writing daze

For some reason, I woke up early yesterday–the last of my five day Thanksgiving break–to grade. And lesson plan. All that fun stuff that I missed in the previous four days. I finished shortly before 11 a.m. and told myself that any kind of workout was simply out of the question. To distract myself, I decided I should write.

Nine hours of writing later, my head was swimming. I didn’t even really want to stop. But I thought I should get some sleep before Monday morning’s classes. 

I fell asleep without a problem, only to awake at 4 a.m. Thinking about my characters. Or one character in particular. I had left her in a not-sogood situation, and I started to wonder if she would get fired. That wonder turned into worry about what she would do if she were to get fired.

So sympathetic of me, I know.

Except for the fact that I know she doesn’t get fired. And even if she were to get fired, I could easily write it away and write away my worry in the process. For the next two hours, I replayed the last scene over and over again.

Maybe I should add this…I should write that she says this…I forgot to write…

All I have to say is that if it’s going to be like this until this fourth draft is done then I hope that end is sooner rather than later.


hate, part 2

Yesterday, I wrote about the theme of hate in the Republican party and how it somehow became the platform of the party in this past election.

I was waiting for the response that this is not indicative of the feelings of the individual voters. And while that argument did not come, I still feel the need to say that voting for someone who expresses beliefs is a vote for said beliefs.

Even still, I could anticipate the argument that I am reaching. And all would be well, except for the fact that the outward expression of hatred and racism after the reelection of President Obama was delivered to my news stream this morning.

First, there is a lovely map of the racist tweets immediately after the election. I’m linking the map rather than the tweets, but you can find those quite easily in this ZDNet article.

My point yesterday, and I’ll reiterate it here, is that it is perfectly acceptable to argue policy. It is perfectly acceptable to have differing views on the economy, on our military presence around the world, on our educational policies. It is even perfectly acceptable to have greed drive those policies. At this point, greed would be a welcome offense.

For a party that professes moral outrage every other day, it would be a great time to hear some outrage.

Then, there is the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). At the point that college students, our young people, are still buying into racist beliefs of the pre-Civil Rights Movement, we know we have a problem. A huge problem.

This is not just an issue of an older block of white voters — or white Southerners — who are still holding onto antiquated racists beliefs.

Our young people are infected. Infected with a bitter hatred that we should be well past.

During an eight-year presidency, I don’t recall GW Bush hung in effigy. I don’t recall racial slurs being hurled against him. And we’re talking about a man who voluntarily sent thousands upon thousands of our young people to their death in wars he fabricated.

So, I don’t think I’m being unfair. Politics is ugly. It is. But in some ways it’s uglier on one side than it is on the other.

And I bet. I bet that Bush never had to explain to his daughters over dinner why people would call their father a n—– or why they would violently protest against him.

Politics is one thing. Policy is one thing. Protests are one thing.

But hate.

Hate should be unacceptable.

hate is not a platform.

I was raised a Democrat. With that, I was also raised to harbor certain suspicions and wariness toward anything red.

Even more important to me, though, is the fact that I was raised to appreciate, participate in and respect democracy. Part of democracy is having an informed electorate. Part of democracy is allowing everyone the chance to express her voice.

Part of democracy is open discussions of ideas.

And that is where I have the biggest problems with the current Republican party. Deep down, somewhere in that party, there are legitimate opinions on issues. There are legitimate ideas about the economy. About international diplomacy. About education. There are. I believe that because I can’t believe that any American would purposefully and willfully wish to destroy our nation and its people. I may not agree with them, but I certainly respect the right to have them.

The problem is that we saw none of those ideas. None.

What we were treated to was a vitriolic smear campaign fueled by hate.

The entire basis for your party’s platform cannot be

  • hatred for a black President (Google the difference between the electoral map and the slave vs. free state map of the Civil War. You might find there is none.);
  • hatred for women (see Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin–the “rape guys”);
  • hatred for Latinos (see: self-deportation);
  • hatred for gays (the list is too long, but I would say start with DOMA, and yes, I know Clinton signed it);
  • hatred for Muslims (take a look at the treatment of and perceptions of some Middle Eastern leaders, of the term jihad);
  • hatred for the poor (start with the 47% video);
  • hatred for the elderly (read up on Republican MediCare policy)

The one truth that was told during this campaign by Republicans was in reference to the “trickle down” effect. You guys nailed that one. Your hate started at the top and trickled down to reach a huge number of Americans.

And guess what? They all went out to vote.

Hate is simply not sustainable as a political platform. Because, eventually, those you hate will become angry. And as you continue and continue to expand the boundaries of your hatred, you’re handing the “other guy” a built-in electorate.

Eventually, that 47%–or is it 51% now?–is going to get their chance. And that chance came Tuesday.