Is it the sickness devouring my nation’s soul that has me feeling this way? Or food poisoning?

At first I thought it might be the news that was making me feel sick. The radio alarm was set to NPR’s Morning Edition, which as usual spewed stories of the worsening darkness. This morning, it did not feel good.

It felt bad to be reminded that for the rest of my life, the Supreme Court will be dominated by conservative ideologues whose strict interpretation of the Constitution somehow always serves corporate interests. Facing the repercussions, I felt queasy. The most important social gains of my lifetime—women’s rights, voting rights for minorities, gay rights, health-care reform, environmental regulation—are threatened by lawsuits coast to coast, and now face a bleak future. Groan.

I dragged myself out of bed to pick up the New York Times. There, the news was even worse. Pres. Trump is headed to the NATO summit to meet with U.S. allies whom he has relentlessly ridiculed, and then to meet with the dictator he openly admires. Blecch. His other pal, Kim Jong Un, has snubbed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and, despite the June summit between North Korea’s dangerous leader and ours, that nation’s nuclear weapons program continues unabated.

Russian poison gas kills again in Great Britain, which teeters, facing Brexit. Trump administration opposes breastfeeding. Ugh. I realized—I am literally getting sick.

Turns out it was food poisoning. There was a violent episode. Feeling much better now, thanks.

I had to lie down for a while, so I turned on the radio to hear Democratic eminence Leon Panetta voice hope that the republic will survive, as long as Democrats realize that “they can’t afford to fight Republican extremism with Democratic extremism.” Yep—and that is getting harder to sell.

Feeling a little better, I switched to Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, which always cheers me up. Maron was talking to Boots Riley, the revolutionary hip-hop artist and director of the science fiction political comedy Sorry to Bother You. Riley talked about how he avoids work that gets bogged down in depression and anger. “It’s because I have an optimism that’s related to having an analysis of how things could change. Not saying we’re in a position to do that—but I can see a path.”

Damn, Boots. Thanks. Time to get to work.