Two weeks after the massacre at the Bataclan, I found myself back in a music venue. I had driven all day, first from Las Vegas to Encino for work, and then back to Silverlake, to see The Mynabirds at the Satellite. As someone who spends 50-75 nights a year in a concert hall of one sort or another, the terrorist attack in Paris had shaken me in a way to which I was only then starting to process. And the mood in the room that night was heavy – it was, after all, a Southern California band on that French stage, and if you’re in a nightclub on a Monday night, then live music likely plays a very large role in your life.
What Laura Burhenn, the singer/songwriter behind The Mynabirds, said that night has stuck with me: “I feel like the world is going to shit, but in this room, we’re good.”
I honestly don’t understand what my country did last night. I probably never will.
But I know that there are going to be a lot of people in my orbit, or a step or two removed, that are going to be hurting. They (we) will struggle to get health insurance after the Affordable Care Act is repealed. They’ll worry about their parents being deported. They’ll watch as the medical marijuana they use as pain medication – y’know, rather than opioids – is taken off the market by a federal government interested in keeping its “law and order” base happy. And they’ll (we’ll) have to watch a man who believes he is entitled to grope any woman he wants act as the face of our nation. My female friend, as we walked away from the viewing party last night, summed that last one up, "Just how much do we hate women?"
“But in this room, we’re good.”
If you can reach out, do so. If you can volunteer, do so. We’re not going to be getting a lot of help from the federal government for a while – so we’re going to need to help our own. I may not be able to soothe whatever rage propelled the Rust Belt to vote for a con man, but I can help tutor after school at 826LA, or spend a day a month at a food kitchen, or supervise an after-school sports program. I can be a better ally.
Of all of the privileges I have, one I feel acutely today is to live in a state that will stand against what we saw last night. A storm is coming, and I'm in port. If you have the ability to provide shelter for others, please do.