Friday, September 10, 2004

fear and loathing

I'm not much of a political blogger. There are so many others who do a better and more consistent job that I feel superfluous. On the other hand I have very strong political/social views and love to talk that stuff with people, a good natured argument can be an illuminating thing. Not only getting insights and different viewpoints from others but also clarifying my own position in the act of explaining it (I do a lot of my thinking whilst talking, which is why I ramble so much. Well that's my story and I'm sticking to it..)

Just recently, however, I've been avoiding much in the way of news/current affairs stuff. Not only do I find it depressing (both the content and the way 'news' is reported in mainstream media) but I've also been finding it almost physically revolting to watch politicians spout forth rhetorical nonsense, or read maliciously biased reports in the papers/online. From all sides of the political divide. I'm very much a left-winger but some writing that is obviously supposed to be aimed at my choir I find insulting to read. I don't like the feeling I'm being manipulated, and when it comes from someone whose politics supposedly correspond with my own I get very angry. I still have yet to see 'Fahrenheit 9/11' and feel in some ways that it's not necessary for me. I don't want to feel like I'm an extra in Michael Moore's grand political scheme, like an air-punching Oprah audience member.

But this isn't about that.

Not really sure what it's about. Now that I'm living in Australia I feel like I never really appreciated the NZ political system. Australia is becoming another United States, and politics here is an alienating and duplicitous procedure. I'm thankful I can't get involved in it because it would make me even more depressed.

I'd like to be a social/political crusader (bad word in the context but you know what I mean). I just don't have the strength of will (or blindness to alternatives if you prefer) to spread my agenda to the world. I'm paralyzed by seeing too many options, too many sides to the story. I don't have many absolutes, no religious tracts to adhere to, no political dogma that I feel so strongly about that I feel it should be imposed on everyone. Which means that I am basically useless in this world of fundamentalism.

But this isn't about that either.

Well, what prompted me to write this was the Beslan massacre.

But I've no words for it. I haven't been watching any tv news for months now so I have no images in my head (something I'm thankful about). But I've even been avoiding reading about it - not actively, just getting a sick lurching in my stomach when it's cropped up online or in the newspaper. Just can't deal with it. And feeling lucky that I'm physically as far away from the shit as I am. Then feeling guilty for that.

I'm at the same time gobsmacked and unsurprised. The former I feel is the proper response to something so hideous, the latter I'm afraid is proof of my being desensitised. I want to be outraged, angry and energised like I have been in the past. But this time I just want to make it all go away.

Enough. I have no more words.

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