Talking Politics is a Dead End Game, but I Want People to Not Hate Each Other

Ever since choosing to only write two posts a week, it’s been much harder to post.

And this week—well, it’s much harder than most. The election finished but no one won. The viciousness and personal hatred of this election is unlike anything in my experience, and the ugliest part of our culture. How much do you hate the other party, strictly from the judgement of one word? That’s how much I hate every single one of you all the time, says the misanthrope. In other words, we all lost.

And yet, despite the rhetoric on television and online, where people genuinely refuse to recognize any humanity in the ‘other’ side (when they’re exactly the same, really, just differently labeled), when I’m actually interacting with people, in real life: conversations face to face, we all passionately agree that politics has become irreparable.

Guess what. We didn’t blame the politicians. Who lets them get away with this? Every single voter, who make it personal on the micro level without holding the ones actually making decisions accountable.

Well, I don’t really blame myself. Despite how often I hear ‘every vote counts’, mine really doesn’t. I live in northern California, the only choices are made by the great metropolises of Los Angeles and Bay Area. But I have voted on every single ballot since I registered, which I did at eighteen. It is what you do in my family. The only reason my mom registered at nineteen was because that was the year they amended the constitution and brought the age down. I will accept no reason for not voting…at least in part because in this election you must have known something about the presidents. Likely nothing true, and probably nothing truly relevant. But something.

Now see, if I were in charge, you’d have to prove you could think before voting. and you couldn’t be generally stupid in other ways. Also, education on the issues would be mandatory. You wouldn’t have to agree on issues, but voting on anything other than the issues or only based on media coverage. Or else. (This is why I’m not in charge of anything.)

Of course, this also relates to the positions I hold theoretically, but could never espouse for real people, real situations: the whole, “I may not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”

So yes, I had a delightful conversation in a coffee shop with my friend on politics—though we hardly agree on everything—but then we were joined by two other women who were also actively engaged and interested and passionate. And we had great fun talking about politics when we clearly all fell on different political axes* but we never never never tried to tell each other we were wrong about the little things, because we realized there were far more important problems than who belonged to what party. There used to be a phrase, something like ‘vote policy, not party,’ only it sounds better. It’s not advice anyone is supposed to follow anymore. Wonder why nothing works?

*”Axes (/ˈæksiːz/), the plural of axis, is pronounced differently from axes (/ˈæksɨz/), the plural of ax(e).” Wikipedia

I’ve yet to catch up on Elementary, which I saw the pilot of and didn’t like, but wanted to give another chance. By chance, I’m watching the sixth episode. For a moment, I thought they’d brought back a Holmes who genuinely cared about people, which the original did, and I was impressed. Spoilers: they haven’t. Well, not really, but that’s mostly due to the actor. (Aw, he has daddy issues! Do people really think this is original still? I hope not.)

111 Words of Speechlessness

More disappointment from the so-called ‘debates’. Is that enough equivocation for you? Both a so-called and scare quotes, but it’s all verbal violence and no education. Clearly the “Debate Association” or whatever the moderator called them in the beginning should just give up and go home. Just hand it all over to the media companies, that’s what they’ve done in spirit anyway.

I’m sure they got plenty of soundbites, but all in avoidance and rehearsed campaign speeches. What’s the point of even getting the candidates into the same space—with the expense and time—when they aren’t listening or responding to each other. And I didn’t tune in to hear the moderateor talk.

scare quotes around "yes we can"

 

 

Another (Short) Take on Politics

In this case, very short.

 

Because I’m not watching the Vice President debate.

 

Honestly, I meant to. First I had to finish taking my notes from The Googlization of Everything, because it gave me so much to talk about and it was absolutely due today. By the time I got back from the library, the debate had started.

 

At that point, even though I saw not even a minute’s worth, it was clear the moderator wasn’t doing any moderating. And I heard Biden claim that although Ryan was surely generous with people (not the best time for sarcasm) he wasn’t very generous to the car companies! Umm. Biden, you should know I consider people rather more important than  ‘supporting’ an industry. That’s about all then. I had to eat dinner.

 

Vice President of the United States John C. Ca...

 

Afterward…well. I heard a bit more. Let’s just say the moderator hadn’t gotten any better, and Biden, frankly, was being a jerk. He showed himself completely incapable of waiting through a discussion, which is just impolite…to say the least. It’s a debate, not an argument on the street. The point is to educate the public, even if it’s just those who will listen, not just create sound bites. Considering the provocation, Ryan seemed to be handling it well. Like I said, I didn’t watch much of the “debate.” So much for the lovely first debate between Obama and Romney; I agree with Ben Stein’s assessment  it was probably one of the most dignified and sincere in recent times. It looks like that’s over now.

Sigh. Can you imagine genuine discourse anymore? I’m not sure I can.

 

Snark Alert! My brother pointed out Biden smiles like the devil himself in Reaper. That particular version is terribly affable, but still terrible. Biden, you’re creep’n me out.

 

 

Strange Things WP Wants Me To Do

Tag everything with gaming, climate, nature, vacation, travel, politics.

Now, I* know I’ve mentioned politics, though I generally try to avoid it: I’d hate to lose a job because we can’t have reasonable discussions anymore. Though I the candidates impressed me during last night’s debate, as they each seem to have more of a sense of humor than all of their proponents combined. So it’s probably just that they’re better actors than all of their proponents combined; though I think civility is a good thing to act at, even if you can’t be sincere.

I may have mentioned that I play the Sims games, occasionally—that is, I may have occasionally mentioned that I occasionally play the Sims. But I think most gamers don’t call that gaming.

As for nature, I like it well enough. Sometimes enough to go out in it. Hiking is nice, except for the bugs and the fact I’m entirely out of shape. And I’m not much of a traveler because I’m neurotically impecunious and traveling alone makes me sad. Up here in the high desert, there isn’t much to say about the climate, except it’s been hotter longer this year and we’re still in a drought. Even for a desert.

Still I don’t think I’ve ever managed a post that could be tagged with all of those words at once. Until now anyway.

A neighborhood in The Sims consists of a singl...

A neighborhood in The Sims consists of a single screen displaying all playable houses. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Other things WP tries to get me to do: put an umlaut on create (crëate) and vacuum (vacuüm). As we appropriated those words from the German roots quite a long time ago now, I’m resistant to spearhead the efforts to bring them back, much as I like the word umlaut.

WP also thinks I should be erotically impecunious, instead of neurotically so. I’m not that exciting, though. FYI.

*Also, all of me, or at least my brain thinks this, and not just my eye. Thank’s for trying to help me out there, WP. I had to check that one.

So here’s my gaming, climate, nature, vacation, travel, politics. Maybe now the next few suggestions will be appropriate for the post.

Oh, and I’m not trying to pick on WordPress, really. But every time these things shows up, it amuses me. And it demonstrates why you should never, ever, rely on a spelling or grammar check.

Let’s Not Talk Politics, Talk About Sex!

 

It bothers me that we worry more about talking about politics in public than sex. Mostly because I find sex fairly irrelevant except for the participants.

But considering how concerned people are with what’s going on in other people’s bedrooms (or wherever), I don’t know why we can’t talk about politics.

For example, one of the creepy shows on TLC (remember when it was The Learning Channel? haven’t I mentioned that before?) was about fetishes. Well, okay, why not? If you’ve got a fetish that’s a little out there, it might be comforting to be introduced to others like yourself: although one would think with the rise of the internet it’d be less necessary, and less freak show—all right, I do know TLC only airs it for the freak show reason. Look at these weird people, aren’t you glad to be normal?

So uncomfortable.

But most awkward was a point where the subject of the episode talked about how he’d “come out” to his family and friends about his fetish, which was balloons. I don’t object to anyone having a fetish. Not my business, right? But to announce to family and friends what you like to do on your own time is just too much information. That’s not coming out. Coming out as gay, for example, may be important, because parents and friends might not expect it. For a friend they may want contact information for the parents, for a significant other they’re going to want to give the talk, and you don’t want to confuse the two. Announcing you’re aroused by balloons means I’ll never invite you to a birthday party. What you think about balloons, unless I’m a romantic partner, is never going to be relevant to me.

I’m not the only with with issues with our glorification of over-sharing in our culture.

But if we can talk about what you want to do to balloons, or statues, or cars, why can’t we talk about politics?

For example, and this relates to my post on audience behavior from a few weeks ago, I saw a clip of Romney making a reference to the Americans killed in the embassy attacks, and some guy, probably a college kid thinking he was actually making a point, started yelling from the audience about, I don’t know, not politicizing Libya.

You know what? Politicians may not be the best suited at giving honor to those who’ve given their lives for the country. We have demanded that they do, however, and so every politician is and should be talking about that loss. You, kid, are not standing up for any grand social right, you are disrespecting those killed.

 

Breaking News: Akin is a Moron (No, really!)

Usually I try not to mention anything even involving politics because there’s no possibility of real discussion on the internet, but then I remembered I posted three times last week that I wasn’t going to apologize for having opinions anymore. Nevertheless, this post isn’t about my political beliefs, but about the general stupidity of what passes for ‘political discourse’ in this country.

Much as I love words, I don’t think talking any more about Todd Akin will accomplish anything.

What he said was stupid, absurd, and awful. There you go. That’s all that needs to be said. The continued coverage as though it goes any further than that implies there is room for debate. There isn’t. What he said was WRONG in every way.

And you know what? He’s trying to get elected. What’s the solution?

DON’T VOTE FOR HIM

That’s why we have a system of representative government. So when an idiot wants to be in charge you can tell him no. Or ‘over my dead body’.

I saw a clip of an interview he did on GMA this morning and apparently all he wanted to say was that he didn’t like abortion? Not sure how he even got from one to the other, but whatever. That was the political opinion, and you don’t have to vote for him either.

Only Missourians can keep him out of office. So there’s no room for national outrage unless he is elected to the Senate. Then maybe the rest of use could call our Senators and tell them not to vote for anything he puts forward, especially if it’s anything related to humanity (I don’t know his position on infrastructure, but considering science knows pretty well how pregnancy works and he hasn’t a clue, I wouldn’t trust that either).

Why is everyone worried? Because no one votes.

Fifteen percent of eligible voters voted in California in the primaries. 15% Admittedly, this is because there’s almost no point in voting during the primaries in California because of whoever decided that they shouldn’t be all on the same day and by the time it gets here we don’t really have a choice. But we still have the largest population…maybe we could get it changed. If anyone actually voted.