Don't let your schooling interfere with your education.
~ Pete Seeger

Monday, March 17, 2008

News You Just Can't Use

I used to be a news junky. George W. Bush, the MSM, and the Republican RSC (Rubber Stamp Congress) cured me shortly after the 2004 election, when I realized that waiting, day after day, for Congress to start growing a spine and prosecuting the chief executive for ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ (or for the American people to actually demand it/hold the Bush administration accountable) did nothing for my life except cause depression. Since then, I limit my news intake to the minimum necessary to keep up with the Superbowl, March Madness, who to vote for, and the weather.

So when a friend emailed me this article linking Eliot Spitzer’s fall to the RSM, it didn’t exactly cheer me up. In fact, I wondered, “Is my life better for having read this?”

Not really. This is just another case of “News you can’t use.” If it’s true (and this is the kind of conspiracy theory that makes sense to me), what can I do about it? Not much. I can put it in my blog, and maybe three people in the whole world will read about it. And in any case, it was still Eliot’s own idiocy that brought him down. Just another man at the peak of his career, brought down by stupid sexual indiscretion.

You have to wonder – don’t these guys read the papers? Do they live in some kind of vacuum where they haven’t heard of the internet? I mean, I avoid newscasts – and I still see this kind of thing come up again and again.

On the other hand, looking back at history, I see some notorious womanizers who didn’t fall on their swords. Benjamin Franklin comes to mind. John F. Kennedy. Thomas Jefferson had a 25+ year relationship with one of his slaves, and even when it came out in the press, he didn’t have to surrender his position. Even Bill Clinton survived impeachment looking less slimy and sleazy than the RSM that tried to bring him down.

So I wonder if Eliot wouldn’t have been better off to just blow it off. “So what? I wasted a bunch of money on a high-priced call girl. I didn’t hurt anyone except my family. And I think prostitution oughta be legal anyway. I’ll pay my fine, and next time, I’ll go to Nevada. I’ll be single by then, so I won’t even hurt anybody.”

Whatever. The whole thing is depressing, and another reminder that I’m best off concentrating on where I can make a difference – in my own life, with my neighbors and friends and community, actively building an economy of sharing, mutual support, and love; tending my own garden, learning, sharing, and practicing NVC; and avoiding the news.

I feel better already.

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Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.
~Helen Keller

Reading List for Information about Transpeople

  • Becoming a Visible Man, by Jamison Green
  • Conundrum, by Jan Morris
  • Gender Outlaw, by Kate Bornstein
  • My Husband Betty, by Helen Boyd
  • Right Side Out, by Annah Moore
  • She's Not There, by Jennifer Boylan
  • The Riddle of Gender, by Deborah Rudacille
  • Trans Liberation, by Leslie Feinberg
  • Transgender Emergence, by Arlene Istar Lev
  • Transgender Warriors, by Leslie Feinberg
  • Transition and Beyond, by Reid Vanderburgh
  • True Selves, by Mildred Brown
  • What Becomes You, by Aaron Link Raz and Hilda Raz
  • Whipping Girl, by Julia Serano
I have come into this world to see this:
the sword drop from men's hands even at the height
of their arc of anger
because we have finally realized there is just one flesh to wound
and it is His - the Christ's, our
Beloved's.
~Hafiz