Wednesday, October 6, 2004


I watched the debate last night. I hadn't watched the presidential debate last week so I wanted to see this one. We are not tv watchers, we have to disconnect our cable modem and plug the tv in when we want to watch. We don't do it very often. But, I wanted to watch the debate. It seemed... the correct thing to do, to be more involved in the political process. I have to say that what I kept hearing over and over again from both Cheney and Edwards worried me. Over and over Edwards said 'find terrorists and kill them'. Cheney said the same thing in different words. What about trials? What about evidence, what about imprisonment? I have always opposed the death penalty. To me, killing is not the answer. I saw a great bumper sticker in a catalog. "Why do we kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong?" What worried me even more is that I knew that to get elected this was the right thing for him to say. The American people (I hate this term, it doesn't include me, I don't know who it includes maybe not you either) are out for blood, it seems we are a scared, even terrified nation and without talk of death and destruction of our so-called enemies, one cannot be trusted and cannot be elected. I am very sad about this.

Tuesday, October 5, 2004

Garrison's democracy

From Homegrown Democrat: A Few Plain Thoughts From the Heart of America by Garrison Keillor

I am a Democrat, which was nothing I decided for myself but simply the way I was brought up, starting with the idea of Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, which is the basis of the simple social compact by which we live and also You are not so different from other people so don't give yourself airs, which was drummed into us children back in the old days when everyone went to public schools. Don't be conceited. So you can write: goody-goody for you, but don't think you're a genius because, believe me, you're not. The democracy of the gospel. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. All we like sheep have gone astray. These articles of faith, plus our common tongue and a fondness for jokes and the American landscape, bind us together in a union of souls, each one free, each one devoted to the union.

. . . I grew up among Bible-believing people in Minnesota, a cold weather state when the jet stream slips and the wind blows steadily from Manitoba; it gets so cold your skin hurts, your innards clench up, and a man's testes shrink to the size of garden peas, but --- Everyone is just as cold as you are so don't complain about it, this is not a personal experience, that's what we say, and you comfort yourself with fried eggs and bacon and you bulk up a good deal by spring, but then everyone else is fat too, so it's not a problem.

Here we have the democracy of flatness: there simply aren't so many hills for the rich people to live on top of. We suffer less from the self-esteem issues that make people call on their cell phones and announce their whereabouts.

I read this and it felt so true, so real, so much in harmony with the way I think. What is really amazing, is that when I go home, most of my family is Republican. So, I don't know where my ideas came from, maybe I watched too much TV. Maybe it comes from hours of Little House on the Prairie, The Waltons, and Star Trek?

I haven't finished reading this book but it is delightful. I would love to quote more here but really you just have to read it for yourself, if I have enticed you with what is quoted above. And in pure democratic fashion, I took the book from the library. Don't worry, I'll return it soon and give you a chance to read it too.

Misc ramblings

I wanted to post all weekend. I wrote a great post in my head on Saturday afternoon in the gym. It was about how my inner world must be reflected in the outer world and my inner world is pretty harsh and maybe if I start to change my inner world, gentle it, soften it, the world around me won't seem so grim. Also on Saturday, I received my beautiful earrings from Mahala. How well-made they are, how they dangle gently from my ears, how it warms my heart to have something made by her hands. Yes, that would have been a good post. Sunday zen was great as usual. I had lots of ideas for Sunday. We talked about Beowulf, Our Town, the traumas in Haiti. Lot's of good material there. Sunday we also went to a pumpkin festival. I took some pictures, saw some interesting things. Could have been a wonderful blog entry. Last night I had dinner with a fascinating man who is editing the eleventh edition of the premiere book in pharmacology. He talked about his experience as an editor. He is really taking his job seriously. Often times academics have disdain for such work. It can be so dry, compiling all the old data of someone else, looking for details, trying to explain things that aren't within their expertise. It's not exciting, new and fresh. But he has a positive outlook about it, it was nice to speak with him. I could have written all this and you would have had something interesting (I hope) to read. But I didn't. Why? I am in the middle of a fight with my family. Not the screaming, plate-smashing kind of fight, but a quiet, I am not speaking unless necessary kind of fight. A I-will-not-smile-rather-keep-my-face-neutral-at-all-times kind of fight. Why? It seems silly to write. I am waiting for an apology and a promise that a certain digression will not happen again. He doesn't think there was a digression. So I feel like I am in limbo, waiting for my life to start up again, too distracted to write a real blog entry.