Sunday, June 28, 2009

Finally Found What I'm Looking For

One of my big hangups with politics is that I really want a civil engagement with someone who thinks differently than I do. This, in an era of talking heads yammering away on the Sunday-morning talk-show circuit, is incredibly difficult to achieve. But, I think I've finally done it.

What happened is this: one evening a few weeks ago I was wasting time while Miss Tessmacher was on the phone, and I got to entering names into Google. You do that, right? The narcissearch? Try it sometime…see what your web presence is really like. Anywho, I ended up entering my dad's name, and lo and behold I coughed it up in some guy's blog. Turns out he's a former band student of my dad's from the late-'60s/early-'70s! He brought my dad up as part of a larger political post, and he had nice things to say. Probably nicer things than I'd have to say about Dad, that's for sure! While the man wasn't any kind of abuser to me, he was…distant. I was the "Whoops!" pregnancy, sired on a woman not his wife, and even when we all lived together as a family…he and I just never got along. Part - most? - of that can be blamed perhaps on generational distance. Older than my grandfather, Dad probably couldn't wrap his mind around a son who liked neither hunting nor sports, but instead chose to decorate his room with cut-out pictures of hairy madmen snarling into microphones and doing really loud, unpleasant things with guitars. (Kiss and Twisted Sister, I mean.)

Anyway, I read a few of this guy's blog posts, and I realized I'd found it: someone who was educated, erudite, and fairly well balanced me on the political spectrum. I'm not as far left as a true-blue, quasi-socialist, bleeding-heart ecophile; he's not as far right (or at least doesn't seem to be) as a red-in-the-face, quasi-anarchist, come-to-Jesus Bible-thumper. He blogs nearly every day, and his blog is generally about whatever current political event gets a bee in his bonnet. I did an original comment on his blog about how I found him, said that I agreed with much of what he wrote (in that particular post, anyway), and asked if he'd mind if I kept reading.

Because, you know, alliances at the Capitol aren't really what interest me, nor do I see that kind of very public political back-&-forth as much of a problem-solver. What interests me is frank, respectful discussion among people who basically try to live their lives as best they can, but go about doing so thinking (occasionally, or even usually) very different things.

If you're interested, go read his blog. It's called The Violence Worker, and I've linked to it. I would ask, though, before you read a particular post, you read his Manifesto. I agree with about 85% of what he writes there…which, in my mind, is the more humorous and odd because, just as I was counting down the days, hours and minutes until Bush left office, he's got a counter on his blog for Obama! See what I mean? We're just two dudes, livin' life…lots of the same core beliefs…and yet, still so different.

I believe that those differences define us (meaning ALL of us), but not in a bad way. Understanding where those differences are, and talking about them in a meaningful way, is part of what should define a great society. So go there. I've been treated well. If you post a comment, please: be respectful. THINK.


Blogger Violence Worker said...

Hi Scott,

Sorry I'm a bit late to the party. I visited your blog a couple times. I just want to say that I appreciate your comments. When I get home from work (or at lunch today) I intend to put you in my recommended reads. I've been most appreciative of your comments. I didn't quite understand the name difference until now. I was curious, but then, there's somethings that are sometimes left alone.

In any case, I do welcome thoughtful opinions. To me, a blog is like someone's house. Yeah, you leave the door unlocked with a welcome sign out front, but it is still your house. If you enter into someone's house, you do so with respect to the resident. And so it is with a blog. When I leave comments, it is with that in mind. If someone leaves a comment on my blog, I try to treat that person as a guest. If that person is more interested in argument than debate, I will take steps to deal with them, ultimately banning them if need be.

Again, thank you for your kind words, and I promise to stop by more often in your house. I'll also be adding your blog to to my feed reader so I don't forget to check it.


8:38 AM  

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