Here is why joy matters.

The new administration has wasted no time in showing what its priorities are.

This is why joy matters, and why joy, in Rebecca Solnit’s words, can be a “fine initial form of insurrection”. Scarcity—enforced scarcity—pits us against one another. Historically, that’s what states like this one have relied on. That we will be reduced, in our need and fear, to our most base actions. Joy is always surplus. It has no use. It will not feed us or keep us out of the rain; it will not keep us alive. But it is a way of refusing and of making absurd the demand and the supposition that, when resources are taken from us, most of us will react with miserliness, suspicion. Joy is not health insurance. It is not a paid grocery bill or rent. But it is a surprising and uncontrollable mode of refusal.