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Be the change you want to see in the world

I've been thinking a lot about the state of the world, the state of my writing, finding my voice, etc. In other words, BIG WEIGHTY TOPICS.

1. Tuesday is the election. It will probably be fraught with disappointment for me. The amendment to Kentucky's constitution defining marriage as one man and one woman will likely pass in a landslide; nothing like a bunch of ignorant rednecks to actually institutionalize and condone hatred and discrimination. It's a black eye for the state. Anne Northup, a conservative puppet of W, will similarly win re-election in a landslide (although I admit that Tony Miller's campaign has been less than inspiring), as well as Jim Bunning. Neither of them I would elect street sweeper, but they inspire confidence in the uninformed electorate. And, to top it off, W may still win re-election. I have a suspicion (or perhaps it's just optimism) that he won't, but it is possible.

2. Despite these concerns, I am trying not to get depressed or disheartened. The other night, I watched The Untouchables and realized that things have not really changed politically. Stupid decisions get made everyday. The movie reminded me about Prohibition. How the hell did that ever get through? Conservatives run rampant in this country; all we can hope to do is slow them & eventually force them into the future, kicking & screaming. It's a constant battle with ignorance and intolerance we fight, and we cannot let our losses defeat our resolve.

3. Relatedly (although I'll probably have to explain why), I'm thinking about writing. The act of writing is tremendously arrogant. It assumes 2 things that are not necessarily true: (1) You have something to say, and (2) you will reach an audience. Further, said audience will understand and appreciate your efforts. This is actually a political statement. Reading books requires intelligence, something this country, at least, seems to devalue. Al Gore had to dumb himself down for his campaign (W, on the other hand, didn't have to - or it's a tremendous acting job). In their book How to Enjoy Writing, Isaac & Janet Asimov talk about how writing is an enormous act of faith, how less than 1% of the population actually reads anything more than headlines. You write in the hopes of getting published (which is difficult enough), only to hope to be found by that handful of people who do actually take time to read.

4. This all sounds depressing, but I don't think it is. The human race at large is really a lost cause. It decimates its environment and is the only species that will actually prey upon itself. (How very Hobbesian of me.) Ultimately, it will wipe itself out. I can't help but take a Zen approach to it (all is nothing). That's not my concern, tho. Even if it's an uphill battle to urge intelligence, respect and rational thought (by which I mean true rational thought, not some empty moniker used by politicians to justify idiotic decisions), I have to not only strive for it, but become my own role model in this regard. I can't recall who said it, but "Be the change you want to be in the world."

I guess that's it. Lately, my LJ entries seem to be long rants. I hope people do read them, even though they are long.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Oct. 31st, 2004 11:22 am (UTC)
I read every word you write, sweetness.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


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