Okay, I'm back. I thought for a while there about posting a "Blog Dark" notice like they do in theaters when there's nothing playing. I don't know why the cat had my tongue for so long except for a couple of obvious factors:
1. I got to the point where the news became so depressing that I just took an ostrich approach for a while.
2. There was that series of catastrophes--K's accident and hospitalization(s), my accident and hospitalization, his bone graft, my crushing work deadline...and so on. Since I last blogged, he ended up in the hospital one more time for an infection in his arm. He got sent home with a picc line and at-home antibiotics. That's all cleared up now. I made my huge work deadline (without wanting to talk about my work in detail, I'll say that September marked one of the most significant professional accomplishments in my life). It has now been more than six weeks since anyone has been hospitalized, had a surgery, had a biopsy, or any other similar calamity. Work is also settling down to its usual level of stress.
And then there's the whole "balancing work, romance, and writing" equation that is just ridiculous and will not be elaborated on at present.
But here it is, Election Day, and what better time to re-enter the blog-o-sphere? I had to re-acquaint myself with the political public sphere for at least one day so maybe if I weigh in quickly while I'm above-sand it will stick.
Though here's the truth, as I said, I've been assiduously avoiding anything that smacks of the news or current events, and given the mammoth size of the ballot here in LA, I've had to do a lot of homework. Just trying to figure out how to vote on the judges alone is quite an endeavor. And what I've realized is I really am a knee-jerk leftist. If, for instance, a ballot measure is supported by any organization that has "taxpayers" in its name, I'm against it. I don't need to read further.
And here, let me digress and say I am pro-taxes. In fact, I am pro-taxes and pro-big government. I'm a fan of good roads, clean water, public education, health care on demand, care for the elderly, and even public art. I'm all for paying for such things publicly and hiring lots of people and structuring offices to execute those services. Let's hear it for taxes and government.
Which brings me to the issue of voting itself. I used to really like voting. True enough, my first election was Reagan's second term, which was a really, really depressing election for any left-leaning first-time voter. So yes, that one was pretty depressing. But in general, voting itself has always felt really good to me. I'm a sucker for all of that ritualistic citizen stuff anyway (pretty funny for someone with such an allergy to patriotism). Shit, I wrote a whole dissertation on nation-making and representation.
This year though, it just feels pretty depressing to me. It feels like going to a viewing. "Doesn't he look so lifelike?" Or as Andrea said, a birthday party disguised as a viewing [I stand corrected, Andrea actually said a viewing disguised as a birthday party, which makes much more sense. See comment below.] I just can't shake the feeling that our great social experiment is dead and we're just making funeral arrangements at this point. Maybe I'll feel less that way as I re-enter the polis and leave my ostrich ways behind.