Monday, September 19, 2011

In which I tack toward dead people & people who are just dead inside

My willingness to be intimate with the whole internet only goes so far. Once I'd shared my thoughts on divorce and nasty break-ups, my well of personal-narrative flavored blog fodder went dry. If I had a nickel for every time I've attempted to write a post only to end up in the fetal position at the bottom of the self-defeat pit, I'd be pissing off some bank tellers or diving into a pool full of nickels while wearing a duck bill. Either or. After several months of weighing the pros and cons, I've officially decided to talk history & politics here at the Syndicate.

For a long time I've been hesitant to write about much more than my own inability to walk in a straight line even when sober, partially because female bloggers are often subject to psychotic harassment. I get the feeling that women who write about politics & history are even more subject to the rantings of frothy market-and/or-biblical fundamentalists than your average narrative blogger. I considered writing anonymously. Then I rejected that idea. While I do not have colossal delusions of grandeur (usually), I like being recognized when my internal chimpanzees manage to pound out something intelligible.

Second, I've been hesitant to pontificate at length about history, politics, and related topics because I'm painfully aware that while I'm certainly more intelligent (or at the least more knowledgeable) than most people, I'm also acutely aware that what I don't know could displace every water molecule in the Mariana Trench. I'm the daughter of a man with degrees in political science from Oxford and Duke (not to mention a published book & a half). Every time I think I know what's up I go home for dinner only to realize that, compared to the genius-level types, I am every bit as lacking as the people who believe Jesus & George Washington wrote the Constitution on the back of the Ten Commandments after the Noah's Ark rainbow prophesied the Laffer curve.

But while I readily and happily admit that there is much that I do not know, and much more that I might never know, I get stark raving angry when I encounter ignoranceespecially if the ignorance seems willful. Think about how much you hated Felix Gaeta by the end of BSG. It's like that. My desire to write about politics stems not from a desire to be the Explainer (the world has plenty of those), but because I need an outlet. Otherwise, I fear I may die of a ruptured temple or a heart attack.

For example, my conversational partner in a recent social media dust-up curtly (if not smugly!) informed me that the Post Office is an unjust encroachment by the government upon an industry that "should have remained private", and as such is counter to the founding ideals of our country. Nearly a month later, I am still flabbergasted. I thought it was common knowledge that the Post Office is explicitly mandated by the 1787 Constitution. That someone with any level of higher education could be so apparently clueless about the history of the USPS and its origins in the founding of America kept me up nights; partially because ignorance makes me sad, but moreso because my eyeballs throb with rage when obvious falsehoods & inaccuracies are cited as though they are self-evident facts .

The Federation doesn't even use the Constitution anymore and they know that sh*t.

With that said, I won't just be dealing in current events. I'll be discussing American history in general (those of you who follow my tumblr aren't surprised), as well as pop culture through a historical and political lens. I fully expect that I will demonstrate huge gaps in knowledge and understanding on a regular basis. It is my hope that at least a few of my more authoritative readers will help me fill those gaps when they crop up. To that end, I plan to install a more interactive comment platform before lift-off.

While this is a major shift in subject matter, don't expect a huge shift in tone. Political and historical ignorance might make me Hulk-out, but not so much that I lose my sense of humor. Also, while I think a lot of ideas and beliefs are patently stupid, I also understand that people (generally) come by these ideas sincerely. I'm not out to make anyone feel bad about themselves, but when Texas is replacing Thomas Jefferson with St. Thomas Aquinas & John Calvin or when perfectly intelligent people long for the non-existent halcyon days when we "just got along" I am single-minded in my compulsion to call that crap out.  

Finally, I have a few loyal followers spread across several social networks who have often encouraged me to alight the soapbox in a more public setting. As a gigantic walking mouth, I am happy to oblige.


J Franklin Evans said...

I'm looking forward to it!

HavaB said...


Even if you have gaps in your learning, you're always willing to cop to it. Welcome back to the blogosphere.

HavaB said...


But even when you don't know something, you always cop to it.

We need you back. Welcome back to the blogosphere!

Lindsay said...

Poor Gaeta...


alonewithcats said...

Because I thought you were gone for good, I literally just deleted you from my blog role yesterday. This is *so* like you to inconvenience me. It'll take me, like, 45 seconds to add you back on. Do you think I have that kind of time? OK, fine. You're right. I do.

Dizzy Goddesski said...

I am so excited to see you back! I love American History, and I've missed your humor. No worries about gaps in your intelligence... I probably won't notice them anyway because I am a true American & I believe everything everyone tells me, especially when I read it on the Internet.

azurehawker said...

Not hailing from the USA, I haven't a clue what you're on about some of the time (ok, most of, I'm stupid to boot). But I don't care! You write with a style that is so easy to read, the words leap off the page at the slightest glance. I may have to wear shades.

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Tatiana Jimenez said...

Yay! I'm glad you're back.