here’s to the state

Posted on April 21, 2010

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so life has been an internal whirlwind as of lately…a whirling dervish of self-evaluation and discovery, if you will.  honestly, i could give a crap if you will.  but i did.

first and foremost, i’d like to get on the loudspeaker and request a mop and bucket for a cleanup on aisle five: i’ve discovered that i have a bleeding heart.  contrary to what you may be thinking, it’s not from a gunshot wound suffered during a battle with the van buren boys.  the more i read, hear, and see in the bastion of red that is columbia, south carolina, the more i realize that i was (key word: was. as in past tense.  as in not within the past fiver years) two steps away from being the bastard step-child of paul wolfowitz and glenn beck.  i bought into the white, midwestern mentality of “stop your whining and pull yourself up by your bootstraps/i can do it, why can’t you?” mentality.  without getting into the endless socioeconomic reasons behind my stupidity, i find myself today wondering why i didn’t get my ass kicked a lot when i was younger.  today i find myself wondering how people can be so ignorant of reality and their own contradictory nature when it comes to political views.  don’t get me wrong, i have my own views and beliefs, and this isn’t the us versus them mentality.  more simply put, if people could be honest with themselves and open to others when it comes to views on, oh, i don’t know, healthcare, taxes, education, humanity, civil liberties, abortion, homosexuality, religion, and all the other crap that comes along with politics, i’d have no problem.  but then i guess it wouldn’t be politics…that sassy whore.

so, in a nutshell, it’s taken the unexpected move to cola to make me realize that i’d gladly make sacrifices in my personal life for the benefit of others.  i’ll be honest, there’s definitely a selfish motive in it: i’m a firm believer in the “it all comes out in the wash” theory.  an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of treatment.  whatever.  but beyond that, i find myself thinking “everyone’s lot in life would be much improved if people gave a damn and thought beyond their front door.”  i don’t know.  in a self-defeatist manner, i’m not too concerned with making a difference in this town.  hell, this is the place where compromise means taking the rebel flag off of the state house and erecting a rebel monument directly in front of the state house.  it’s also the state that believes we need more cuts in education funding.  after all, our representative for miss america had no problem finding the iraq on a map.

also evolving from this point of view has been something that even i have trouble believing: i’ve gone vegetarian.  i’m not full on vegan; in fact, i think i’m over the maximum weight standards for that club.  but i’m definitely vegetarian.  and still fat.  so still the same me, now with more fiber.  if i could figure out the reason for this myself, i’d explain it to you, but i really can pinpoint one thing.  so, i think i’ll just work it out as we go: first off, we’ve started our own garden and i’ve really enjoyed the fruits, vegetables, and herbs of our labor.  the ability to eat fresh, pure foods has always been something i’ve enjoyed.  then, add in the lessons taken from in defense of food, which discusses our horribly skewed view of what actually constitutes “food” and the focus on nutritionism.  thirdly, and i think most importantly, you can thank my wife.  no, this isn’t one of those pulp fiction situations where she’s vegetarian, therefore i’m vegetarian.  far from it.  the other evening my wife mentioned wanting to see a documentary called earthlings. so we decided to watch the trailer online to see what it is all about…and i had a hard time even finishing the full 2 minutes.  i’ll give you a warning right now: it’s graphic, disturbing, and disgusting.  needless to say, i haven’t been able to bring myself to watch the actual documentary just yet.  i have plans to, but i need to work myself up to seeing it.  and i’m not a squeamish person.  to sum it all up, the documentary talks about how “earthlings” means the three types of inhabitants of earth (plants, animals, humans) and how their relationships have run amok.

is that the new hawaiian burger joint? i wouldn't know samuel.

so i guess on one level i would say the choice to go vegetarian has an ethical aspect to it.  but it’s not that i disagree with killing animals.  if you hunt, great for you, but i expect that your doing it to use that animal for food, clothing, etc.  hunting is not a sport (once again, why the hell do i live in south carolina).  and i’m all for the standards set in kashrut when it comes to meat/poultry.  and i’ve heard the argument that i just have to ignore what i’ve seen or don’t think about it.  but i can’t do that.  to me, by eating these foods or using these products, i’ve done more than recognize that certain practices take place.  i’ve done more than condone these practices.  i’ve told myself that these practices are acceptable to me, that eating a steak is worth the things that i’ve seen (and i haven’t even seen it all).  and i’m not ready to do that.

so i guess i need to go get some non-leather birkenstocks and find my old hackey-sack…and i’ve been playing eddie vedder on repeat for the last several days when i’m not listening to npr.  i’m sorry dad.

p.s. to all the tea partiers, grow the f**k up.  tea parties are for little girls and old british ladies.

p.p.s. my rant on consumerism is forthcoming.

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