It’s time for another middle-grade Quick Read (it’s almost like I’m reading all these books to familiarize myself with the market), this time examining Shannon Messenger’s Keeper of The Lost Cities.
I had never actually heard of it or the currently five-book series it spawned before it randomly popped up in my Amazon recommendation list, but I decided to take a look at it due to the totally baller covers the books have and the assortment of… let’s say “colorful” negative reviews on Goodreads, as well as some positive opinions that seemed to suggest there might be something to the story. Let’s find out!
Okay, look. I know most people don’t come to this blog for my political ramblings, and truth be told that’s not what I want to be doing with my time either. So I’ll make you all a deal: what follows is an extra-long and involved Trumpwatch post, and it will be the last such post I write for a good long while.
Last time on The Selection, we bailed out mid-way through a marathon-length chapter. This time: the rest of that chapter.
I think it’s safe to say that Trump’s first week in office has been something of a roller-coaster. First we had the gloom of inauguration day, followed by the elation of the worldwide women’s protests, and now, several days later, a string of shocking executive orders as Trump puts most of his odious campaign promises into practice.
The realization that you’re witnessing the creation of history–that this day, the one that started like any other, is going to be remembered beyond your own lifetime–is a very strange and particular feeling. I felt it during 9/11. I felt it (painfully) on the day of Donald Trump’s election. And I felt it today, as I watched images of the Women’s Marches pour in from all over the world.
I hadn’t paid much attention to this event, overshadowed as it was by Trump’s inauguration, and didn’t expect it to amount to much beyond a (admittedly brave) token gesture. Apparently, neither did the organizers: several of the planned marches had to be converted to stationary protests when more than double the expected attendees turned up. An estimated 2.5 million people took to the streets in America and many other countries (including Ireland, where several thousand people marched in Dublin–this is impressive in a country whose citizenry has been historically politically apathetic about any issue not involving water charges), which is incidentally ten times the estimated turnout of Trump’s inauguration address.
I think it’s safe to say that we all needed this.
What comes next? Are these protests going to convince the Trump administration to rethink their policies? Are we witnessing the spontaneous birth of a united liberal protest movement?
No, probably not. But I’ll tell you this: I can guarantee you that Trump and his henchmen and his supporters are just a little bit scared right now. The walls of the White House have begun to compress with the force of all of that anger and scorn, like a submarine descending into the deep ocean, and they’re checking nervously for leaks. The fall of empires has begun with events far more humble than what we’ve witnessed today, and they all know it.
All of a sudden, four years doesn’t seem like such a long time.
Well, it happened.
After the election, there was a honeymoon period. The world didn’t change; Obama was still President; everything seemed like it was going on as normal. It was easy to fall into the trap of ignoring what was about to happen, or of believing that it would somehow be averted. But no. Donald Trump is officially the President of the United States of America.
I still can’t type that sentence without feeling as if I’ve stepped into an alternate universe.
Protests are igniting across the country, and some of them have turned violent. Reports of police brutality are coming in. If these images were coming from any other country in the world, they’d be taken as signs of deep political instability or even of imminent civil war. America appears to be in the opening stages of tearing itself apart, and I have very little optimism in Trump’s administration to respond to that scenario with fairness or decency.
How do I know that? Because his administration just told us. It’s one of the first things they did.