Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Can't We All Just Get Along? No? Well, Okay Then

Image via The Progressive

I’ll be the first to admit: I live in a bubble. It’s nice here in my bubble, shiny, clean. When the light catches the sides just right rainbows appear, iridescent swaths of color and nuance. John Travolta lives in my bubble as a boy sheathed in plastic (before there was ever a hair plug). Hybrids fight for parking spots at Whole Foods and the birds get drunk on organic berries come Fall. I live in Marin County, a bastion of liberalism coupled with wealth, a tra la la where the Trufulla Trees still grow and we have all the Thneeds we need. In Marin we are each of us both preacher and choir.
Yesterday on my way to the mall I saw a car with a McCain/Palin bumper sticker and it pricked me like a pin here in my bubble. Poke! Huh? It looked funny, a joke. For a second I forgot to breathe, the oxygen wicked away and then I remembered. Yes, yes, of course. This is an election. Two parties with a hint of a third. And a million different points of view outside this bubble where the light is refracted and split into polarizing optical opposites and nobody can really see anything.
I watched the debate last night and was bored. There is very little anyone could say at this point that would change my vote. At any point, really. I was born in this bubble and will likely never leave. I believe gay people have the right to marry. Women have the right to choose. This country needs a fundamental change in foreign policy and I see that change, that hope, in Obama. Yes we can and yes I will. November 4th. Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, commited citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. –Margaret Mead

image via

But I wonder. Why doesn’t everyone see it this way? What does the air taste like outside my bubble? Are the colors the same? The rainbow? Do they arc and play, is it pretty? Way back when in 1704 Sir Isaac Newton concluded that different colors are present in all light, that prisms do not create colors but merely separates what is already there.
For the rays, to speak properly, are not colored. In them there is nothing else than a certain power and disposition to stir up a sensation of this or that color.

This election has stirred up quite a sensation. There are Democrats and there are Republicans. There is Me and then there is You. The prism has shifted and split us all, casting out the light into refractions and diffractions, slivers of different dispersions, absolute truths that must have always been there right outside my reality. I am right. My bubble is clean. I KNOW this, I will not bend. But to hear anything the sound waves must move, the light waves must bend. To know anything I must listen. And so I wonder: what is to become of the mirage that is a rainbow? There is no end. What is to become of us all if we cannot breathe outside of our own pretty little bubbles?


Megan said...

I see the change and the hope too. Wonderfully written.

Unknown said...

As you say to Zoey, "Good job."

Miss to Mrs said...

Great post. I want to be in your bubble! It seems like a nice place to be.

Patois42 said...

I'm in this Marin bubble as well. I saw the one car with the tiny McCain/Palin bumper sticker. I had to stop and stare.

Very well written post. I just flowed right through it.

Tricia said...

If anything, I cannot vote for McCain/Palin for the simple reason that I will be forced to slam my head into a wall or some such, if I have to listen to four years of "my friends" and "you betcha."

dee said...

You don't live in a bubble. People that think gays shouldn't marry or there's nothing wrong with the ozone layer live in a bubble. And it smells in there.

Brilliant Asylum said...

Once again, I am blown away by your gift with words. Well said.

I live in the south where the McCain/Palin signs are abundant and expected, but nonetheless disturbing.

karey m. said...

i love this post so much. {i also adore lil bee's comment.}

you're goood.

Erin said...

Having grown up in the same bubble as you, but now living in a MUCH more conservative area, I am getting used to the expected McCain/Palin signs and get excited when I see an Obama sticker. It's not the McCain/Palin signs that bother me as much -- after all, this is a democracy and just because I feel strongly about my political beliefs doesn't mean everyone has to agree with them -- it's the "Yes on 8" signs and stickers that absolutely make me ill. I don't understand how ANYONE could NOT want two people to have the same benefits and joys of marriage that those of us who are heterosexual enjoy. And not only do they not want gays to have those rights, but they feel SO strongly about it that they go to the effort of putting signs in their yard, stickers on their cars and placing phone calls to everyone in the phonebook about it (yes, we received a voicemail a few weeks ago from a woman who was just calling to make sure that she could count on our support in voting Yes on 8 to protect traditional families -- I seethed about that voicemail for days!).

beachbungalow8 said...

you're an amazing writer. i love the newton references. perfection.

i feel just the same way and come home to tell my husband, 'oh my god, i saw a mccain sticker on someone's car today...' shocks me every time.

but then, i'm part of that bubble in which you live.

beachbungalow8 said...

you're an amazing writer. i love the newton references. perfection.

i feel just the same way and come home to tell my husband, 'oh my god, i saw a mccain sticker on someone's car today...' shocks me every time.

but then, i'm part of that bubble in which you live.

Jules said...

Obama does not support gay marriage. I don't understand why people keep attributing to him a position he does not support. His opposition to gay marriage has been discussed in both the presidential and vice presidential debates, newspapers, magazines, political commentary shows, and even Perez Hilton. He is in favor of civil unions, which is not the same.

The Daily Chicago Tribune quotes Obama:

"I'm a Christian. And so, although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition, and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman."

He is in favor of allowing states decide individually if gay marriage should be legalized, which is the political equivalent of washing your hands of the matter.

Petunia Face said...

Hi Jules,
I know Obama doesn't support gay marriage. I never said he did. And I'm kind of glad he doesn't because then he'd surely lose the election. In a way, that's him playing the game. And I'm glad he knows how best to play it.

He's the closest candidate to me if I ran. You know, except he's uber-smart and informed and well-spoken and all that. So better than if I ran. :)

November 4th!

Jules said...

I know, Susannah, and I'm sorry that wasn't clear on my part. I believe many people don't know his position on gay marriage, and that is unfortunate.

What is also unfortunate is the game playing that comes with any election. For once I would like to get to know the candidate before the election. ;)

I read in some comments on another blog that in NRA land he is doing all sorts of ads stating he supports the NRA.

McCain is doing the same thing. Politics as usual has me down in the dumps.

Anonymous said...

Finally, we have a thoughtful post written by someone who is definitely not voting like I am, and still doesn't try to demean, demonize and disparage me. I live in NYC, and I am THRILLED when I see the rare McCain/Palin bumper sticker or sign. If you want to know why I am voting for the Republican ticket is because I believe that our country is in crisis, and while Obama has amazing oratory skills, he does not have the experience to navigate the next four years. During his tenure in Illinois and in the U.S. Senate, Obama has sponsored/co-sponsored a couple of meaningless bills. He has no record of true-bipartisanship. McCain's bi-partisan record is without compare. Obama has never stood up to the far-left wing of the Democratic party, and McCain has repeatedly taken on the far-right wing of his party on immigration, education etc. I am also pro-life (I've lost a lot of you here), and any man (Obama) who believes that you shouldn't provide medical care to a baby born alive from abortion (and for those naysayers, it does actually happen every year) is not someone whose values I could ever agree with. I also don't want an apologist for a president with regard to foreign-policy. I am an immigrant to this country (from India), and while the US is far from perfect, it is still a phenomenal place which affords opportunity and peace to its citizens. The US is also a country that has done GOOD throughout the world (the left would have you believe that we are a raping, and pillaging country with regard to human rights, the environment etc. etc.). Once again, the US is not perfect, but we are a country that overwhelmingly fights for good across the globe. Yes, most Iraqis believe that their lives are much better without Saddam Hussein. Republicans love this country as much as you do, but we have different ideas about what would make it successful and strong. Although I know you all despise Sarah Palin, I like her. I like her strength, her smarts, and her courage. She too has taken on the Establishment in Alaska, produced great RESULTS for Alaskans, and yet that is given paltry coverage in the press. She has been eviscerated and caricatured so completely while the press gives a complete pass to Obama and Biden's multiple gaffes and contradictions. Let's not forget that here is someone who appeared on the national stage 6 weeks ago, and while that's not an excuse, she has handled herself with great aplomb and grace through all the criticism. I cannot understand the VISCERAL hatred many of my women friends have towards her. Even if you don't agree with her on abortion, why do we have to try and destroy other strong, successful women. This is becoming a little stream-of-consciousness piece, but I want you to know that there are just as many thougtful, educated, cosmopolitan (yes I am patting myself on the back quite a lot) Republicans out there who love this country and believe that Obama (while quite a phenom in his own right) is not fit or ready to lead this country.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous,

Dear god sweetie no

from anonymous

Sally Kate said...

I'm so jealous of your bubble.

You must see this. It is too funny to be believed.

In (Not So) Perfect Balance said...

I live in the bubble too. Love the post, love the humor, will love the change Obama.
MB :o)

The Spicers said...

I live in the bubble too. I'm hoping we can welcome more people into it with this election...
Go Obama!

Unknown said...

I wish I lived in your bubble. I live in Texas, aka McCain/Palin country. I can't tell you how sick I am of the divisive attitude and being preached at every day.