Landslide

In 1974, Stevie Nicks wrote her enduring and now iconic song, Landslide.   In it she reflects on the challenges of change in one’s life and imaginatively uses the various images and seismic shifts in nature to relate her thoughts and feelings.

I took my love, I took it down
Climbed a mountain and I turned around
And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
‘Til the landslide brought me down…

ICON

Like many creative artists, Nicks was using her talent to express what was, for her, the inexpressible at that moment.  She and her boyfriend, guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, had little money and, despite some limited success and encouragement, she wondered whether to continue with her relationship and musical career or, instead, simply leave both and, well, go back to school.

Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changin’ ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?
Mmm, I don’t know….

Is this just a Stevie Nicks appreciation blog? #maybe #whynot

Little did she know that the following year she would become a part of Fleetwood Mac and the band would explode with a string of hit singles and albums that would earn them worldwide fame, fortune and eventually even a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

And 40 years later a viral TikTok video

Not to mention, many of their greatest hits would be written by Nicks herself and that she would go on to have her own hugely successful solo career.  And that she and her great love affair with Buckingham would indeed end.  And that she and this world famous band would break up, reunite, then break up and reunite, and break up again until even their worldwide fans lost count.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Landslide lately as I’ve spent my days being haunted by the prospect of democracy enduring and the hope (yet fear) of an electoral landslide.

I swear this hasn’t been me for the past month #promise

Moreover, I’ve been petrified by the thought of our country’s ability to withstand either and move on even semi-intact.

Well, I’ve been ‘fraid of changin’
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Children get older
And I’m gettin’ older, too

Watch it

Strangely, it is at this point in the song where there is a long, poignant musical interlude where no words are spoken and we are all, indeed, meant to feel, think and reflect.  So it seems appropriate at this moment to consider the crystal clear shift of Americans as we fully take in the results of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election vs. where we stood four years ago.

2020 Electoral College (270 needed to win):

  • Joseph R. Biden: 306
  • Donald J. Trump: 232

2020 Popular Vote (and still counting):

  • Joseph R. Biden: 78,686,795
  • Donald J. Trump: 73,102,757
I’m not gloating I swear #OKmaybealittle #itsearned #WOO

2016 Electoral College Results (270 needed to win):

  • Donald J. Trump: 306
  • Hillary Clinton: 232

2016 Popular Vote Results (final tally):

  • Hillary Clinton: 65,853,625
  • Donald J. Trump:  62,985,106

Geologically a landslide is the sliding down of a mass of earth or rock from a mountain or cliff.  But society, being what it is, long ago appropriated that word for its politics.  As a group we freely, and universally, now consider landslide to mean an overwhelming majority of votes for one party in an election.

Crushed?

Certainly we don’t want to get further down into the weeds at what constitutes overwhelming since we now occupy an American space where we find ourselves fist-fighting (and worse) in the public square over whether it should be a moral, and perhaps legal, requirement to wear a mask when coming within six feet of others during our current global, and airborne, viral pandemic.

AGHHHHHHHH

Note: COVID-19 has so far killed over 1.3 million people worldwide and murders close to1500 Americans daily. Total infections are 53.8 million to date, 10.9 million (almost 20%) of which are in the U.S.

So to be fair, let’s bend over backwards and use the measure of our outgoing POTUS. The guy who tweeted right after his Nov. 2016 win, and restated publicly, privately and throughout the world various iterations of these same thoughts about what constitutes overwhelming and thus, landslides, via his many surrogates over the last four years, in proclamations such as this:

“In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide . . .”

— Donald Trump, in a tweet, Nov. 27, 2016

“CNN is so embarrassed by their total support of Hillary Clinton and her loss in a landslide, that they don’t know what to do.”

— Donald Trump, in a tweet, Nov. 28, 2016

And —

Me, not having to think about Kellyanne ever again

With 306 established as the legitimate mark of victory and DEFEAT, now might be a good time to remind everyone, especially those who this year LOST, that with the above musical interlude over this is the point in the song where the prior verse again repeats, and by doing so asks us ALL to once again truly rethink, and reflect, on all of our very human natures:

Well, I’ve been ‘fraid of changin’
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
and I’m gettin’ older, too
I’m gettin’ older, too

What? My birthday is this week? No we’re skipping 2020

Now as a writer, I will admit that I am prone to attach superhuman power to the words the best of my fellow writers put together, whether in prose or dialogue, comedy or drama, or anything in between. 

But after the last four years I gotta hand it to Steve Nicks for decades later giving us a way to move forward, individually and en masse, when our backs are pressed against the wall. 

Did I mention ICON?

That’s why this weekend, and hopefully from now on, I take a lot of comfort from her concluding verse.  Rather than a shift in weather patterns or a deadly collapsing of the universe as I knew it, it finally offered me massive glimmers of light through the resounding power of reinvention:

So take this love, take it down

If you climb a mountain and turn around
And if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well, the landslide will bring it down
And if you see my reflection in the SNO-O-O-O-WWWW covered hills
Well, the landslide will bring it down
Oh, the landslide will bring it down

Listen, none of this is ever without risk.  But when you get a chance to level what wasn’t working away and leave behind an avalanche of tweets, it’s hard not to celebrate the sight of a newly imagined playing field and all the potential it offers moving forward.

Fleetwood Mac – “Landslide”

A Very Chairy Nightmare

This is what it’s been like for me:

Last night I dreamt that a guy named Hampton, or Harrington, with a portfolio in his hand and a hat cocked to the side of his head as if he was an old time reporter – think conservative writer Matt Drudge – came to my door trying to sell me something.

You know the type

I instantly backed away because he wasn’t wearing a mask.

But he kept talking and, when he saw I wasn’t responding to some right wing or religious claptrap he was peddling, he reached his arm out to jam the door and blurted out incredulously,

Wait, you haven’t heard of me????

I then gave him one of my famous eye rolls (Note: Okay, two) and slammed the door in his face.

My heart was beating fast and I was pissed!

This demented, unknown asshole —  how dare he infiltrate my safe space!

NOW!

Never mind this was my old apartment, located on the ground floor of a duplex from the sixties, that I haven’t lived in for 10 years.

Anyway, I turned from the door and went through the living room and then around the corner, past my bedroom, and through the hall to my home office, where I see Hampton, or Harrington, or whoever the f-k he claimed to be, actually crawling through my floor-to-ceiling door/window.

How he got it open, I have no idea, since as I recall there were bars on all those windows.  But these type of people, well, as we all know too well after the last four years, they have their ways, right?

If only Clooney was in this dream…

In any event, there I go running into the room where somehow this little sh-t has now somehow gotten his foot through the glass, ready to push him out and break the glass and sever his presumptuous soon to be dangling limb, if need be.

But before I can do anything I notice right next to him this cute little young woman, sitting at a large table she’s set up on the landing next to my doorway.  It’s got a large colorful tablecloth with a gorgeous set up of orange juice, muffins, teacakes, coffee, lemonade and the like, and she’s commandeered my entire area, ready to sell or perhaps even give it all away to a line of very clean-looking smiley people from, I’m guessing Indiana or some such Midwest state, certainly not West Hollywood, which is where my apartment was located.

A real Anna Camp type

I look at this woman, also mask-less and unsurprisingly sunny blonde, and think what the f-ck, but she just stares at me with this Up With People sort of smile and gestures to the o.j. and muffins.

Despite how good they look (Note:  Yeah, I have to admit that) I say to her almost tongue-tied:

What???  You can’t be here.  What are you doing here????

Hello? Hello?

Meanwhile, Hampton’s long leg has now almost touched the floor in my office, as I’m pressing the glass door closed against him and start yelling:

Get out!  Get out!   GET.   THE F-CK.   OUT!!!!!!!!

And then….

Well, I can’t tell you if I won or lost because then…

I WOKE.   THE F-CK.    UP.

But is it really?

Of course, missing from this dream was my husband of almost 32 years, who was living with me in that apartment.  God knows where those people stashed him.

Also gone was any semblance of anyone else to help me.  All that I saw was the phony sunshine being offered by these charlatans from a demented world that people were lining up to buy into in droves.

Does any of this sound, well, familiar?

Drink that Kool Aid

As I watched  Donald Trump this weekend immorally and probably illegally nominate someone who will arguably be the most conservative person ever to occupy a seat on the US Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett, I couldn’t help but reconsider, in light of this dream, what I secretly thought about myself at several points in my childhood when I had feelings about things that, in a matter of time, would turn out to actually happen:

I have ESP!

Open 24 hours

Then I realized the ugly truth.  I’m not special and I’d bet all 65 million of us have at times in the last four years been having various versions of this very same…well, let’s just call it as it is…nightmare.

Amy Coney Barrett, as well as the young girl at the breakfast table, and even Hampton or Harrington, might seem perfectly sunny to hang out with.  In fact, this would be especially so as long as they bring those muffins and orange juice and we have all taken a cup of Instant Smile in order to avoid talking about anything meaningful aside from their glistening and hypnotizing, well, cleanliness.

Follow the light Carol Anne!

But if we dare to blink our eyes a few times or, god/gosh forbid, think, it quickly becomes clear that what we’re really feasting on is, in reality, the beginning of our own demise.  The homogenization of difference.  The demonization and illegalization of the essence of who most of the 65 million of us are, or certainly believe in.

Ms. Barrett and Mr. Trump smiled a great game from the Rose Garden Saturday afternoon.  Heck, so did even  Kellyanne Conway and Fox News’ Laura Ingraham from the audience, and when was the last time you could say that about the latter?

She looks better than I thought #shade

But make no mistake.  If you are female, if you are LGBTQ, if you are not guided by religion, if you are non-white, OR if you are at all an ally in any sort of way of any of the aforementioned above, you should be more than alarmed.

Not to mention, you can also now count yourself, as allies, among that infamous 65 million of 2016 whose beliefs and lives will truly be in peril. (Note: aka The Majority).

I won’t go through all the many ways we should be panicked at the nomination and likely immoral confirmation of this woman.  Read these links and simply let the facts do it for you:

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit C

Exhibit D

Blessed be the fruit

But what I will do is encourage you all to remember that though dreams and nightmares are personal works of fiction, they spring from the reality of your mind.

Now more than ever in the next five weeks heading up to this election it’s important that each and every one of us trust in our minds, in our own ways of thinking, and especially in our own instincts on impending danger, and take any actions available to save ourselves, our compatriots and, most of all, even our fellow citizens/enemies from the worst of themselves.

Or shall I say, all of ourselves???

Alice Cooper – “Welcome to My Nightmare”