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Toxic Atmospheres


I am sick and tired of these elections.

It’s been said many times by many people, but it really is bringing out the worst in all of us. For some people, it just highlights how terrible they already are. The elections are less than a week away, and by God I can’t wait to get it over with. I’m looking at Monday as a day off and the day the majority votes this country further into the hell it’s already found itself in.

If you think I’m too cynical right now, then you’re absolutely right. I’ve become too cynical. Who wouldn’t be after all the venom and vitriol we’ve seen on the public stage, amplified by both traditional and social media? If you still have resolve after everything we’ve been through in the past year, great. You’re a wonderful human being, and I wish there were more of you. I wish I was like you.

I’m sick of the endless campaign jingles. I’ve heard it all, from politicians who won’t let classics like the Voltes V theme, She Bangs, and Let’s Get Loud go, to amazing covers of Locked Away, All About That Bass, and Shut Up and Dance (I shit you not). Nobody ever decided to vote for a politician based on how good their jingles were. No one. It helps keep them at top of mind, but that deciding vote never came down to how much better someone adapted an anime theme.

I’m so tired of what passes as discourse on the Internet. So done with the mud being catapulted by everyone, across all parties, across all classes. I no longer believe in the power of engaging people in discourse; not when the masses are so disenfranchised that all they know how to do is shout and drown you out, no matter how softly you speak to them. No matter how hard you try to not talk down at them. I’m tired of getting riled up to the point that I have to keep controlling my id—an exhausting effort on the daily, mind you. I’m tired of people never learning how to not think in binaries. I’m also tired of everyone across the board jumping the gun and predicting the future, no matter how valid their claims are. Most of all, though? I’m really tired of ridiculous, uncivilized death and rape threats.

I’m tired of my mind trying to immediately associate the lower-class, the uneducated and under-edcuated, those who can’t even spell in Tagalog properly, those who are rabidly pro-their presidential candidate as stupid and worthless. This is not who we really are, but the muck we’re all wading through puts us all in terrible moods. And emotions are tiring.

I want to get back to a point where having faith in humanity was even a tiny bit easier.



But most of all, I’m tired of having to keep weighing this election in my head already. The choice isn’t as easy as it looks, no matter from which angle you’re looking at. It’s exhausting to have to constantly weigh all your options, especially for a media circus that churns out controversy after controversy the more we get closer to May 9.

The whole process gets even more tiresome when you finally realize, as some of us have, that what we’re really doing when we’re shading the circle of our choice on Monday is compromising with our society’s inner demons. We’ve got a smart guy playing for a team that’s made a lot of mistakes, a girl so naïve she’s probably shacking up with the wrong people, an old man so visibly corrupt that his denials are offensive to the intelligence, a lady who’s best qualified but made a rather fatal error in judgment when it comes to her partner, and of course, the dirty old man whose childishness will probably spell the end of us (and that’s not even saying anything about the new shit he’s found himself in). Let’s also not forget the son of a dictator running for veep.

I’m tired of not really knowing which demon I’ll sell my soul to at the end of the day, and I’m tired of bearing the guilt of considering one over the others. And the guilt of not having enough mental toughness to deal with all this. I’m even tired of thinking that I’ve resigned to the fate of this country.

I’m not stupid, though. I know that this fight is the most important one of our lives. (I even feel guilty that it may seem I’m dismissive of all this. At the end of the day, I’m really not.) The battle many of us will be showing up to on Monday determines whether the next six years will be a hell that’s either really unbearable or slightly more bearable. The gravity was not, is not, and never will be lost on me.

It’s just that I want to rest for a moment. Actually, scratch that. I don’t know for how long I want to get away from all this. It’s bleakly funny when I think about it, knowing that I want to take a time-out but also being fully aware that the fight never ends, especially when all the adversaries are towering and monumental and landscape-changing, all of it at the same time. Is this a millennial thing we’ll be hit with? Surely, exhaustion chooses no specific generation?

After I get my finger inked, I really wouldn’t know what’s next. The extent of work to be done depends on who ends up winning, but I would like some respite to brace myself for it. I know I’m not gonna get that, though. They’re not gonna let up, so it’s on me to find the strength to get by and do the best I can for this country. No matter how sick and tired and depressed and angry this whole shitshow makes me (and some of you out there, too), there’s no choice for us but to get back on the horse. Ride and don’t let the ride kill you, because we’ve all still got some work to do.

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