i think i’ve given up on political blogging, and also humanity

23 Sep

(from ABC’s reality-ish show Wife Swap.)



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.

1 Comment

Posted by on September 23, 2009 in Uncategorized


One response to “i think i’ve given up on political blogging, and also humanity

  1. fever2tell

    September 24, 2009 at 9:56 am

    I love when you stay home sick and write ranty blog entries all day…

    But really, you have to remember this… there have always been crazy ass militia people and religious right wingers in this country. If you really think about it, domestically the 90s were a lot scarier (remember Wacco Texas and the Oklahoma City bombing? Yikes!) the only difference is that this still small chorus of voices has only been made louder by the internet and 24 hour cable news, making them seem bigger and scarier than they are in reality. Think about it, a religious whack-job doing something nutty makes for better TV on the 10pm news than a kitten getting stuck in a tree and rescued by a firefighter. Television really exploits the crazies of the world because surprise… it gets ratings!

    In most small towns there are more kitties being rescued and old ladies being helped by boy scouts and people going to town meetings that look a heck of a lot more like the one we attended instead of an episode of Jerry Springer. Think about it though, if CNN was at the Somerville town meeting all they would have done was show shots of the LaRouche ass-hats outside and a sound bite of that one crazy lady talking to John Kerry because if we are shocked, we’ll get scared, and if we’re scared we’ll watch CNN all bloody day long. Even though those small moments did not characterize the ethos of the town hall meeting, that’s what they show on TV, and that’s what the rest of the nation sees. That doesn’t mean it is accurate. Get this… there is even an article in Salon (OK, not the most unbiased news source, but whatever) about how most of the general public does not believe the lies about ‘death panels” etc.

    There is one saying that I keep repeating to myself when I get upset about things like this, and it is a saying you said to me once that I found profoundly comforting. We were watching Milk together and at one point I started to cry over all the injustice gay people faced and still face today. You said, “Don’t worry, bigots may win battles in the short term, but in the long time they always lose.” I have to believe this is true because history tells me it is true. If hate truly wins in the long term then there would still be slavery in this country. I just can’t accept that the worst of human nature will triumph in the long run. You shouldn’t either. Keep hoping, keep working, keep getting angry. If you give up, then you really are letting the most ignorant and hateful amongst us call the shots.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: