December 3, 2018 may go down in history as “Flaccid Monday,” with Tumblr announcing its corporate suicide via an upcoming prohibition against all sexual-related content on its blogging platform. The bereavement and paranoia among the onanists in my world were so rampant that you might’ve forgotten there is an entire world wide web of creampies, gang bangs, and other “adult” delights outside of that lone site.
Perhaps there is genuine mourning among those who prefer consuming porn in one-minute-and-fifty-nine-second increments, then having their heart rate and arousal settled as they scroll past semi-inspirational memes and time-lapse videos of flowers blooming. As hot as the clips and themes could be, Tumblr always seemed too bi-polar with its manic sexual stimulation and depressing reminders of global and domestic injustices.
Steeled by memories of a VCR eating the only porno in my household, or the pages of a Hustler magazine I found as a pre-teen becoming so melded together I could no longer read the articles, it’s hard for me to empathize with the masturbatory grief and hopelessness brought on by the taming of Tumblr. Anyone unable to find porn on the internet after Tumblr dims its red-light district should be thankful for the newfound time to develop basic life skills.
The Tumblr panic arrived shortly after one of our culture’s most recurring exaggerations had passed: the idea that every vote matters. The biennial campaign of peer-pressuring and guilt-tripping folks into voting is illogical and ineffective. I love voting and I wish everyone would vote. I voted in today’s runoff for Georgia’s secretary of state and public service commission, and my political ego would’ve been boosted had only the latter contest been on the ballot, its obscurity a sign of major voter cred.
As much as I enjoy the act of voting and believe in it as tool for civic participation, I have no illusions of impacting any electoral outcome more than someone who has never voted in his or her life. Statistically, I imagine the odds of winning the Powerball or Mega Millions are more favorable than a single person being the deciding vote in any election outside of an elementary school classroom.
It’s popular to invoke the sacrifices of ancestors during get-out-the-vote campaigns, but that substitutes abstract history for the everyday effort of getting people invested in their communities and government. I called and knocked on the doors of strangers to encourage them to vote for progressive candidates, but have had conversations with few of my neighbors about their concerns or the priorities of the area we call home.
There is an entire year outside of Election Day, and those who live in urban centers must remember the groundwork for political victories takes place long before we post our “I Voted” selfies and shame those who don’t. Without that groundwork, without more attention to and investment in our neighbors and communities, red state progressives will continue to be stimulated by candidates who tumble onto the ballot with tremendous national backing and fanfare, followed by the inevitable letdown and disillusionment.
But that’s what tumblers (including those who run Tumblr) do: They find themselves in positions of power and become knee-jerking letdowns for the masses.