MY WEEK OF LIVING BIGLY: T-Minus Six Days

Wednesday, November 2nd.

Now Playing: Exit Strategy by Valient Thorr

I saw three different people with soul patches today.

I'm not talking about facial hair that happened to be on the bottom lip. I'm not talking about unkept facial hair giving the appearance of soul patch. I'm talking about well-groomed, maintained, I-did-this-on-purpose, Apollo Ohno soul patches. I haven't seen a soul patch in eight years, much less three in one day, much less three all on the 6 Train during rush hour.

Did I miss something? Is this a thing again? Choker necklaces are a thing again. Robyn has been a thing again for years now. But soul patches? I honestly thought they had gone the way of Hawaiian shirts and the X-Games and George W. Bush.

Speaking of things I thought we had done away with, Donald J. Trump is even with Hillary Clinton in many new polls. What I would give to have George W. Bush in the White House.

Or Mitt Romney. Or Bush Senior. Or John McCain (though ideally John McCain from ten years ago, not the unreasonable party hack he's become). Anybody but Trump. Almost literally anybody. I'd rather have a walking, talking soul patch as President. I'd rather have Apollo Ohno as President.

And here's why: you can protest a George Bush. You can make fun of a Mitt Romney. You can humble a John McCain. Trump? Not so much.

The song linked to above is one of many great, great anti-Bush songs that came out in the mid-2000s. There are hundreds of others. Everyone from Bright Eyes to System of a Down had something to sing about George Bush. And it was largely effective. The punk boom of the mid-2000s didn't stop Bush from scaring his way to re-election, but it did help sweep the House and Senate in 2006 and put Barack Obama in the White House in 2008. It was a good time to be a punk.

But what's going to happen in 2017, 18, and 19 under President Trump? I'm not saying that he's the kind of person who would censor music. He is, but he's not going to jail punk musicians. My point is that there will be no such thing as a punk musician under President Trump. How could there be? What is at all "punk" or "anti-establishment" or "contrarian" about hating Trump? How can you use mass media to destroy a man who was built by mass media? How do you caricature a caricature? How do you spoof a spoof? How do you make a walking antagonism feel shame?

You don't. If you could, this would have been over before it was started. Increasingly, it's looking like that may have been the case anyway, just in the other direction. Maybe Trump was destined to become President because he is impervious to criticism. Sure, criticism hurts him, but it only hurts his feelings. It doesn't hurt his stamina or his drive or his thirst for revenge. All you do when you write a punk song about trump is annoy him to the point where he'll send it right back your way. "Punk music is low energy. Sad!"

The days of screaming and shouting at your enemies is over. In the world of Internet trolls and Donald Trump, the best thing you can do is ignore him. He feeds off attention. Cut off his food source. Let's say the unthinkable happens and he gets the keys to the castle. Don't make your reaction about him. Rather than yelling at Trump, talk to your local community organizers. Join an organization that aligns with your values. Flood the world with good rather than swim in the bad. Because it's been the bad of this election that has brought us to where we are today. And where we are today is a dangerous place, no matter what happens in six days. I can prove it. I saw three different people with soul patches today.