Friday, March 30, 2007

I got your mean right here

Today I had lunch with my friend JR. We have been friends since our freshman year of college at William and Mary. Those were the days. He was as depressed as my fashion sense. I mean, I used to wear men's jeans from Wa-Mart, people. But that is not the point. The point is that he and I always have a great time together because we think the same way. We are both out-spoken liberals, mock each other's relative dorkiness, and enjoy ragging on European culture. Why DO their toilets use so much water?

During lunch, JR told me about a blog he had read where someone described liberals as "mean." This made for some interesting discussion. And by interesting, I mean that neither of us really disagreed with this assessment. Yes, liberals can be mean. But there is a reason. To explain further, I will turn things over to JR and reproduce his response to the blogger that he wrote in her comments.

"yes, we are unhappy.

we are unhappy for a myriad of reasons. we are unhappy because we do not want to blind ourselves to the individual stories of the millions of suffering people in the world, to do that would accept their lot as fate, and to accept their lot as fate is to deny the possibility of change, progress, and growth. It is the American liberal's belief that we as a society have to provide some sort of capacity to let people prove that possibility. Contenting yourself with not thinking about other people or society as a whole may make you a happier person, but it makes morally corrupt.

we are unhappy because the president lied and lied and lied in order to line his friends' pockets.

we are unhappy because the dissonance between the goals of the american promise and the reality of everyday life in america is so great, that it is absurd. absurd not as in "silly", absurd as in "mind-blowingly beyond the capabilities of comprehension or common sense." You may think that billions of dollars of debt to pay for a military-industrial complex that will eventually fail due to unsustainability may make sense, but generally taxes PAID fund governments, not trillion dollar credit card please, go on and on and on about how being liberal was a fancy of your youth. good. i'm glad that at some point you cared about something other than yourself.

too bad that part of you got lost when you entered williams sonoma."

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