Saturday night while absorbing the disturbing news pouring out of Arizona I reached my own breaking point. Having personally tolerated the media vitriol for much too long, Jared Loughner’s action only confirmed my fears that enough “Fox Newspeak” would cause damage in the world. So I did something I try not to do; I picked up my mobile devise and opened up Twitter to post an angry entry. It was a simple statement;
“#giffords and all the collateral damage is tragic & I blame #palin.”
I put my phone down and got ready for bed. By the time I crawled under the blankets I saw my phone blinking. It’s hard to resist that little light tempting you with every passing wink so I took one last look and found a note waiting for me on Twitter.
It read; “and if anything happens to Palin, I’ll hold you responsible, hypocrite”
I could feel the ire rise in my gut as I re-read the message. The hair on the back of my neck pricked with indignation and my comportment became that of a cat ready for fight. I felt under attack just as assuredly as if this guy were physically coming at me with a 2×4.
I am a nice person and I try to stick to relatively benign posts because I really don’t like stirring the pot that much but hypocrite?! Was I being hypocritical? No, I don’t think I was–based upon my understanding of the definition of a hypocrite*. But I had to ask, after berating myself for posting under the influence of rage, was I in the wrong somehow? I decided to sleep on it rather than fire back an off-the-cuff reply. Needless to say I did not sleep well that night. Visions of Twitter feeds slipped in and out of my awareness. Vague feelings of aggression and fear tugged at my temples. Witty come-backs and impassioned diatribes filled my mind as I composed the perfect Tweet to this twit from Texas.
Morning came and in my hazy grogginess with phone in one hand and coffee in another I swyped my reply.
“the day I run national ads citing violence on specific people u may call me hypocrite. Ms. P must account for her words & deeds.” And I went on with my day. I found myself checking Twitter more than ever before in my life. There was something thrilling and maddening about this cross-country argument before an audience of anonymous millions.
The day passed and as the sun set his reply came screaming out of the ether into the devise I was holding in my hand; “actually, twitter is international. Your insipid comments know no borders. And you are asking for violence against Palin.” Several things happened for me in that moment. First off, I got pissed. But the longer I studied his message and gazed at his profile picture taken while he was driving his car the more it dawned on me that here was a human being. He was obviously passionate about his beliefs and maybe he had just about enough of this nonsense too. Compassion welled up within me. He didn’t like my post, I reasoned, it was perceived as a threat to his beloved former Governor of Alaska. Maybe all he wants to do is protect her. I tried to understand how “blame Palin” had become translated by this guy into “violence against Palin”
I don’t want anyone to get violent on anyone. I never called for that! And the moment of clarity rang ever deeper: this man is not responding to me. He’s responding to ‘the other’ that I represent for him. The ‘other’ that he learned to mistrust and fear and hate. Truth be told I was relating to him in the same light.
My urge to counter attack lessened. “i never said that, you did” my tweet began. “but u r right, I was reactionary & should know better than to post a Tweet when upset. Peace”
End of conversation, for him at least. To date, I’ve never heard back from him which actually makes me sad. The following day I sent him a message:
“so let’s open up a new dialogue. What is your take on the attack on Rep. Giffords? What do we learn from this?”
Then 8 hours later:
“I’m honestly looking for common ground. I want to hear ur thoughts about our current situation. Repairing the world starts here”
And the next morning:
“sad that you seem to only want to insult & not engage in genuine dialogue. I tried.”
Don’t ask me to explain why I still carry this guy around with me but I do: a young Republican, active in his Texas community, probably religious. I wonder what he’s like when he’s not warding off evil liberals like me. I wonder if we’d enjoy each others company if we met and agreed to talk about anything but politics. I wonder what he reads at night. I wonder if we really could just get along.
*hypocrite-adj: 1- a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion. 2- a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings.
Cited from Websters Dictionary.com
I just have this to say:
I am a 44 year old white woman with two children and a husband. I hold down a job because a) I have to and b) I want to. I live in New York City and I do not – NOT – make a six figure salary. Yes, it’s possible to live in Manhattan and not be filthy rich. You have to have a little luck, a willingness to cook dinner at home every night and be content to watch blockbuster movies – later – on Netflix…well, among a host of other little acts of frugality like walking to work and brown bagging it for lunch.
I am tired of hearing about undecided white, female voters. Give it up ladies and make a decision. Join the new demographic – Obama Mamas! Give voice to what you are committed to. Make a stand – right or wrong you are going to make a choice very soon (as long as you get out there and vote) so do your research and get off the fence.
I want a person leading this country who thinks before talking, has a pragmatic approach to problem solving and confronts terror (domestic and international) with a steady hand. Times call for a BORING and STEADY president. No more Captain James T. Kirk
– I want Captain Benjamin Lafayette Sisko
& OK, OK, you too, Capt. Kathryn Janeway,
though Voyager kind of never really DID it for me; but I digress!
No wait! Just have one last thing to say, here. Captain Janeway is Warp 10X more prepared than Sarah Palin ever will be to lead ANYTHING. Kate Mulgrew, all due respect goes to your performance.
Best to stop here for now.
Thanks for reading. I’m happy to hear your thoughts on the matter. Who is your favorite Star Trek captain and how does that translate into today’s election?
I have been – what’s the saying – LIKE TOTALLY OUT OF IT FOR, LIKE, EVER! Sorry folks. I had to unplug for a good long time and concentrate on things like finishing my masters thesis, keeping a job and seeing my son through to Bar Mitzvah! and by that time did I need a break! Jeeeze.
Did I mention keeping the 6 year old and the husband clothed, fed and happy
Their happiness is their business but the rest is kind of up to me. I love them even though they rarely pick up the shit that gets strewn all over the apartment.
Did I also mention that on my birthday – May 25th – I THREW OUT THE LAST SECTION OF MY BELOVED, LOATHED SECTIONAL COUCH! I was hell bent for cleansing on my 44th birthday and the couch eviction started a five hour cleaning jag that scared the pants off of my entire family. :))
So, yes, my reputation is blown and I have to start all over again but here I am with a Master’s degree in Media studies in one hand, a full fledge teen ager in my home and a job in the banking industry. Where DID I go wrong? No, really, I’m quite thankful that I still have a job. I just need to figure out where it’s gonna take me next. That is another blog entirely. I look forward to sharing that one when there’s news to share.
I just joined Twitter. Not sure what the hell it’s all about but I’ve lost my verginitwitter (tee hee) look me up MMN104. I am using a photo of Diana Rigg as Mrs. Peel…I love her! Want to be her when I finally grow up. Just can’t get my hands or head wraped around wielding a gun.
And just for the record so I can add this to my tag line. I am a 44 year old white woman with children who is most definitely NOT convinced that Sarah Palin is the next great step for feminism. She’s the way back to the dark ages!
WAY MORE on that later. I’m working up an op ed piece just you wait! As soon as I stop being so angry at her.
That’s it – thanks for coming back. My life is shifting in interesting ways and I will be happy to share it more often…if you want to keep reading.