Monday, January 21, 2013

"so long as we seize it together"

It has been increasingly difficult to maintain this blog over the last year.  For the first eight months of 2012, I was overwhelmingly busy with my theater life.  Other than the summer event of the siding, there was little of note to report on the house.  It’s easy to understand how blogging would fall Life's in priorities. But more than anything, I think it may have been the bizarre course of the presidential election that took its toll on my will to write.  The lunacy of that misbegotten group of candidates, the seemingly unending series of freak shows called ‘debates’ - drained my will to believe there was anything to write about.  The ugliness, the name-calling, the bigotry and the sheer idiocy from a “party” that is not an actual Party at all left me wondering who we are and by extension who I am and so made me wonder did I want to be who we are and do I want to be who I am. 

I have lately come to realize that it has become more and more difficult for me to know what is going on in the world – more difficult to discern fact from fiction or real news from propaganda.  One glance over to that party that is not an actual Party tells me I am not alone in this.  We may all be suffering the consequences of a failure of real information in The Information Age.  It is all too exhausting.  The cynicism and duplicity of the GW Bush administration made it easy to doubt our future and to lose hope in what we all thought we stood for.  We could be forgiven for believing in the hope and change promised in the election of 2008.  But the ignorance and lies and misinformation/disinformation coming from the Right for the past two years have nearly drained me of my ability to articulate my thoughts and impressions of the world we live in. Indeed, it’s all pretty much drained me of my will to care about the world; drained me of my interest to know about the world; nearly drained me of my will to be in the world.  And then there was Newtown.  And then the spectacular displays of idiocy that followed.  

Aforementioned idiocy in only one of its many forms

Save us. 

And today the President said it out loud: "We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate." 

and "... preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action." 

Thank you.  

While we are still in the first month of the New Year, let me embrace a fresh start.  Let the President’s speech today do its job.  Let me be affected by it.  Of course the speech was supremely tailored rhetorically but nevertheless, it asked us all to aspire to what I hope we would all aspire to – compassion, shared responsibility, equality for ALL.  Let me take on my own responsibility then in this - I will hit the snooze button on my cynicism and disinterest in all things outside myself.  I will try to again enter the world and engage.

I know I cannot save the world.  Maybe it is enough to let the world save me. 


Jayne said...

I'm standing up and applauding. Very well written. My son (who is 25) and I have had many conversations about these same issues. He says, "The movie Idiocracy is beginning to look like a documentary."

JP said...

What a hate-filled post. You typical nasty liberals aren't smart enough to see where the hatred is coming from. I can't wait for the civil war so that I never, ever have to bigots like you fellow countrymen.

Why S? said...

Hi JP. Thank you for visiting the House on Red Hill. Thank you for inciting me to re-read that long ago post. I have to say, I love my writing. I won’t be shy. I’ll say it - I have a real gift for structure and rhetoric. And I love the English language so, so much. I have actually been known to cry over its power and beauty. I miss my blogging. I have to get back to it. Yes, I WILL get back to it soon. Very soon.

So thank you for that, JP. The Universe is a miraculous thing in that it took your post to remind me that I need to return to an activity that is so fulfilling for me.

So now, let’s get back to your comment. Let us, in particular, delve into your use of the term “hate-filled” and the words “typical” and “nasty” and, my favorite, “civil war.” I don’t know how you got “hate-filled” from the post. Was it because I despise name-calling and bigotry? Is that what you mean by “hate-filled?” Or because I mocked a man who believes his right to openly carry a weapon of violence is more important than the lives and safety of his fellow citizens?

When you refer to “typical nasty liberals” it’s not clear to me what you mean in your use of the word “typical.” I don’t know if the word is meant to refer to how nasty liberals are or how typical liberals are. If the “typical” is meant to refer to the word “nasty” then proper English would require that we use the adverb, “typically.” If you meant that it is the liberals who are typical, in addition to being so nasty, then we have these little marks called “commas” that allow us to separate the two adjectives, making it clear to the reader what the writer intended. See, we have rules of usage, grammar, and punctuation for a reason. It is to make our writing clear. In writing clearly, we teach ourselves to think clearly. When our writing is unclear, fuzzy, poorly-structured, so will be our thinking.
And please, dear friend, do enlighten me on where the hatred is coming from. So poorly constructed is your final sentence that I can’t glean from it what it is that you will never have to have after the coming civil war. Is it in that half-baked final sentence that you explain the source of my hatred? Although, it is a bit odd, given that my post never once threatened violence to anyone (perhaps only obliquely to myself) that you seem to believe there is hatred coming from my side while you “can’t wait for the civil war?” I think, gentle-countryman, we all know where the hatred is coming from. And as far as that civil war is concerned, you might want to consider how well the last one left your kind.

And as for who is “not smart enough,” well, we can let our readers be the judge, can’t we?

You are angry. And I am angry, too. But I would never, ever, under any circumstances, wish for a civil war – not in my country and not in anyone else’s country.
Do this. Read good literature. Stop listening to talk radio. It’s obviously stolen your perspective. Travel to a place where you don’t speak the language. Have a conversation with one of the locals there. Go to a museum and find one piece of art and sit with it for a long, long time - even if you don’t understand it - especially if you don’t understand it. Just sit with it. See what happens. Give up your guns, not because the government or some goofy liberal told you to, but because you want to stop being afraid. Drink more water. You may be a little dehydrated. Never watch FOX non-News again. They’re lying to you. They just want you to watch so they can sell your eyeballs to advertisers. Stop eating so much meat. It’s full of hormones that may be adding to your anger. Finally, sit in a quiet place and ask yourself, "Do I really want to spend the rest of my life so very, very angry?"