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Migratory Patterns

This blog is migrating to my new blog, “L.A. in L.A.”, when I eventually figure out how to do that. The parallel of course being that I am also migrating to L.A.

Why I need to get the hell out of DC

Politics.

No, I’m not going to leave the post at that, but I could, and wouldn’t be leaving too much more to the imagination.

The first, and perhaps most ironic, problem with my ever-intensifying hatred of politics is that politics occupies the vast majority of my job every day. It’s what we cover: the daily absurdities, the minute changes in polls and moods, the obscure politicians in obscure states whose success in their elections for some reason holds the key to the entire future of American politics, the charges and counter-charges and statements and counter-statements.

Five years ago if anyone had asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, there was a 99% chance I’d say something in politics. It was my trajectory. All of my friends, teachers, relatives knew that I was a government nerd, and my argumentative nature and contrarian style was suited for a life in politics. I studied Government in college, but after enduring the hatred of my peers in 2000 and the years following, I eschewed all but the most basic American Politics classes and concentrated instead on political theory.

In theory, politics is great. It’s human social interaction in its most raw, and simultaneously complex, form. Political theory is in part predictive–assuming a politician will (or should) behave or act a certain way based on their ideology–and in part reactive–ascribing schools of political thought to major events and government decisions in retrospect–and in whole it is a way of viewing and analyzing national and global governance patterns.

But in practice, politics is ugly, and on more occasions than none, painfully boring. At least seeing sausage get made is a little interesting, if gross. In order to do my job (and live with my roommates), I try not to care about liberal antics and conservative complaints. I try to divorce myself from my political beliefs, and not to get annoyed every time I see hypocrisy in action. But unfortunately, DC politics is just one massive game of Pin the Tail on the Hypocrite (so many of whom are Donkeys), an irksome cliche that holds so little relevance in the daily lives of those outside the beltway.

What it comes down to, why I need to leave DC, is simple, and admittedly childish: I’m tired of having my feelings hurt. The liberal bickering, haughty fingerpointing and name calling is hard to let roll of my back. It got so bad–as did the economy and perhaps the Obama agenda–that conservatives who found no support in the Republican party took to the streets. They started the Taxed Enough Already protests, marched on Washington, and ate out of the palm of Glenn Beck’s hand voiced their frustrations wherever they could. Conservatives don’t do that often. Liberals had a dozen “major” protests in DC in 2009, even after their No-More-Bush countdown reached zero on January 20th; conservatives had 2, and they became liberal enemy No. 1. John Kerry calls them “the far right wing, the out-of-state tea bagger crowd.” And the grassroots, on-the-ground marketing plan that got Barack Obama elected over an establishment Democrat (Hillary Clinton) was… neighbors knocking on each other’s doors to spread the good word?

I’m not part of the TEA Party movement. I’m a libertarian; we know that our ideals are frustratingly impossible to enact in the real world, so instead we talk political philosophy in our commiserable smoking circles and write blogs. I truly don’t know enough about their platform (see “hating politics,” above) to know whether they truly reflect my ideals or not. But to dismiss their ideas, passion, and ability to organize as an entity apart from the Republican Party (and you’re lying to yourself if you don’t think the GOP wishes it could rein in those TEA party folks and/or benefit from their fiery tenacity) as invalid is, unfortunately, liberal modus operandi: forcible tolerance of all ideas and ways of living, unless they run contrary to liberal ideas and ways of living.

The bulk of liberals might have reasonable ideals and good reasons for holding them. Many of the ones who are my friends certainly do. But the face liberals put forward is all too often that of the arrogant asshole, or snarky comedian from whom most liberals, despite their ministrations to the contrary, actually get their news.

For every Glenn Beck-tard who follows the TV host’s word as gospel there is a Jon Stewart worshiper who claims his jokes as their own “savvy” political observations. There are idiots on both sides, but forgive the Right if they don’t take every opportunity to publicly lampoon their liberal counterparts, use crass sexual jokes to describe opposing grassroots movements, or assume that their position is the default mood of the American people, and every view to the contrary is moot. Liberals actively hate me (even though traditionally I’m in the demographic they love), and I’m tired of it.

The grand scale of What DC Does matters. I would never suggest it didn’t. And perhaps if I got out of the bubble, I would appreciate it more. But I’d have to get out of the bubble to find out.

What an ass.

The flying squirrel

I just came back inside from a building-wide fire alarm that evidently my office caused. Unlike in middle school–when you’d pray for a fire alarm to get you out of taking a test that you will invariably go back and finish taking in ten minutes after the poor custodian finds and flushes the stink bomb that prompted the alarm, which anyway is not enough time to study the notes that you forgot to smuggle outside (which is probably the reason why teachers ingrain in us that we are not to take ANYTHING with us during a fire drill)–fire alarms during live television are incredibly inconvenient. But not for me, because I have no clearly defined role to fill today, so I’m starting a blog!

Trouble is, I’m not especially clever. I like to think I am, but enough tortured souls have poured their hearts and clever, clever minds out into blogs in the past decade that I feel as though I am in saturated company. So this is what I would write if I were actually clever. And, revisionist history aside, what I should have retorted in so many situations but was too paralyzed by fear of confrontation to actually say.

So without further ado…

I saw this dress. I try to look impeccable every time I step foot out the door, when I’m not trudging into work on weekends at least. A constant paranoia that others are harshly judging me, combined with an inability to leave for work without checking myself in the mirror forty-seven times, sees to that. So I figured, I’m dripping with disposable income like everyone else in this country right now, so why not order it online and try to make it work.

Beyond the excitement of seeing that little “YOU’VE GOT A PACKAGE!!!!” key in my mailbox, getting things from Banana Republic has become such a ritualistic joy in my life. Because I don’t see the point in paying $7 for shipping without buying several unnecessary articles of clothing and accessories, I had a few other garments to try on to build up suspense before the piece de resistance. Normally this is done in private (see “Judgmentphobia,” above), but roommate #1 was home–tough but fair and rational, we’ll call her the Ego–so I decided to model for her the lovely things I purchased.

Until we got to the Flying Squirrel dress. So named because, unlike the chic voluminous silhouette and flattering banded bottom you see on the model (who is admittedly the size of my pinkie finger), this sack looked like a cashmere cross between a 1987-era sweatshirt–exposed shoulder seams and all–and a marshmallow. “Dolman sleeve” is an outright lie, and Banana Republic should be ashamed… is what I would have said had I not wanted to make it work SO BADLY.

The biggest mistake was letting roommate #2–we’ll call her the Id… or, just for today, Snidely Whiplash–try the dress on, which proved that even 5’11” skinny pretty blonde girls couldn’t make it work and that, given the opportunity, good friends will sooner tie you to a railroad track themselves than let you commit fashion suicide. Despite my protestations and assertions that the dress is no longer in my possession, and I’m $65 richer because of it, the Flying Squirrel dress is enduring proof that the risk one takes in fashion is not that people won’t understand your style goals, but rather that you won’t be able to win a battle when your indefensible position is made of marshmallows.

Chew on that, psyche.


May 2017
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