vendredi, octobre 08, 2010

No-Man's Land

I'm a man without a country, so to speak. But it didn't start politically. As always, my social/emotional/physical/political state has philosophical roots. Let us re-trace our steps.

By the end of the teenage years, most people have a pretty clear idea of whether they are a "morning person" or a "night owl." It usually has something to do with how late they like to stay up, relative to how early they are comfortable getting up. Most people have a pretty clear preference. Both lifestyles have their advantages. Early risers get to live out Franklin's "early to bed, early to rise" axiom. They get to enjoy the glory of the morning, the clear stillness and palpable hope inherent in the dawn. Early morning mountain bike rides are cool even in the summer, and you have the trail all to yourself. The morning is serenity.
Night birds, on the other hand, get to wrap themselves in the mystery of the night. To revel in the misty truths that are seen unseen. A kiss while the world sleeps has twice the passion. They also get to share precious moments with comedians, who, for some reason are not allowed to make people laugh while the sun shines. (I speak of Craig Ferguson, and, recently, SNL, and hopefully, Conan). I know how rare it is that anything truly good, or noble, happens after sunset, but even Mozart, who owned the sun, wrote a Little Nacht Musik.
Clear advantages on every side--the problem being that they are mutually exclusive. It simply isn't practicable to indulge in both as a matter of course. Yet here I am, a nocturnal morning person. I love (even need) them both, and cannot choose. So I'm doomed. Their combined magic most often adds up to misery.

Then there's shaving. I have no desire to be lumped with the modern scruffy slacker aesthetic. But that's what happens. It doesn't matter how often I want to say to myself: I'm not trying to look like EVERY Hollywood actor or magazine model, from Jack on Lost to whoever appears on the cover of Esquire. I like a smooth face. Yet I also hate shaving. So I play a game of cat and mouse with my whiskers and always end up on the losing side. Shaven/unshaven and liking/hating it.

Likewise with vegetarianism. I've never minded being the top of the food chain. I think meat tastes good and when produced on a small scale it's not immoral to eat other living things morally and sparingly. And yet, after watching and reading some accounts of how meat is produced, I decided that eating it was not a moral option--indeed, that you cannot be christian, or karmically positive, or enlightened, (insert whatever you believe), and also be part of the meat industry in any way. But I don't want to be one of those vegetarians, the judgemental, evangelical, activist vegetarians who think that a religious person should keep their damn mouth shut but a vegetarian should tell the world how to live. I don't really want to discuss it. But time and again, it comes up. People see you not eating it and have to know. And the next thing you know you're telling them about the toxic pools that kill people and poison the water table as fixtures at mass production pig farms all over the country. I guess if you wait for someone to ask, you're not technically trolling for converts. But let's face it, no one--NOT ONE PERSON--has EVER stopped eating meat because a vegetarian told them where their bacon came from. Even so, my approach leaves me unsatisfied. A vegetarian who likes meat, who cannot and must discuss it with people who ask, but don't really want to know.

I could go on, but why? The philosophical underpinnings are obvious at this point. The reader cannot help but perceive why I am trapped in political limbo. As it is with the night and the day, so it is with my position on the political spectrum. No party represents me. And while I hate dipsheists who display posters of the president with a hitler mustache, I also hate the smug ignoramuses who dismiss people who advocate responsible, limited government as "tea baggers." I know for a fact that people who watch Keith Olberman are precisely as mentally impaired as those who can stand the sound of Sean Hannity's voice for long periods. I understand your need to affiliate with a movement or party, but think you're a complete idiot for thinking the democrats or republicans represent anything but fascism and party-line intellectual cop-outs. I can see how you might think FOX news has a bias; I think you must have fecal matter for brains if you think that the other news networks even approach journalistic neutrality. I admire your clarity and dedication; I despise your feckless, loud-mouthed activism. I applaud your skewering of the power structure when Bush was in office; I mock and deride your blind allegiance to the blundering, power hungry, image obsessed Obama regime. I honestly don't give a tinker's damn about the president's race--on the other hand I think it's really cool that we are half a step closer to having a leader who resembles the chief executive in "The Fifth Element" and various other Hollywood classics.

See? I'm a man without a country, looking around for a third America I can call my own. A man, floundering between extremes, hoping a house divided unto itself can somehow stand.

2 commentaires:

.när'sĭ-sĭz'əm. a dit...

in a way the torture is good. better be miserable and aware, able to see the different moving parts of your thought process and path, than happy and ignorant, soft and pliable, needy for a corner. maybe. some do not enjoy the inner argument as much as others. i would ride it. and keep and eye out for some island not yet found. you may need it in the future.

Megan a dit...

I really need to know what your philosophical reason is for buying the kind of pants that would lead to you wearing women's clothing.