Aug 22, 2005
The Pitter-Patter of Tiny-Minded Feet
O how my blood is made to boil by conservative footsoldiers like that Skeletor-esque Kellyanne Conway, whose performance on Bill Maher's season premiere was irritating enough to make me want to increase my monthly contribution to the DNC and the DCCC tenfold. I was glad that Bill pressed her when she continually made unsubstantiated assertions, even going so far as to ask her what ass she had just pulled one of her claims from. But I couldn't help but feel that she should have been taken more to task. Whenever she was backed into a corner, she would end up saying something like, "Oh, come on, Bill." And that would be the end of her rebuttal. A tactic which was used with nearly as much effectiveness by Phyllis Schlafly, when Bill brought up the subject of her gay son. It's just that when people argue in this fashion -- never conceding a point, never acknowledging a misstep -- it's easy for the sound bites that get pulled from the discussions to be used as ammunition for their agenda, and most people are just lazy enough to accept someone else's synopsis rather than do the research firsthand. For instance, if you do not receive the HBO, and you are a liberal like me, you might read what I've written here and agree with me. And if you are a conservative, you might read this and dismiss it outright. But what always gets me so het up when I'm watching one of these shows -- particularly if I don't have the luxury of like-minded company to share in my irate flabbergastery -- is that the dialogue is useless. No one says anything real. Nothing that's said is of any great import. It's more important to try and get in a zinger than it is to make a point. It's exactly what happens in most arguments in the real world amongst real people who know nothing of the art of the dialectic.
There was a time when I enjoyed this. The sparring. The amicable disagreement. I was a debater for Pete's sake. For fun. But ever since the 2000 elections, I have gotten much more impatient, much more susceptible to flinching when that lingering road rash gets poked at. I wish we could talk about things with more than just the intention of winning. I wish we could try and get to the bottom of issues. Solve problems. Come up with ideas. Without being so concerned about who would get credit for the solutions. Without paying so much attention to the (D) or the (R) that follows the name on the chyron.
Somewhere along the way, I got it in my noggin that all this mattered. And then the fun started to seep away. Like blood draining from a turnip. So suddenly that you forget to ask how it got there in the first place.
posted by Mary Forrest at 11:37 AM | Back to Monoblog