Perhaps I'm emotionally fragile, but I don't like being jerked around. Cable television, reality TV, popular movies- not for me. Part of me wants to write about politics, again, despite the fact that this was never meant to be a political blog, and part of me wants the entire subject to just go away.
You know who talks about politics? Your uncle Alfred, who doesn't have a damn thing going on in his own life. Through this long hot summer, that's what I've realized about why you don't talk politics or religion at the dinner table. It's because if anyone has invited you anywhere, you should show up with your own story to tell. Politics as a topic is the last refuge of the truly boring and aimless.
It may seem that the quadrennial presidential election cycle (hint to the truly checked-out: they actually have elections every year in this country) jerks us around enough, but the professional media (labeled the "professional left" by Gibbs, LOL) adds to it. Most paid-for writing about politics is written in the language of politics, consequently it is not capable of injecting perspective. Instead, it just increases the whip-saw effect.
Consider how stunned the public was by the Citizens United case, when it was pretty much the only way the ruling could go based on the Constitution and all that. The President chiding the justices is an eye-roll given that their fundamental purpose is that they don't work for him, but what excuse does the Fourth Branch give for failing to distinguish between politics and law? This American Life did a show about stories that were bound to fail, and one of them was explaining Citizens United. They let the professor get rolling until I actually believed I was going to learn something new, and then pulled the boring-professor-bail.
I see the same thing happening with Prop 8. The decision is 150+ pages long and I sure haven't read it, but all I'm seeing analyzed is about 1.5 pages of findings of fact which are not relevant (and should not be relevant- does anyone really want judges determining justice based on communitarian evaluations of social expediency?). The only discussion of justice I have seen has been in an analysis of an interview which occurred on Fox TV, because that moron on Fox brought it up. For the barely interested reader such as myself, if the decision is upheld we are going to have no idea why and if the decision is overturned we will be equally ignorant. Memo to the people who get paid to give me information: Please read about 149 pages more and let me know what is going on. TIA.
The fact finding divides people in a way that justice does not (anyone too pleased with the fact finding should think about that for a minute). There's a pleasure to outrage that Uncle Alfred understands best. It's self-aggrandizing and also inept. In The New Yorker this week a so-so article (you can only get a lill' bit if you don't subscribe, but the relevant section is there) by David Sedaris. I could write an entire essay on that topic, but what I mainly care about today is that it is exhausting.