“It is what it is. There’s no sugarcoating it.”

December 31, 2020

This title is suggested by a quote in the article; I have duplicated the whole passage below. 

“An electrician by trade and a Rolling Stones fanatic, D’Angelo has owned all kinds of businesses over the years, including a health-food store and a pizza parlor, but Fantasy Island, the adult book store he inherited from his parents, is by far his favorite. He appreciates how it’s “a lot more fun” than the others, generally, and specifically, he appreciates how the adult business strips the airs from anyone who ascends the steps under the bright-yellow sign outside to cross his carpeted threshold. “This is reality,” he said. “When they come in, they check their egos at the door, because look: It is what it is. There’s no sugarcoating it.” He gestured to the wall of dildos on his left.”

It's about the "Four Seasons Total Landscaping" imbroglio.  It’s about a store, an “adult bookshop” (“adult” here functioning much as these words often do, to mean pretty much the opposite of what they are normally taken to mean, like “gentleman’s club”).  It’s about facing up to reality, to where you are.  It seems appropriate to Trump’s America, the squalor it has revealed to many of us, the unspeakable obscenity of the place.  It is part of us.

So many people since the election have pointed out that almost 75 million American voters opted for Trump, after four years of seeing him operate. That’s the number I’m most bewildered by.  What could they have been thinking?  What did they see in him that enabled them to tick that box?  What did they see in the rest of the world that compelled it?  What am I missing?

At the end of the year, this is my question: How do we go forward from here?  That’s my real question.  As a people, as a “we the people,” how do we go forward?  Is there a we at all?  How do we begin to move back into community?

Happy New Year, everybody.