Breaking it Down • 8 September 2008

Why do I feel more anger when Sarah Palin mocks the Styrofoam Acropolis set at the DNC than when I think about what is going on right now in Guantanamo?

  1. The GOP’s campaign is an attack on my feminity on many levels. Their fun insults me personally… whereas my tax dollars going to torture innocents feels somehow less about me. And for some reason part of me needs to experience these global events as being all about me.
  2. Also: she’s messing up the plan! It’s our turn already. No fair! We didn't plan on being foiled by a last minute comicbook nemesis! Those wascally wabbits!!

What’s the use of my outrage at injustice if it’s built on self-protective fear and schoolyard reactivity?

I am not sure. I think it’s still useful, but there are also (1) it can’t be trusted insofar as it’s not self-aware and (2) it will spark a backlash in anyone I scorn. But… given that there is just so much straightup killing and torturing going on right now, why not work through the childish, un-self-aware, hateful anger and direct that energy into open outrage? Then act on it in a focused way, and let it go. Hmm. It would be nice to have a leader who could take it to that level.

(By the way, at the time, I really did think the columns were campy. But now: I really do feel they were a nice, fun touch. Kind of like ice sculptures! And balloon drops! Only the columns have the added bonus of being phallic! {P.S. let’s not talk about the hadron collider this week, ok? I’m completely taken by it but the name is a bit much.} The only thing that’s changed is that SP has ridiculed the columns, so I deduce that my newfound like for them is as much defensiveness as it is good humor. Poor ridiculed columns. I hope the BOPL rescues them from EBay.)

Who do some people not know what to see in all this… feel like it’s not relevant?

  1. It’s too much information and there are too many issues. It’s hard to see the true difference between these two campaigns.
  2. Staking out a moral position is too uncanny. It’s dirty and connects you too much to social events. The intensity of feeling makes one feel that much more ungrounded and disconnected—that much more Camus’ stranger.
  3. There is too much irony in acting. Malaise follows from the impossibility of acting, is the 21st century version of Arjuna at loose ends.
  4. Nothing really matters.

Just random possibilites, those. I don’t have an answer to this second question.