serving brain food since 1998


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Realism for an Abstract Country

I keep having these Oscar Schindler moments. You know, the part at the end of Schindler’s List when he says, "Maybe I could have saved one more life."

You could say it’s in the blood.

Maybe I should have sandbagged my blog with more political entries, as if I hadn’t been doing it enough already. Or maybe I should have finished that Bush editorial I was writing for the view section, which compared the ill-logic of invading Iraq to abstract painting. I thought it might sound too elitist, but I can sum it up easily enough:

If the Iraq war makes perfect sense to the average American voter, I expect to see Willem De Kooning posters selling like hotcakes at Nascar rallies.

No, I think instead of sulking in this cataclysmic let-down, I’ll simply gather myself up and plan for the little bits of goodness that will surely come from living my life—spending time with my wife and our soon-to-be child.

Because the onus is not on me or anyone who had the good sense to recognize how messed up things really are. It never was. The burden of proof in the next four years lies with the people who voted for George W. Bush’s second term, knowing full well the record of his first.

And despite what some predicted, the Democrats did not go the way of the Whigs after 9/11. They held together and lost to a small margin in numbers. Talk of new parties and rearranging the electoral system are certain to happen and are a healthy part of our democracy. But there should be no deserters. The split line in this race demonstrates that the resistance is alive and kicking. It may need to regroup. It may need to rethink. But we should never be taken for granted again.

Because complacency for power’s sake is still wrong, and indifference to wrongness will always be a sin.


4 November 2004 @ 12am

Hm. I’d say you’ve done a marvelous job of using the medium available to you to espouse your beliefs, and I mean that in all sincerity. I do hope that the outcome of the election does not diminish your joy for long. There are far more important things in this short life on earth than to be depressed by that which you cannot control.

And I’m _really_ excited with you about your soon-to-be-visible-child. =:)

4 November 2004 @ 5pm

Glad I chose to read the posts on this. vanRijn said something that completely opened my eyes to something.

“There are far more important things in this short life on earth than to be depressed by that which you cannot control.”

This effects me because of the girl who I’ve been “sort of” involved with for the last 2 years. Her lack of trust, jealousy, depression, lack of self esteem, and possibly bi-polar personality play a great deal in why I’m unhappy. When she would feel hurt, she would lash out at me with lies and actions. Her mental state is out of my control as vanRijn says. And by keeping my distance from her I will be able to concentrate on the more important things in my life.

Sorry this is so far off topic but that sentence really triggered the thought in my mind.

7 November 2004 @ 11pm

Keep the faith. From an old left wing liberal who still remembers the Nixon years. The Democrats always seem to underestimate the ruthlessness of the GOP.

4 November 2004 @ 8pm

Hmmm, so it’s like Rational Emotive Therapy.

Funny, I never thought my comments would turn into an ah-ha moment for somebody.

Thanks vanRijn. Thanks Brian. Thanks Jonathan. Group starts up again next week.


Brian Zeiders
4 November 2004 @ 3am

I woke up today with a knot in my stomach and i’ve tried to unravel it all day long as i listend to pundits and refreshed web pages while staring at the red and blue map that was (and is) divided down the middle. I felt disheartened and alien from those people in the red states…they might as well be red aliens because i don’t understand their cognitive processes. Are we all that different?

Do we all consume information (or process it) in such vastly different fashions? I could regale you with my thoughts and my convictions on why this election should have gone the other way. I can lament what I perceive to be the poor judgement, greed, irresponsible and antagonistic behavior of a select few rewarded by what I perceive to be the uninformed or reproachably selective minds of half the country. But that seems too long a shot for my arrow to make.

Moral values is the largest concern among exit polled voters? What is unwarranted war and its casualties and growing (I’d almost say cultivated) disparity between classes? Are these not moral concerns for a democratic society? Perhaps I wouldn’t be so consumed by this question if Bush’s administration, the most honesty impaired administration in history, had not won the honesty vote. It defies all rational available information available on the issues involved. And yet…they won.

I refuse to bow to these soundbites, to black and whiting issues into an “us and them” mentality. We can shape this media into a better “microscope”. Polarizing people’s minds is the real danger here. I’m glad you are albe to quickly realize that the burden is not on us and that life is still thriving outside of this “Catastrophic success”.

life and death are to be loved, changing like the fleeting clouds. Walking either the path of delusion or enlightenment, is only walking in a dream. -Dogen As applied to election 04

found this by happenstance today paging through my journal. it is a haiku written hundreds of yrs ago and i’ve twisted its meaning somewhat but for some reason this makes me feel better when I apply it to the situation. It makes today not seem so final.