Why we must keep on keepin' on I used this photo simply because it calms me much more than the face of Donald J. Trump.

Why we must keep on keepin' on

Jenna Simeonov

Hi, readers. Jenna here.

Like I’m sure many of you are, I’m pretty furious right now. Trump won the 2016 Presidential Election, a horrific end to a campaign that wavered between actually ridiculous, and grossly real.

I’m angry because Trump is a dangerous orange clump of lies with evil intent and xenophobia that seems like it’s from the 1850s. I’m angry at the voters who fell for his garbage, thinly veiled as it was. I’m angry at the people who wanted so badly to hold onto their picture of what America is, that they were willing to elect Donald Fucking Trump to avoid any sort of concession to their hated Democrats. I’m angry at the people who mindlessly side with “their party,” despite the hateful spewing of its representatives, and I’m angry at the people within this campaign who preyed upon that level of stubborn “Go, team” shit.

I can be angry all I want, but as a Canadian living in the United Kingdom, few are apt to care.

But you, readers, you’ll care about this next bit. What I’m really angry about is the fact that today, the stuff I love seems laughably irrelevant. Today, who cares about opera? Who cares about the struggles of young artists? Who cares about how the audition system can be humbling, or about protesters outside of Los Angeles Opera?

What’s the point in making art, when there’s big, scary history happening in front of us? Sure, today may smart a bit more than tomorrow, but Trump hasn’t even been inaugurated yet.

Last year, shortly after the attacks in Paris, I thought of Leonard Bernstein’s quote, “This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.”

I wrote in 2015, “if there’s music and entertainment, it means that people are living in some modicum of comfort. They’re beyond a state of emergency, past the immediate danger, and they’ve gained the luxury of being able to sit with a guitar, or fund a benefit concert, simply for the pleasure of others.”

Trump’s win isn’t violence, per se, but he has brought the world to a bewildered halt. So, defeated as I may feel today, before the next wave of fighting begins for arts education and government arts grants, what other choice do I and other opera lovers have but to shamelessly continue to love it?

If Trump is up there, dumbly word-vomiting about walls and nasty women, then I’m going to be down here, comfy in my seat at the opera, writing about what I see and hear, and talking with singers.

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