Sunday, March 6, 2011

Snow Day

Blog Pictures 141
Snowmaggedon '11 continues, and for this, I present the Punch Buggy (actually J's creation): brandy, black raspberry brandy, orange liquer, blueberry liquer and lemon.

I drove J to work today in order to have the car for errands, and ended up stranded at the coffeeshop next door to his liquor store for several hours.  Fortunately one of my errand stops was in the same complex as his store, so I was able to buy many, many buttons before camping out in the coffeeshop and writing a few paragraphs for a paper I'm presenting in a few weeks.

J's work actually ended up closing early due to the bad weather, so I made him drive home, but it really drove home how fortunate (privileged?) I am in academia that I was able to cancel section last week due to bad weather with nothing more than an email to the prof and the students.  That's part of the benefit of being salaried rather than hourly, in that the hours I am in-building don't directly translate to the pay I receive, as J's hours in retail do.  My wages, benefits, and hours aren't the direct effect of union efforts, but it really worries me that the system I benefit from is under attack.  And not just because I benefit from it--because it seems to me the best way to maintain a happy, stable country.

I'm following the Wisconsin/Ohio/Indiana/anti-labor and anti-women news lately rather closely, but I'm having trouble making sense of it and I don't really know why.  I'm teaching anti-labor history in the course I TA right now, but the motivations as explained to me and as I read them in the materials for the course are so cartoonishly evil that they're easy to dismiss.  (Maybe this is part of the reason why my students find it so easy to dismiss connections between what they read and what they see?)

I think part of the problem is that, whether because of my liberal-midwest-elite-SLAC education or my liberal-poor-working class upbringing, I've come to see unionization, progressive tax codes, education, reproductive choice, and social safety nets as so self-evidently intrinsic to this functioning of this country that I can't see the logic of Republican attacks on them.  And there must be some appeal to that logic, or so many people wouldn't have voted Republicans in last election cycle.

But if the other side's logic is really so hard to find, is it much of a logic at all?  I can concisely state the pro-choice, feminazi socialist agenda is three sentences or less; I can't do the same for the pro (unborn) life, fiscally retrogressive capitalist agenda, and not for lack of trying.  I think it's emblematic of the problem that the right uses partisan rhetoric while the "left" tries to hang on to discourse or dialogue without another participant to dialogue with.  (And I am skeptical and disappointed in the state of the left in this country, which anywhere else in the world would be the centrist or even right wing).

So I suppose the point is this: booze good, politics disappointing and disheartening.

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