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I Can’t Help Delving in Politics

Musing Mondays2

This week’s musing asks:

Do you have any special reading that you do as it gets closer to Christmas? If so, tell us about it! And, if not, tell us why not.

Christmas is the one occasion for which I don’t have special reading. I don’t celebrate Christmas, let alone participating in all the commercial madness of buying and giving gifts. Couple years ago I read Skipping Christmas by John Grisham and I just loved the idea of skipping it. However, winter break is perfect time to catch up on reading and wrap up any remaining challenges before the end of the year. I have only joined one challenge that which comprises of twelve goals. I am currently reading Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides for the Pulitzer Prize winner mini challenge. Remaining are one book by J.R.R. Tolken and a very old classic. It is inevitable that the holiday season will impose disruption to reading but I try to minimize commitment other than what is necessary. I am reading what my whims take me.

On the eve of midterm election, I must remind voters that I really like President Obama, but the reality remains he is only one man. Sure he has more power than you and I do, and more than just about anyone else in the US. However, I must also remind you that we don’t elect a dictator and the problems and challenges the nation faces will dwarf any single leader, regardless of his partisan affiliation. Does this mean that what Obama does fails to matter? Of course not, but it does mean that what we do collectively as a society matters more. Why do I talk about politics suddenly? Because when I read this passage in Middlesex this morning, I thought it is eerily augurous that it was written back in 2002:

Therefore, he felt that I, his son, should have a skin color that would allow me to deal with both white and black people justly and righteously. So I am here, a mulatto, like Musa before me, who brought the commandments to the Jews.

The way it goes I see that it will just make Americans elect Republicans, because that will appear to be the only alternative. Until progressives build some choice beyond corporate Democrats and wingnut Republicans, we’ll keep flipping back and forth between these two—and that constitutes a vicious cycle— because those are the choices that most Americans see. As things are, another party would simply be bought out by the same interests that bought out the other two. Whatever this new party may be, I do not think it’s Tea Party.

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16 Responses

  1. I couldn’t agree more!

  2. Thank you, thank you. I teach American Literature, and we focus on America as “idea” and not just America the country we live in. I think that’s partially why I have been so disheartened before and since Obama’s election. This utter hatred the parties have for one another is seriously disturbing.

    The woman whose head was stomped last week was just the straw that broke the camel’s back. I wanted to cry.

    I voted last week and am hoping to see reason restored in short order (regardless of who wins the elections).

    • I hope people will just wake up before 2012. Tea Party is not the answer to our problems. She’s the only one who is dumber than George W. Bush. If Bush had given us 8 harrowing years of lies, manipulations, insanity, and more global enemies… than our wallets allow, this woman will just finish us off altogether. She’s frighteningly ignorant. Give the Democrats more time to turn things around. While she’s at it, she’s not as big a threat as those cunningly opportunistic Republicans and corporations who back them insidiously.

  3. What you said about this is so true:
    “what we do collectively as a society matters more”

    I am living in the UK. My political views are more in favour of socialism and I thought the UK govt had done a lot for the people. When something goes wrong (or doesn’t) however, people felt the need to blame the leader. In Asia, it might be labelled as blind faith, but the deep sense of respect for our leaders unite us all and execute the govt agendas to its full extent.

    I think people have to learn how to support their govt, even if it’s not the one they have chosen. Ultimately it’s for the good of the nation if the govt intent is good.

    • Call me crazy or extreme, but in times like what the USA is in, deep sewage of financial crisis and global terrorist alert, the government might as well just take over like the Communists–make the necessary decisions and implement the policies that would right the wrong, instead of letting people, the ignorant people who know absolutely nothing, decide what to do. I am very tired to watching the hatred between the parties. I’m just so outraged that certain members of opposing party just want to overturn the President.

  4. I thought Middlesex was amazing…I hope you love it! As far as reading things that correlate with the seasons, I don’t. I’m not organized enough for that.

    • Middlesex could very well be one of the best books I’ve read this year. Two-thirds of the way now and I can’t wait to see what happens at the end.

  5. “wingnut Republicans”..
    maybe if we all stopped engaging in stereotyping and name calling it would be easier.

    • Caite, I’m sorry if that is offensive. That just slipped out of my mouth/mind when I typed. To me right now both parties are a bit shaky and crazy.

  6. I love the idea of skipping Christmas. If it weren’t for my kids I seriously would.

    I am reading Middlesex right now. Down to the last few pages. Very interesting book. Lots to discuss.

    • This book is a realm of issues, touching on adolescence, family values, immigrants, American dream, and identity. I have lots of notes and I cannot put the book down.

  7. Truman Capote’s The Thanksgiving Visitor and A Christmas Memory (short stories or novellas which are sometimes sold as a set). I grew up in the South and the images evoked by so many Christmas stories — snow, sleighs, reindeer — never seemed to have much to do with me. What a treasure it was then to discover these two stories which are set against backgrounds more familiar to me. I also love the relationship between the boy and Miss Sook — two people who didn’t count much with the other people in the family and so banded together to make their own holiday traditions. All lonely children should have a Miss Sook. All lonely old people should have a child like Buddy to love.

    • Thank you so much for this comment. I would never have known that Truman Capote has written a book like Truman Capote and A Cjristmas Memory! So heart-warming these stories sound!

  8. The Capote stories are both based on his childhood — I like the picture they paint of life in small town America during the Depression. They are heart-warming, but also realistic. There’s a longing in both of them, and sadness.

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