 18 and 29 feel climate change is a crisis or a serious problem, while 58% of Americans over the age of 65 share those beliefs. Additionally, younger generations are more likely to feel like it's their personal responsibility to address climate change, as well as think that transitioning to 100% renewable energy is viable. Overall, 25% of Americans feel that climate change is a "crisis," and 35% feel it is a "serious problem." 10% of Americans said they think climate change is a minor problem, and 16% of Americans feel it is not a problem that worries them.

The poll found that concern for the environment isn't a partisan issue – or at least when it comes to younger generations. Two-thirds of Republicans under the age of 45 feel that addressing climate change is their duty, sentiments shared by only 38% of Republicans over the age of 45.

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