Friday, March 25, 2005

S'cuse me, wrong planet.

I've had a presence on another site for some time. But this past year has driven me to create a nice, anonymous place for myself on the web. Why, you may ask?

Because I keep having this strange feeling I've somehow slipped dimensions, like an old episode of the Twilight Zone. I look around me, and so many people, so many upstanding, righteous, decent people, are all profoundly, horribly, wrong.

I suppose it all began during the presidential election, or the campaign period immediately before. I saw an increasing level of vitriol and anger amongst my circle. Perfectly polite, decent people, behaved abominably. Ladies were swearing like sailors, people threatened to leave the country or slit their wrists. All because they backed a losing horse. I found it baffling.

I should clarify; I am a conservative, Catholic, republican. I campaigned for Bush/Cheney, and I displayed my allegiances quite proudly. This is a crime for which I am still paying. I have committed the cardinal sin of not agreeing with my social circle.

My friends seem to be rather staunchly liberal. That's okay. I understand it fully. The Ornithophobe is by nature a bit elitist, a bit overintellectual. I rather LIKE philosophical and political debate. I was raised in a house where political argument was nightly dinnertable fare. I learned early to research a position and support it factually. (I was a kickass debater in high school, too.) And it seems that a large proportion of intellectual types tend to the liberal extreme of the political spectrum. I think there is a tendency towards idealism among intellectuals, a sort of gung-ho political optimism that insists over and over if we just try communism/socialism/fascism/environmentalism One. More. Time that, somehow, THIS TIME, it'll be different. THIS TIME, it'll make everything better. And who doesn't want to do that? Why, if you don't want to make the world a better place, surely you must be one of the bad guys, right? And if you don't agree with their METHOD for making the world a better place, then you don't really WANT to make a positive change. This seems to be their general outlook. I've found it doesn't do much good to try to persuade them with logic. Anymore, I just nod, smile, and back away.

Because I like having friends. The ornithophobe, she likes being LIKED, you see. I am a coward.

If I avoided all libs I'd have few friends at all. I'd have few chances to stretch my mind and improve my arguments. Challenge my politics, my beliefs, my faith. I dare you! I beg you! Because without such challenges, I may grow complacent, and my thinking may become lazy. I fear that perhaps most of all; I fear becoming one of those people for whom orthodoxy is unquestioned. The unexamined life is not worth living, and all that.

I keep another site. In the past week, I've filled it with useless nonsense and stupid livejournal quizzes. And I've done so while the Terri Schiavo issue fills my heart and my mind, and haunts my nightmares. Yet I've kept all that out of my entries, because I just can't bear to lose friends over my beliefs again.

So here I am, in the anonymity of cyberspace, spilling my heart's blood. I cannot believe that this is happening, in my country. I hear the arguments. I've seen the CT Scans and read the testimony. And while, on the one hand, I can't imagine I'd want to live as she has lived for the past fifteen years... on the other hand? Neither can I imagine being dehydrated to my death. We treat our dying pets better. And Terri Schiavo is not just dying, by any medical sense of the word. She is being murdered. A healthy body with a normal lifespan is being taken down by starvation and dehydration. I pray to God that she truly is in a persistent vegetative state. Because if she has the self awareness of a housefly, what is happening to her right now must be truly horrific.

And people I love and respect, people I admire and like, are saying that she isn't even fully human anymore. That she isn't alive in any real sense of the term. Or worse, that the decision is ultimately that of her husband and no one else. It is a "private, family matter." Where the Fuck are the feminists? Are women chattel again? Less than a century ago a man could freely beat his wife for infractions. In ancient societies a man had the legal right to kill his own children. THOSE were private, family matters too. Aren't we better than that yet? Haven't we improved at all, as a race, in 2000 years?

Perhaps in a country where OJ Simpson has custody of the children whose mother he murdered, we have not.

I think I woke up on the wrong damn planet. I woke up on a world where black is white, right is wrong, up is down. The guilty go unpunished and the innocent are slaughtered, sucked into sink drains, or starved slowly to their deaths.

This is not my America.

1 comment:

Captain Midnight said...

I refuse to discuss politics with some people in a public place because of the fireworks it produces. Call me a coward if you wish, but I prefer to discuss politics in a small group, if not in a one-on-one situation. In that way, I can avoid the too common "playing to the crowd" aspect of a public discussion.

I live in a very Blue city in a Blue state. Friends claim this is "where hippies go to die." Yet I have friends here whom I can calmly and politely discuss issue, if the setting is right.

I like asking why. I like asking that of the liberals and the clueless whom I meet, and the clueless are on all sides of the political spectrum. If someone tells me they believe in X, then I will ask them why the believe it. And I will dig to see how deep their thoughts and beliefs run.

I'm of the evil opinion that if you don't know why you believe something, perhaps you shouldn't pontificate on the subject.

OK, enough blather. :)