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Tag Archives: politics

1. We’re not dead yet!

2. Be kinder. But on the other hand, people who think climate change is fake are responsible for the continued destruction of our one and only goddamn beautiful planet Earth. So what can we really do?

3. Sparkles!

4. Politics is war.

5. Let’s all remember that one time in 2012 when Josh Tillman (Father John Misty) tweeted @ me about my dad being a fan COS WE ALL NEED SOME GOOD MEMORIES IN THIS DAY AND AGE

(shout out to Walmart’s wall of fake flowers and that black coat that kept me warm for several winters)

6. I see your 24-hour cold brew coffee and raise you my half-full of cold coffee french press which has been left abandoned on my desk for a week. Take that, hipster scum!

7. Grow a garden. Plant trees. Sunshine.

8. Read something by Alan Watts (or Carl Sagan or anyone)

9. Podcasts are great. Podcasts are radio? Who wants to make a podcast with me?! Does EVERYONE have a podcast?? Does the world NEED more podcasts??

10. We can win.

 

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The skies here are gray forever. The last dandelion of summer is gone from my walking trail. The season is on the edge, it is on the edge, we are all on the edge forever.

Somewhere in my father’s house there is a box of VHS tapes covered in the dust of a decade. My cartoon friends live there, abandoned on strips of film – baby happiness, streams of joy, dancing smiles, tea parties with friends and balloons.

The things that we love and cherish become vintage collectibles to be sold and then given to museums if they survive long enough to deserve a little placard with the date stamped on the face. Those are real things. We are real things.

We cannot say how the past should have been lived. I cannot tell you about my long-gone family. We have too many stories to share with our children. They forget most of them, passing down shorter and shorter sentences until there are no words left.

My grandfather standing at the top of the stairs. He brings us Kit-Kats and grapes. Cinnamon gum. My grandmother’s house. The smell of the basement laundry room. The yellow eyes of a black cat staring at me from the shadows. Black Cherry ice cream. A napkin holder with a picture of Jesus. A swinging chair. Purple was her favorite color.

If you start enough adventures, they never end. One after another becomes a single journey. A place on a game board briefly visited. Gum Drop Mountains. Molasses Swamp. Lollipop Woods.

I don’t know what the past was like. I can barely remember my own. I wonder if it has ever been like this before. Is this the most terrible? Are we? Is this the worst it could be? This could be the worst it could be. What a thought. What a thought to be capable of having.

We are all of the past and the present. We are all of the cycle of the universe. Gray skies and blue and black and red and pink and cotton candy summer’s end and bright orange leaves on the ground in piles we raked together and our old dog jumping in them and gobbling snow and sawing down pine trees and vacuuming up tinsel. Cycles and cycles and adventures and hoping we’re all going the right way and that no one will hate our old photographs but wonder who we were instead.

 

 

 

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1. I’m only 26 (Yes, Mother, only, I’d say, if I were still speaking to her. Only! Only!!) but I’ve already seen a remarkable, terrible sameness in people. Three in three years is plenty for me. It is best to make a change, whether in place or perspective.

2. The person who screams back at a screaming person might be more foolish than the other guy.

3. Don’t lose the good parts of you.

4. They are afraid. They cling to their fear like it will save them. They don’t believe they can do anything to save themselves.

5. Stop ruining it.

6. He cries himself to sleep every night. Don’t feel sorry for him. He enjoys being miserable.

7. Shock yourself and do it. Fear is fine. Weakness is not.

8. They are at war with “other” — a battle they can never win. But they are a mighty army. Are they impossible to beat?

9. It is going to be good. It is going to be so good! We will get there.

10. It is all a search for something.

 

Today I was talking to my friend about graduating college – a thing he and I both are going to experience here pretty soon – May 5th, 2013, to be exact. He was telling me his post-graduation plans, and I was keeping quiet about my own. I don’t really know yet where I’m going go, what I’m going to do. I also told him that the more college classes I take, the less intelligent I feel.

I think there’s a lot of different ways you can take that statement. It can mean that I’ve realized how unintelligent I am, or how bad at college I am – But that’s not what I meant.

I meant that the more college classes I take – the more information I take into my brain, the more subjects I get exposed to, the more history I find out about, the more people I learn about that I previously didn’t know existed – the more unintelligent I feel. I’m graduating from college soon, but I don’t feel like I know very much at all.

As my graduation date approaches, I’m beginning to wish I would have double-majored. Or took a third minor. Or majored in Theatre, or Linguistics, or French, or Biology. I’m not done learning – I don’t think I ever will be. I don’t think I’ll ever feel like I know enough – like I’m intelligent enough.

Sure, I could keep going to school for forever – for the rest of my life. Maybe I would do that, if it didn’t cost thousands of dollars per year. But people don’t go to college to learn, they go to get jobs.

So, in order to keep learning, without going to college – what do I do? How do keep experiencing things in my life  which will improve my understanding of the world? Or the universe? How can I feel like each day is improving the person that I am?

Do I just have to find a job that I like? That makes me happy? Do I just use my college education for what it’s meant for: getting a higher-than-minimum-wage-paying job?

Do I travel? Do I meet and talk to new people as often as possible? Do I read books and blogs and listen to podcasts and radio programs and watch cool movies?

What do I do?

Once they had me that scrap of slightly-thicker-than-normal paper with my name on it, what do I do?

Today’s the day. (The sun is shining. The tank is clean.)

That’s right, it’s voting day! For us Americans, anyway. Which is my point.

I hope you’ll all be out there voting today. I don’t care who you vote for, I really don’t. That’s not the point.

The point is, we belong to this country. (AMURICA!) The point is, voting is how we voice our voice (yeah?). I don’t understand the people who say that they’re not going to vote. What? Does that mean you don’t like having freedom? Weird.

There is no logical reasoning behind not voting if you’re able. There’s just not. So, vote, please. Do your civic duty! To both yourself, and your country.

I’ll be voting later today. This will be the first time I’ve ever participated in a presidential election (I was 17 the last time – barely missed it!). I’m kinda excited, in a slightly nerdy-American-y way.

“Yay! I’m an American citizen! I’m gonna go use my freedom and vote!!!!” – a thing I may or may not have said.

I see a lot of my friends and peers acting in the same way, and I’m glad. I don’t want to be a generation of people who don’t pay attention.

I’ve heard a lot of “I don’t know who to vote for”, and, “I don’t really like either of them!!!”. To me, that sounds like uneducated talk. You’re already on the computer, typing that onto Facebook. Why don’t you instead go to Google and get to work? This isn’t a game, and it’s important.

I won’t say who I’m voting for, because there’s this secretiveness to voting that I really like/appreciate/respect. And, as I said, I don’t care who you vote for.

If you’re one of those people who still aren’t 100% sure you’re voting for the correct candidate, isidewith.com is a great place to get some non-biased, important information rather quickly. It also tells you about your local voting issues, too.

Finally, I’ll leave you with a quote. I hope you vote today, America. See you after all this craziness is over.

“We do not say that a man who takes no interest in politics is a man who minds his own business; we say that he has no business here at all.” -Pericles

THIS JUST IN:

I hate stuff like this, which is why I am writing about it.

You’ve heard of Michael Moore, right? Of course you have. You probably either love him, or loathe him, or maybe you’re kinda foggy.

I don’t hate Michael Moore. I think a lot of what he does is really great. I like people who have big ideas and then go out and accomplish them. Plus, he was born in the town I live in. I even met the guy this past winter. We shook hands! How can you hate someone once you understand their handshake?

What I dislike about him – and not just him, this quality is found in far too many people, and I shall get to the “group” of them later – is the way he goes about telling his side of the story. Or, how he shows his opinions to the world. As he’s a movie maker, I get that this is what he’s good at. As a political activist, I get that this is the norm.

And that, I think, is where I find my problem.

I hate political language like this. This sort of thing probably has a name in the political biz – I’ll call it… propaganda? This sort of thing is surely found throughout all political issues, but – probably because I’m paying closer attention to this issue – I find it most often in discussions over abortion and woman’s rights.

First, let me be clear where I stand on this. Maybe you don’t care, maybe you do. You’re reading this, right? You have something to say about it. Everyone does. I believe that people just go about it in the wrong way. They make “the other side” seem horrible. So you’ll pay attention. So you’ll listen to them. And only them.

Abortion v. Woman’s rights. These are two separate issues, but so closely intwined that we as a society will probably never stop squabbling over them. Even I’ve written about this sort of thing before. Who knows if a satisfying solution will ever be found.

So, what do I think? Well, let me be honest: I don’t know. On one hand (or, on the “one side”), I could   easily say that I’m against abortion. 100% no. Stop killing babies. What are you doing?! Don’t you know that that is a person you’re murdering?

On the other, ceasing all abortions would take away the right a woman has to control what happens to her body. Also, making abortions illegal wouldn’t stop abortions. If a lady doesn’t want to be pregnant, she will find a way to stop being pregnant. Taking away the safe option of a professional operation will not stop people from wanting abortions. (Maybe that’s the problem. But that is a topic for another time.)

So, I’m not sure where I stand. Well, yes I am, you just read my opinion. It’s not very flashy, is it? Does it make you angry, does it make you want to hold a protest at a state capital building? It’s definitely not one-sided. And if I became a politician, or a political activist, like my friend Michael Moore, I would probably have to choose a side.

Black and white, no gray. Left or Right, no Middle. Republican or Democrat, no Independent.

So, what would he tell me? That that’s just the way it is? That the politicians on one side of the aisle are correct, while the others are wrong – evil, even?

I hope you will take a look at the article he’s linked to in his tweet: http://mmflint.me/NnYFPT 

I think it’s a good article; well written, and, most importantly, seemingly unbiased. It tells the facts. Like news should. There is no “poltical agenda” in that article. And when I read it, I see a complicated story. I see two groups of people with very different opinions, fighting against one another in two completely different wars.

Maybe you shouldn’t include the word “vagina” in a speech in the state House. Not in the way it was used. Or, maybe you should be able to say “vagina” when discussing abortion and woman’s rights. However, is this quandary as complicated as the original issue? No.

It is, however, a new piece of the complicated puzzle. And it can, and was, and will be, used in an attempt from both sides to sway those who may be indecisive, as well as strengthen the ignorant view of those who blindly and wholeheartedly agree with one side of this issue or the other.

Like I said, who knows if “both sides” will ever be able to come to an agreement. What I do know, however, is that using language like this – “propaganda”, or hate-speech, or blind one-side-fits-all imagery – is not the solution. Drawing those who are like-minded around you does not win the war – it makes the battle larger, with more bloodshed, and more ignorance. And even if you do win, it will not be because you were right, it will be because you had the greatest number of warriors.

“War on Women”. “Pro-Abortionists.” “Baby Killers”. “Michigan Republicans not only want to control your uterus, they will punish you if you say “vagina.””

I know it’s no fun to say stuff like: “This is a complicated issue. Both sides need to come together in order to come to an agreement.” But that’s what I say. And you can’t get people to follow you that way – not on Twitter, not in political beliefs. That wouldn’t make a very good breaking news headline.

But why do we need to find more to argue over in complicated matters like this? Why do we, as a society, as humans, why do we need “propaganda”? Why do we like when people, people with influence, people who matter, why do we like them to be this way? When you get down to it – why are we all this way? Is it because it’s easier to brush off other people’s opinions? Because it’s easier to shoot people down than try and really understand where they’re coming from? Because deep down we all feel that the major belief systems that we hold on to for dear life are correct? Because to take into consideration a totally different viewpoint – to really consider it, would be dismissing all that we like to pretend we stand for?

Why? This one is hard for me, because I just can’t comprehend it. Why does a smart man like Michael Moore use his words this way? Why do so many smart people use their words this way? Over and over and over again.

Because it works every time? Because writing a one-liner is easier than writing a lengthy article, like this one? Because it is seemingly simple? Because the world is black or white, no gray?

I don’t have an answer. Or maybe my question is more complicated than I thought. Just like everything.

Oh God, is the current political race so boring (romney v. obama, obama takes it – can we skip to november now?) that we have to dramatize issues that aren’t even issues?!

I mean, I avoid this stuff as much as possible. Not the real issues, not the news, not important world events — the elections. (Can we seriously get some new people to vote for? None of the above? No one at all?)

The elections, and the crazy people that pop out from who-knows-where (where do they hide, and how do we make them stay hidden?) and make everyone freak out about the crazy schemes that they’ve been planning since the last time they ducked down into their hidey-holes.

Now I see everyone freaking out about birth control and Planned Parenthood and women’s rights…

“Oh, shit! These white guys wanna take away the pill!? Oh, no they don’t! Over my dead body! Sisters, unite!” (Are you imagining them as super-heroines after that last line? I sure am!) “We will stop this! Let’s blog about it! Let’s go on The News!”

Step back, darlings. How long has abortion been legal? How many people want that changed? How many of those white guys? How does the issue of birth control compare to abortion on a scale of one to ten? Are you getting this?

Contraceptives are here to stay. Divorce is not going to become illegal. (Unless Rick Santorum wins! Yeah, let’s vote for THAT guy, America!) What are some of the other ridiculous ideas that are springing up and causing a ruckus? Why are we talking about this? Why is it on the news? Why are we pretending it could happen? No. It’s not going to happen. Settle down, there.

Maybe we’re all just trying to pass the time. November is so far away. Think of how many horrible political commercials you’ll have to watch in all the time between then and now! (I’m sorry!)

Speaking of those commercials, what are we, eternal high schoolers?

“Oh. My. GOD. Did you hear what Romney did?! He TOTALLY changed his mind on that issue! Can you believe it?! WHO does that?”

“Obama… yeah, right, what has he been DOING the past FOUR years? Remember how (when he was a freshman) he had ALL THOSE plans? Yeah, where did THOSE go?”

You’re welcome, commercial writers. Feel free. Take what you need. I’ve given you the basic building blocks, right? Be sure to quote me!

Really, though, if I didn’t despise “election time” so much, I might enjoy how completely ridiculous the commercials are. But I just can’t bring myself to watch and enjoy them. They’re like fake reality shows from our government! Gee, what a great time to be alive.