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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