Poor Donald. If he's going to feel compelled to tweet his annoyance every time someone reminds him that he's going to be held to account for fulfilling his pledge to be president of all the people, he's going to have very busy little thumbs.
The message from the Hamilton cast to the VP elect was perfectly respectful and entirely appropriate. The show itself is a stirring evocation of the wonder that is the American experiment -- that people from all backgrounds, from all over the world, can come together and create a nation, create community based on an idea -- freedom of thought and belief, based on mutual caring and respect. As Jon Stewart said in his recent CBS interview, this ain't natural. It goes against our tribal instincts. It's hard work. And it's work that never ends. But it's the work that keeps America great.
I spent some time this afternoon watching Sharon Jones videos. Amidst the messages of people mourning her loss, I wanted to be reminded of how intensely alive she was. Watch her in Paris, taking the crowd through the Soul Train dances. A slim figure in an orange hoodie sneaks out from the wings with a guitar. Prince couldn't stay away.
I keep a picture of Bowie on my desk, one of those last promo shots of him, taken just weeks before he died, jaunty in his fedora, brilliant grin on his face. The pictures were released on his birthday. Of course he knew what he was facing. If he could grin like that, so can we.
Face it. We all die. Nobody's figured out how to avoid it. What counts is the joy and creation with which we live. The ways in which we reach out and care for each other. Our artists do it the most directly, but it's in our grasp every day, in every human encounter. That's what keeps us going, even though we know we're going into the dark.
Brandon Dixon told the audience to stop booing before he read the statement. "There's nothing to boo here. ... We're all here sharing a story of love..." He knows that love wins. Even when it's not easy. Maybe especially when it's not easy.
The President-elect and the crew he's gathering around him don't understand that. They think that strength comes from being hard. That greatness comes from smashing your enemies. And that your enemies are those who disagree with you, who will remind you of the depth of the responsibilities that you've taken on.
Poor Donald. Sad to be so disconnected from the joy and passion that makes life worth living, that defeats death, in the end. He's in for a rough four years. He needs to be reminded every day that he's taken on a sacred trust. That he's going to be held to account. It can be done respectfully, as the Hamilton cast did. But it will be done relentlessly. He's not going to like it. But he's working for us now.