Tuesday, November 13, 2012

525,600 Minutes

I just listened to "Seasons of Love" all the way through for the first time in six years without crying at all. At first, I freaked out that I was forgetting, or becoming jaded. As it sinks in, though, and I talk to someone who very much shaped my past, I'm realizing it was because for the first time in six years I'm listening to it in the context of a love that isn't bittersweet. To do no discredit to people I have loved, I enjoyed it very much, but I always thought of love as deep and passionate, yes, but also mysteriously somber. I valued that kind of love over one that was light and carefree. I get to sit here now in the context of a love that is playful and light, even silly (okay, let's get real, frequently silly) and it is just as deep and passionate and genuine as anything I've ever experienced. 525,000 seasons of love and I've only seen a few. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I Voted Sticker

The almighty "I voted" sticker is the manifestation of your promise to society that you care, are involved, take and interest, and take action. It is your proof that you engaged in the largest interaction with our government many of us will ever have. On my 18th birthday, the only thing I really wanted to accomplish was to register to vote. I did. I've spent a lot of my life knowing that the first election I would be able to vote in would be presidential and that was exciting to me. But in the past few days I have found myself not excited that I got to re-elect a president who, yes, is faulted, but who has done a reasonably good job doing what he thinks is right to take care of his country, but tremendously excited to get to tell the social conservatives, bigots, and homophobes of my state that my best friend can get married and that I could marry whoever I want if I wanted. It wasn't a privilege to vote for the Obama Biden ticket, but it was a privilege to vote for same-sex marriage and the dream act. Except the second I realized how excited I was that those were the questions I got to vote on in my first election, I realized how depressed I was that those were the questions I had to vote on in my first election. In the 21st century we, as a society, are still contemplating whether or not to give a significant portions of the population basic rights to education and legal marriage. One of my biggest pet peeves is people who say that I/we/Americans should not complain since we have it so much better off than other parts of the world. Just because my country is better than some others at some things I can't push for it to improve at all? I think those individuals assume that I/we/Americans are not sufficiently appreciative of what The United States of America offers us, or that we do not love our country enough. Love is never a term I would ascribe to a nation, so no, I don't love my county. I like it a damn lot though, and I certainly appreciate it. But why on earth does that mean I can't critique it. I think it is ridiculous that this country I am supposed to love actively disenfranchises people I love. I voted, I made that commitment to my community, and I was excited about, but I will vote to push it as hard as I can towards progress, maybe even to a breaking point.