A couple of odd things happened to me today. First, a random woman confronted me in the Target parking lot about my Obama/Biden bumper sticker. “Don’t you know he’s friends with terrorists?!”
Sigh… say it ain’t so, Joe!
Extricating myself from crazy lady, I drove past my local gas station and noted that gas was down to $3.56. Woo hoo! But then I did a doubletake. “Down.” To $3.56. It’s amazing how quickly we get used to things — I think back to the disbelief after Hurricane Katrina when it hit $3.55 here temporarily, but now $4.00 is a natural state of being. With all our talk about the disruptive power of change, we get used to change fairly quickly. We may not like the end result, but it soon loses its power to shock. Over on Feministing.com a few days ago, I read the following:
So I watched CNN all day yesterday waiting for the vote on the bailout bill, but I noticed that even though I don’t have any money to really lose (just the hope that they may not notice how much debt I have) I still felt stressed out. I also realized that when rich people lose money, it is a national crisis. But poor folk have trouble making ends meet every single day. Where is our news coverage?
The thing with money stress, for most of us, it is always there. So why this panic and media frenzy? Because the Dow Jones dropped? Or because we need to sensationalize everything and create fake scenarios to see how our to be presidents will react?
It’s always there. I think that’s key when we’re talking about what’s going on around us these days: We get used to the ideas of wiretapping and dumping out our $3 bottles of airport water and taking off our shoes and waterboarding and falling investments and rising food prices — because, really, what other day-to-day choice do we have?
I’ve also been reading bloggers in other fields talk about why and whether they should talk about politics. I think John Scalzi says it best:
Why yes, fiction writers should write about politics, if they choose to. And so should doctors and plumbers and garbage collectors and lawyers and teachers and chefs and scientists and truck drivers and stay-at-home parents and the unemployed. In fact, every single adult who has reason enough to sit down and express an opinion through words should feel free to do just that. Having a citizenry that is engaged in the actual working of democracy matters to the democracy, and writing about politics is a fine way to provide evidence that one is actually thinking about these things.
Our need to think about these things makes the idea of forbidding faculty’s political expression on campus even more baffling. This is a freaking important election, and I appreciate bloggers like Karen Schneider and Liz Lawley expressing their political opinions, even if it’s not necessarily their usual blog fodder.
So here’s me blogging about politics, in a nutshell:
I don’t particularly want to have to become blasé about a McCain/Palin administration; it’s not what I want to get used to. I don’t want to think that this country is so scared that we’ll come down on the side of hate, ignorance, and fearmongering. I don’t want Sarah Palin anywhere near our “nucular” codes or influencing Supreme Court nominees or public policy or promoting her folksy brand of willful ignorance and absolute self-righteousness. I respected McCain more before he picked her, but find his policies and background on everything from health insurance to reproductive rights to the economy completely terrifying. I’m baffled by people who think someone with his history of commitment to deregulation and tax cuts for the wealthy will serve their economic self interests.
Now that that’s off my chest, if you’ve read through all this, here’s your bonus library-related link to one of the funniest political library-related comics I’ve ever seen. If you’re going to be at Internet Librarian, Emily Lloyd, I’d like to buy you a drink .