Last week was rough. It was a humbling reminder that we might think we know everything, but the reality remains that we don’t even know our own country. America! It voted for what we were sure was the insufferable. The media outlets we rely on — that we trust implicitly and objectively — led us astray. They perpetuated our conviction and when early Wednesday morning arrived, our anticipation was shot like a damn bird over a red state.
Our editorial team had to act fast; here we’d scheduled six stories to run immediately following Election Day that would inaugurate Madam President. There was a printable time capsule that our graphic designer had put together; a stunning piece of media by our market assistant’s sister, a political writer; and Leslie, our editorial director, fully intended to make the case of Clinton’s presidency as a metaphor for Game of Thrones (I’m not exactly sure how this was going to pan out because I don’t watch the show, but it excited the hell out of me, nonetheless).
So we did what we had to, what we wanted to. We scrapped the hope and confronted reality. Amelia wrote about processing the election results, she confirmed that if you were sad, it was okay. I tried to remain positive, optimistic — to do anything but add noise to a conversation that really didn’t need anymore. Without subjugating or mitigating what has been reality for so many of our friends — minorities across the most grand spectrum — I wanted to (want to) understand why people voted for Trump. Try to see where they’re coming from and what they’re hoping for. Who they’re up against, without immediately reprimanding their ignorance and intolerance. Everyone has a story, we always say, right? Are theirs worth being heard?
We cancelled much of our regular Thursday and Friday programming too — it was far too soon to resume normal publishing. Our Instagram handle has more or less began to look like itself again and that feels too soon, too, but the thing is, I’m tired. I don’t want to sweep this conversation under the rug. I don’t think it can be swept under the rug — this has been the most crucial and severe breaking news story of the past year and a half, and so few people expected this outcome. But I have been feeling a general malaise as of late, a fatigue about the Internet, about media, about the stories we publish. I keep asking myself what I want to see, what I want to read, and even that generates a fearful question mark. What’s worth sharing? What’s not?
How can we continue to honor our peers, while attempting to provide the escapist fantasy that I so hope Man Repeller brings forward? The jokes, the photography, the honest narratives and the rest of it?
So before we jump back in, I want to hear from you. I want to know how you’re feeling about media in general. Is it too soon to resume somewhat normal programming? What are you reading? What are you looking for? Can we serve it forward? What do you like most about this site, what do you want to see, what can’t you stand to see, how we can better serve what you’re looking for and ensure that we are nurturing the right kinds of conversations — those that keep this community alive?
Image by swim ink 2/Corbis via Getty Images.