Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Random firings of neurons

I really haven’t been feeling it the last couple of days when it comes to writing. I don’t know why, perhaps it’s because … hell, if I knew I’d fix it. I started writing something yesterday and got pretty far into it, and then realized it was crap. You may see it, you may not, but that won’t happen until it’s up to snuff.

What I think happened to my muse lately is this: I started this thing almost a year ago to talk about politics and life and art and drinking and this, that and the other. But mainly politics. Anyone who knows me knows I enjoy a good debate. We were in the midst of a hotly contested presidential election with an almost, but not quite, foregone outcome.

But now, now the political debate has almost all but disappeared from the public discourse. It’s almost like it was 1994 again. Or, better, 2002. At least in ’94 we had one party in the White House and another in the Speaker’s chair.

Does everyone remember what it felt like in 2002? A widely popular wartime president called 1600 home, and a GOP almost super-majority ruled the Hill and K Street with iron fists. To criticize them and what they were doing was un-American and, when you get right down to it, damn near traitorous. Reporters stopped asking questions and digging up the facts and we the people accepted because we didn’t want to be accused of “forgetting 9-11.”

As if that could ever happen.

But guess what folks? We now have an even more wildly popular president and even bigger majorities controlling the House and Senate, it’s just this time they’re all democrats. The words have changed, but the venom behind them hasn’t.

Now, instead of being an un-American traitor when you voice a dissenting opinion, you’re a closed-minded, reactionary hillbilly Klan member.

My personal political leanings are mixed up enough I can be sure I have at least one that will piss off folks on either side of the aisle with equal vehemence. Such as:

I fear a government controlled by Democrats as much as – if not a little more than – the previous Republican leadership.

While I don’t personally agree with Miss California, she has every right to believe and say she is against gay marriage. She also has the right to not be attacked for her opinion.

I think Congress needs to turn the volume down from 11 on the whole he said-she said gotcha investigation into who knew what and when and why and how and where and who was doing the enhanced interrogations. Is it wrong to smash someone’s fingers and toes joint-by-joint with a ball peen hammer as you water board them? Perhaps. Were innocent lives saved and bad guys shot in the head because of the results? Also, perhaps.

A conversation I had last week is a good example. As I was warming up in my reply to a “violence is never the answer and true strength comes from inside” type statement, the discussion was shortstopped by the other party. I believe my comments about man being a top predator (not the top, but a top but that’s something for another day) and national power coming from the barrel of a gun were call cynical and considered not worthy of serious reflection.

Cynical? Perhaps. But true? History would seem to back me up. At least for now.

Anyway, I could go off on this tangent forever, so I’ll get back on point. And my point is we should be careful what we wish for, ‘cause we just might get it.

Also, why the hell do the new razors make it so bloody hard for me to shave right under my nose? Seriously, have they even tested these blades?

And, before I forget, thanks be to Saint Margarita on the Rocks that Ted Mosby, architect, did NOT get back together with Stella on this week’s HIMYM. He told her how he felt, comedy ensued, and he was left standing on the sidewalk with his yellow umbrella.


Fearless in Toronto said...

"While I don’t personally agree with Miss California, she has every right to believe and say she is against gay marriage. She also has the right to not be attacked for her opinion."

Replace the word "gay" in the sentence above with "interracial". Can Miss California say that on TV?

In my opinion, there's no difference. Then again, I live in a country that finished this debate about 4 years ago. The sky (and the institution of marriage) is still intact.

PS: My word verification is "crotch". Am I on Candid Camera?

FoggyDew said...

Fearless - Since the question would probably never have come up in the contest, the point is moot. However, while I would again disagree with her, I would defend her right to say (in another venue) whatever pleases her little blonde heart.

Liebchen said...

I have to agree with you on Miss California. No, I don't agree with *her*, but she was asked a question and she gave an honest answer.

Also, I really appreciate your acknowledgement that government controlled by a single party (either party) is a bit worrisome.

FoggyDew said...

Liebchen - "Why thank you ma'am," he said as he tipped his hat and shuffled his feet.

I think the only thing keeping the Ds in line is their majority is courtesy of a huge number of conservative/Blue Dog Ds. Otherwise, things could get wacky fast.

Zipcode said...

really good post :-)

Malnurtured Snay said...

I don't think either one of you were right, but I also don't think either one of you were wrong.

Let me use Germany as an example. Germany needed to be defeated in WWI. Certainly, going in arms open singing kumbaya wouldn't do it, so violence was called for, and Germany was defeated militarily.

All well and good? Well, no, because the victors decided to be rather brutal in punishing Germany for the war, and twenty years later, Hitler! WWII!

Obviously, singing kumbaya and going in with open arms wouldn't get Germany to stand down, so, again, violence! And again, Germany defeated.

Except this time, peeps realized that a lasting solution to keep Germany from starting world wars was going to require some magnamity on part of the victors (also, the whole splitting of the country).

Anyway ... my point is: violence (carefully applied military force) is good to achieve a short-term objective, but to achieve lasting peace, you're going to need more than force. Force in and of itself is not a lasting solution, because you just have to keep using it over, and over, and over again.

Obviously, you always want a big powerful military, because you'll have a better chance getting people to work with diplomacy if they think you're capable and willing of fighting and defeating them. But it really is a two-prong approach.

lacochran said...

Thank you for raising an important point. I, too, was relieved to see Stella fade out again.