Hey festive revelers. Just a check in before I have to get up super early and finish all the things I’m not going to complete tonight before I get on the road back to Georgia tomorrow (later start time than I had planned, which is less than ideal, but I’ll make it work.) I so look forward to getting gone for a week or so, getting back to the accents I know, and the tendency to hold doors and smile at strangers, and the respite from the cool calculations of the wannabes on their way up the ladder and the almost has-beens slowly sliding down the other side of that same ladder. They behave very similarly you know. And I pray every day I don’t start adopting their tactics out of some foolish belief that it’s a necessary evil to do business here. I mean just today I watched as someone patted themselves on the back for some minor accomplishment and all I could think was, “I know you. I know how you treat people. Get used to patting your own back.” Just the thought of getting home for a bit and away from that nonsense is making me excited, and the drive is pretty since I opt for the Shenandoah route rather than the five hours of traffic that constitutes the stretch of road from Richmond to Charlotte. Slightly longer, but totally worth it. And it’ll reset my head to start moving in better directions, swimming in better seas, dancing in better circles upon my return. Hopefully like this one:
Because I was reading an article yesterday by some dude who was trying to explain that men treat women upon meeting them with respect based on how the women presents herself. Which I suppose is true to a degree. We all teach people how to treat us. But at some point — and this is where this guy was just totally lost — it is the responsibility of the individual to just be respectful because they have character and are simply respectful, regardless of how they perceive the other person sees or presents themselves. The article bummed me out for about a day. And, truthfully, made me kind of angry. Because it will make you angry when you realize that you will fail at something. And I’m simply not skilled at being a raging a**hole because I’ve always believed there are more productive ways to achieve goals. So I was pretty grumpy until I realized that the guy who wrote it was basically using the same excuse that people use for why women get raped — skirt too short, she was acting slutty, whatever. And it’s a load of crap. And it’s a way to absolve yourself of the responsibility of decency. Who hasn’t been treated poorly by someone working somewhere because they’re having a bad day? We all have. But we are in charge of how we respond. And I realized, with that little epiphany, that the culture in DC right now (and it’s just rolling downhill) is to shift that blame if you can. In fact, it’s almost considered heroic in some corners if you are successful at that little game of subterfuge. It’s pretty dull stuff. Not very sharp, not very interesting, not very impressive. Fortunately, I’ve met many people here who feel the same, so it’s not a lost cause. But I was getting wrapped up in that mess — taking it to heart, being around it, wondering about it, trying to change it. Getting home will be a reminder that the best thing to do when confronted with that stuff is to turn on a heel and walk quickly in the other direction, toward the people who can laugh at themselves, and who know when to take responsibility, when to apologize, when to be tough, and how to be kind. I look forward to pushing the reset button and starting again. Should be easier to be a little more clear headed since I’m starting swimming again after the new year and am upping my dancing schedule. So I don’t always get the things I want — and sometimes it feels like I’ve been waiting for something my whole life and I can get tired of that at times — but I can still do the things that promote well being in my heart and head so I can, hopefully, be a better, more useful person to the people around me. That’s the plan. So I’ll catch you on the flip side.
In the meantime, consider these things. Or, ya know, drink hot chocolate and talk about Health Insurance. Whatever you think is the priority.
George Will said this morning on Fox that it would have been better for the President had Obamacare been declared unconstitutional. I think that’s just delicious. Here’s his long piece on just exactly why that is. Even a dog that loves you will bite if you kick it enough times.
Fortunately, in the Newtonian physics of our constitutional system, wherein rivalries among the three branches are supposed to trend toward equilibrium, actions often produce equal and opposite reactions. Obama’s aggressive assertions of executive discretion are provoking countervailing attention to constitutional proprieties. His departures from the norms proper to the Take Care Clause may yet cause Congress to take better care of its prerogatives.
Excellent article on the sacred and the profane and the power of ritual.
One of the ideas that Douthat touches on in this amazing column is something that Christian apologists cite as one reason to take Christianity seriously: because no charlatan seeking to create a religion to establish power would ever choose a backwater Roman province, with a leader pulled from a subjugated people, and church founders from the no-account social ranks of fishermen and tax collectors, using the word of two women (Mary and Mary were the first to report the tomb of Christ was empty) to get the ball rolling. That would be absurd. And so…perhaps there was something there…
Battling the trough of sorrow with enlightened empathy. Yes to all of that.
When I was a kid I used to mimic accents. I was pretty good at it, too. But Scottish was one I could never wrap my tongue around. So I just loved this. Also, James McAvoy.
I’m taking my portable poker chip set home with me and hopefully convincing some of the family to sit around and play with me. We’ll already be drinking so we may as well play some cards. I’ve just gotten used to playing poker at Thanksgiving up here with my Aunt, Uncle, and cousins. They’re relentless and very good. I’ve played with my Dad and brothers before (my Dad’s actually partial to Hearts and Spades but I think I can talk him into some poker. I think he feels weird about it because he’s Baptist. I’m not kidding.) so hopefully they’ll indulge me.
Someone reminded me of this movie recently. It’s a good one. And Christmas-y! Sort of…