Another crack emerges on my already busted-up phone, no casing to protect it as it drops from my hands to the hardwood floor below.
I’d been scrolling on Twitter, about to share a petition calling on people, in general, to share more petitions, when an Associated Press story caught my eye.
“Trump is going to ban TikTok?” I shout in disbelief, the plates in my sink behind me crusted with two-day-old marinara. “Why, that’s just ridiculous!”
I mean, over 152,000 people have died of covid-19 in the United States, and the coronavirus pandemic shows no sign of slowing down yet. Plus, Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality are still happening nationwide some two-and-a-half months after George Floyd’s death, even as local police and federal agents ramp up the violence in cities across the country. And in the face of all this unnecessary death and destruction, the Associated Press reports that the President has decided that his no. 1 priority should be banning the app that zoomers use to make me feel ancient and crone-like?
“Unconscionable!!” I scream at the drooping monstera I’ve neglected to water, going on four days. “Why would he do that? Doesn’t he know there’s more important things to attend to?!”
The hairs on my arms bristle at the swiftness and severity of Trump’s unbelievable abuse of power, his promise to sign some kind of executive order as early as Saturday. My jaw drops as I read further into the matter, only to discover what the Trump administration’s stated reasoning is: that ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese owner, could be harvesting American user data, according to USA Today.
“But American app makers and tech companies do that, too!” I shout at my withering goldendoodle, Catherine, her water bowl dry as a bone. “It’s hypocritical, Catherine—the very height of hypocrisy! I simply can’t believe it. Why would the government do this? It’s not fair or legal—much less right!”
I turn away from Catherine, lest I overwhelm her. Retiring to my bedroom, I slip on a nap dress, and tuck myself in, ready for another busy day of starving my dependents in a tunnel-visioned refusal to see the state for what it is. Delusion, self-righteousness, a dog who might be dead—and they say you can’t have it all…