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Nov 09 2016

It's Not Supposed to Happen This Way

Dear readers I must apologize.I have no witticisms or insightful movie references or rallying words or anything to offer in the wake of our national tragedy this morning...

America was a grand experiment and 240 years is a good run for anything I suppose.But Ireallywanted it to outlive me.I wanted it to be a beacon of hope like the Statue of Liberty rather than a place that rewarded xenophobia,misogyny,and racism and those who would seek to shut down the freedom of the press and,well,facts and compassion in general.

And soon there won't even be healthcare for anyone who needs anti-depression medication!(Which will likely be all of us soon including those racists and misogynists who voted in the orange one,or those who don't feel racist or misogynist but who condone those things and therefore are them with their vote,and those who shamefully didn't vote,and those who tossed their votes away or those who planned to volunteer and didn't (raises hand),those who didn't donate,those who didn't explain their fears to conservative friends,or those who didn't A-Z...

But that urge to cast blame doesn't get us far

I recently saw a movie calledThe Bad Batchby Ana Lily Armipour and I did not like itat all.Despite the director's visual gifts it was so relentlessly ugly in its worldview.I sat there shaking my head about its thematic arc,which seemed to suggest,even romanticize,the idea that humanity's most primal urge was for self-destruction.It had a lot of uncomfortable similarities toMad Max: Fury Roadexcept that its own missing-limbed Furiosa wasn't driven and heroic.But in the long mostly sleepless night that just passed it flashed in my movie-addled brain and perhaps its nihilism is prescient.

I don't want to feel this hopeless but if grief has taught me anything in my life -- and that's arguable though I have an uncomfortable amount of hours spent with it-- it's that you have to feel whatever you feel whenever it wants to be felt.

And then you have to soldier on.Because the other option is just more of the nihilism and self-destruction and loss of hope that can cause plenty of its own grief.And why add to it?This morning I read an essay called "Whe Who Choose to Stay and Fight"by Sara Benincasa that I highly recommend.It helps in the tiniest of ways and so we seek out all of those little helpers until we can stack them up like a ladder and escape the dark depths of depression.

A little later this morning there's an incongruously joyful episode of our "Judy by the Numbers"series but we'll let it publish as scheduled.Perhaps it'll be one of those little helpers to someone.Hug your loved ones irl or virtually today -- especially if they belong to any minority group or fall on the lower end of the economic scale because anyone who fits either description will be attacked the most by the oncoming all GOP rule of the USA -- and find at least one thing to feel hopeful about today,however small it is.Do that again tomorrow.Stack them up and climb until you can see some light.

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Reader Comments (78)

I hope the world does'nt look out for USA anymore.You're country was a grand experiment for it's citizens alone (and opart of it)

Globally,the USA always were behind coups,dictatorships,assassinations,wars,and poverty.

The worls thing that could happen to Brazil was to find oil.Now we suffered another coup lobbyed by you

November 9,2016 | Unregistered CommenterTopper

Michelle is the answer.Obama not Pfeiffer.Or maybe both!

Love U

November 9,2016 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

My sympathies to your country (and to the entire world).Your country voted for the guy with the loud voice who hates minorities,threatens to imprison his opponents,doesn't give a fuck about democracy,and claims he alone can fix everything.What could possibly go wrong?Ask the people who lived in Germany in the 1930s because that could be your fate within a short time.

November 9,2016 | Unregistered CommenterRJL

Forgive me if it sounds insentitive,but I think Jackie just won Best Picture.

Hollywood is going to embrace a movie about a Democrat tragedy,directed by a Latin American director.

November 9,2016 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Nathaniel,right there with you.My heart is broken,but I can't - won't - let this break me.Every time I want to curse this country,I always think of the half (or more) who were,and are,with us.

We should let this defeat unite us to soldier on,not demoralize and divide us.

A grieving period is not amiss.Neither my husband nor I could sleep well last night,and we both cried a little this morning.But we will keep the faith and move on.

November 9,2016 | Unregistered Commenterlylee

I think living in the UK and call me out on this comment if you like cos we all have varying opinions and info over here but what we were told here in Britain is a lot of Working Class America doesn't like Hillary feels she was overstepping the mark by even running and they don't trust her,she is false and she is not one for change cos for some life has been the way it is for years while she was in power and her husband too,like Trump or not and I am indifferent to him but do like her he represents to people something different and like here in the UK some citizens wanted different,we can all clutch our pearls in horror but let's see how it all pans out.

November 9,2016 | Unregistered CommenterMARKGORDON

Cal,Jackie isn't enough of an f-Trump movie.I think Hollywood will completely embrace the Moonlight unless of course they think its better to build Fences around itself.Although we could all use some La La Land not to think about the pain.

November 9,2016 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

Nathaniel,we stand with you.There is a terrifying malignancy in this country that allowed this catastrophe.Hatred and stupidity secured a powerful foothold.People will have to unite to fight it.Let's remain resolute in standing for love and understanding.

November 9,2016 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

@ /3rtful Sometimes Hollywood becomes confrontational,and this time the whole community was against Trump.Jackie is supposed to be a movie about grief,right?Just read this post again and you'll see the momentum that movie just earned.

November 9,2016 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

cal roth: If Trump doesn't mobilize quickly somehow to interfere with the Academy and shut down the release completely.I know he's just "the elect",but the Republicans have all the power right now and we all know what Trump's like.
lylee: You people are divided (47.5% to 47.6% with the guy a percentage point lower WINNING).That you are should not be a question.The real question is: Do you force this to become a second civil war before you allow it to become World War III?

November 9,2016 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Thank you for this,my friend.

November 9,2016 | Unregistered CommenterTom M

The choices in this election were awful.

Dangerous Idiot Racist Sexist Bafoon vs.Dangerous Incredibly Corrupt Liar with political savvy.

The only correct choice is none of the above.I have family who very sadly voted for Trump (due to Clinton being corrupt politician personified) and have family who sadly voted for Clinton (due to Trumps ass-hatery and clear incompetence).This was gonna be a sad day for America no matter what.

November 9,2016 | Unregistered CommenterAnonny

Hillary Clinton is not a monster.You may not care for her but she was never going to tear this country apart.None of the previous living presidents wanted this guy in.Imagine that!

November 9,2016 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

Thanks for this post,Nathaniel,and the link to Sara Benincasa's article.

As she mentioned in her post,there are some good things that happened on Tuesday.For one,I can now bake and enjoy recreational brownies legally in Massachusetts.Maybe consuming these will dull the pain.

November 9,2016 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Anonny -- "dangerously incredible corrupt liar"is a myth about Clinton the GOP has been supporting with taxpayer money for 20+ years.You fell for it.Your family for it.A lot of people fell for it.But fact checkers always declared her one of the more truthful politicans (but yes they all lie at times).and for the million witch hunts (sorry "investigations") she's been under you'd think they could have pinned something on her by now if she was "incredibly corrupt".

sad day when people are so misogynist that they buy all the lies.

Mark -- it's just a media lie about Clinton.She's always been for the working class.the working class when polled usually cite unfair tax laws (which help the rich pay nothing) and anger over their economic status and yet they voted in a man who promises more tax cuts for the weathly and cuts of regulations which is what put us in the recession in the first place.

people are just,by and large,stupid.

so it takes some messaging skills to break through the stupidity.and this election was complicated by racism and misogyny empowering all that stupidity so even with a stronger message,democrats might have lost.

but it is a sick kind of hilarious that people have been so angry in this country about the 1% and then vote one of the most corrupt 1% into office who has never cared about anyone but himself and never evens gives to charity and uses his "charity"money on himself.


November 9,2016 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

As Topper points out,the USA has been a danger to most of the rest of the world for most of our history.The goal for lefties has always been to do what we can to emphasize the good parts of this society.I guess that doesn't change -- it's just that the challenge becomes much more grave w this man leading us.Bernie people and Hillary people need to come together to better explain why his policies are so horrible and win the coming elections.Hopefully this allows us to chop off some dead wood at the top of the Democratic party.

November 9,2016 | Unregistered CommenterMarsha Mason

Nathaniel- I disagree - you are the one who bought into the lies.With the ridiculous amounts of evidence that has come out,anyone who doesn't see that Clinton is a corrupt liar clearly has blinders on.With that said,Clinton still MAY have been a better choice than Trump due to his awfulness,haven't decided yet.

Also,I am neither a misogynist nor stupid so hopefully those digs were not directed at me.Let's not resort to name calling now;two can play that game.

November 9,2016 | Unregistered CommenterAnonny

So,when are the other 3 horsemen arriving?

November 9,2016 | Unregistered CommenterV

Anonny -- she has been cleared of all charges in the past or not been charged.FACTS.Look into them.Stop watching Fox News.

you can call me any name you like.I will NOT accept that people who (deep breath) hate her and were willing to give the reigns of this country to a dangerous demagogue instead who has no respect whatsoever for democracy and who has uncomfortable parallels with Hitler of all people (breath) are not misogynist.They are.Period.HIS WHOLE CAMPAIGN WAS BASED ON RACISM AND MISOGYNY.Peoplewho voted for him have to own that those things appealed to them or they're never going to get out from under their internalized hatred for "the other"

November 9,2016 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I imagine that this nightmare and equality setback never would have happened if every member of the GLBTQ community,every woman and person of color in America voted for Hillary.

November 9,2016 | Unregistered CommenterMax

V - lol.I'm not religious and i was always laughing at how silly the Christian Right was for declaring various democrats as the antichrist.BUT.if they are actually right about the bible and revelations and all that then maybe it's Trump since he has convinced so many "christians"to vote against basic Christian ideals.Not that they hadn't abandoned Christ long ago in their active fights against the well being of their fellow man.

This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth,and honoureth me with their lips;but their heart is far from me.

Jesus was a smart dude.Prophetic you might say.

November 9,2016 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Nathaniel - never once did I mention the private email server investigation nor was that what I was solely referring to.Her dishonesty around that is just one very very small piece.Regardless,this clearly isn't the place to have this discussion so I'm out.

I would never vote for Trump.Also,fyi,I don't even get Fox News.

November 9,2016 | Unregistered CommenterAnonny

The only good I experienced last night: I couldn't watch the results roll in so I shut off my phone and ducked into The Handmaiden.Perfect distraction.(Beautiful,but I was surprised at how *funny* it was,too.) I'm glad that I have something else to focus on this morning.

Other readers: what are your recommended movies for coping?Distraction?Wallowing in sadness?

November 9,2016 | Unregistered CommenterJames from Ames

Hillary embodies the sort of low-level corruption and major arrogance you see among the elite (I live near D.C.).She takes millions of dollars in speeches from Wall St banks and the war machine,and she's lax about following protocol everybody's supposed to follow.However this pales in comparison to any single one of Trump's scandals -- Trump U,groping women,threatening to jail Hillary.Any one of these things dwarfs anything Hillary's done.

I think the corporate media absolutely failed in always pursuing a "both sides"narrative,where they had to say something mean about HRC,so they kept up w the email thing,even as Trump's scandalousness spiraled out of control.

November 9,2016 | Unregistered CommenterMarsha Mason

Volvagia: by "us"I guess I meant the half of the country that *didn't* vote for Trump.We,at least,must not be divided.How we persuade the other half to come around - I don't know,I'm out of answers today.

Nathaniel: thank you for standing up for Hillary and standing up to the canard that she is somehow deeply corrupt.I'm too emotionally exhausted to fight that battle right now,but it is symptomatic of the problems that led to this catastrophe.

November 9,2016 | Unregistered Commenterlylee

Ok,but if you're gonna post "Your Fault"and "Last Midnight,"you've got to post "No One Is Alone"too.

November 9,2016 | Unregistered Commenterchasm301

Thank you Nate.Our hearts are with you.

November 9,2016 | Unregistered Commenterbillybil

Maybe post "For Now"from Avenue Q?Remember when it was cathartic to remember that everything in life ("George Bush!") is only for now?

November 9,2016 | Unregistered CommenterJames from Ames

Wow,this is awful.I would give anything to have George Bush back in the White House.

To all of our friends who live overseas - I'm so sorry.This will affect you,too,but you have had no part in it.

November 9,2016 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

This is such a step back in our history.The good that has been done by Obama ( and there was a lot ,) will be undone by this demagogue.

November 9,2016 | Unregistered Commenterrick

Thank too Nathaniel!My family's heart is breaking this morning.No words but I am so grateful to you for mustering them this morning.

November 9,2016 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

Thanks Nat I find the USA political system fascinating,hope you can maybe see a way forward now that this man is your president,I can't imagine how America is feeling,we don't know what the future holds and I feel with Hillary we sorta did.

November 9,2016 | Unregistered CommenterMARKGORDON

I woke up and I thought my BF was joking me when he said "we've been Brexit-ed."I am still so shocked and saddened that I can barely talk about it.People want to discuss it at work,over text,telephone calls ...and I just can't.Trump represents something that I just don't believe in,and never have.I turned to movies early in my childhood to escape all of the "Trumps"around me and the Trumpland I grew up in.

So,I will say this ...I'm finding joy and appreciation where I can.And I love this website so much more today.I thank all of you for your lively respectful discussion and opinions.

November 9,2016 | Unregistered CommenterCharlieG

CharlieG - xo

November 9,2016 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

What kind of town is this?
The sun can hardly pierce the haze,
...a haze made out of rain and fog,
...steaming thick and hot
like the mist in a slaughterhouse.
Why are they howling?
What are they dragging
through the streets?
They carry stakes,but what's
impaled on those stakes?
Why do they hop?
What are they dancing for?
Why are they racked with laughter?
Why do the children scream?
What are those heaps they fight over,
...heaps with eyes and mouths?
What kind of town is this...
...hacked buttocks
lying in the street?
What are all these faces?
...these faces will close around me.
These eyes and mouths will call me... join them!

- Charlotte Corday (Glenda Jackson) inMarat/Sade(1967)
Peter Weiss (play) /Geoffrey Skelton (English translation) / Adrian Mitchell (screenplay)

November 9,2016 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

The most shocking to me was it wasn't as shocking as I thought.Sadly...
But I feel with you and all the democratic movie and music stars that fought so hard to prevent this.

November 9,2016 | Unregistered CommenterSonja

Hillary just gave her concession speech and asked of her supporter's that "We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead."I'm guessing this was just lip service (what else was she supposed to say?) but am hoping - for everyone's sake - he does a good job.I don't live in the States but as an outside observer,I was worn down by the constant demonisation of the other side from both parties.It's enough to make an already pessimistic and cynical person lose even more faith in humanity.

I understand this isn't the result that many people wanted,but to look on the bright side,it should only boost the political involvement of those who are affected (re: everyone).Politics isn't merely an-every-four-year responsibly,but rather something that one should be involved in at all levels at all times.The political process DOES matter and everything you choose to do - or not do - DOES make a difference.

And a thousand times yes to your main point: shame on all of those who didn't vote.This decision will affect your life and you have only yourself to blame.

November 9,2016 | Unregistered CommenterMDA

Nathaniel,I wish you and yours support today.I'm from the UK and we've had our own political upheavals this year - they're not easy,and so we need to take one day at a time for now and see what happens as things unfold over the coming weeks.The only vaguely positive thing I feel about the election is that the campaign is now over - it was so ugly and nasty.

Peace tonight.

November 9,2016 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

Maybe this loss will mobilise the Democrats for 2020.What happens to Hillary now.

One thing she has shown and should be commended which the press has not made enough of,she's shown the women of AMERICA that it is possible for a woman to run.

Let's hope a female somewhere in AMERICA sees her victory as a reason to try herself

November 9,2016 | Unregistered CommenterMARKGORDON

Hoje você é quem manda
Falou,tá falado
Não tem discussão
A minha gente hoje anda
Falando de lado
E olhando pro chão,viu

Você que inventou esse estado
E inventou de inventar
Toda a escuridão
Você que inventou o pecado
Esqueceu-se de inventar
O perdão

Apesar de você
Amanhã há de ser
Outro dia
Eu pergunto a você
Onde vai se esconder
Da enorme euforia
Como vai proibir
Quando o galo insistir
Em cantar
Água nova brotando
E a gente se amando
Sem parar

Quando chegar o momento
Esse meu sofrimento
Vou cobrar com juros,juro
Todo esse amor reprimido
Esse grito contido
Este samba no escuro

Você que inventou a tristeza
Ora,tenha a fineza
De desinventar
Você vai pagar e é dobrado
Cada lágrima rolada
Nesse meu penar

Apesar de você
Amanhã há de ser
Outro dia
Inda pago pra ver
O jardim florescer
Qual você não queria
Você vai se amargar
Vendo o dia raiar
Sem lhe pedir licença
E eu vou morrer de rir
Que esse dia há de vir
Antes do que você pensa

Apesar de você
Amanhã há de ser
Outro dia
Você vai ter que ver
A manhã renascer
E esbanjar poesia
Como vai se explicar
Vendo o céu clarear
De repente,impunemente
Como vai abafar
Nosso coro a cantar
Na sua frente

Apesar de você
Amanhã há de ser
Outro dia
Você vai se dar mal
Etc.e tal
Lá lá lá lá laiá

November 9,2016 | Unregistered CommenterTopper

Yes,it's a black,black day.

It is horrible that a highly capable,experienced politician like Hillary Clinton could be defeated by a creature like Trump.
I feel sorry for all you enlightened Americans,and for the rest of us.People may malign the US as World Police but what is the alternative?A world where Russia and/or China flex their muscles?

But dismissing Trump voters as stupid is a mistake,I think.It's more fruitful to assume that they acted rationally on some level,and then try to understand their point of view.That's what the Democrats must do,at any rate.

November 9,2016 | Unregistered CommenterGena

Dear Nathaniel,

Even after a night of sleep my heart is still sick for you and all the citizens of the States who will be negatively affected by this orange fell beast.I really wish it hadn't come to this.But I just want to say that you,this website,and the entire Film Experience creative team truly are a shining beacon of hope.It's given me comfort and hope through some very tough times,and I honestly believe it will continue to do so during these coming days.You've got my support whenever you need it.Much love and gratitude.- Wayne

To Jose,Manuel,Jason,Katey,and all The Film Experience team living in the States: I'm so sorry this has happened.亚博主页Please don't give up.You guys are my heroes.

November 9,2016 | Unregistered CommenterWayne B.

I wish I could say I was shocked,but I knew from the beginning that Hillary would never win.We like to say that the USA is becoming more progressive and inclusive,but misogyny is alive and well.Many people hated and criticized HRC so much more for just for being a woman.

Trump has given a platform to all the racist,homophobic,xenophobic,ignorant people in our country,of which there are a ton.No more pretending that we are some great,enlightened nation.

The USA is broken,and I hope to be able to leave.

November 9,2016 | Unregistered CommenterMike

^^^^Me,I was/am deeply shocked,but not at all surprised.

November 9,2016 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

I live In San Francisco,where literally everyone I encounter-- on the sidewalks,in coffeehouses,win my office-- is walking around like zombies today.This is not just another disappointing election or politics as usual.Yes,we need to fight back and find a way forward,but for today we need to take a moment to grieve,and to breathe.

Thanks for your voice.Keep writing.In art,we rediscover hope.

November 9,2016 | Unregistered CommenterBiggs

Mike: Please don't,if only because the more people leave,the less are there to fight if electing Trump turns out to be a catalyst for either American Civil War II or World War III and I'd put WAY more stock in the species surviving the former than the latter.

November 9,2016 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

I can't get over the fact that I've voted for the popular vote winner in 4 of the last 5 presidential elections - and yet two of those popular vote winners,Al Gore and Hillary Clinton,never took/will take the oath of office.The U.S.certainly has a dumb method for selecting a president,going all the way back to the Iowa Caucus.

November 9,2016 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Nathaniel,I am right here with you.Have been in utter shock today and completely terrified for the future.

And to those saying "they were both bad".FUCK YOU.Stop with the false equivalencies.We had a flawed,bruised,yet whip-smart,committed,and totally experienced woman incoherent,racist,xenophobic demagogue with decades of failed businesses and bankruptcies and lawsuits who is an admitted sexual abuser and a conman.I blame a lot of this outcome on third party voters and people who just wanted to stay home because Hillary just "rubbed them the wrong way".Now look at the mess we're in.

I'm totally ashamed of my country and genuinely fearful for my future as a gay man in this country and for the lives of the immigrant students I teach.Have you seen the recent sightings of the KKK proudly marching through North Caroline,or the anti-semitic graffiti in Philadelphia?Shameful.Shameful.Shameful.

November 9,2016 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

Cowards flee..the strong survive to make change

November 9,2016 | Unregistered Commenterrick

rick - tell that to the jews or gays in Germany who didn't hightail it out of there when they had the chance in the 30s.

November 9,2016 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

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