Sitting at the Hong Kong airport, about to spend the next dozen hours in the air, and Trump is now president and a thousand other things.

One good thing that happened to me this week is that I finished a new novella. It’s called Glossolalia, or don’t scream it on the mountain.

It’s about one tenth the size of Songs of My Mother and about as opposite of that book as a text can be. I wrote more about both books a month ago. Incidentally, that post is also sort of about Trump, too.

But I’m very happy to have finished this, even if it took me about a month longer than I expected, and mostly because I spent three weeks or more not writing (it was the holidays, and stuff or whatever).

But the novella is influenced a lot by Taoism, anarchy, pacifism, Trump, Kyle Muntz’ new novel, The Effigies, and then all this random research I did about Greenlandic cuisine.

Stay safe and sane, everyone.

I’ll be on  a plane, heading back to Trump’s america.

second bests

In the degradation of the great way
come benevolence and righteousness.
With the exaltation of learning and prudence
comes immense hypocrisy.
The disordered family
is full of dutiful children and parents.
The disordered society
is full of loyal patriots.

Lao Tzu
Ursula K Le Guin’s version

More ideas that seem contradictory. Collapse leads to positives. Chaos leads to positives. But the exaltation of learning and prudence comes immense hypocrisy?

It’s a difficult thing to come to terms with, since it’s not what we want to believe of the world. Unfortunately, we’ve seen this happen often all over the world and across time periods. There are a lot of examples within China itself, but it seems to be a symptom of any imperial power.

What begins as a positive movement gradually decays until we measure ourselves by the husks of ideology and the emptiness of wisdom.

Being an anarchist, this poem especially appeals to me, as it tries to demonstrate the usefulness of a weak and decentralized government. It does this by jarring you with these juxtpositions, beginning with the personal, and then elevating that image to encompass an entire society.

It’s something worth thinking about, now that the Golden King will sit on his imperial throne after being sworn in on a sacred book.

And so I want to leave you with Masha Gessen’s latest column: The Threat of Moral Authority.