I must be moving on

1 02 2010

State of the union. Sarah Palin. Bipartisanship. Obama. GOP. Moderates. Health care reform. Financial reform. Don’t ask don’t tell. . . .zzzzz

Okay, no, not really. I care about all of that stuff—tho’ not, obviously, all in the same way.

But I don’t want to write about it.

No good reason not to, really. I’ve got that ol’ political science degree, a long history with American politics, and Oh! leftism to burn! Plus, I never really shut up.

Laziness? Perhaps.

Or perhaps there is one good reason not to: Someone else is already on it.

Now, in conversation, I’m more than willing to go over this stuff, rehash what others have said, reconsider my own thoughts, find out what the other person is thinking—it’s quite enjoyable, in fact. But what makes it enjoyable is the give-and-take, the mutual mulling-over, and our willingness to let ourselves dig in or get distracted down some other conversational path; what makes it enjoyable, in other words, is the other person.

But chewing over an already-well-chewed nugget of political wisdom: eh.

It’s not that all of my thoughts are original (if only. . !), or that an issue which has set off a kabillion other people won’t also set me off. But the main reason I write is to find something out. When writing fiction, I write to find out what happens. When writing nonfiction or when blogging, I write/blog to find out what I think.

This isn’t always the case, of course: there are the rants, and there are times I simply want to record an impression or observation or line of argument. Yet unless I happen to have WordPress open at the moment of or shortly after the observation, or unless an impression was so striking or has so wormed its way into me, I’m unlikely to blog about it. And sometimes I simply want to sit with a thought, let it work its way through me.

As for political commentary, well, it’s rare that I notice something that someone else hasn’t already noticed. Obama runs steady? I think one or two people have already remarked on that. Palin is as good with truth as she is with syntax? Ditto. I might find each phenomenon worth commentary, but it doesn’t have to be my commentary.

(Now, the question in politics as to the role of truth, lies, and lies which believe themselves to be truths—now that’s worth some thought. . . .)

I’m not trying to be precious or present this position as a particularly principled one. This is more about temperament than integrity: I get bored by the repetition, and can only motivate myself with the prospect of discovery.

(This is not unrelated to why I left academia—but that’s another post.)

If it’s already been done, and done well, I pause, applaud—then move on.