“I felt a great infinite scream pass through nature,” Edvard Munch

Are we experiencing “an infinite scream passing through nature,” as Norwegian artist, Edvard Munch famously described? Filled with angst, anxiety, and alas, grievance, humanity seems engulfed in “an infinite scream,” and not just because it’s time for Halloween. We are being tested and discovering who we really are, as we start to accept that our physical condition is equally as important as our psychological condition. Munch reflected his anxiety, trauma, and depression on canvas, he painted his pain – he didn’t paint over it. Munch’s art expressed the moral and morbid aspects of human nature, our shared qualities and fundamental core behaviors. Although it seems like fear and habitats of hate are growing, we must honor our shared humanity, leaving no one isolated or, “shivering with fear.”

We are inundated with daily dilemmas that compete for our attention and action. It’s as if we are collectively in a version of the John Quiñones television show, What Would You Do? We are confronted with major dilemmas – will we take action or will we do nothing? Of course, we are not on a television show, John Quiñones is not going to appear with a camera crew, and the major dilemmas involve actual people, not actors. This is the reality of where we are…democracy and the health of the very planet we inhabit are in literal danger, and that’s just a couple of the major dilemmas we face. It’s not hyperbole to say that democracy is under siege, not in the Steven Seagal Under Siege kind of way, before he opted to regurgitate lies from a dick(tator) as if they were harmless lines from a script, but in the autocratic Putin Trump Orban white nationalist fascist kind of way, via the Republican Party.

Maintaining democracy is now a daily dilemma. And we all now have “what should I do” moments about democracy. What would you do if the capitol was attacked by an outgoing president trying to take power? What would you do if the same people who planned and participated in the insurrection to overthrow democracy were on the ballot running for office as Republicans? Would you act and save democracy by voting for Democrats? Would you do nothing by not voting? Or would you vote for Republicans and allow democracy to be eliminated? John Quiñones won’t be waiting nearby with a camera crew to ask you about your actions, and depending on how you choose to act, America may not still be a country in which journalists or artists are even allowed. When Norway was invaded by the Nazis in 1940, Hitler confiscated paintings by Edvard Munch because he decreed the artist’s painting as “degenerate.” Remember, fascists can get elected if people allow it. Election deniers are on the ballot across America. What art or people will they deem degenerate and have confiscated?

Our mental fortitude is being put through a hellish test, yet we cannot lose focus. This is not complicated: Voting for Democrats is voting for democracy. Voting for Republicans is voting against democracy and against your self interest…that is unless you are a white nationalists, fascist, or Kanye. Elon. Trump, the trifecta of names tweeted out by Republicans like Kanye. Elon. Trump, was band about to go on tour. Least we forget that Republicans referred to the violent January 6 insurrection as a “tour” as well. So, what are you going to do? Midterm elections are days away, will you abandon democracy leaving America screaming at a “blood red sky,” or will you vote to save democracy?

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