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Politics in a box. - Barnstorming on an Invisible Segway [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Marissa Lingen

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Politics in a box. [Aug. 23rd, 2012|01:41 pm]
Marissa Lingen
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Okay, guys, it's only August, and I've had enough.

I still read the paper and The Economist (which makes me kind of crazy, but it comes here for free), but I'm refiling the political blogs I read into a separate folder only to be opened deliberately. I'm not changing who I read on lj yet. That might happen.

I'm making a sign for the window by the front door. The phrase, "Politicans: Get off our land," features prominently.

I do not feel that I have learned anything new from, for example, the antics of Akin this week. Who is surprised? I am not surprised. Who feels their views have changed as a result of what they have heard? I do not. There is just the yammer yammer yammer and the renewed horror at what we already knew was horrifying, and I have serious health problems and things to write and things to make with the garden produce, and...I know that some of you are probably doing good work on the political front. But I am not. I am just continuing to be upset in the same directions as I was already upset. And that's not helping anybody. I need to draw a line. So I'm drawing it. Not "no politics zone." But "politics only deliberately." "Politics in measured and conscious doses."

My life: I need it.
LinkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2012-08-23 07:00 pm (UTC)
this. With thanks.
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[User Picture]From: dichroic
2012-08-23 07:23 pm (UTC)
I think one of the main reasons I can still deal with it is that I'm not living in the US - so I see it all ove the internet but only there, not on TV, not in the office (or only rarely), not at social events or in the news paper, and certainly not from people coming to my door. I get a much lower concentration.
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[User Picture]From: moiread
2012-08-23 07:24 pm (UTC)
I am glad that there is the yammering. I am glad that lo these many people are talking, and talking a lot. The fact that I talk about this kind of stuff regularly and refuse to shut up about it in a general sense has in fact had a huge impact, in a good way, on many people. Five years ago they were not that far off from somebody like Akin, but today they know better, and they tell me it's because I keep talking. And then there are the faceless internet strangers on the forums, asking for help, or trying to talk about things that they don't yet have the words for. And my students. So, so many people.

But there are lots of ways to fight against the amount of shit in the world; not everyone has to do it the same way, or even the same way all the time. I can do the talking, but I can't do much of the donating or the marching or the running of organizations. And in fact, nobody has to do anything at all. It is better when people do something, but which people and in what ways is a personal decision that ought to be strongly respected. (And really, you are not somebody who needs help figuring out ways to help. I hope you do not have anyone in your life so fundamentally clueless as to mistake this.)

Likewise, I'm glad that you feel you can step out of the mud if you need to. God knows I certainly step away when I need to.

Otherwise we would drown.

And on that happy note: What are you making with the garden produce? Inquiring minds, we wish to know.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2012-08-23 08:57 pm (UTC)
It's not your kind of talk I had classified as yammering, it's Mike Huckabee's. But I'm glad you're able to make a difference in that way at this point. That's not the way I'm able to make a difference at this point. So.

At the moment I am making cucumber dill salad, and also oven-roasted green beans, and also boatloads of pesto. Soon we will be reaching a ratatouille stage, and a salsa verde stage, and a chili verde stage. The tomatoes are slow and sullen this year.
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[User Picture]From: moiread
2012-08-23 09:07 pm (UTC)
I'm sad that we live so far apart. If you wanted help making all that stuff, I would be there so quickly. Terribly envious of your kitchen right now. :)
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2012-08-23 09:10 pm (UTC)
So many lemon cucumbers YOU WOULD NOT BELIEVE.
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[User Picture]From: moiread
2012-08-23 09:18 pm (UTC)
I would too believe! And then I would eat them all. OM NOM NOM.
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[User Picture]From: dichroic
2012-08-24 12:01 pm (UTC)
Do lemon cucumbers look like lemons in color or shape, or do they taste like lemons?
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2012-08-24 12:08 pm (UTC)
They are yellow and round. Some of them are slightly sour, but only very slightly.
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[User Picture]From: pameladean
2012-08-23 07:37 pm (UTC)
I'm very glad you are looking out for yourself. This is indeed a peculiarly unenlightening political season. I have been contemplating a political post, but I'll put it behind a cut tag. More likely, it will just stay in my head.

P.
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[User Picture]From: wshaffer
2012-08-23 07:49 pm (UTC)
I am considering writing to the various politicians I've donated money to in the past and asking them how much money I would have to give them to have them go away and stop sending me emails about the latest outrageous or scary thing that their opponent has done in the hopes that I will give more money. I don't mind being asked for money, but I can totally do without the bonus fear and outrage.

(Of course, there is no way to pay them off, so I'll have to do the next best thing and resolve to delete the emails unread.)
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[User Picture]From: netmouse
2012-08-23 07:59 pm (UTC)
Life! We need it, and, ...it happens!

I hear you on the frustration. I have donated money a couple times but I've gotten so much paper mail in response I'm pretty sure they've already spent all that I've donated trying to get me to donate more, which I can't. And being on the email lists, I rapidly got sick of the emphasis on raising money. New! SEC deadline! Different from last month somehow! I am worn out on it all and unsubscribing.
I'd like to know what the important issues are and how to speak to them if (a rarity these days) I actually am speaking to a human who a) disagrees with me and b) is willing to talk about it. But the campaigners aren't really into thoughtful info-heavy resources.

Interest in this sort of thing recently led me to subscribe to Mother Jones magazine, which supposedly still works to investigate truth. So far, based on one issue recieved, I'm pleased with it, for coverage both political and non.

I've given some support to my local Obama office - made them badges for their staff training session, helped w a garage sale, made food for a social thing I couldn't attend - and I got training to do voter registration. But mostly I'm finding I'm not willing to disrupt our lives for this election season. The kiddo needs naps. And other things. And on the whole I'm feeling ok with that.
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[User Picture]From: magentamn
2012-08-23 08:18 pm (UTC)
On top of everything else, it's zucchini season, and those innocent plants I put in the garden three months ago are TAKING OVER THE WORLD.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2012-08-23 09:02 pm (UTC)
If you planted zucchini knowingly and with malice aforethought--did you perhaps tell yourself they were really secretly "summer squash?"--I cannot help you. And in fact will not! No one is home here! There is no one hiding behind the curtains to take your zucchini!
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[User Picture]From: fidelioscabinet
2012-08-24 03:48 am (UTC)
Also, the car doors are locked so you can't sneak any in there while her back is turned. This lady is wise in the ways of the Zucchini Stalkers.
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[User Picture]From: pameladean
2012-08-23 10:08 pm (UTC)
Mine died. Last year they bloomed but there were no pollinators for them. I don't know why they hate me so much.

P.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2012-08-24 11:49 am (UTC)
This time of year, this would involve sitting by the zucchini plant all day long and hoping you leapt fast enough.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2012-08-24 11:54 am (UTC)
For peas it would be worth it.
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From: diatryma
2012-08-24 11:36 pm (UTC)
Buttercup House is in some sort of zucchini Twilight Zone. I planted four seedlings. None of them lived past knee-height and three blooms. No zucchini for us.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2012-08-23 09:03 pm (UTC)
I used to feel that this was why not having the ability to have a vote of no-confidence was a good thing, because then we wouldn't have permanent election season, just every four years plus smaller ones every two. I was so wrong.
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[User Picture]From: blue_hat_guru
2012-08-24 02:39 am (UTC)
A possibly interesting study related to the above idea: http://www1.american.edu/ia/cdem/pdfs/linz_perils_presidencialism.pdf
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[User Picture]From: clarentine
2012-08-23 08:35 pm (UTC)
I went so far as to type up a post yesterday ranting about my sense of disengaging this year out of self-protection from all the craziness...and then deleted it without posting. Those who need to read it either wouldn't or would think I meant it for someone else.

I'm glad you're taking care of yourself.
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[User Picture]From: ashnistrike
2012-08-24 03:51 am (UTC)
Yeah, there comes a point when I try to avoid everything except Five Thirty Eight. The candidates are unlikely to do anything that changes my opinions, and Nate Silver's stats are the only meaningful horse race reporting out there. Obama slips on a banana peel? Romney comes out in favor of Krugman's plan to fix the economy by faking an alien invasion? Silver will let you know if the actual percentage chance of Obama winning has moved from the 69% +/-2 where it's hung for the past several months. Spoilers: it hasn't. I find the whole thing very restful.

This is in theory. In practice, I live in DC.
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From: diatryma
2012-08-24 11:39 pm (UTC)
I declared No More Politics before the 2008 election, with an additional No Political Comment Threads rider. I figured I'd recover after a while and start reading them again... and no. My life is not noticeably worse for not reading explicitly political things on a regular basis. I am getting to that point about a great deal of feminism, actually. I am le tired.
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