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Bitch, rant--

I'm sitting at a "please help the little queers get married" table at the Unitarian Universalist church. Now, UU's are, by definition, activists, at least a little bit. It's the Church of Human Rights.

So I'm encouraging people to sign up with No Nonsense In November to vote against that damned amendment, and a wee little man approaches.

He's wearing a funny blue plaid shirt, long sleeves, with blue cut-off shorts, black socks hiked up halfway to his knees with shocking green tennis shoes, and has this "60's folk singer union req." moustache and short-cropped hair.

He looks at me, with some degree of interest in the table. I start on Standard Why I'm Here Spiel #4. He makes this gesture with his hands, putting them together and dismissively seperating them, saying "Politics."

I stare at him. "Well, yes."

"It's politics."

"Yes, but it's a constitutional amendment that affects human rights."

"I transcend politics."

So I said something rude to him at that point, probably "That's an astonishingly useless philosophy." What I should have said was "Maybe you're in the wrong denomination." Pissed me the hell off--I have more respect for the psycho right-wing nutcases we're fighting.

Comments

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
skullfaced
Sep. 18th, 2005 12:34 pm (UTC)
We all hate politics. But sometimes you just gotta step in.

And speaking of the NNN...I need to start designing those flyers...
numb3r_5ev3n
Sep. 18th, 2005 02:04 pm (UTC)
"Let me tell you- I have more respect for a republican who votes, than a self-described intellectual who excuses his nonvoting and his apathy with paragraphs of obscure doubletalk that were written a half-century ago by addle-brained political theorists."

---Erin Blumrich of http://www.bushflash.com

spottylogic
Sep. 18th, 2005 02:37 pm (UTC)
Okay, there, much more eloquent, but I totally agree :) Now, that's "respect for," not "love of..."
numb3r_5ev3n
Sep. 18th, 2005 02:47 pm (UTC)
Whoops, that's ERIC Blumrich (Typo Island, Ahoy!)
jerseytude
Sep. 18th, 2005 09:58 pm (UTC)
What I hate is the "I don't bother voting because the candidates are the same." Dude, there are like... a bazillion minor parties. Pick one!

Now, "I don't bother voting because my districts gerrymandered to hell and back and I'm not in a swing state." -- that I have more respect for.
numb3r_5ev3n
Sep. 18th, 2005 10:03 pm (UTC)
A lot of my friends reached a compromise of the above two statements in the last two elections the with the "We're in not in a swing state and our districts have been Gerrymandered to hell, so we might as well vote for the third-party candidate of our choice." ;)
thoink_dragon
Sep. 18th, 2005 02:27 pm (UTC)
Well, you have to respect his view. If everyone simultaneously decided to ignore politics and live their own lives (rather than sticking their fingers into everyone else's), there are many problems, this one included, that would be solved.

But then, there are always people who will want to gain power, and there are always people who will want to feel justified in their decisions because they are following such power.
spottylogic
Sep. 18th, 2005 02:39 pm (UTC)
No, not really, I don't. I don't respect anyone who looks at someone actively fighting for his rights, and says, "well, that's good for you, but I'm above that." It's creating a smug rationale for apathy. I REALLY don't respect someone who makes a show of interest in said person, smiles smugly, and says that. There are fence-sitters, then there are people who are self-righteous about it.

thoink_dragon
Sep. 18th, 2005 02:46 pm (UTC)
Well, I think that's more him being self-righteous about it, than the actual concept. I maintain that it's a vaild philosophy. He might hold it because it allows him to be smug and self-righteous, which makes -him- an intolerable asshole, but it doesn't invalidate the philosophy. I'm not defending the person, in any case. I've had to live with irrationally self-righteous people for most of my life and despise the type. All I'm saying is that wanting to avoid politics isn't neccisarily a bad philosophy.
spottylogic
Sep. 18th, 2005 09:30 pm (UTC)
Erf...I can agree with that to an extent, but the context doesn't work for me. This was a room full of social activists in a church where the president has promised to personally strangle any member that doesn't have his voter registration up to date. *sigh* anyway, it was a very frustrating moment.
thoink_dragon
Sep. 18th, 2005 09:40 pm (UTC)
Well, yes. I don't support the context. I honestly wonder what he was doing there, if he wasn't interested in the booths, and moreso what he was doing at your booth if he wasn't even planning on letting you explain what the booth's purpose is.
godzuki
Sep. 19th, 2005 02:39 am (UTC)
I dont think it IS a valid philosophy, saying I avoid politics is like saying I avoid breathing, any decision you made or anything you do in life is a moral choice or an interaction with society which is really a political thing.

If I went around shooting people in the head cos I didnt like their tie, but then complained about being persecuted by the politicians cos they have made laws making shooting tie-wearers illegal - am i above politics, or just a nutcase?

My point is, politics is just a logical extention of an ordered society which has laws - to make yourself above it is to ignore your duty as a citizen and be lazy, or welcome anarchy.
thoink_dragon
Sep. 19th, 2005 08:24 am (UTC)
Politics isn't neccisarily a function of government (ex. completely totalitarian governments, or true theocratic systems) and to say that politics is simply a logical extension or ordered society and is thus akin to breathing is assuming both that complex society is a part of the natural human state, which can be argued.

I see your point, here, and it's valid, to an extent. You have to realize, though, that the people who hold the philosophy of staying out of politics want to bring themselves closer to what they consider a natural state of existance, which generally involves them simply supporting themselves and trying not to interfere in anyone else's business.

They feel that that this kind of multilayered national society is an artificial construct, which is a completely arguable viewpoint.
baktre
Sep. 18th, 2005 10:52 pm (UTC)
Ignorning politics dosen't make it go away...it just leaves it for the crazies.
thoink_dragon
Sep. 18th, 2005 11:42 pm (UTC)
True, but that doesn't make it something that's mandatory. One of my biggest pet peeves is people who get behind a political issue just to be involved in politics.

As a young child, I remember my politically active (and paranoid) mother taking me to protests and having me chant and wave signs, before I was even vaguely capable of understanding the issues. I may have supported the issues, if I had been able to comprehend them, but to this day I resent the fact that my mother was using me to support viewpoints I couldn't understand.

I agree that letting the system control things without question is bad, but it's just as bad to go against the system just to go against the system. If I'm going to support a cause it's because I support the cause, not because I want to get involved in the politics of the matter, if that makes any sense.

I'm niether saying that the issue here is invalid, nor am I saying that people shouldn't get involved in issues that affect their society, I'm just saying that participating in politics for politics' sake is just as dangerous as ignoring what's going on altogether.
artfulreggie
Sep. 18th, 2005 05:45 pm (UTC)
Oy. Someone needed a punch to the crotch. Where's a rabid midget when you need them?
darklingfox
Sep. 19th, 2005 04:51 pm (UTC)
;p
I transcend philosophy.

(and Grapenuts(tm) )
flippantmoniker
Sep. 20th, 2005 03:06 am (UTC)
"doo dee doo dee doo dee doo"

"Bla bla bla, I trancend politics"

"Too bad they don't trancend you"
spottylogic
Sep. 20th, 2005 12:55 pm (UTC)
I'll have to use that one the next time I get pulled over. "I transcend speed limits." I'm *guaranteed* to get felt up again.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )