Thursday, August 04, 2005

I live in a bubble...

and I like it here. I think we all tend to surround ourselves with people and places that seem to support our general world view. Part of the reason I had such a hard time with the last Bush election was that I knew no one personally who voted for him and in my mind no one has ever had a favorable opinion of him or his first term in office. So why was he handed a second? Because, believe it or not, there are other people “out there” (mostly in economically depressed states and sparsely populated regions from my understanding) who for all practical purposes could be on another planet. The division of America is real. Even if you don’t believe that global warming is, you’ve been living under a rock for some time now if you cannot see plain as day the deep division that has ruptured the very fabric of society here in the US. And just like the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, the reds are getting redder and the blues are getting bluer. In my severe codependence and need for everyone to get along, I’ve done a damn good job at surrounding myself with people who basically believe in the same things I do, give or take. But my fear here is that if everyone does that, no one will ever understand the other side. They will forever be the “other”, the “enemy”, the “problem with this country”. When really, as much as the news media has trained us to think this way, this is not a black and white kind of thing. And if we only point fingers and never actually get around to actual solutions to actual problems, well, you can see where this is heading.

Thanks to Tanya and this post, and to this guy who commented on it. It gave me something to think about today. BTW about the snarky comment Scott… couldn’t help myself. I don’t know you and you don’t know me, and we certainly come from different worlds. But you just can’t judge, wouldn’t be prudent. Unless you’re always right, which I obviously am ;)


Blogger Ann Marie said...

Hey sorry for calling you idiot! I take it back, everybody has a right to their own opinions, I guess I just got caught up in the moment! You have some interesting views and I can accept the fact that we probably won't agree on them all, but none the less you are not an idiot, you could probably read my blogs and think I am idiot too, but everyone is different and has different opinions, sorry I called you idiot :(

11:17 AM  
Blogger Shananigans said...

Wow, an apology from the “Right”! Thanks Ann Marie. There is hope after all *lol*. While we may not agree on politics, I like Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings movies, and I used to play softball. My middle name is Marie and my sister's middle name is Anne. You see? We all have common ground somewhere. I should be a UN diplomat or something. You can start calling me “Ambassador Shananigans” now.

12:14 PM  
Blogger Ann Marie said...

Yeah I guess I was just being an Idiot myself, sometimes I tend to get caught up in what people say at the moment without really knowing who they are overall. You seem like a good person and you must be pretty cool because you like Harry Potter and Lord of the rings!! It's nice to find common ground that we can both stand on, and if we ever do have opposing views on certain things then we can both state our opinions without calling names!! I respect the fact that we both have different opinions, because after all we are both different people and come from different lives!! Well have a great day!! Have you read harry potter 6 yet???

9:08 AM  
Blogger Shananigans said...

I have been meaning to get around to reading the HP6 for a couple of weeks now, I even have a loaner copy sitting next to my bed, but somehow I’m always so tired by the time I get in bed and start reading that I’ve reread the first couple pages several times and will start yet again because I cannot read when I’m this tired! Need…more…sleep… And I get too distracted by people watching to read at the beach. If I had a nickel for each thing I’ve been “meaning to get around to”, no wait, let’s make those quarters. I’ll need those for the laundry I’ve been meaning to get around to. *sigh*

10:02 AM  
Blogger Beans said...

The world would be boring without differences of opinion, but, ive never been called an idiot, a dumbass maybe, but never an idiot!
Ok so I laughed so hard at the drunken story, I try to be good when Im drunk but its just really really hard.
My knee is healing up pretty ok but its still sore!

10:39 AM  
Blogger Beans said...

About the high school thing..
i try not to be mean, its just hard!
The funny thing is that I was completely involved in everything in high school and allowed myself to get so caught up in what I thought was cool and everything else superficial and the funny thing is that now, without all the friends and events, im way way way happier.
High school and the people are, well, nuts.

10:46 AM  
Blogger Ann Marie said...

That's true High School is crazy and the people are crazy! Sometimes I wonder why we ever even go to High School some of the things seem so pointless! Anyways yeah whenever you get around to reading HP6 you will not be disappointed, maybe upset that it's over, but I say take your time because once you finish it, you are going to want to have the 7th book right away, and of course we all know it will probably take her 2+ years to finish it, so just stretch it out, you will be happier that way!!

1:46 PM  
Blogger ramblin' girl said...

hmmm... you might be surprised at who you think the "enemy" is and is not...

I recently had a night out with a bunch of friends who range from uber-liberal to, well, me.

I think I'm pretty middle of the road. My family's way right compared to me, most of my friends are left compared to me... I find it interesting to talk about "politics" and issues with open-minded people who will explain their point of view. But I hate those people that have their "opinion" and refuse to even listen to those that have a different point of view or perspective from theirs. particularly when their opinion is simply the regurgitation of the last political slant they read or heard somewhere and not their own interpretation of facts and events.

7:10 PM  
Blogger Eileen & Max said...

It's funny, but I seem to be surrounded by a good variety of people with a plethora of political beliefs from far right to far left to the barely political like I am most of the time. I guess I've got a good mix because I like to argue, and it's always handy to have someone around with different views to argue with. Heck, I'm marrying a half-Republican/Half-Libertarian, and I'm pretty sure most folks would define me as a firm Dem!

7:25 PM  
Blogger Tanya Kristine said...

wow..someone called you an idiot? I missed that! Sorry too...but that was uber cool that she apologized.

saying sorry is so very hard. i HATE saying sorry but i choke it out when i'm wrong. it's even harder when you hurt the ones you love and then you have to eat humble pie after...crap.

nice post Shanani.

12:39 PM  
Blogger tabitha jane said...

shananigans: i think that what you had to say was very insightful and should be heeded before it is too late (bot about the political division and global warming) if we don't allow others to have different opinions and are not willing to openly discuss them without jumping to words like "stupid" "idiot" and "dumbass" quite quickly, we will have gone back on all that america used to mean . . . didn't this used to be the land of opportunity where every one had a chance to succeed and have their voices heard? or is that just a myth?

myth or not i want it to be possible.

9:13 AM  
Blogger Eileen & Max said...

Hi-- this is Max of the EiMax. This issue may be somewhat late, but I feel that I would like to cast my $0.02. Please keep in mind that I am talking in generalities here. Our nation has always had radical divisions based purely on geographical boundaries. The geography of America lends itself to a
wide variety of industries, and those industries inherently develop their own ideals and beliefs. When an entire area is dependant on one particular industry it is no wonder that that area adapts to that political philosophy as well.
As far back as the American Revolution saw the dividing of our country based on socio-economic and geographic identities. The Northerners were considered wealthy, artistocratic merchants. Those merchants wanted to oppose the new taxes of the British Empire. The Southerners were farmers and trappers who were dependant on the British to purchase their products.
Even the American Civil War was much more than simply regarding the
issue of slavery. The South wanted to cling to their heritage.
Southerners were opposed to the social change which came from freeing the slaves, much more than the economic impact. The South was afraid of the Northerners imperalism, or "carpet-bagging."
Anyways--sorry to go on a slight tangent. But, yes, it is true that each geographical area has their own political ideologies. It is a fact of nature, geography, socio-economics, and political development. Why else would we still have the Electoral College without the geo-political divisions within our country? This way, each state can influence their own preferred presidential nominee. In this way also, the Presidential candidates must seek support from all areas of the country--not just from the large cities and states (ie. New York, LA, Chicago, etc.) Call it "bridging the gap," or whatever else--but I call it a fortuitously lucky guess by our nations founders.

3:02 PM  
Blogger Shananigans said...

Thanks for the 2¢ Max. It was like a mini history lesson. I see what you’re saying, and it makes sense. But let me just play devil’s advocate here for a minute.

Yes, geo-political and social division has always existed, and that was probably primarily based around area industries/trades. But what reeks in the air of American politics today is something quite different from the days of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.

As industry and production are becoming less and less important to our economy and manufacturing is increasingly moved over seas, the real big game today in the economy seems to be information and technology. The vast array of media and the ability to send uniform messages/ideas/entertainment to masses of people across vast spaces has produced a more common, more cohesive and less regionally-based culture for all in this country. So, the real war here seems to be happening on the ideological front. Not that local culture and industry don’t play any part now, but that factor is somewhat diminished in importance.

So, since we all have our masses of media to contend with, we are increasingly able to pick and choose the messages we want to hear and see. Lean more to the right? Fox news for you. Further to the Left? Comedy Central and Jon Stewart for you. So, I guess my point (if I have one) is that the division in America today has created an ideological war zone. It’s not so much about industry and economics in their purer forms as it used to be. Many people who voted for Bush did so even against their own economic interest. They were not in that super duper upper 2% getting that big tax cut, and their factory jobs continue to be exported. However, in the president they see some “man of Faith”, “Honor”, and he speaks “Texan”. I guess this makes him less threatening, and they really do have the best bullet points in their speeches, those Republicans. If you don’t scratch the surface to see what’s just underneath those fancy folksy phrases, you could find yourself in a pile of elephant dung.

4:35 PM  

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