We are not special

I grew up in countries run by dictators. I thought we were special. We’re not.

Life can be shockingly normal under totalitarianism – if you are completely ignorant and/or complicit. This is me at seven, when we lived in Spain. Franco was in power. I didn’t know. I was seven.

Is it too soon to say, “I told you so” to all the Trump supporters?

Was a year ago, when he told his buddies about covid so they could buy stock in companies that make body bags but didn’t tell the American public so we could protect ourselves, too soon?

Was five years ago, when he bragged about grabbing them by the pussy, too soon?

Are you cultists who have supported him ready to admit that maybe – maybe you were wrong?

That “Orange Man Bad” is actually – bad?


I told you this felt like Spain under Franco. That this felt like Panama under Torrijos. That this felt like Chile after Pinochet.

At least when Pinochet was in power, we didn’t have any rapes.

Wistful and completely deluded Chilean woman, missing the Pinochet dictatorship

Newsflash: Protesting to stop police brutality – to stop the police from killing Black people for the crimes of

  • selling loose cigarettes on the street
  • sleeping on a park bench in the middle of the day
  • sleeping in a car at a city park at 3 a.m.
  • being in the wrong house when a warrant is executed
  • having a broken tailight
  • passing a counterfeit $20 bill
  • etc
  • etc
  • etc

is not the same as attempting to overthrow a legitimately-elected government. So stop with the “but both sides” shit right now.

Oh. And also?

BLM protestors did not erect a gallows so they could hang the vice president of the United States.

They did not murder a policeman by bashing his head in with a fire extinguisher.

They did not smear their feces on the floors and walls of the US Capitol building.

Number of persons arrested out of a group of 50 for violating curfew in one night in my neighborhood during a BLM protest: 8

Arrest rate: 16%

Number of persons arrested while they were storming the Capitol, breaking windows, and stealing government property: 0

Number of persons arrested since: 40ish?

Arrest rate: 40/thousands = a lot less than 16%

Mr T and I just started watching, The Dictator’s Playbook.

The only thing that saved us this time (and I don’t think we are out of the woods yet) is that one of the essential factors for a dictatorship to succeed is that the elites have to support the dictator.

Trump is a vile, vulgar idiot whom the educated elite do not want at their parties.

But the pretenders to the throne who follow him? They have legitimate degrees from prestigious universities. They are educated. They have the proper pedigrees.

We have to stop them before they get to the White House.

One of my college professors would have us cast Shakespeare’s plays for a movie.

When we read Othello, he asked whom we would cast as Iago.

We wanted an actor who wasn’t conventionally physically attractive – we suggested Danny DeVito.

Our professor laughed.

“No,” he said. “That’s lazy. It’s lazy to cast someone unattractive as the evil character. Evil is not ugly. Evil is not unattractive. Evil does not announce itself. If it did, it couldn’t seduce anyone. Evil is beautiful and seductive. I would cast Robert Redford as Iago.”

Whoever made this movie about the attempted overthrow of American democracy was lazy. She cast Trump in the role of villain. She cast evil that announced itself.

Next time, this movie will be made by someone smarter.

After Cambodia, Spain has the most bodies buried in mass graves in the world.

Mr T and I did not know that until we watched the Franco episode of The Dictator’s Playbook.

Think about that.

You knew about Cambodia. You knew about the Killing Fields.

But did you know about the wholesale slaughter – including the slaughter of civilians – in Spain during the Spanish Civil War?

I did not.

Did you know that Spain had a gulag?

I did not.

Did you know that Spain had concentration camps?

I did not.

And it didn’t occur to me because – look at Spain! It’s a democracy! It’s a developed western country!

It can happen anywhere.

It could happen here.

Chilean friend: My dad died of a heart attack. We couldn’t take him to the hospital or call an ambulance.

Me: Why couldn’t you take him to the hospital?

Friend, giving me a look of “duh”: Because it was after curfew!

Trump was banned from twitter.

This is not censorship. This is not a violation of his free-speech rights.

This is the market, responding to a market problem.

This is not 1984.

These criminals who stormed the Capitol building are not George Orwell.

If they would read anything other than parler, they might know that George Orwell actually went to Spain to fight against Franco, who was attempting to overthrow a –

What do we call it?


And for those who need to hear it – Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are not going to turn this country into a communist dictatorship. FFS, people. Read a F*ing book and learn some history.

We are not special.

7 thoughts on “We are not special

  1. Do you live fulltime in my head, or only on Saturdays?

    Well said. Beautifully said – if unfortunately to the choir. As satisfying as it is to see today that a handful of the idiots have been arrested, there is still a ton of police work investigation and prosecution to be done before the REAL work can begin. The work of reaching out and showing/teaching/something all 75,000,000 people why they are incorrect – the election was not stolen, the Biden administration will not be socialist, people really are sick and dying of Covid and on, and on, and on. I won’t live long enough, but I hope you will.

    I do have to say, tho, that it is particularly satisfying to have law enforcement using that new fangled thing – the Internet – to identify and arrest the rioters. You know the totally unmasked ones who posted selfies of themselves breaking down the doors and windows of our Capitol, menacing our duly elected representatives, and carrying out things they had stolen. I particularly love the ones who gave their names to reporters. You just can’t make this stuff up!


    1. I love that they are arresting them, but I have to wonder why they couldn’t have kettled them into the building and spent all night arresting them. They could have called in reinforcements from other cities – for our small BLM protests, they brought in police from a city 250 miles away.


      1. Because they were white. And therefore, they were not a threat!

        Also, because Capitol Police were unwilling to admit they were wrong about that and to ask for help.


      2. Oh, and I should add – they didn’t need to bring in from out of town. They could have asked MPD, or Park Police, or many of the other in-town police forces, but didn’t think they needed help.


  2. Thank you for this. I’m so glad our universes intersected. You are one of the only people I “know” who shares a similar background, political history and–most importantly–current perspective.


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