Thursday, December 02, 2010

I am a liberal

Being liberal means having patience with the ignorance of others.

As a liberal, I consider anointing the flesh at the crease of my elbow with patchouli oil to be one of life's simple pleasures.

I attend documentary films that feature the heart-wrenching stories of those less fortunate than me in order to feel closer to their experience.

The films I attend are shown in vintage art theaters that have been lovingly restored by members of the surrounding community.

The word community is special to me. I support communities.

Others are charmed by my self-deprecating good humor, which is the hallmark of any good liberal.

I disdain irrational religious practices such as the handling of snakes unless said practices are being practiced by peoples indigenous to remote corners of South America.

When I drive on a road constructed with recycled debris, my heavy angst abates, however fleetingly.

Of course I support local, sustainable, free-range, organic foods; but in an effort to embrace the intolerant Right, I entertain a modicum of disdain for the previous string of adjectives by occasionally admitting that I find the distinction "local, sustainable, free-range, organic" somewhat cloying and redundant.

I find tie-dyed clothing whimsical.

I find the word "whimsical" whimsical.

I own a handbag crafted from recycled rice sacks that was purchased by a liberal friend of mine while she vacationed in Southeast Asia. My liberal friend, however, did not enjoy said vacation so much so that it would have infringed on her respect for the people of Southeast Asia.

I am good-naturedly disappointed in my inability to achieve the Lotus position.

I am concerned about my carbon footprint, but more concerned about others who are not concerned about their carbon footprints, so I am concerned about their carbon footprints for them. I refer to this practice as carrying the carbon footprint of others, which subtlety suggests burden without actually using the word burden.

I am, as a liberal, ashamed of my use of the word burden in the previous entry and realize that, in saying that I did not use the word burden while intentionally using the word burden, I have just practiced passive aggressive behavior. 

The materialistic love I have for my Apple Computer products is disappointing mostly because it is not disappointing enough.

I believe in the Children.

* * *


Bill said...

Erin: I loved your post and actually laughed out loud. It's testament to your comittment to liberalism, though, if you can write that, read it a couple of times, and still want to be a liberal.

Sausage said...

Well I guess that makes me a Liberal also. Funny how growing up in a ultra conservative right wing family changes you as an adult.
Karma baby karma....
Cheers, Sausage..

Anonymous said...

I, too, am a LIberal. But unlike most liberals, I fuckin hate most people, am extremely violent, and own a few medieval weapons I am not shy to use when necessary. I also tend to have balls when defending my political ideology and don't seem to get brownbeaten or out-debated by aggressive, god-fearing, morons.

Or maybe I'm just fucking nuts and fed up with all y'all mothafuckas.

Either way, I vote and pay taxes, and I'm an atheist who won't leave this country, yet criticizes it. A pain in the ass to most righties...and lefties as well.

Word up EOB.

Jon Moore said...

My God O'Brien I'm afraid it may be too late to save you. However, those of us of the enlightened right will endeavor to persevere.

Big Mark 243 said...

Loved this post... and Swine's comment as well!!

We will see how Liberal Cleveland is tonight with LeBron in town!!

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

Erin - you have my condolences.

As for The Player Who Left, I think those at the game should do what others suggest - remain silent and turn their backs when he's announced or referred to. As I see it, that would be the ultimate insult - not even acknowledging he's there.


Al The Retired Army Guy said...

Oh, and one more thing ...

Definition of a liberal - someone so open minded that their brains fell out. Except Erin's, of course.


Vince said...

Is this some sort of pageant interview.
And is that a turd next the strangled big toe.
On the main points, you are an American Liberal. This means you are substantially further to the right that anything on this side of the Atlantic since well 1775.
Even the UK Conservatives would be considered far Left in the States generally, but in Ohio as downright dangerous.
For heavens sake, 'til relatively lately the Catholic Church supported the Democrats !!!!!!.

Amber Lea Easton said...

I am liberal, too. It's good to be able to laugh at ourselves while keeping things in perspective. With the volatile political climate these days, humor is refreshing.

As always, I enjoy your words, Ms. O'Brien! Keep 'em coming!

And--Swine--you scare me a little but I think I like it.

Kev D. said...

I believe in the children is the perfect closer for this HILARIOUS post.

Thanks for making my day better.

Ms Amanda said...

Perfectly written.
I smiled, laughed and nodded the whole time. You just described me & so many of my friends/relations.
It's funny, because it's true!

Erin O'Brien said...

Dear friends,

The last photographic piece is entitled Frog and Toe. It represents my interpretation of the self portrait as projected through a lens of real-time environmentalism.

The toe portion of the piece is obvious enough. That the other subject--in reality a toad--is misnamed in the title? Well that's just me having fun with post-neo-modern-deconstructionalism.

tee hee!

Erin O'Brien said...

And if anyone is wondering, yes, I am laughing at myself.

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

One more thing, part two ...

Erin writes about the "intolerant Right" in her post. The left is intolerant as well. I experienced it nearly every day in Vermont - You Know How I Feel while at school there. The right doesn't have a monopoly on intolerance, trust me.


Anonymous said...

I too am a liberal.
I have no tolerance for intolerance and am saddened by TRAG's experience of intolerance. I suspect essence of patchouli oil would elevate his mood and diminish the painful memories somewhat.

I once saw Martina Navratilova driving a Porsche through the New Orleans French Quarter. As a liberal I was ashamed at my envy of her ride but buoyed by the thought I might be reincarnated as a lesbian.

BTW, it's impossible to find tofu in the Quarter but even the liberals there don't seem to mind.


Kirk said...

I am a progressive.

Liberalism comes with too much baggage.

Erin O'Brien said...

As a liberal, I am saddened by RJ's sadness.

Anonymous said...

Joan Baez.


philbilly said...

Swine for Governor.

Any State in the Union.

Only because he is currently barred from the White House by way of birthplace.

jonas said...

Labels are...dumb. They're inherently reductionist, as has become the American political process. Whenever we define what "is" (or in this case, what we "are), we in many ways define what "is not) (or, "am/are not). And so in sometimes very subtle, sometimes very obvious ways, we continue to create "otherness." You are not me. They are not us. Although we can talk out way around this by suggesting that "sure, we're all still Americans," I'm not buying it. As both Erin and Al point out, intolerance is not something reserved for religion or race anymore. We live in a culture of politics. Our society has been self-defined as Red vs. Blue (don't blame the media, thats a cop out).

Although the post is meant in humor, too many of US think very much in these terms. It ain't good.

Al The Retired Army Guy said...


I was surrounded by the essence of patchouli oil in Vermont - You Know How I Feel. It didn't do a bit of good.

True story - it was well known during my tenure at NECI how I felt about the state/city in which the school was located. This goes for peers and instructors alike. One day, two of my instructors tell me that I needed to have a "positive Vermont experience" before I left school. I told them that I would indeed someday.

As I left on my first internship in NC, I took photos of Montpelier in my review mirror (as I crossed the Main Street Bridge over the Winooski River); of exit 8 on I-89 in my review mirror; and Vermont in my review mirror as I crossed into Massachusetts. When I got home, I sent them to the previously mentioned instructors with a note saying, "see, I had not only one positive Vermont experience, but three of them, all in the same day."


philbilly said...

Swine for Governor of Vermont.

Daniel said...

This one time, I was mostly conservative. I blame talk radio, and my non-denominational Christian upbringing.

But, now I'm mostly liberal. I think it suits my lifestyle better, as I drink beer in giddy excess at times and touch my girlfriend dirty without experiencing guilt, which she seems to enjoy.

Bill said...

I know lots of conservatives who would feel no guilt in touching Daniel's girlfriend and drinking beer.

Erin O'Brien said...

Patchouli Oil Between My Boobies

Short story title? Dunno.

IzzyMom said...

I'm a lot like you (and maybe a wee bit like Swine). Good to know kindred spirits can be found in the blogosphere because I sure as hell can't find them in my conservative city (she said while eyeing her Mac with a shameful lust)

Unknown said...

As usual, a good read, Erin.
I caught most of Bill Maher's Real Time shows on HBO during his latest series and in his last show he had Bill O'Reilly as a guest, via satellite. O'Reilly was a bit rude, never addressing Maher by his first name but by his surname--as I just did. At any rate, I was pleasantly surprised to learn O'Reilly supports gay marriage and is big on the environment, saying "A clean planet benefits everyone."
Just shows to go ya, there's a little good in the worst of us. Can't agree with O'Reilly, though, on his support of the invasion and war in Iraq. Stupid and enormously wasteful in blood and treasure. Don't get me started....

Anonymous said...

I, too, feel for Al. I, too, hate those self-righteous lefty tree-hugging bastids who love to expound on the virtues of recycling or re-using, without having ANY FUCKING IDEA how political those subjects are and what wrangling it takes at the county commission levels.

I should redact here, I'm with Kirk. I consider myself a progressive--liberals come with too much baggage and snootiness. As stated before, most people are a nuisance to me and I carry pepper spray just in case either side starts preaching.

Philbilly, I appreciate and welcome your vote--unfortunately I'm not wasting my time even THINKING about forming an exploratory committee.

Vermont is cool, I'm down with it, I'm down with the maple syrup and shit, but too cold for my Romanian/Greek/Italian/Lebanese arse.

Anonymous said...

I am, however, not a Progressive when it comes to "progressive rock" (ELP, Yes, King Crimson, Rush, et. al). Them bastids either need to stick to jazz, or go straight up rock-n-roll AC/DC stylee. Don't muck up those two genres--leave 'em alone. Dig?

Al the Retired Army Guy said...

I am progressive when it comes to music - Rush, King Crimson, ELP, Yes, Frank Zappa, (early) Genesis, etc. are some of my faves. Sorry, Swine!

I am, however, with you on the tree-huggers.


Anonymous said...

Al, I'll give you Rush--one of my faves, despite my aversion to progressive rock. Two reasons: I'm a musician and I can appreciate the boys' career, and my wife was briefly part of Neil Peart's family in the 90s...Neil being one of my boyhood heroes (I'm a drummer-Jazz).

Anonymous said...

More on Progressive Rock: I do appreciate the intent, the time signature changes, the literary lyrics...I just think the fusion of that with rock-n-roll does not make for good music.

If we're to seek intellectual fulfillment I say let's go to straight up bebop/hard bop jazz 1950s-mid 1960s. Or classical music. But let's leave rock-n-roll to the 4/4 masters.

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

Swine - I am a bass player, have been since the age of 15. And Geddy is probably my biggest influence (along with Entwistle, McCartney, Squire, etc.).

I must disagree that the fusion you refer to doesn't make good music. But to each his own and all.

As for Jazz, I'm not much on it, though I do respect those who play it and play it well.