The Last Czars is a six-part docudrama on Netflix that I would recommend except it’s seriously the most depressing thing I’ve watched for years. (I guess it’s only fair to give a spoiler warning in case you didn’t already know the entire royal Romanov family, who were the richest family in the world at the time, all died during the Bolshevik Revolution in 1918.)
Most people realize they were murdered with the possible exception of Anastasia which rumors said might have survived. This series also explores whether she lived or not.
Until I watched this series, I’d always thought the Romanovs were a beautiful family who was innocently betrayed and murdered. This docudrama shows how czar, Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra, were careless and lacked empathy for the people they ruled over.
The series starts with Nicholas’s ascent to the throne where thousands of people were trampled to death on his coronation day. Instead of acknowledging the deaths, the royals choose to dance and celebrate and ignore these deaths. This was the beginning of many stupid, heartless mistakes by these careless monarchs and it only got worse when they met the Russian Mystic Rasputin who was a con man.
From now on when I hear the name Romanov, I will sympathize with the Russian people and not their monarchs. The encouraging thing about this story is it is a reminder that foolish rulers can’t rule forever.
So what does this have to do with us today? I think we have similar leaders in the US. Republicans seem no longer concerned about the average American. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. The attitude of those who are making our laws seems to be a lot like Queen Marie Antoinette who supposedly said, “Let them eat cake.”
After # 45 was elected, Tina Fey made “sheetcaking” a thing on SNL.
This reflected women everywhere who were trying to deal with all the difficult news by eating too much, but after we sheetcaked, we marched.
The turnout was wonderful! But we still have a lot of work to do. Did you know that one year ago, the Trump administration changed the meaning of the term domestic violence?
The previous definition included critical components of the phenomenon that experts recognize as domestic abuse—a pattern of deliberate behavior, the dynamics of power and control, and behaviors that encompass physical or sexual violence as well as forms of emotional, economic, or psychological abuse. But in the Trump Justice Department, only harms that constitute a felony or misdemeanor crime may be called domestic violence. So, for example, a woman whose partner isolates her from her family and friends, monitors her every move, belittles and berates her, or denies her access to money to support herself and her children is not a victim of domestic violence in the eyes of Trump’s Department of Justice.
(The Dept of Justice did reply to this article. You can read more here.)
But sheroes are rising up like Mary Engelbreit who is known for her cozy quilted, positive, art—until she decided to art up. As a result, she’s lost a lot of followers, but gained others.
“Her view toward Trump supporters who voice their offense to her views is that they are free to leave her page if they are troubled by her opinions.
“If you support him, go, because these drawings just aren’t meant for you,” she says. She feels it’s important to use the platforms she’s built to speak out against injustice.”
If you’re a fan, you can read more about Mary’s story here and here.
(BTW—I feel the same way about my writing. If someone is offended, then this article is not for you. Whether writers or artists or musicians, we each have to speak up and find our tribe.)
Fake Snakes and Social Justice Haters
This last week, I was deeply disturbed by a psychiatrist who I thought was a follower of God and full of common sense. I noticed several of his recent blogs were almost apologetic for the Trump administration. This seemed weird considering that he taught that Jesus said his kingdom is not of this world and we should focus on building God’s kingdom and not politics. Many of this teacher’s followers were critical of those who marched in the women’s marches and now it seems many of them support Trump.
When he wrote a blog where he basically swooned over going to the White House and took a picture of the president, I wrote to him with my concerns because I felt like I was getting a bait and switch from him.
His answer was to point me to read another blog he had written about how fears about Trump are like “fake snakes.” he further made his point by using two examples of what he called fake news from the left and none from the right.
While fear is being sold on every corner these days, sometimes we are alarmed because we can actually see the dangers.
I’ve had to conclude that this man is delusional and it’s been a good reminder to do my own thinking and not allow anyone—especially a white male member of the patriarchy to tell me what to do or think.
Right now, it seems a lot of people are burned out on politics and I can’t blame them. Our mission is to stay informed without allowing the news to consume us and ruin our days.
Resistance is won on many fronts.
We resist by keeping the home fires burning for those we love and share community with. Make something good to eat today because nourishing food is a form of love.
We resist this by caring for and watching out for each other. Are there kids in your neighborhood that could use your mentoring?
We resist by saving, recycling and finding ways to barter instead of spending money.
What can you not buy this week? What do you have that you can share?
We resist by making art and music and writing to build up the community of resistance. I am going to be making some painted rocks to spread messages of hope throughout the community. If you are an artist or rock painter please share your art and idea in the comments.
We resist by staying informed while balancing the facts with common sense. It’s not worth allowing bad news to ruin your day. Set boundaries and turn off the feed and do something kind for the people you love.
And yes, we can also resist by marching, calling and voting. Those are important, but what you do today to bring love and peace to your family and friends is important too.
In this modern resistance movement, there is a task and place for everyone who wants to take part in it.
Each time a woman stands up for herself,
without knowing it possibly,
without claiming it,
she stands up for all women.
Let us stand up for our sisters, for those who are under suspicion simply because they were born under a different star or of a different color. Let us stand up for those who simply want to be themselves in a world that threatens to snuff out their very existence.
When I hear Christians preach that we should ignore social justice, I have to walk away. If they can’t care about a baby and her father drowning in the river, they have no light in them.
Jesus cares. He always cares. Jesus never plays favorites with the rich, but he is always near to the broken-hearted. When I hear them condemn social justice, I just shake my head and say, God sees every sparrow, do you think He doesn’t care about a refugee child?
Here’s a little folk music by a group called Rising Appalachia
Viva la resistance!