I'm already completely sick of politics, and the general election is still more than eight months away.
I think what is most annoying (and juvenile) is the eschatological, apocalyptic tone of so much of political discourse on the net. The republic will survive, no matter who wins in November. Really, it will. Your teeth will not fall out if you don't use toothpaste X, driving car Y won't give you a bigger penis, and the sky will not fall if politician Z isn't elected. Seriously.
And you know something else? We probably don't even know what the real issues are. Take the famous JFK/Nixon televised debates of 1960. A major historical event. Had an important impact on the election. What was JFK's and Nixon's main point of contention?
US policy regarding Quemoy and Matsu.
What were the real issues in 1960? What trends were underway at that time that were going to irrevocably change the future? Well, there was a nasty little brush fire war heating up in a distant country called Vietnam, that no one had heard of. Black people were getting increasingly restive about their second-class status. The automobile (and after May, 1960, the birth control pill) were changing America's sexual behavior, and leading to a very different sort of society. A huge generation of baby boomers who had not experienced either the Great Depression or WWII that had shaped their parents were just coming of age, and their ideas of what the world should be like were disturbingly different than those of their elders. Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex had been in print ten years, Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique was only three years away, and drastic changes in the average woman's views about herself and her proper role in the world were about to unfold. Japan and Europe were beginning to recover from being flattened in WWII and actually compete with our domestic industries again, leading to devastation in the US auto and steel industries. Oh, yeah, and there was a new gadget called the 'computer' that was just coming onto the scene.
An astute politician might have taken an interest in any of this stuff that was about to rock our world. Instead, Kennedy and Nixon debated Quemoy and Matsu, and voters made their choice based on Nixon's lack of stage make-up. I am not making this up: read the link above.
What are the real issues today? I strongly suspect it's not the modern day equivalent of Quemoy and Matsu that we hear from our current set of candidates. It's stuff we haven't thought of, perhaps stuff we haven't heard of. It's stuff flickering at the very edge of our vision. It's stuff our kids (well, your kids) will wonder why the hell we didn't see. (And no, before you ask, it's not those shape-shifting giant lizards.)
I don't know what the real issues are, although I stand in my shoes and I wonder.
In the meantime, here are my political convictions: I steadfastly support the Blues, I abhor the lack of patriotism on the part of the Greens, and their scurrilous flirtation with the Monophysite heresy, and I urge all of you to write your Senator and urge him to fight the policies of Justinian and Theodora, who are, as Procopius has shown, devils in human form.
The very future of our empire, of civilization itself, depends on the victory of the Blues in the next election!
Write-write: Flash short story, "She's a Flight Risk" is done, and up on OWW. I hate it. Back to work on "Tragedies and Statistics."
SHITSU, SHICHI, CHI
言質 == genshitsu (also genchi) == commitment,
|Bottom radical is 'shell/money' (貝). Top radical is 'axe', (斤), doubled for emphasis, acting phonetically to express 'equivalence'. Henshall suggests as a mnemonic: 'Two axes chop pawned shell to ascertain quality.'|