June 4th, 2008
|10:06 am - Hope|
A little hope
is a dangerous thing.
In a way,
it is safer to remain
disillusioned and bitter,
because it keeps your expectations
low. I want to hope
that Obama is elected president
and that if Obama is elected president
our country will shift
back in the right direction.
But I am not convinced.
I cannot dare to hope
because I do not share his faith
in my fellow citizens.
I spend too much time in sports chatrooms
and listening to people in
Texas and Florida. I am not
convinced that many people
in this country
would not be happy
to see us become a theocracy.
And I am not convinced
that many people
in this country
would not be happy to see me,
my Shema-saying self
my woman-marrying self
emigrate or be closeted
I am not convinced
that the rot
is not within.
(This poem was inspired by the 3/28/08 Real Time with Bill Maher, in which he said: "Do you think it’s really just the neocons, just the Bush Administration, or is there a rot in America, America itself, that’s a lot deeper? A lot of people, I think, in blue states and places that vote that way, would think, “Oh, yeah, we get rid of the Bushes and, gosh, America returns to that America we used to love and think about with – with fondness.” But, I don’t know. Don’t you think the rot is a little deeper than just the Bush Administration?")
This is *exactly* how I am feeling abut this election and the future of our country.
I was kind of liking Hillary for a long time, in deference to Bill who once saved us all of course, but because it felt like a way of supporting women after the terrifying sexist backlashes of the last several years. But then I couldn't find any women who actually liked Hillary. I finally found one a few weeks ago and it turned out to be this insane bully I knew years ago at school who today is one of the most brain damaged people I know who is still able to hold a job, even though it is a really nice job. So pretty much it was one Xanax fiend versus (almost) every woman I know.
Then Hillary was fighting really dirty and I thought well if you can't win a dirty fight you shouldn't be President. More and more though I realized I was forcing myself to like her and that in fact the 90's weren't perfect, and I kind of disliked her misremembering important details about Yugoslavia for instance besides other things.
Is there an unfixable rot in America? America was born rotten, it will always be rotten, I feel a lot better today though about the candidate I could actual imagine myself conversing with and enjoying it. After Hillary stole New Hampshire I was certain she would steal go all the way because it'd all been a set-up but then it got harder and harder to justify having gone to the dark side. Re-watching her victory speech in New Hampshire I just couldn't get over knowing what a liar really looks like, and all the times people have lied to me before, and in the last several weeks even though I knew Hillary could still get the nomination I was getting more and more excited about Obama.
To answer your question, the rot goes exquisitely deep, into many liberals also, the wrong people are in charge of everything including many liberal institutions, maybe they have to learn the hard way that they can't just have their way because they're in the Party of awesome.
|Date:||June 5th, 2008 02:54 am (UTC)|| |
I am very sad. It seems that NO ONE is happy about the country, NO ONE is looking forward to any part of the election and it's as if there is no hope to be found anywhere. If the country is rotted, why aren't more people trying to run for office to stop the spread of rot? So many people sit back and complain about not liking this or that, adopting totally negative tones about everything yet not really doing anything to make a difference.
I mean, really - do you foresee a time ever when every American will think the country is doing great? You can't make everyone happy all of the time. Compared to many other nations in the world, America is not a bad place to be. You could be in Iran, where their leader doesn't even acknowledge homosexuality - while here in the US, 2 states have passed laws legalizing gay marriages.
If there is a rot that is deeper than the Bush Administration, then I'd like to know what that rot is. I'd like to hear some examples of rot and how people think things should be - or how it can be fixed. Walking around with an attitude that the country sucks is untrue and unproductive.
Anyway, so there's my reaction to your poem. One thing regarding the writing - you say "not" a lot. Why not "I am convinced that many people in this country would be happy to see us become a theocracy" rather than all the double negatives? Or are you unconvinced of that, too?
Thank you for your thoughts...
On a technical note, I am not happy with all the double negatives and just haven't quite spent enough time figuring out how to make it come out the way I want it to. This is actually a slightly edited version of the original draft, with that as one of the things I was looking at.
On a content-related note...my hopelessness about the state of this country comes in waves. There are days when I feel incredibly hopeful about the fact that we have a Black man running for president, with a very good shot at being president. Of course, I cringe when I say the word "shot" because that reminds me of our history...
I know that in many ways we are lucky, because America is, in fact, better than 98% of the countries out there in most ways: freedom, civil rights, wealth, etc. But that can lead to more hopelessness, because then I feel hopeless about the state of humanity. Like, is this as good as it gets? And I do genuinely worry that the great American experiment we have going on - for all its flaws and blessings - could collapse into a theocracy not unlike that in Iran. There are plenty of conservative Christians out there would would like to see many of the same level of sanctions and code of morality imposed. It's a matter of whether they gain enough power. Iran, too, was once a very different country, before the Ayatollah was overthrown, and before the Ayatollah.
I hope you're wrong and that McCain loses. But, you probably aren't.
I have very little hope about the future of the economy, but all things are cyclical and they will get better (eventually). We survived the last couple of recessions and the depression.
I just hope these times pass before my youth does (or has that already happened?)
I am much more confident that Obama will win than I am that Obama can save our country.
We aren't beyond hope... as a country. I wish I believed that more, but I do believe that a bit.