If I had to pinpoint one remark Meryl Streep made the evening of the 2017 Human Rights Campaign Gala — which, mind you, is terribly difficult considering every other phrase that comes out of Meryl’s mouth is wise beyond its time (and if you haven’t seen her speech, I highly recommend the 25 minutes of your time) — it would be this: “If we live through this precarious moment, if his catastrophic instinct to retaliate doesn’t lead us to nuclear winter, we will have much to thank our current leader for. He will have woken us up to how fragile freedom is.”  Hello, REALITY CHECK. While I’m a fan keeping my head in the clouds, I’m a firm believer in the fact that being in a state of dissatisfaction (regardless of whether it’s concerning a grave matter like the present political disaster or something more on the lighter end of the spectrum, like the accumulation of what I thought was a beautiful chaos of art above my headboard might actually just be, well, chaos) yields newfound creativity and ultimately necessary change. In addition, I’ve been personally challenged as a victim of assumption, where laws I had originally thought were in place to protect us from such evils are simply house — no pun intended? — rules. If you want to become President of the United States, you must release your tax returns and — my favorite — honor the truth. Any child could challenge or complete disobey those rules at his or her own will, especially if he or she lacks complete disrespect for their caregivers. So it was a slap in the face, a cold shower to a dormant body, a shrieking cock-a-mother-fucking-doodle-do-at-4AM when she referred to our current 45th president as someone we should actually thank for our dissatisfaction and ruthless “rule” breaking. Whoa.


Talun Zeitoun wearing a black tie outfit in New York City

Men's black tie outfit

Men's black tie outfit in New York City

But I couldn’t agree more. I said in this post that political posts on my blog are rare, but when there’s currently a silver lining between extreme politics that have the country in the palms of their hands and humanity, it’s difficult not to take the catastrophe and speak about it in a personal way on a personal medium through personal content — it affects us all so greatly and trickles down the tunnel of self-expression (whatever that may be) so easily. When we’re not in an environment that feels comfortable, we, of course, feel the exact opposite. I see it in the streets; I feel it in people’s agitation getting their morning coffee; I see it in people’s day-to-day moods… and rightfully so! It’s attacking our subconscious. And many of us don’t have an option to migrate north or south or wherever like flocks of geese or pods of whales when a season isn’t agreeable. I’M ON EDGE. WE’RE ALL ON EDGE! But as a whole — looking at things positively (as we must) — in our collective state of discomfort and dissatisfaction, we resorted those energies to call our government and exercised our right to protest, and we continue to rock the White House to feel our incredible sense of anger, unease, and sheer embarrassment.

Men's black tie outfit in New York City

Talun Zeitoun wearing a black tie outfit

Because I was so ignorant to “how fragile freedom is,” living in the United States, I sincerely took it for granted. So in working together to rebuild the bars of steel around it, my first step in that process may seem like much of a no-brainer, but when truth and reality are on the fence, education (be it self-taught, in the classroom, or in conversation) is more crucial now than ever. As I’ve alluded to in my last (hate to say it) “political” post, getting involved comes second and how one chooses do so is completely at his or her discretion; but mine started by working with the Human Rights Campaign to use my platforms as a means to raise its awareness (you can learn more about it here). And finally, as we’re all individuals, any ideas or thoughts we can passionately realize, or hobby that we can pursue, or forms of art that we can create is a form of expression that the world needs. In time, what we create and what we say — be it directly or indirectly related to whatever — inspires others to do the same. Certain of those “others” may be those that hold keys to inventions built to attack many of the world’s needs and solve many of its problems. That’s what Meryl Streep did for me (and many others, I presume) in her brilliant and eloquent use of the English vocabulary speaking that night. Poetry, essentially.

Men's black tie outfit in New York City worn by Talun Zeitoun