Now that I am at home all day, I have plenty of time (not really, but it's a different set of responsibilities I'm blowing off) to float about the 'net and see what incisive and intelligent things people are saying to each other via Tweets and Facebook comments about the results of the Senate election in Massachusetts yesterday. The primary thing I realized? I was happier when I didn't do that.
Putting aside for this entry any opinions I most definitely fucking have about what this result is or is not a referendum (a word useage that always disturbs me a little) on, what it says about Obama, his policies failed, stalled, and otherwise, the rabid GOP, rudderless & pansiated dems or "the blame game," and most nebulously, "the direction our country is headed," what bothers me the most about all of this is the way we as a populace allow ourselves to be manipulated into jingoistic home team idiots the day after. Everyone's either 'woo' or 'boo', and virtually no one is having a conversation about anything that doesn't turn personal.
I'm not suggesting that we should all huddle around chess boards in atria surrounded by shelves full of books and engage in quiet, orderly discourse over brandy & cigars with a modicum of dignity and decorum in place - after all, past entries here would disqualify me for membership in that particular club - but I would like to see some middle ground between that ideal of measured free exchange and the personal "liberals are all faggot morons" and "republicans are reactionary and evil" crap I've seen today. I don't know when it got this personal - was it the Reagan era? Before that? Nixon? Was it when Camelot ended? Someone older than me have an opinion? Regardless, the simple fact is that most of these exchanges accomplish nothing other than to see who can shout "YOUR GUYS SUCK" loudest. If that's all we're doing, then it may not be long before I opt out of giving a shit on the national level entirely.
I always try to build my poisonous & nasty rhetoric on a foundational idea - a point I have to make, not just dogma or regurgitated claptrap. I am not always successful, but I do try. If I do attack someone personally, it's usually a head of state (who Jefferson and Franklin would encourage me to take the piss out of, if they could still talk, because chipping away at pedestals is important) or someone who goes personal first. And maybe I could stop doing even that...but I doubt it. I get tired of talking to people I agree with all the time, but I don't have the wherewithal to yell all the time anymore. So yeah, America - any chance of us all just calming the fuck down for ten seconds and talking shit over without breaking out the gloves and glassware?!?
I'll see you at Feh.