Rhymes With Fuchsia

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Fallen

That last post was an eye-opening experience. Such enthusiastic, numerous and well-considered comments required a thoughtful response, which explains why you haven't gotten one for so long. I am a very slow thinker, especially when distracted by a combination of knitting, relatives and food. Come to think of it, you could leave out the relatives. Also the knitting.

Now that I've had time to think... Maryse is entirely correct that we lefties have gotten very tired of being called unpatriotic, immoral, amoral, anti-religion, pro-terrorist, and dumb (only an idiot would believe all that evolution and global-warming nonsense). A year or two ago I started reading a couple of very-far-right blogs, looking for common ground, figuring that there must be some. I soon discovered that, on the usual topics of discussion anyway, there was none to be had, unless I would cop to being all of the above and more besides. My best attempts at rational argument fell on deaf ears. My self-evident fact was their dangerous fantasy, and vice versa.

I stopped commenting, but kept reading, I wasn't sure why. Occasionally I would hear a faint clash of cognitive dissonance, and I would hope that light had finally begun to dawn on Marblehead, but no.

Only when I read Lorinda's comment did I realize (speaking of Marblehead) that I was using these blogs to validate my belief that these people had lost their grip on reality, that they were essentially different from me and there was no point in my trying to talk to them. Despite their vaunted Christianity, I was sure, I was better than they were. No matter what the issue, I could guarantee that I was right, and they were wrong. I became convinced, to paraphrase my favorite comic songwriters, that lefties were moral, and lefties were good, and clever, and modest, and misunderstood.

I was, in a word, proud.

How did I slip from confidence in my opinions to arrogant dismissal of people who disagreed with me? It probably had something to do with not actually knowing many conservatives in real life, and something to do with starting at the very opposite end of the spectrum. I had the right idea when I tried to find common ground, I think, but I should have begun with something simpler and built from there. Something that we could all enjoy together while making the world a warmer place, so that our differences wouldn't matter so much while we got to know each other. Something like... knitting.

Pull up a chair, my friends. Welcome to my trying-harder-to-be-humble blog. Not that I'm changing my opinions, mind you, but I'm having a go at changing my attitude, at broadening my horizons, at not self-selecting out of reading any blog that might teach me something, keeping in mind at all times: I could be wrong. Meanwhile, let's knit.

At this point I hear liberals and conservatives alike (all who are still awake) joining in chorus: Who won, already?? Oh, right. (squeezes eyes shut, sticks hand in hat) And the winner is...

Norma!

So, Norma, what kind of yarn do you want?

12 Comments:

  • Great post.

    By Blogger Ruth, at 8:39 AM  

  • There you go, making me think again . . .

    Thanks!

    By Blogger Roxie, at 9:24 AM  

  • Thanks for the smile... I don't know how you can read the rightie (as in handed not as in correct) blogs. They make my blood pressure go through the roof. LOL! Sometimes I just need a break from it all. Thank the God(dess)for knitting.

    By Anonymous witchpoo, at 11:26 AM  

  • I've done the same thing when I've listened to Talk Right radio on Sirius. Smug old me. But you're right and we should broaden our horizons. Damn you. And yay for Norma.

    By Blogger Carole, at 11:46 AM  

  • Great post, Lucia. You know, living up here, we forget that it's big country, with all kinds of people and viewpoints.

    By Blogger Kathy, at 11:54 AM  

  • great post lucia -- but you know what, i hear enough of what the righties are saying just by turning on my TV and watching the so called "liberal" media.

    that's as open minded as i'm willing to be.

    yay to norma winning yarn.

    By Blogger maryse, at 12:09 PM  

  • Right on........thanks for making me open my narrow little blue mind a bit.

    By Blogger christine, at 1:02 PM  

  • Y'know, I dunno. I just know that people are SO different, and everyone is strident, and everyone is right. And that's the truth.

    By Anonymous Laurie, at 2:40 PM  

  • Woot, woot, I WON! LOL

    By Blogger Norma, at 3:03 PM  

  • Great post. I am "rightie" knitter, but I must emphasize knitter. What ever my opinion or yours on politics, religon, etc, knitting is a common bond. We have something in common to build on and the means and intelligence to consider everyones opinions.

    By Anonymous jennifer, at 12:31 PM  

  • I get my eyes opened rather forcefully every time I go back home--say, for a long holiday weekend. My father didn't get a sportscar for his midlife crisis; he became a hardcore conservative instead. I can sit down at the table in the morning with my coffee or toast, and out of nowhere he'll launch into a blistering tirade about WMD, or torture, or global warming. The veins in his neck bulge, his face turns red, and his voice gets frighteningly high-pitched. And I'll be holding my coffee cup and wondering what on earth just happened, where that torrent could possibly have come from--all that rancor and bile coming seemingly from out of nowhere. It's scary, frankly. It's like he's temporarily possessed by the evil spirit of Bill O'Reilly. It goes away, of course, and then we're fine for the remainder of the visit... but it's always Dad who starts it, never me.

    It's even worse if my brother the Libertarian (really!) is around, because he'll answer back instead of just shrugging it off as I do.

    By Blogger Beth S., at 1:30 PM  

  • Beautifully said, Lucia. It's hard to be nice when we think we're right (as in correct), but the old saying is true--we really do catch more flies with honey than we do with vinegar.

    When I've taken the time to get to know individuals who have different political and religious beliefs than I have, I usually find out that I like them. I may not agree with their points of view, but I find the common ground makes the differences seem smaller.

    Yay Norma!

    By Blogger lorinda, at 10:19 AM  

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