Heya! Thanks for the nice responses to my last post (both public and private). It's always neat to see folks from all parts of the political-social spectrum getting into something. One thing I would like to address, which may or may not be of interest to you, is how I feel on Republicans.
Check it: I don't hate US Republicans. Well, not REAL Republicans, anyway.
You probably don't know this, but when I was waaaay younger (in high school) I was in the JSA. That's Junior Statesmen of America, which, regardless of what the internet currently says, was-- in my school, anyway-- Young Republicans (but under 18). The few of us in the program there at school were Republican or Republican-leaning. Another interesting thing was that we were almost all atheists or agnostics. Anyhow, as time went on (a couple months seems like a long time to a 15-16 year old kid), some new folks joined and they identified with being Republicans, as well. Except they were hardcore Christians.
And I mean HARD. CORE.
"Whatever", I thought. I was enlightened enough to accept people for who they were and what they believed in. I did have blue hair, after all. I did wear a leather jacket and play sports AND roleplaying games. I was weird in my own right. "To each their own" my father, a wonderful man, taught me my entire life-- and that is how I've always lived. So, yeah, it should be noted that while my fellow JSA kids were mostly non-religious and into separation of church and state (well, until the hardcore Christian types showed up), I was rather outspoken. While I like the whole "live and let live" thing, I was horrified by how atheists were treated sometimes in America.
This, as it turns out, was sheer folly on my part.
What I SHOULD have done was keep my mouth shut, like the other guys did, until I hit college. "I'm in college part of the time anyway", is how I think I justified myself at the time. I didn't hate on Christians (that came later), and I wished them all the best on their chosen life path. However, they had other ideas. Eventually, I was "outed" in the middle of World History class by the very teacher who was our JSA guy. He didn't mean anything by it, of course, and it it was mentioned rather offhandedly in regards to a discussion on old religions. But the damage was done. I was done. And the New Republicans who were my JSA "fellows" campaigned hard to, well, fuck me hard.
Before I knew it, my Scoutmaster (a Mormon) started making my life a living hell and I left the Boy Scouts-- oh so close to Eagle. Later some other kid would sue the Boy Scouts for a similar thing... I both wish I had thought of that and am glad I didn't. Kids at school, the more socially active ones I mean, started to treat me like shit and my hate for them grew. I was never fond of the people I went to school with, anyway, which is amusing now as many of them are trying to add me on Facebook...
I watched in horror as something that people like McCarthy and Nixon started began to fuck up everything I believed in. All those arguments with my dad over how I liked Ike and he didn't (as Ike "turned his back on Eastern Europe" he'll say; I thought it was a shrewd and necessary move) were for naught. And the one other thing he taught me, aside from "To Each Their Own. Live and let live", of course, was proven to me beyond a shadow of any doubt: "Politics and organized religion is bullshit for assholes".
I quietly quit the JSA. I became more withdrawn and concentrated on band and some sports. Eventually I would spend my last fraction of school at some gifted alternative school, cursing long 30 minute bus rides between my college classes and the wonderfully ineffective "own pace" supposed "high school" I attended. I tried to hold on to my Republican beliefs while I was there, by the way, as my classmates were the polar opposite of those attending my former high school. Freaks, geeks, gays and punk fucking rockers. I adopted a more conservative look and bonded with the one other guy there who thought like I did. Don't get me wrong, I loved that school. Those people in that short year of my life were the best schoolmates I had had since I'd lived in West Germany.
Sorry, I'm rambling. These memories flood back and are more painful than I remember, you see. A short few years later, I would also become less stringent about social welfare when only a year or so after becoming diabetic I couldn't work for a few months and had to apply for general assistance. Ah, memories.
But do I hate Republicans? No. I quite admire Colin Powell, Susan Eisenhower and PJ O'Rourke and they count as some of my favorite public figures, currently. These other yahoos? Reagan worshiping, gawd-obsessed false Republicans? No. I have no respect for them. None. They seek to rape and maim my precious golden rule of "To Each Their Own. Live and Let Live". And do I hate Christians? I'll admit I went through a period where I would abuse passionate Christians whenever I could. Nowadays I'm more in tune with my own rule. Remember: Criticism is not abuse. Some of the best people I know are Christians, in fact.
While I'm a more socially liberal person, I can get behind some traditional Republican fiscal sensibilities. And just because I'm socially liberal doesn't mean I'll side with Democrats. In fact, I loathe a two-party system. I used to be a Libertarian back in the day, but that party was totally fucking wrecked by nut-jobs, delusional freaktards and Stealth (New) Republicans. However, I still like Jesse Ventura quite a bit... but I don't think he's in the party, is he?
This post has veered all over the place, like a drunk driving a high performance rocket sled. I assure you that I am not drunk-- merely operating on high performance teas. To sum it up: I don't hate real Republicans. I may disagree with many of their points, but I encourage them to speak out and have their voices heard. I feel that everyone is entitled to an opinion-- yes, even the freaktards and doucherakes out there. Instead of silencing them, we must make reason the vocal majority... Yup, shout them down. Just shout them down politically*. And shut them down, too. Seriously, why the fuck do moon hoaxers and birthers get coverage anyway?
Oh, that's right, the news media is not much unlike the movie and TV industry in that profit is king. Hey, I'm cool with heartless inane cockscrapings being huge at the box office, but what I'm not cool with is the news media, people we should trust, dishing out cockscrpaings that would make the most vile and unforgivable producer scumbag hesitate on touching it. Yeah, I mainly looking at you, Fox News; but the rest of you are just as fucking guilty. Sure, you weren't in on the rape session of Truth, Fact and History, but you are more than happy to cover it for your viewers' perverse please and then have the gall to claim the moral high ground.
Fuck. Rambling again. I blame tea. Can I do that?
It's really sad when I consider Real Time with Bill Maher and The Daily Show to be my TV news/pundit sources. I will admit that I don't usually want to punch Joe Scarborough in the face... then again, I only ever see him in short clips.
I, uh, have no idea where I'm going with this anymore... and I have some work to do.
(* Note: I mean this politically, and in a "metaphoric" way. Debate should always be somewhat civil, even if it gets passionate. In a best case scenario, a hybrid of both/more ideas is formed, and the problem or issue at hand is solved or improved in some fashion.)