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Posts Tagged ‘temper tantrum’

Alexandria City Hall, Courtesy Creative CommonsWe had a tiny blow up yesterday. It was uncouth and ill-timed, but heartfully meant. Some background:

Sometimes our existence in Baltimore (academia + overwhelming Democratic majority + progressive art scene + poor people everywhere) leads us to believe the world is full of socially concerned citizens who are nail-bitingly conscious of inequity, la la la. We fancy ourselves a speck in an excitedly-enfranchised populous who are, mentally at least, forging a future with our brave new leader to achieve a more leveled, rational society. Maybe we’re not as politically and community active as we should be but there is a feeling that, post January, we are soldiering along together to undo the Bush years, through a minefield of economic near-catastrophe. Popular support for the marred but promising young administration is strong, we hear on NPR, and we are hopeful that they’ll get us to the promised land, or at least the state of lower health care costs, in the next eight years. Holding hands and striding–

Not so, my friends! Some of us journeyed to red state-turned-purplishblue Virginia for a crash review course in political sensitivity.

Virginia went blue, features a democratic governor, and is in terms of ethnic diversity up north basically a mini UN. Beginning this December, tobacco’s homeland is outlawing smoking in many bars. It’s full of well educated professionals working in Washington. That don’t mean that the good ol’ boys have packed up their confederate flags–or their statues.

We are on King Street, Alexandria, a neighborhood with gentile colonial style brick shops and upscale restaurants that looks a lot like Federal Hill. The buildings are remarkably adherent to the 18th century style and all display white lights delicately arching across the street.

We observe folks smoking in a bar and say, isn’t it amazing people can still light up inside. A guy plops down at our table to have his say. He’s a bit scruffy, and wouldn’t look out of place at the Brewer’s Art on Charles street. Then he opened his mouth.

I’ll call him Chester cause he looks like he stepped out of Dude, Where’s My Car.

Chester: Ya’ll didn’t support him [Obama] did you

Us: Yes, isn’t it great…

Chester: He wants to turn this country into socialism.

Friends: Isn’t this basketball game fantastic? Did you see that play?

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Here I am in my non-newspaper reading bubble (I thought Morning Edition kept me up to speed) while a furious internet debate rages over the Washington Post’s Sunday editorial on gender and politics.

“What is it about us women? Why do we always fall for the hysterical, the superficial and the gooily sentimental?” writes Charlotte Allen, in “We Scream, We Swoon. How Dumb Can We Get?”

She writes, “Clinton [has a] nearly all-female staff, chosen for loyalty rather than, say, brains or political savvy. Clinton finally fired her daytime-soap-watching, self-styled “Latina queena” campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle, known for burning through campaign money and for her open contempt for the “white boys” in the Clinton camp. But stupidly, she did it just in time to alienate the Hispanic voters she now desperately needs to win in Texas or Ohio to have any shot at the Democratic nomination.”
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