America is the New Locker Room



Before I went to sleep I took a long look at my dogs and wondered which of them one I’d eat, you know, if it came to that. I didn’t commit to a decision but I did sleep like a baby.


I don’t fear the things I can’t control, the possible of end of the world isn’t going to keep me up at night. Besides, it was possible before Trump and it’ll be possible after. What am I supposed to do, never sleep again?



When I got up this image was on my phone, sent to me by way of a medical doctor. Yes, one that works at a hospital and everything.

I am not going to pretend millennial men don’t send each other disgusting or offensive texts. I keep a photo of Josef Mengele at the ready in my phone just in case someone gives me too much sass. This meme is a different kind of assholishness, it is the sort of macabre you don’t disseminate.


In Trump’s day they did this in the confines of the locker rooms, now we hide behind the anonymity of the internet when we want to say something we know in our hearts is wrong. We do it for a laugh or to make a point but we’d never do it in presence of strangers, or worse, children. Every media outlet, satirist, and political talking head told us how high the stakes in this election were, but I had no idea that common decency was at risk.


I went to a Trump rally in Indianapolis earlier this year out of sheer morbid curiosity and got glimpse of this. My friend Matt and I were huddled in the middle of the star-spangled mass — next to us were bunch of black kids who were 18 or 19 and had on Black Lives Matter T-shirts. They came to protest and were systematically removed with each outburst. The deeply disturbing part was that the racist zealots who screamed, “black lives don’t matter, black lives don’t mean shit,” and “get outta here you fuckin’ jiggaboos,” were left behind pumping their fists at children as they were marched out. One of my great regrets in life is not standing up for those kids. I was outnumbered, I thought, but surely that was just here in Indiana, everywhere else reasonableness would prevail.


By electing Trump we’ve endorsed impulse, promoted the reptilian level of our brains to master and commander. Our base instincts, the binary ones that can only see black and white, have stage on which to perform. America is the new locker room, but I’m not afraid. I don’t fear what I can’t control — it’s going to take all of us to wrangle what we’ve loosed.

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April 26, 2018

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© 2018 by Mike Wehner

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