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”

American Exhale

How much time do you think it was from when the polls began closing on Election Day 2020 to the moment Joe Biden was declared our next President of the United States?

I got you babe!

LESS.  THAN.  FOUR.  DAYS.

For those of us who felt really desperate to hear this news, and at last count that number was close to a record 75 million, it felt like just less than FOUR. YEARS. 

And that is because…IT.  WAS.

It definitely did not feel like the Good Place

When Joe Biden officially becomes our 46th POTUS on Jan. 20, 2021, that’s when you will hear the final collective sigh of relief.  But for right now, the almost 75 million of us will just have to satisfy ourselves with one collective exhale.

And a good night’s sleep.

Say goodbye to junk food, Nate Silver and even Steve Kornacki at the Big Board.  He needs his sleep, too. (Note:  If you’re unfamiliar with Kornacki’s Khakis or obsessive Kornacki Watch, well, here’s a link to get you started).

#TrackingKornacki #WILSONNNN

It’s amazing the indulgences we humans choose and the indignities we humans can get used to, isn’t it?  When I told one of the many doctors I manage to still go to for check-ins that I was beginning to wonder whether my obsessive addiction to this election and its results has any real point to it he asked me how it made me feel?  To which I said:

Actually, it’s strangely calming.  If the apocalypse comes, I can warn people in advance and try to figure something out for myself and the people I love.

To which he said:  Well, then it’s not a problem.

I’m a GENIUS

Nor was binge eating junk food in those super intensive last two weeks really an issue for any of us.  No two weeks of putting any kind of crap into your body will likely kill you.  Heck, some people can do it for 74 years.  Just look at ….

Okay, I promised myself I wouldn’t mention HIS NAME so I’m not going to.  Mostly because –

WE DON’T HAVE TO TALK ABOUT HIM ANYMORE!!!!

YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, yes, I know.  He’s not gone yet and there are a couple of more months where anything can happen.  But while we’re exhaling, can we also take a few moments to just feel good about ourselves???

The first WOMAN in our almost 250-year history – not to mention the first WOMAN OF COLOR during that time – has just been elected VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

That’s Kamala Harris. 

Introducing MADAM Vice President

Not to mention, do you know she is also the FIRST DEMOCRAT FROM CALIFORNIA IN U.S. HISTORY to ever be elected to one of the two top jobs?

You’re welcome, America.

Are we forgiven for this now?

We have also lived to see another brilliant woman of color responsible for spear heading the dismantling of the death grasp the Republican Party has on the throat of the Old South when it comes to presidential elections.

That’s Stacey Abrams. 

It was her persistence and dedication to voting rights and voter registration after she lost her 2018 race for governor due to voter suppression that was key to flipping GEORGIA BLUE just a couple of nights ago.

She knew #AmericanHero

I mean, if that had been me I think I’d just about be crawling out from under my covers by now.

Which brings us to our President Elect.

I’m old enough to vaguely remember when this balding young guy who just got elected to Congress found out his wife and daughter were killed in a car accident that also badly inured his two young sons. 

I also remember my young self thinking:

That’s one of the most horrible things I’ve ever heard! This guy’s life is toast.  Oh my god, how can something like that happen???? 

Which was the same moment Joe Biden turned to the universe and said, Um, not so fast.

Drive the ‘vette to DC, Joey

See, it’s not an accident at this time (and in this year) he became president after a near half century of public life that included TWO unsuccessful runs for the White House.

After four years of hysteria and desperation, he is about the ONLY politician in the country who could collectively move and inspire us simply by proclaiming to a small crowd of our fellow citizens in a Delaware parking lot, during a pandemic, things like:

  • We Won’t Lead by the Example of OUR POWER but by the POWER OF OUR EXAMPLE…
  • THE ONE WORD THAT DEFINES AMERICA IS…POSSIBILITY.

And

  • KEEP THE FAITH…then… SPREAD THE FAITH.
My moment of zen

Yes, somehow these were the very words we all needed and longed to hear.

See, when you talk about how you’ve lived, and the principles that have worked for you, you don’t need to insult your enemies, lie to your supporters or indulge in the LONG CON in order to get them on your side.

All you really need to do is tell the truth.

Could you have imagined that as THE winning strategy last week at this time?  Can you even imagine four years of it???

Yes we can.

Mama Cass – “New World Coming”