Chicagoans carried a heavy heart this week after President Obama delivered his Farewell Address in the very town where he began his political career. Last weekend, Meryl Streep quoted Carrie Fisher during her acceptance speech for the lifetime achievement award: “Take your broken heart and make it into art.”
We take the advice of these wise people as we face the impending, frightening reality of next week: Inauguration Day 2017.
We’ve all read the news articles and the op-ed pieces. We’ve listened to the talk radio shows and the podcasts. We’ve watched the satirical news clips with Daily Show alumni John Oliver, Samantha Bee, and Stephen Colbert. We’ve talked to family and friends about, well, what all of this means.
In undergrad, I remember reading Audre Lorde’s 1981 essay “The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism.” That was a few years ago but I still find it easy to remember the line “anger is loaded with information and energy.”
Last week, I listened to Bruce Springsteen’s interview on Marc Maron’s podcast: they spoke about their issues growing up with absent fathers, which ignited both a frustration and an ambition. They spoke about the election. But to paraphrase Bruce, frustration and anger can form a powerful weapon — if you know how to wield its flame and aim it.
Here’s a playlist for when we harness anger, frustration, ambition, and even despair into a tool for enacting change, resisting, making art, making our voices heard, and for remembering that “Yes We Can” isn’t limited to eight years. Let’s remember to aim our fire in the right direction.