Technology is such a wondrous thing, isn't it? It kept us apprised, moment by moment, of the running tally as the electoral college descended into nightmare; it let us spread our opinion and dismay while triumphant alt-right activists filled Twitter and Facebook with offensive memes about Michelle Obama; it's given us a front row seat as the media starts to normalize the White House appointment of Steve Bannon ... and now we're all feeling like a return to the 19th century, or possibly the Stone Age, would help us keep our sanity. But not so fast. Let's not be hasty. Technology might help us through these troubled times, both by protecting us and giving us a chance to get really, really drunk.
OK, so this list isn't entirely serious (until it is). But I'm ready to prepare myself for the worst, and if that involves knowing stuff about getting around government censorship and waiting for products that can punch racists in the face through the computer, that's perfectly cool with me!
Here are seven pieces of anti-Trump technology, some of which are pure fantasy — but would still help the country survive the next four years nonetheless.
Smart Earbuds To Tune Out All The BullSh*t
We are, as Zoe Williams explained in the Guardian, at a point where we must genuinely look at the debates we're expected to have and wonder at why we're expected to have them at all: "If we are really going to go back to square one and have to explain why grabbing a woman by the pussy is a violation of her human dignity, or why you can’t ban an entire religion from your shores, where does that end? What territory have you ceded just by allowing the question?"
In that spirit, it's worth getting yourself some smart headphones that can be programmed to tune out, oh, I don't know, constant hate speech, words like "locker room talk" or "giant wall," or anybody telling you you're a useless weakling special snowflake, for maybe five minutes a day. For five minutes you can tune out your anger and disbelief, and listen to the sound of the world without the added commentary of white supremacists layered on top of it. Then you can turn it off, get mad all over again, and go have arguments you thought were settled 50 years ago. Whee!
An Ultrasonic Rape Whistle
We have now officially entered an era in which a person legally accused of 12 cases of sexual assault, and caught on tape talking explicitly about past situations in which he'd grabbed women's genitalia, is viewed as a perfectly cool head of state. If you think this isn't going to empower rapists and people who think sexual assault is a good way to spend a Saturday night, you're dreaming.
Invest in the newest, weirdest rape whistles you can find. There's one that came out in 2015 that works to notify campus police immediately; get others that come out with the promise to burst the eardrums of offenders, or attract wolves to your location, or set everything on fire. Hell, buy a portable flamethrower and use that as well.
An Auto Redial App To Your Congress Representative
Fortunately, this one already exists. And while it may prove increasingly likely that your elected officials decide to collaborate and "try to compromise," it may, in the future, be worth giving them a frequent and aggravating reminder that they really, really shouldn't do that. Set up an app that will auto redial back to their offices; keep talking to their staff constantly; send them Christmas cards, develop deep friendships with their secretaries, and leave messages in everything from haiku to villanelles. In case they think you're just one lone crazy person, get everybody else to do it too. Having 40,000 constituents clogging up the phones might get something done eventually.
A High-Tech Safe For Birth Control
Hey, you might need it for any literature that becomes banned, or evidence that you know an illegal immigrant, or feminist tracts that contravene the beliefs of Trump's chief counsel, or your passport and money to leave at a moment's notice, or innocuous discussions of the Second Amendment that will otherwise get you locked up in a psychiatric hospital, as happened to a Rutgers professor yesterday! And let's not forget birth control, which you may need to stockpile like it's heroin or an AK47. Keep your sh*t locked down with the best safes on the market, and add a few hidey-holes around the house just for kicks. Bonus points: make all the passwords really insulting to any deportation or surveillance agent who has to open them.
If at any point a Trump government is even vaguely competent enough to organize a surveillance force, you might want to stymy them a little. There's a good product called Cyborg Unplug available on the market (but, surprise surprise, not to people in the U.S.) that encrypts your web traffic, blocks any network streaming from your surrounding area by possible bugs, and can be used to safely share files without being noticed. In the absence of that, encrypt the hell out of your internet browsing, figure out how to detect hidden wireless networks in your area, and only talk about politics with loud music turned WAY up.
A Way To Get Past Government-Blocked Websites
What exactly Trump would block remains unclear (Twitter will likely remain open until the day of the Apocalypse, so that he can tell us exactly what he thinks about the people marching on the White House — "ugly losers!"), but non-democratic governments do have a nasty tendency of blocking websites they don't think are particularly flattering or useful. China's been operating a censorship model on the country's internet that's proved so effective, in controlling the discourse and keeping people toeing the party line, that Russia has asked it for advice. If you want to still browse Everyday Feminism or Al Jazeera in peace, now might be a good time to learn how to get around government blocks on specific websites using VPNs or other means.
A Brewing Apparatus To Keep You In Booze
Hey, even if the economy collapses, or Trump's envoys insult Scotland enough to completely block the country's ability to import whiskey (and Scotland hates him enough already), you're going to need booze. A lot of it. And there's no point risking that necessity. Home brewing is legal in all 50 states, though regulation differs on a regional basis, and you can pick up stills and brewing kits pretty easily online. Who knows? You might discover you have a talent for gin-making that gets you through the long, daft nights watching the country's government implode on television. Hey, we said stay angry, not necessarily stay sober.