Tuesday, October 7, 2008

TALKING POLITICS

True confession:

I've been on Etsy Forums a lot lately, mostly to talk politics. I've been talking to my mom a lot, too. And my friends. They all have their pros and cons.

Mom's fun because she disagrees with me, but often will listen to what I say. My friends are fun, but we all agree, so mostly our "discussions" are rant sessions. Etsy's good because once in a while the "other side" will come up with something that's factual, and not emotionally based, and sometimes those people will actually listen to what "our side" has to say.

But I got to thinking yesterday about why I talk politics, because someone else mentioned that it used to be considered something you didn't do in polite society.

Oh. Polite society. Huh.

Well, here's the thing: It seems to me that our country is in such a state that we need discussion more than we need to avoid controversy. We can still be polite, though, right?

Al Gore writes, in his book The Attack on Reason, that most of us get our "information" straight from the TV set or radio, both very one-way. Talk at you, no opportunity to talk back, no one to say, "Wait a minute! That didn't make sense. Think about this..." No one to say, "Are you sure that's true? Where did you get your information? Is it really just spin?"

In the Olden Days, people had the newspapers, and they had word of mouth, and they had people who stood on podiums and spoke. It all tended to be two-way. Ideas and figures and history got tossed back and forth, and somewhere in all the soup you could find "Truthiness". Maybe you could still form your own opinion from the same set of facts, but you were forming your own opinion, not having it force-fed to you.

I don't want to get all preachy here, but I want to just shout sometimes: People! Start thinking! Start doing your own research! Talk amongst yourselves! This country is in a world of hurt, and we have to figure out what to do, and we can't do that by automatically spouting the talking points of our chosen political parties!Uhmmm...Well, dang. Sorry for yelling. I won't do that again.

But what I will do is post a few links, just a couple, to places where information lurks in fine, splendid, array, all free for the taking, and really, really interesting:

Oh, and one last one, for checking the polls, and reading various political articles, but I'll admit it swings left:

www.fivethirtyeight.com

As I was writing this I realized something: This is what I do to relax, and that takes care of writing for the Blog Carnival, too!

It isn't the only thing, of course. You'd definitely have to add these:

  • Reading
  • Crochet
  • Creating art of any kind
  • Sewing
  • Gardening
  • Watching TV with my DH
  • Walking the dog
  • Taking care of my grandkids, although that isn't always relaxing!
  • Eating out, barbecuing, having friends over for dinner
  • Making music
  • Thrift store shopping
  • Listening to audio books while I work
  • Whitewater rafting
  • Camping
  • Taking photos of anything that catches my attention

And that, my dears, constitutes the short list! Hey! Looking at that list makes me think: I must be a VERY relaxed person, there's so much on it!

3 comments:

Mary said...

Talking politics just leaves me feeling anxious. I will stick with listening to others hash it out while I keep crafting. Less stressful.

Jen said...

Great post! "Talk amongst yourselves!!!" Couldn't agree more. (Then again, my husband IS a philosophy professor, and a political junkie. So we have lots of talking around here....)

storybeader said...

you're not a relaxed person, you're just laid back! I'm another political junkie, but I try to be polite in "mixed" company...

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