Truth is experience

He was angry, and I sympathise. However, as he got drunker, he swore more, and though he continually apologised for doing so in front of “ladies”, our presence did not restrain him. Then he told me that he could swear in front of me, as I was “in between”. I don’t really like people joking like that, though I feel I am entitled to. Earlier, I had looked at him and said “You know what I do is catching, don’t you?” and evoked a loud HAHAHAHAHAHA from a woman there.

The music round. Which Billie Holliday song, released in 1937, is this? I guessed, based on what Billie Holliday songs I would expect people to have heard of, and the first chords confirmed it. I don’t know what happened next. Or I do, but past and present denials of it attack my confidence.

I needed to take a moment, because of the horror. At any rate, I pushed my seat back and bowed down. Black people were being murdered, and their bodies displayed to traumatise and cow other black people, and make white people complicit. So someone wrote a poem, and she turned it into a song, shoving the abomination in our faces. It is deeply moving. I am not entirely sure what happened before I pushed my seat back, it happened so quickly, but it was something like me expressing that sense of being moved and him ridiculing that. So I pushed my seat back, and bowed down, making an unequivocal signal of Being Moved. Then my inner doubts started a well-worn refrain about me making a fuss, just performing, not really feeling like that.

I did feel like that. It seems that it reassures people in some way if we feel alike. Then we know we are of the same tribe. Why else would we all attempt to control each others’ feelings so much? “Don’t cry.” Or, horror has a particular use as a feeling, perhaps, to avert us from some actual threat now and not- but then, we tell each other stories to arouse feelings in each other-

Not a word is wasted in The Good Fight. In 2/12, Diane Lockhart says that the world has gone mad, but if she can keep her own corner of it, her law firm, sane, then insanity has not won. The liberal says to the conservative ICE agent, how much federal money have you spent on one deportation? He ripostes that he is asserting the primacy of federal law over state’s rights. The world is upside down. They are fighting, they are scrapping like rats in a sack, and law is a set of rules we use to achieve our goals. Well, of course it is, but most people think it has something to do with justice, and that the purpose imagined for a particular rule by the legislator should affect how it may be used. The Good Fight would meet that idea with a hollow laugh. Then using the Trump-appointed judge’s ignorance of the law against him by naming a kind of motion he has not heard of is just another tactic. That judge is nauseating. He has babyish good looks and charm which he uses in a completely self-centred way, and is stupid. Monsters arise.

I loved that line about doing what she can, not for the whole world but just part of it, and after watching it I don’t want to go outside.

Last night, I asserted my feelings to others: when my feelings were derided I doubled down. I suppose that ideally I would not need others to affirm my feelings, but possibly it is just being human to need that. Super-human may take me some time. Or I could call it doing teenage, acting out rather than just going along with others, and Adult would be feeling authentically, seeing the others’ response, and doing what I could best do in that moment to keep my world sane.

I wish I could see my sensitivity as a strength, and perhaps it will be if I ever complete teenage. I am over fifty, but only started teenage in my thirties. Now I assert, truth is experience. I hear even the first chords of Strange Fruit. I feel the horror of displaying corpses to create racial terror. My truth is not some objective understanding of what is going on in the world but myself, my response, my perceptions and the feelings aroused in me.

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