It's easy to find examples of the polarizing opinions that fuel our various controversies. Foster Friess tittering over aspirin between the knees. Terry O'Neill tittering over Rush Limbaugh.
In as bewildered a confessional tone as I can muster, though, let me divulge my utter surprise that the social issues being discussed actually constitute controversy. Those many to the right of me make approbative-sounding throat grumblings, reassuring me that really, it is not the issue so much in question, as its funding. We don't care if you sluts have beaucoup sex, just don't make others pay for it. Those of my own directional ilk and the slim margin farther to the left are either speechless from apoplexy or inveterate silver-tongued opportunists.
I call them opportunists, and they snicker. These are the people who are rarely surprised, who have kept their eyes and ears open, who have not relaxed, the men and women who have my back while I shrug and magnanimously opine a truncated "to each his own."
See, I think myself swift and cool when I mutter "to each his own," because it's so often damn faint praise, just enough of a soupçon of world-weariness to counterbalance my failure as an activist. Think what you will -- you are so so wrong, of course -- but think what you will...
You see, the secret fear of my life has been that I'd become shrill. Permanently, and sans cesse.
This morning, I filmed myself, and later asked Fred, as he helped La Bonne et Belle Bianca Castafiore pick out her outfits for the first week of March Madness, when exactly had I become so ugly? "Ugly? Ugly?" he cried, precisely twice, as he juggled both his discomfiture and a pink boa. "You are not ugly! Why do you say that?"
I managed to frighten myself this morning. I picked up the little Flip camera and shot a few seconds of my fresh-from-rejuvenating-slumber face. The assurance of my hideousness, it is perhaps long overdue.
Trying to put issues and physical revulsion aside this afternoon, I set out to do some light reading and video-watching. And I very quickly decided to write this post as a testament to the dangers of the in-between, of those regions buffering, let's say, Freiss from O'Neill.
Because in the Land of To-Each-His-Own, there is a lot of terrifying good-natured stupidity out there, and for the most part, it is being unabashedly documented by The Stupid, themselves.
These ass-scratching, ball-adjusting self-absorbed men have no business grafting their disparate enthusiasms onto the lives of women. [That would be another way of saying it...]
After setting my new, very slow, unimpressive, but working laptop on my knees, I set out to meander. I read blogs, timelines, and walls of friends and family, especially enjoying some email from Grader Boob. He was holding virtual office hours for his online course, and no one had shown up.
Were I out and about, I'd meet all sorts, and I try to approximate the experience when online. I follow an innocuous comment back to its source. I click on "next" to see another Blogger blog. Most of the time, it's fun and rewarding. Often it shores up my good feelings about the species. Sometimes it is a riot -- I am particularly fond of consumer comments. A potential buyer thought to ask the Walmart community about one of the table linens for sale, a 70" round Italian polyester Fauna Rustica tablecloth, "I like it but do you think it will fit my 69" x 110" table?" It was gratifying to see someone listed as an "expert" reassure her that, yes, it would.
Anyway, I traveled the byways. I followed boulevards and avenues, streets and alleys, click-click-clicking away... hoping to squash the nascent urge to debate Someone about Something Socially or Politically Relevant.
I came to a Facebook page through thoroughly innocuous means, by following some beautiful jewelry, in fact. There was something almost inherently feminine about the inexactitude of my journey -- plus I got there in a profoundly innocent, almost-Amish kind of way: through the gynecology of Etsy.
[What? What? Oh, come on. Provenance matters!]
So smack dab in the middle of Organic Artsy-Fartsy Handmade Glass-and-Bead Land, the Facebooker posted The Helpful Information reproduced below:
There were several hundred "responses," a good many of them nonsensical [to anyone, I swear!] but most of them were quite clear. So clear, in fact, that I decided to cull some -- willy-nilly -- for this post, sort of as proof that... well, you know... proof. That it is not trickle-down but trickle-up? That up is down, down up?
Diann valid ID...how does that work for all the illegals in this country?????? Valid Id...my son had to have it to be approved for disabiliaty but illegalls don't have to prove anything to get money for their children and food stamps and unemployment. Valid ID..who decides who is valid and who is not.????
Paul We can't require ID. That would make sense. We don't do that anymore. If you can't afford 10, 20, even 40 dollars every what, 4 years? You shouldn't be voting. In fact you're most likely collecting free assistance and not caring about voting.
Sandy Without an I.D. to record, how do they keep track of how many times a person votes? Just curious. Seems if you don't have to show an I.D. you could just vote anywhere anytime and as many times as you like. Just go from one precinct to the other? Hmmm...we know who would like those odds....Oh I forgot, they don't have a ride to the polling places anyway.
Jeff Most places that have ID laws also provide ways for people to get them for free. The only reason people make this a controversy is because they want to further the streotype that the GOP is racist. If someone is legitimately poor, they are probably receiving government assistance and therefore had to have an ID to sign up for it. Requiring ID doesn't disenfranchise anyone.
I don't want to write one of those facile tirades bemoaning the idiocy of internauts or celebrating the heterogeneity of the citizenry, and I really don't want to use the word diversity. Today I am unable to access forbearance; I cannot make fun of, nor scoff. The impulse to correct grammar and to encourage internally consistent logic is an impulse born from spit-spewing exasperation.
"We have to take these bloody people bloody seriously, and engage in a serious way, in serious places," I tell myself.
I march right over to a lefty political bloggy-mag thing that I frequent, where I find a link to a video featuring --
David B. Albo (born April 18, 1962) is a Republican politician from the Commonwealth of Virginia. He represents the 42nd District of the Virginia House of Delegates and has been a member since 1994.I have my serious face on, by which I mean a very stern demeanor (I filmed myself again, to see what that face was like, and I was still ugly. Maybe even uglier. Unquestionably "stern," though.). You are about to watch an example of what is produced by an elected representative of the people of Virginia on the floor of their statehouse.
Uploaded by notlarrysabato on
"Dave Albo describes how his wife denied sex with him after the vaginal
ultrasound bill was discussed on Maddow."
This would be about the time when "to each his own" became a patently ridiculous bit of rhetoric, and when my partisan nature reasserted itself with a hearty display of bonhomie -- because I had several immediate suggestions for the love life of Mr. Albo.
Dear Reader, it's way past time that we redefine extreme because it sure seems to lurk in some very ordinary, common places.
I'm gonna go seek out the comfort of my own kind. I wonder what Bianca plans to wear for the Duke v. Lehigh match...
[Late-breaking addendum: The Lady wore black... Congratulations, Lehigh!]