Friday, August 15, 2008

Rantless...

I think that I've rendered myself rantless these days what with stepping as far to the side as far as I can to avoid popular culture's tentacles while not becoming Unibomber-esque. I'm not living in a barricaded and isolated mountain shack...yet. Still, most of what consumes me with righteous indignation and ignites my perpetual sense of moral outrage can be traced to the vapidity of this stupid world we live in, and this stupid world we live in, in this country at least, is completely tangled up with popular culture: idiotic television programs that inform taste and trends; bombastic and hypocritical punditry; the same ol' political theatrics, presented to us as some sort of duality when it is so clear that what keeps it alive is our buying into this alleged duality; the sadness I feel with the state of feminism and the unwillingness of environmentally- and socially-aware people to acknowledge the legitimacy of adopting a vegan lifestyle. All these things agitate me, like a washer out of its cycle, thrashing and shaking. What I used to do is throw myself into the ring, and, to use a violent metaphor, slug my way (verbally) at my opponents, fists perpetually balled up. These days, I don't know if I have become more peaceful or more passive, but the last thing I want to do is engage with those who are hellbent against progress.

The principle behind homeopathy is that like treats like. Perhaps, in life, like seeks like as well. We usually think of harmony as disparate elements in balance, the yin and the yang fitting together like a perfect squeeze, but maybe it is more subtle than that, more of a delicate fine-tuning to find your inner-harmony. When I think about my close friends, yes, we might have some basic differences, but they are not insurmountable: our core values mesh well. I am trying to live a meaningful, rich life and so those who I seek out and those who seek me out tend to be doing the same thing. Of course I don't attract anti-immigration Limbaugh-listening hunters into my life and I wouldn't even if I lived in that territory: we are not in resonance. You know that hoary old chestnut that if you dislike someone, it's because they remind you of some aspect of yourself that you don't like? Well, I do think that at times that's true, but sometimes you just don't like someone because he's an asshole whose values and behavior are totally foreign to you.

When I moved out of my childhood home and went to college, I discovered a broader but deeper meaning of family. The friends I made there became another family to me, a family of my choosing and discretion. Whereas family once meant to me something that I was locked into, an inevitability that I had little to do with, my family in college gave new meaning to the word, making it much more dynamic and personal. I didn't have to be constrained anymore by birthright, tied in with an alcoholic father because of our shared DNA: I could have sisters who were brilliant, creative, deeply compassionate because we were drawn together due to something almost as inevitable as DNA: our likenesses. Again, like seeks like.

I am always going to be an activist; I am always going to speak out. It's just that what I'm drawn to in my personal life is not argument and conflict. I'm too busy for that. Thus, I avoid the news, I avoid pop culture, and, in general, I try to trim the fat of life away as much as possible. I have found my life moving more and more in this direction over the years, leaner and more on target, less scattershot. What this means is that I have fewer things that I'm angry about, and, thus, fewer bloggable moments.

I hope that I can still make this work. I'm going to try.

Shalom, everyone.

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