Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Apolitical Blues

You might not know it, but occasionally I have difficulty coming up with things to post in this space. Yes, I get writers block like everyone else. I'm also very easily distracted. These sentences are a perfect example, actually. I'm guessing they took you, oh... ten seconds to read, tops. Unfortunately for me, they took almost ten minutes to write. No joke. Since I started writing this post I've gone downstairs to switch my clothes from the washer to the dryer; I've been distracted by both the BBC World News and the Red Sox Pregame report; I've gone outside to shake my fist at the Miguel Frosty ice cream truck which does nothing but repeatedly play the My First Sony version of 'It's A Small World' - complete with 'boing', 'screech', and 'toot toot' accompaniment; I've gone over to the freezer to open it up and contemplate what frozen delicacy I'm going to heat up and have for dinner (Trader Joe's Chicken Chow Mein stir fry, by the way); and lastly, I threw the kettle on to make some tea - to increase my metabolism, of course.

During all of this I tried, rather halfheartedly, to think of something to post. I didn't really succeed, although I did remember to answer one question. I was asked by a friend why there are no politically oriented posts on this site. I mean, like, everyone else is doing it (The vast majority of blogs out there are political. I forget the actual statistic but it's something ridiculous like 65%, I think. Of course, I could be completely wrong.) Short answer? Politics bore me. Long answer? Well it's a bit more complicated.

My politics are nobody else's business, and I mean that two ways. First, I choose not to express my political beliefs because I think too many of us (myself included) unfairly judge others because of them. We all have certain characteristics we apply to the words "liberal", "conservative", "Democrat", and "Republican" If I simply identify as one of those without saying anything else about myself, I've already been judged by half of the people reading this. I try pretty hard not to praise or fault people because of their political leanings. Ideally, I'd like people to do the same with me. Unfortunately, the only surefire way I know to accomplish that is to keep my mouth shut. Which leads to my second point.

I DESPISE sales pitches.. of any sort. Ugh... I just loathe them. It's really a character flaw more than anything, I suppose. I'm cynical enough where I think most sales people have their own best interests at heart, and the only reason they're speaking to me at all is to bilk me for the sales commission. Alright - maybe that's a bit harsh. I should probably take some of it back as it was a poor generalization. Besides, my brother is in sales and I don't want him to kick my ass. Anyway, right or wrong, I view political discourse as someone simply making a sales pitch - the product being a particular political belief, and the commission being boosted pride and the satisfaction of knowing you've converted someone to your way of thought. Trouble is, it never works that way. When was the last time you saw two people with opposing political viewpoints get into a debate where there was a clear victor? It's rare. Politics are a point of pride for most people and as such, they hold on to their beliefs VERY tightly. When engaged in a debate and faced with an irrefutable argument, most people fall back on the old standby's, "Well, I still think....", or better yet, "Just because..." Hardly ever does anyone actually concede defeat. To do so would be to suffer too much humiliation and loss of face - assuming of course your opponent was good enough at debate. I'm not, but even if I were I wouldn't be convincing anyone of anything by posting my political viewpoints here. At most, I'd get applause from the people who agreed with me, nasty comments from those opposed, and yawns from the rest.

And besides, what purpose would it serve? To affect social change? I prefer to vote, thanks, and maybe write a letter to my congressman if I'm feeling really fervent. To inform an otherwise ignorant public? Sorry, I'm not objective enough. True, the idea of pure objectivity in any sort of journalistic endeavor (and despite the warm and fuzzy trend this blog, at least, is NOT nouveau journalism) is ludicrous, but there are some outlets that do it better than others. This isn't one of them. If anyone decided to get their information from me, they'd be doing themselves a disservice. In fact, they wouldn't be getting information at all, they'd be getting a biased opinion. Call me naive, but I'd like to think those that care enough would know how to go about keeping themselves well informed, and then base their political views on that information.

There are other points, but I'm hungry and I still need to cook the Chicken Chow Mein. It has also just occurred to me that in explaining why I don't publish political posts, I've probably just published a political post. Grrrrrr... curse the irony. I am, however, proud of myself for accomplishing at least one thing. I was able to come up with a blog post where previously there was none. Will anyone even read it? I don't know... I might have to make a sales pitch.


Post a Comment

<< Home