* I know pretty much nothing about politics, except that I hate most republicans, and the ones I like, I’m making huge concessions for.
** I am not a racist. I love black people, white people, Latino people, and the occasional Asian person.
*** I love all gays.
When I was a senior in college, I took a column writing class with Jeffery Seglin, a NYT syndicated columnist and teacher extraordinary, who effectively hated to love me all semester. I can’t speak to his deepest desires, but I do know that in the end, he was disappointed in himself for not being able to wake the columnist dragon he knew was sleeping inside of me.
What I learned in that class, more than anything, is that people who write fluff about their families and short stories about their parents divorce or the tragic loss of a family pet, should not attempt to be columnists. Why? Mostly because their (my) level of insight into the world is limited. In other words, I’m a brilliant writer and a complete social idiot. Hmpfh.
I learned this for the first time when I submitted my first column for class discussion. The assignment was to write a column and submit it with the publication that you imagined it would run in. While some girls were smart enough to remain true to themselves–writing stories about starting their periods while wearing white pants and submitting it to Cosmo or Teen Vogue– I thought it was important to set a precedent. My column was bound for the New Yorker. A magazine that I have subscribed to for years out of principle, and read only about three of. I do like the cartoons though.
When I finished the piece, I was feeling pretty good about myself. Not only was I about to blow everyone out of the water, there was a good chance that my professor was going to give me a rec for the NYT. At 21, I was going to be the youngest and most famous columnist on the circuit. Fuck that Indian girl from Harvard and her panty novels. She ended up being a plagiarist anyhow.
What I didn’t think about was that underneath my witty repartee and Anderson Cooper references was a complete lack of basal knowledge. After 850 searing words denouncing the president, his plans for the country, and his failures in Iraq, I had managed to give a vague overview of their own common knowledge. Bush is a stupid fucker… Definitely the moral question behind every Pulitzer wining New Yorker piece. I should have written an expose on braille at ATMs or condom dispensers in high schools.
Unfortunately, it didn’t occur to me until after I’d passed out the essay that I was about to humiliate myself. As I watched the faces of my classmates reading–the stupid ones look pensive, actually tricked into believing I was the next Chris Matthews, the smart ones furiously writing notes in the margin– I wondered why I didn’t write a story for Jane or Prized Puppy.
Since that painful day, when a token gay boy told me my argument was “limp”–an interesting choice of words, I have kept my political conversations to a minimum. I try to read CNN or MSNBC, but the truth is that I end up surfing the medical mystery column, or week in photos galleries. A larger testament to my failures is my current existence– completely void of any journalism. I won’t even write my own Craiglist ads anymore.
So my decision to talk about politics today is about regaining a sense of self. That, and it’s pretty clear that even politicians don’t have a fucking clue what’s going on, so what harm is my commentary causing? Right?
As the election grows nearer, and my fear about Pops and Minx being elected grows, I wonder how we even got here. Am I missing something? When middle America casts their votes for Rifle and Drill, do they understand that they send their GED graduate, blue-around-the-collar sons to the slaughter? Keep voting guys, this can only get better. PIck-up-truck-driving, closeted lesbians from Dakota to Kansas are horrified by the idea of two men getting married, but haven’t thought for a second that their tit compressors and NBA certified merch are in jeopardy should they happen to– one fateful night– find a friend that they just feel special about. No babies for you, gaybos.
But what really kills me is Fred Thompson. I think you were a hell of a District Attorney (or whatever), and it was a damn shame that Cabot had to go into hiding after being shot at by a Latino mobster– I’m sure the two of you had a lot of criminals to put away together, but you’re better suited for a collapseable courtroom ala Dick Wolf.
Watching boy Fred at the RNC, I was tickled to notice that while he was rallying and whooping and carrying on, it was killing him not be able to yell across his red stated companions, “What the fuckin’ hell is goin’ on here? Is it just me or does anyone else realize we’re about to elect a NEGRO. This is America! The land of the goddamn free and the home of brave white men and their wives who cook! Remember the LA Riots? That was HIS PEOPLE. Goddamn liberals.”
While the Mormon Tabernacle Choir serenaded him.