The Carbon Freeze is a site where I’ve opted to share some of my various writing and art projects to a wide audience. The vast majority of everything posted so far had been previously shared to obsolete forums or social media which I used to frequent. From the beginning I said there were going to be three main categories in which each post would fall: media analyses, thoughts & memories…and political reactions. Up until now, the last of these has been pretty scant in quantity, and what has been posted mostly remained somewhat neutral thus far. That’s about to change going forward.
So, I can’t put it off any longer. My backlog of political musings and reactions are just about the only significant material I’ve yet to upload to the site already. The reasons for my hesitancy in posting them earlier are many. In the first place, I wanted to introduce myself as a human being before descending into yet another faceless lecturer on the internet telling you what to think, or seeming to berate you for not having the same opinion as me. I want you to think of me as Cassandra, the person who watches Pulp Fiction and The Loud House just like everyone else, who agrees certain aspects of third-wave woke culture have missed the point, who considers Clarissa Darling, Syd Barrett, Princess Diana and Brian Wilson to be my heroes. I want to be perceived in that way, as opposed to the nagging, persnickety commentator of politics. (Though, perhaps that characterization is inevitable regardless.)
The second reason is that, before delving into my own opinions on actual real-life political figures or movements, I wanted to accurately define the relevant terms. This way, when I call someone a fascist or syndicalist or objectivist we should all be on the same page regarding the meaning of those words. I wanted you all to see my Constitution first to appreciate that I’m not just the kind of person to tear someone down without offering my own set of ideas to the table. (Put another way, I understand it’s easier to criticize than lead, and I want to be able to theoretically do both, while acknowledging my shortcomings too.) If a 27 year old like me could put the time and dedication in to research a whole set of Constitutional reforms, there’s no reason a politician can’t have a halfway thought-out platform or signature issue.
The third reason is that I feared attracting the wrong kind of attention from the relentless denizens of the internet by getting involved in this heated topic. I’m transgender and I know we’re pretty much open season to a lot of people. I’ve had people post nasty comments on my pictures in the past, go out of their way to tell me I’ll never be a “real” woman and more online. I know that politics has reached such hyper-partisan levels to where trolling or harassment of myself personally are a very real possibility. (Or it would be, if anyone actually read this thing I guess.) I hope it goes without saying that while I’m guarded against personal attacks, I welcome genuine, spirited criticism of my essays and good-natured debates regarding political philosophy.
Unfortunately, that’s often not the discourse which the internet heralds. I’ve seen this firsthand in those old forums and facebook discussions I used to get bogged down in. Someone once called me a c*** for saying I thought the Covington kids were being grossly misrepresented in the media. I got misgendered and threatened with a ban for being a left-wing voice in a predominantly right-wing forum. During the 2016 election, I couldn’t praise or criticize the policies or campaign strategies of either Hillary or Trump without the others’ supporters openly harassing me. If I even mentioned a third-party candidate, I was berated for “allowing” Trump to succeed. (I was naively trying to give a neutral play-by-play of the election, stupid me.) Someone else even took to harassing me anytime I posted a George McGovern video or article by pointlessly announcing that he was a loser, a socialist, hopeless, etc. (I discovered McGovern the same year and became enamored by his virtues while the ’16 farce was ongoing.) These experiences soured me to the possibility that political opinions online could lead to anything even close to productive. It’s just a lot of yelling, logical fallacies and repetitious buzzwords thrown around, where no side really listens to the other.
So…why post them at all then? What’s the purpose? Well, partly because I want to use this site as a makeshift backup and portfolio of my writing (flawed as it is.) And more than that, it’s because there’s no point in keeping anything secret as far as I’m concerned. The planet is dying, and experts agree we don’t have much time left. With that in mind, it seems pretty silly to me to hide anything about myself. Let this blog, humble, overlooked and silly as it may be, stand as a testament to the fact that I, Cassandra Burke, was here. I may not have been a success in business, I struggled with self-doubt all my life, but whatever my faults, I was curious about the world around me. I tried to take the time to appreciate what the art I was exposed to had to say, to improve upon the political foundations of my home, to get in touch with my spirituality on my own terms without preset rules or mediators. At least I was here.
More than that, I could die at any time. I recently had a scary experience where I needed to go to the hospital. It might have turned out to be less serious than I feared, but there was a time there where I couldn’t help but be fatalistic and contemplate whether I was living on borrowed time or not. I deduced that in the event I passed away, I’d rather have it all out there one way or the other. Maybe (definitely) I overshare on this blog, but perhaps it’s worth preserving your own unique insight as opposed to burying it out of shame or fear. Even if we are just screaming into the void, perhaps it’s worth it if what you had to say reaches just one other person? And to work politics proper back into this, maybe in a future where everyone’s mistakes and secrets are online somewhere, perhaps it’s better to get out ahead of the scandal and own it. Say “yes, I’m transgender, I’ve been unlucky in love, I sometimes derive meaning from characters on a children’s show and I wrote some ‘deep’ shit when I was high in college.” It worked for Trump, somehow someway, surviving scandals that would kill any other career. Why not you or I?
Anyway, obviously I didn’t die. No, I just got a huge medical bill, got in trouble at work for my absences and had to deal with all this undue stress on top of recuperating from my illness. And this is the sad reality for a majority of Americans, who simply can’t afford to get sick. We’re suffering from a society which deems its citizens must live to work rather than work to live, that our health is less important than a corporation’s inconvenience. Now, perhaps none of us is really owed life or wellness by the Universe. After all, nature is a dog-eat-dog existence where the weak get eaten alive every day. But I find it disgusting that for all our supposed progress, all our societal conditioning, all our platitudes about the rights of man…we’re still no better than the cruel hand of Darwinism. To me, that has to change; what else is a civilization for, if not to protect its own against the harsh outside elements? Why else did our ancestors band together in a pack if not to protect ourselves by working together as equals? When did our own lives become so disposable in a system supposedly created for our own collective benefit?
And, really, this is why I want to weigh in on politics despite all those reasons not to. Because this shit is important and somebody has to channel our collective grief and resentment against the way things are into something constructive. We’re all angry, but someone needs to collect the whys, research how to fix it and put themselves out there with some kind of answer. Maybe I’m totally the wrong person to attempt to do so, but I tried goddamn it and at least I did that. The first political post to come in this wave will spell out my own personal opinions on politics pretty thoroughly, so my own biases will be revealed quickly before I delve into the speech and debate analyses. This way, you know what you’re getting into if you read on. (Even if you don’t like my personal opinions on politics, I hope you’ll at least agree with the general sentiment of this paragraph–and become the champion of your own viewpoint in some way. We live in a democratic republic, and that means it’s all of our duty to be informed and get involved!)
In any case, just because I’m mostly out of pre-written essays in those other two aforementioned categories doesn’t mean more non-political material shouldn’t be expected in the future. I’m currently working on another poetry series inspired by Asuka Langley Soryu, commentary for Bojack Horseman and Mr. Robot, a reaction to Lolita, an analysis on Chinatown and much more. So, stay tuned if any of those interest you.