It has been a big couple of weeks for history. As a kid in school, I often wondered what it was like to live through the revolutionary and evolutionary times that happened before my existence, the moments that became parts of our collective story destined to be taught for generations. Now I know. And it has been both terrible and awe-inspiring.
In all of these circumstances of witnessing events that will undoubtedly make their marks on history books, my first concern has been the lens through which my children will interpret them. Four years ago, they were blissfully unaware of the election process, of the differences between political parties, or how government works. But now, they are fifteen and twelve.
August in St. Louis typically feels like wearing long underwear in a sauna. It’s sweaty and sticky, and sometimes too oppressive to even breathe. Typically. But this August has been anything but typical. I would venture to call it downright lovely. Even recently, when temperatures did break into the nineties, I have found it hard to be all “holy-crap-Dante-must-have-written-Inferno-sitting-under-The-Arch.” St. Louis is a nice place to be, and I felt a little sorry for my husband when he called from his trip in Austin, Texas this past weekend to Continue reading “Perry Tries to Poach More Than Eggs in the St. Louis August Heat”→
This is what happens at my house around 6:05 p.m. just about every day:
“Hello. This is <insert name> and I am running for <insert office.> Our country…” Click.
Seriously? Seriously. This is getting seriously annoying. And it’s only August, people.
What genius political strategist decided it was a good idea to have their auto-robot callers interrupt the American public’s dinner? These Einsteins are trying to woo my vote by making me listen to their well-rehearsed vapid sound bites when all I want to do is take a bite of my quickly cooling pasta. Didn’t their mothers ever tell them it was rude to call someone at dinner time?
Well, I am going on record to say that I will hereby not vote for any politician who calls and interrupts my dinner. I don’t care what your plan for the economy is or your stance on environmental issues. If you call during dinner time, it is obvious that you hold little respect for the American tradition of families sitting around a table to share the events of their day. It is clear that you put importance of partisan politics and greed over the core values of family, the freedom to assemble, and the right to eat your food while it is hot.
In short, if you call with your campaign slogans at dinner time, then you must hate families…and dinner…and America. So I’m going to vote for the other guy.
Unless he calls me at dinner time, too. Then I’m writing in Nader.
When I was in the first grade, I told everyone that Michael Jackson was my cousin. Before you get too excited, that statement is unequivocally false. I have no idea why I said it. Could I have already felt the push to be cool even as a fledgling student? Anyway, an immediate divide occurred among my classmates: my supporters versus my non-supporters. Heated debates on the playground raged as to whether a black person and a white person could be related. At this point, I am sure I felt pretty caught in the lie, and I fessed up to the truth. Surprisingly, I was not shunned as a crooked liar for those next eight years that I coexisted with these children. Some, even in the face of defeat, continued to argue in my favor that I could be Michael Jackson’s cousin if we traced my family tree back far enough.
Does the story sound familiar? I think it does. We hear it all the time. Nixon, Clinton, Blagojevich, Spitzer, Craig, Edwards, and most recently Weiner. A politician lies (which means he’s breathing – hehe), the country goes at each other’s throats trying to prove their side is right, the politician admits to the lie, some people argue that the lie is irrelevant anyway, and eventually we all move on. All the while, real problems go unsolved.
It will be a rare occurrence that I blog about politics…unless it is a rant against the politics keeping The Monkees out of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (I told you they would pop up now and again – see my page “Why I Like Bananas“). I am not much for politics. In my opinion, politics are what is wrong with government. Too much “my side is right,” not enough, “let’s see if we can compromise.” Too much abuse of power, not enough empowering the country. Too much feeling I am above the law, not enough making laws that will help our people. It’s enough to cause disillusion. And that’s about where I am at with the whole thing; I have a feeling a good portion of the country is behind me.
I am aware there are people who will chide me for my apathy. I know I should care more. I know I should read more newspapers and less Sandra Boynton. I know I should watch more CNN and watch less Real Housewives. I know I should, but I don’t. I am glad there are people out there still passionate about politics, because we obviously need someone to run this country. I just wish more of the sincere, level-headed citizens of that passionate crop were the ones elevated to office: more Atticus Finches and less Svengalis. Perhaps there will come a time when I find the desire to change a crooked system. After all, my mom, who I pretty much never heard utter even the word “politics” growing up, has now become seriously active in a political campaign. Her kids all moved out, and she decided it was time to put her mark on the larger world. Maybe that will happen to me…maybe.
In the meantime, I will likely tune out when the news anchor reports on the latest politician caught in a scandal. I will get a queasy feeling when I hear a Democrat and Republican calling each other idiots for having a difference of opinion. And I will head to the polls only to stare at the ballot and sigh, because I don’t like any of my choices.
Now I think I might go listen to “Christ for President” by Wilco and ponder what life would be like with Atticus Finch as president…and Michael Jackson as my cousin.