Friday, July 23, 2010

I'm Still Here

I have been thinking a lot about blogging.

Missing it...thinking of ideas...meditating on it.

But unfortunately, generally avoiding it.

It's kind of like when you have a really good friend who lives far away and you miss them dearly and really want to catch up, but you avoid calling them because the time is never "exactly right" or you don't want to call because you know you'll end up talking for a super long time.

I feel that way about blogging.

Sometimes I get inspired to write something meaningful based on current events.

Recently for example, I found myself shaking my head at Elizabeth Hasselbeck's disdain for Kathy Griffin and starting to wonder about what makes her type tick. You know, the humorless, ultra conservative, Sarah Palin types of women.

I'm being serious. I think the problem lies in my sort of starry-eyed vision of women being superior to men in many ways. I had this romantic notion of women from the 70's burning bras and marching for rights in order to change the bullshit that men had been putting them through for years. I envision the Gloria Steinems, the Bella Abzugs, Madeleine Albrights and the Hillary Clintons of the world as representative of the entire female population.

It confuses me when I see women who lobby against their own rights. Just like it confuses me to see a gay or African American person in the Republican Party. Let me clarify: an openly gay person in the Republican Party.

And it's more than just the political, it's the personal rage and bitterness that confuses me even more I think.

Yes, I also am confused by men (usually white men) who vote against their own interests out of some warped sense of patriotism or racism or classism or some other "ism".

I honestly do try to understand the anger that people feel and express when they join groups like the "Tea Party" (which doesn't really seem to be "for" anything, just against stuff that makes them upset).

It's not difficult to understand why people might be motivated by fear with an economy in crisis and two wars and terrorism everywhere it seems. I can even understand why watching the culture that you grew up with change might be threatening.

After all, if two men or two women can get married and live happy, productive lives, then maybe you have to question if you're really doing the right thing yourself if you married someone of the opposite sex when you were young because your parents said that's what you were supposed to do.

Not that everyone is a closeted gay mind you (unless you're a GOP politician it seems), but there's probably just enough identity insecurity out there to make fuzzy boundaries seem like the gateway to hell.

Fear and confusion have to land somewhere I guess.

So you're afraid that you're going to lose your house. Your daughter's a lesbian. Your cholesterol is high and your blood sugars are out of control. What do you do?

You watch TV and wait for someone to identify with your insecurities.

Or you go to church where they don't make you actually THINK about these issues.

You just want someone to tell you what to do.

Progressives and most good hearted women and men wouldn't think of telling you what to do or think.

We've all learned that (a) it's not our place to tell someone else what to do and (b) we learned to respect others even if you don't understand them or agree with them (as long as they're not harming someone else). It's the American Way right?

On the other hand, there are plenty of people out there who have decided to ignore (a) and (b), tell others what they SHOULD think and do, and a few even have made a very successful living out of doing so.

Rush Limbaugh was one of the first to figure it out on a massive scale. Just say out loud what frightened, frustrated people are saying to themselves and they'll adore you.

Glen Beck has co-opted the conspiracy theories and invests them with the power of good acting.

Sarah Palin finally addresses the concerns of frightened/pissed off women (and a few horny frightened and pissed off men) who forgot about the Steinem and Abzugs or feel trapped and insecure as America changes.

Entire organizations, some political and some religious, are structured around boosting self-esteem by condemning others (i.e. "I'm better than you so I must be ok").

Some are sincere in their beliefs, not intending to harm others, but gullible enough to follow like sheep.

Others find a way to profit from this ignorant paranoia, stooping to saying almost anything if it raises the ratings or garners publicity.

Kathy Griffin does it when she screams "suck it".

Elizabeth Hasselbeck does it when she screams "scum".

Meg Whitman seems like an angry woman who will say anything to get elected.

I take a deep breath and remember the majority of powerful women in my life who are sane.

Thanks y'all.