After parties.

July 8th, 2012

After parties, one should breathe. Be glad you saw those people, be glad they’re alive and like you and you like them and you have enough food and wine to share. And stories.

We just went to Blasé and Theresa’s house, saw some of their friends. The flowers beautiful, the summer air thick with blossom. They gave me a cutting which I forgot and is now on their kitchen counter. I brought Greek salad. There was carrot cake. There was talk of swimming in the ocean, how much these Santa Monica people like the sun and the waves. I liked that. I never swim further south than Zuma Beach, always worried about the bacteria in the water. I haven’t swum at Zuma for maybe ten years. When I go to the beach, once or twice a year, I don’t swim. California beaches aren’t so much for swimming at least for me. At Pismo it’s too cold and in the summer, I never have time to go the beach now that the children are grown. I like to know someone goes.

After parties I wish I’d talked less and listened more. And not told that story. Not that joke. Not used those words. I sometimes regret how much I ate or drank. Sometimes even wishing I’d worn something different. If it was at my house, I also analyze the food I made, what I should have done differently.

The conversation always veers toward the political at some point.

Someone brought up the book The Republican Brain by Chris Mooney which shows that…

“conservatives are, literally by nature, more closed-minded and resistant to change and facts. His evidence includes the fact that conservatives are less likely to buy into global warming, allegedly proving they are not only “anti-science” but innately anti-fact, as well. “Politicized wrongness today,” he writes “is clustered among Republicans, conservatives and especially Tea Partiers.”

http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/story/2012-05-01/republicans-brain-science-democrats/54647948/1

I like to understand the relationship between science and public policy as much as the next guy, and I certainly like to understand how and why anyone believes that the Exxon Valdez spill wasn’t that bad, that the ozone depletion isn’t that bad, that cutting down old growth forests isn’t really a problem etc etc.

But, I am not comfortable with “us and them” and not at all comfortable with the idea that Republicans have flawed brains.

Most of my Republican friends support gay rights, civil rights, women’s rights, are pro choice and believe in taking care of the environment, in education, and in a system of health care that works. What they are is fiscally conservative and considering that we’re about 16 trillion in debt, that’s not all bad.
The conservatives who hate gays, Blacks and Mexicans, want a wall between here and Mexico, are pro life, gun toting, whiskey drinking, truck driving, woman slapping Republicans are not among my friends or closer personal acquaintances. But are “they” people with small brains? Different brains?

Maybe I should read the book.

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Published in: on July 8, 2012 at 9:19 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I dislike the way we have tailored our language to refer to people as “a conservative/Republican” or “a liberal/Democrat”. It is more correct to speak of conservative values held by persons who vote for Republican candidates. I like to ask these types of people, at parties sometimes, “What is the conservative ethic in conservation laws for the environment?” It’s really a play on words, but it drives home some points I think are important. First, it makes them think twice about the root of the label they attribute to their identity. Second, it makes them think about conservation laws in connection with conservative values. In particular, this second point is important because conservative values can easily be aligned with saving a place like ANWR from oil drilling. The values that promote destruction of stable, life sustaining ecologies are more aligned with corporatism which can, if unchecked, lead to fascism.

    • By the way, can I have another margarita?


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