I’m not going to comment on the US mid-terms here. I’ve seen people who are very happy about the results, and people who are really disappointed and unhappy, and while, as always, I have plenty of opinions, I don’t feel sufficiently well-informed about US politics to comment on what this result means. So I’m going to leave analysis to commentators who are more directly affected, and probably more knowledgeable.
I was going to post here today about how shocking and mindboggling I find the way elections are run in the US (how is it that a candidate for election can be responsible for running that election? I asked one of my Professors, who is from Georgia, how this can possibly be legal, and he just threw up his hands and laughed ruefully), and write another hymn of praise to our lovely Australian Electoral Commission, but that felt like unseemly bragging.
So instead, I’m going to go somewhere completely different with this post.
To me, this result looks cautiously hopeful. But I’m not American. The results don’t affect me directly, and I know there were a LOT of things on the ballot that weren’t just about picking a Republican or a Democrat. I don’t know what will be the last straw for someone who is already struggling. The 2016 election was the last straw for a friend of mine (TW: suicide), and I would hate to see anyone – on any side of politics, frankly – succumb to this one.
So here are a handful of resources for people in the US who may be finding things difficult right now.
Stay well, everyone.
CRISIS SUPPORT IN THE USA
- The US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (24/7)
- Crisis Text Line – text GO to the phone number 741741 in the US, or 686868 in Canada
- IMAlive – Online crisis chat! Support in a crisis for people more comfortable with online chat than phone or text. (I completely love that you can now chat to counsellers via text or computer, not just on the phone. Sometimes, a real live person on the phone is just too hard.)
- Everything is awful and I’m not OK – Self-care checklist
- Suicidehotlines.com – a list of crisis hotlines and services for a wide range of demographics.
- LGBTQ Crisis Hotlines – a list of crisis hotlines and resources specifically for LGBTQIA people
(Thank you to Kit Fox for finding so many of these links and sharing them earlier today.)
I’ve also made a list of small things you can do for self-care, which includes crisis lines for people in Australia specifically, as well as a link to a site with a lot of international crisis lines.
FUN AND FRIVOLOUS THINGS THAT HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH POLITICS
- Colouring in for adults (some of the art ones are fantastic!)
- The Great Museum Dance Off – you’ll have to scroll down to find the various videos, but basically, it’s an annual competition between museums for the best (?) dance routine. Here are five of my favourites
- Three brilliant NetFlix shows:
- The Good Place – the funniest sit-com about ethics that I’ve run across. But don’t believe the Australian accents in Season 3.
- Nailed It – a baking competition for people who can’t bake
- The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell – a gothic baking show, with muppets. The cakes are astonishing. The plots are alarming. (My husband just likes the bloodthirsty muppets…)
- Australian Firemen with cute animals. (You can buy the calendars, too, and they support charity!)
- Tam Lin Balladry. If you like old folk songs and fairy tales and want to dive deep into a rabbit hole of stories, songs, reviews and history of the Tam Lin ballad, this is the website for you. It was Abby’s website, and it’s a truly encyclopaedic resource for all things Tam Lin.
Computer update: The lovely people at JMC were able to get my old computer up and running again, but it’s clearly nearing the end of its useful life. Thank you to everyone who ‘bought me a coffee’ using the link on the right – even though the need is now a bit less urgent, it’s clear that I will need to replace my computer before the end of the year if I want a reliable machine for the Federal Election, so I very much appreciate your support!