(from ABC’s reality-ish show Wife Swap.)
BACON IS GOOD FOR ME!!
SHE’S ACT LIKE SHE’S THE QUEEN AN’ WE’RE THE SORRY PEOPLE!
So, about two weeks ago, I wrote a virtriolic, nasty, sarcastic piece called “I Am Not An American”, where I basically (sarcastically) declared that I must not be an American because I believe in things like health care and equality, and not in things like, say, Glenn Beck or death panels. Or bacon. Though I do like bacon.
It wasn’t too badly written, but it lasted all of about five minutes on this site. I deleted it almost instantly. I freaked out. It was too nasty, too partisan, too…. well, let’s put it this way: Michael Moore could’ve written it, though he probably wouldn’t be allowed to make any more movies after he did.
I excused it at the time because I really, really want universal health care. Really bad. It’s understandable, I think, considering things that have happened to me via private insurers (which, on the scale of things, aren’t all that bad compared to some things you read.) I’ve written about all this before. So: when I see my fellow citizens holding offensive signs and crying “socialism!” and basically being assholes in the name of freedom, I get a little pissed off. Because, essentially, they’re standing up for the “freedom” to deny someone like me a chance at a healthy, normal life. They’re ignorant bullies and I hate them.
And that’s what this post – that I so swiftly deleted – was about: how, apparently an “American” wasn’t someone who lived in and loved this country and was guaranteed life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, it meant a fat, white, selfish idiot yelling “I GOT MINE, SCREW YOU, HIPPY!” while cashing his unemployment check. And how’d he get unemployed in the first place? Well, the CEO of his company decided it was cheaper to make stuff in India, so he laid off thousands of his loyal American workers and gave himself a pay raise. But if you asked Bubba over here, he’d still blame the Mexicans. So, understandably, as somebody who prides themselves in thinking logically, I started to feel a little alienated. And that’s where this all came from.
Except… it’s all stereotypes, isn’t it? Sure, there are some people like that in this world, just like there are some lazy Mexicans or some black criminals or some Irish drunks. Stereotypes serve a certain purpose, and they can even be helpful in helping us process information, just so long as we also learn to move past the stereotype and get to know people. Are these “tea-partiers” upset at the wrong people? Definitely. Is it because they get a steady stream of misinformation from Fox News, et al? Totally. And yet…
My iPod fried itself two days ago. I don’t blame Rush Limbaugh for this, I blame iTunes 9. No one seems to have anything nice to say about iTunes 9. It took one look at my iPod Classic, went “HUMPER-DUMPER-DOO!” and corrupted my library file. This means I’ve had to listen to – gasp – the radio on the way to work, and not, say, last nights episode of Countdown with Keith Olbermann.
I’ve noticed something about myself in the past two days. One: I have a nasty headcold, but that’s understandable because it’s September. (Every March and September, I get sick. I don’t know why this is.) Two: I find it a lot easier to deal with people.
Seriously. For a while there, every time I met someone new, I tried to figure out what their political persuasion was. I judged them almost demographically based on age and place of origin, and then tried to listen for key words. Was this person a tea-bagger? Are they coming to deny me health care? Are they bringing a gun into the federal office I currently work in so they can “WATER THE TREE OF LIBERTY WITH THE BLOOD OF TYRANTS”, or in this case, Park Rangers? Suffice to say, I freaked out a little bit. A woman actually did come into the place I work, going on and on about how they’re “taking away our freedom.” I played it very, very, very calm. Inside, I wanted to scream at her.
The point being that, even though I agree with Keith most of the time, the steady stream of partisan fear I was downloading into my skull every morning on the way to work was driving me a bit nanners. And if I’m going to hate someone who believes everything that the egomaniacal charlatan Glenn Beck tells them, I’d better watch out before I become someone who believes everything he hears on MSNBC without checking the facts.
So: is there a lot of vitriol out there directed towards the President? Yes. Is any of it based in fact? Not much. Is this a wide-spread movement of millions of people holding muskets thinking they’re going to start the next American Revolution? Well, it’s not that wide spread. There are some loon-bats out there, to be sure. But they’re not everywhere.
The point is: my obsession with politics has gotten in the way of me enjoying my life. I really need to stop for a while. Or forever.