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Archive for July, 2010|Monthly archive page

Finish Line

In Uncategorized on July 18, 2010 at 8:54 pm

“I hate mankind, for I think myself one of the best of them, and I know how bad I am.” ~Joseph Baretti

Her: and why doesn’t our fucking state have early voting? Or is it just my borough?

Me: Nope. Everywhere. I already voted though. Guess who I voted for?

Her: Did you vote with your heart?

Me: Yes, with my heart. My heart says, “I’m a socialist”

Her: “and a terrorist”

**

Torrie and I recently had a conversation about the random acts of ignorance we’ve both been privy to over the past months. There’s a difference between genuinely disliking a candidate’s policies and then being able to name one of those policies – any policy – showing that research and thought has been given to the decision and disliking a candidate – for ANY office – based on race, creed, gender, sexual orientation or whether or not they prefer their carrots cooked (vomit) or raw. As partisan as I am, I give very little thought to how someone votes. I really do not care. If you are die hard pro-life and that drives your decision process for who to vote for then good for you*, but the second you refer to me as a “baby killer” because I am pro-choice, is the second I laugh in your face. Any other word that comes from your lips will be tantamount to busting out in 17th century Gaelic. I will have to no idea what you’re saying since you have chosen to say such asinine and thoughtless bullshit. It falls on both sides of the aisle I wouldn’t refer to someone as a facist or racist or bigot unless there was concrete evidence of such behavior and I wouldn’t expect for someone to call me – or the candidate I’m supporting – a misogynist, a socialist or a Muslim terrorist.

*But that doesn’t keep me from talking about you later but I wouldn’t call you mean names to your face I might just ridicule you from afar if you start on that ‘health of the mother’ (in airquotes of course) bullshit. Still! Not that bad!

It’s like trying to have a conversation with a six year old. Everything is going well and you’re discussing Hans Solo versus Yoda and it’s all good until I say that I really like Hans Solo. In return you flop on the floor because I had the nerve to disagree with you on why Yoda can be slightly irritating and instead of a respectful disagreement you start calling me stupid and a dumbass because OMFG YOU ARE RIGHT AND I AM WRONG and the only way for you to convey just how right you are is by calling me wrong.

Children fight and argue and behave in such petulant ways that I have been witness to over the past two years. Children behave that way because they don’t have the vocabulary that adults are equipped with in order to convey their thoughts clearly and fully. Not that all adults are perfect nor do they always say exactly what they mean the first time they say it but when unable to adequately communicate how they feel one would suspect that said adult goes back to think a little because WE’RE FUCKING ADULTS. Ergo, it’s impossible for me to think that resorting to name calling and throwing a temper tantrums and hanging effigies of a candidate is the proper way to express a dislike of someone’s political positions.

The past two years started so calmly: Polite conversations that have turned into name calling and behavior typical of three year olds. And by adults. Fucking adults. It boggles the mind how several people who are supposed to be intelligent and otherwise competent people can turn to me minutes later and say that they won’t vote for Barack Obama because he is a “muslim terrorist” and I want to shove my foot in the face (see? I’m no better) of the person who said to my face that he was going to destroy Israel.

The thing is that I had never encountered ‘those people’ until after my conversation with Torrie. The conversation that we had where I gave myself a pat on the back for being so progressive and non-judgmental. The conversation where Torrie had to point out to me that perhaps I am slightly close-minded because I only surround myself with people who are relatively like me – current and former city dwellers, somewhat progressive, rampant travelers, people with a good grasp of politics and well read – thus rendering judgment and sometimes a hearty eye roll towards people who have lived in Deliverance country for their entire loves. Clearly I’m not all that open minded when I show off my righteous indignation and mockery towards people who think that Syracuse is a major city. Of course I’d never thought of that because I am right and perfect 100% of the time. Regardless only friends of friends knew people who were so clueless to believe something about a candidate, which had been refuted by every major news network. So when I was faced with actually knowing someone who thinks that Barack Obama is a Muslim terrorist it was with an amount of incredulousness ever experienced; for surely I could not know someone who believed such a massive amount of bullshit.

I sat in silence when I found this out. It wasn’t said directly to me, thank God. And my first instinct was anger and name calling, even though all rational thought pointed to calmly telling this otherwise kind and respectful person that she needs to try experiencing the evening news instead of re-watching episodes of America’s Next Top Model. So that is my answer to the question of what to do in such a situation: To seriously contemplate resorting to listening to my gut instinct and hit below the belt OR! I could be calm and thoughtful while keeping my grievances about this person and the amount of helium taking up perfectly good space in their brain, to myself

Perhaps this is another sign of maturity that continues to creep up on me when I least expect it, but as humans we are driven by instinct: To protect or to defend or to recoil in fear. But perhaps a little less instinct and defensiveness is needed. Or so I’m starting to believe after the past years, months and weeks. I’m finding that sitting down to calmly explain, to think a little, to open my mind, to try to see from the other side, to do a little less eye rolling and a little more listening, to read more – well, I’m finding all of those approaches far more satisfactory than the inclination to give a good punch to the gut.

I think that after two years the back and forth and vitriol has reached is pinnacle. We’ve hit the climax of being as fucking vicious to the other side as we can possibly be. I’m ready for people to calm the fuck down and get off their periods. As much as I love children, I like them best when they’re being well behaved and have their heads firmly intact instead of getting in such a tizzy that the entire thing falls to floor. And I feel the same way towards adults. Stop with the bickering. Male or Female try popping a Midol or feel free to use my patented remedy towards calm behavior; a shot of Grey Goose with a klonopin chaser. Whatever.

Take a few deep breaths.

We’re almost there.

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I have no words for this

In Uncategorized on July 18, 2010 at 8:53 pm

“Your ignorance cramps my conversation. ” ~Anthony Hope

If someone close to you – a family member, coworker, friend – came up to you and sincerely thought that Barack Obama is a Muslim terrorist; how would you respond? Would you feel it is your civic duty to set them straight or would you IGNORE, IGNORE, IGNORE and then drink?

The Rules of Engagement

In Uncategorized on July 18, 2010 at 8:52 pm

Now with bonus head-exploding addendum!

“When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I’m beginning to believe it.” ~Clarence Darrow

I’m 24 and I could probably tell the average 34 year old more about politics in 30 minute pedicure session all the while blissfully reading this week’s US Weekly and interjecting with my thoughts on Speidi after flipping each page. I’m not an expert on politics; electoral, congressional, presidential, gubernatorial, none of it, but I feel like I need to say very slowly to some members of our studio audience that there are people – me – who actually go to school to study the science of politics and then they end up with careers in that particular field. There are actual people in the world who discuss politics each and every single day to the point where if they go home and have to read the regurgitated, hyperbolic, misinformed bullshit from people who suddenly decided to pick up the newspaper – apologies, it’s 2008, so by ‘newspaper’ I mean blog – then their heads will explode. Death by Ignorance.

And while I commend people for taking the time to now get informed on issues that others have been engrossed in for decades, I don’t appreciate taking a stance on an issue based on a wikipedia entry or deciding on who to vote for because someone sports the same genitalia that you sport.

Yesterday evening I got angry. Like irate over the presence of a photo on Flickr of a McPalin sign. Which is fine, if you agree with someone on the issues then that is fine but don’t then get huffy and menacing and have your wittle baby feelings hurt when people start to question you or offer dissenting opinions. Especially if your ‘post’ on why you support them leaves much to be desired. And when people voice their valid opinions and ask you WHY then don’t go off and stomp your feet and say that people are so fucking rude. They aren’t being rude they’re asking questions and if you’re going to broadcast your political affiliation then at least be prepared to answer simple god damn questions.

There are bits and pieces to both candidates that are imperfect and their stances are still being worked out. Fuck, Barack Obama once proudly supported school choice and vouchers but at least I am able to wade through his positions and tell you which onces I can wholeheartedly support and which make me feel like he’s raking his nails across a chalkboard just to see me flinch. And so if McPalin is your choice fine, go right on ahead and vote for them, that’s the great thing about Democracy but be able to back up your reasoning and do not, I repeat do not, get offended when someone tries to tell you otherwise. That’s the great thing about America; people are allowed to argue and fight their point until their blue in the face. But you don’t want to look like some dumbshit who just yesterday discovered television.

All of this angry and need to put my foot down came after a post that Stara wrote that was incendiary even if she didn’t mean for it to be as such but was also well thought out and frankly, I was proud of her for putting herself out there. But the comments she received left my mouth gaping and possibly drooling that people would actually use in an argument “Can you please not offend me personally”. I hope that one day Chuck Todd interviews someone and when he presents that person with a truthful and fair argument I hope that the interviewee stops the interview and says “Um, this argument you’re presenting me with offends my delicate sensibilities, could you please stop?” I hope he does stop and then apologizes and then they hold hands and walk off into the sunset.

I’m going to cut and paste exactly what I told Stara and leave you with this so I can go walk around and breathe and appreciate literacy. I wrote this right before the irritation of utter stupidity caused so much pressure in my head that my brain shot out through my eye sockets and left nostril:

I’m just sick of fucking sanctimonious, self-righteous people who suddenly are interested in politics and think that they are brilliant or know what the fuck they’re talking about. Try doing this every god damn day as a fucking career. If any of these people had to do this for a LIVING, they would be curled up in the fetal position whimpering for their mommies because the mean man made them cry because they couldn’t adequately argue their positions and they keep getting hammered on it. I don’t write about politics and it’s my fucking job. You know why? Because I am an expert in one thing: [redacted]. That is all. So I’m not about to argue any position but I do compliment people who write well thought out posts on a subject that they have clearly researched. But don’t come and comment on those posts with some bullshit because it personally offends you. That’s not what politics is about.

Addendum and I swear I’ll be done after this:

So there’s this chick on Flickr who is all Ra-Ra! McPalin. In her description all she says is that she loves them and loves Sarah Palin the end. When people in her comments section ask why she gets all up in arms because OMFG People had the nerve to ask her a question about why she is supporting who she is supporting. And then she got an attitude with me so I copped an attitude right back saying that it kind of comes with the territory: If you post something political people MIGHT ask why you’re supporting who you are supporting. This was her response back to me:

I’m sorry but stating “no one has given any real reason for
why they like her” is ignorant and then asking me why I do
is insulting. There are many reasons why I and many others
like her and showing my support doesn’t mean I have to make
a list for other people to respect my choice. I and
disagree that it comes w/the territory. It only comes with
it when those types of personality come into play. I figure
that people who like Obama have learned about him and choose
to like him anyway…I dont ask them why. Do I need to past
a test w/everybody to show I have researched her and
therefore am allowed to like her?