...and I’m determined to write something--anything--before I get up again.
I’ve already procrastinated for half an hour playing Mahjongg and another 15 minutes looking at all the pictures I’ve taken over the past month or two.
How did blogging become so difficult?
Okay. Take a deep breath. Get ready. Get set. Write!
Lately I can think (and talk and write) of almost nothing except presidential politics. I read political blogs during the day, then I come home and watch the cable news networks until bedtime, switching channels frequently in search of any morsel of information I haven’t yet absorbed. I'm afraid I’ve crossed way over the line that separates keen interest from obsession.
I’ve always been interested in presidential elections, but never as passionately as this year. This time around I want to know everything, as if I’m cramming for the most important test of my lifetime. My mission is to be able to answer calmly, correctly, and explicitly when someone asks me, “Why are you voting for Obama? Don’t you know he [insert rumor or lie of your choice]?” So far I’ve been able to do it. That’s the good part about immersing myself so deeply in the campaign coverage.
The bad part is that this campaign addiction has left me feeling depressed. For one thing, I have an intense aversion to conflict, a long-term issue born of the bickering that existed in my home during my teen years. Even if I'm voluntarily watching panels of pundits talking over each other and vying for the last zinger, it makes me feel uncomfortable and anxious.
It also discourages me to see the leaders of our country and their minions repeatedly spread outright lies or misleading information when I know they know better. If somebody confronts them on one show with proof that what they’ve said is false, I expect them to say, “Okay, perhaps I was mistaken,” and not repeat it. Instead, I see them an hour later on another network making the same false claim. How stupid do they think we are? And do they think lying is okay with the average American citizen?
What distresses me most of all, though, is video footage of McCain campaign rallies. If you're old enough, think back to the Bible-story movies that were popular in the ‘40s and ‘50s and remember the scenes that showed arenas full of people watching Christians being fed to lions. Picture the jeering faces of the crowds who watched the slaughter. Those are the kinds of faces I see at the McCain rallies. Frankly, it scares the hell out of me to see large numbers of people like that who have been assembled and charged up by inflammatory rhetoric.
In real life, of course, I know many perfectly nice people who plan to vote for John McCain in this election, and I’m sure that many of the people at his rallies are perfectly nice as well. They’re the ones whose faces are not contorted with anger or smugness. What frightens me is the idea that large numbers of zealots and bigots come out of those rallies, walk our streets among rational people, spread their hostility to their offspring, and make our world less safe.
Okay. That's enough of that. I have written. If I’d written anything at all in the last month, it would have ended up about like this or worse. Because of that conflict thing I mentioned, I’m always hesitant to express strong negative opinions for fear of offending readers I care about. If I’ve done that, I’m sorry, but the truth is, if I’ve offended you to any large degree, we probably wouldn’t get along in real life anyway, so there’s no great loss to either of us. Go away and read Rush Limbaugh’s website.
On the other hand, if you’re still with me, I’ll promise you this: Barring computer outages or medical emergencies (human or canine), I’ll post something every single day between now and the end of November, and most of it will not be rants like this post. Some days it might be just a photo, but there'll be something new each day. I hope that the process of posting every day will help me find my missing sense of humor, reestablish the blogging habit, and make up to you for my just-ended month of self-indulgence.
Hope to see you here tomorrow.