Sincerely, oh yes, sincerely

23 06 2015

Sincerity is overrated in politicians.

It’s not that I don’t care at all about the dimensions of their beliefs, but I’ll take a right act for the wrong reason over a wrong act for the right reason every damned time.

So, all those Southern Republicans who have had a “change of heart” and now support the removal of state support of the Confederate Battle Flag?

I don’t care what’s truly madly deeply in their hearts. I care that the flag of treason and white supremacy is finally, finally, being stripped of official honor.

~~~

Taking down the flag is one thing, not every thing, and in the long slog to dismantle white supremacy, certainly not the most important thing.

But that it is now, finally, being treated as a symbol of white supremacy by those who have long profited from the active denial of white supremacy, matters.

And if they don’t truly madly deeply believe, in their hearts, that it is such a symbol, and are now just pandering to distance themselves from those who might cause them trouble?

I’ll take “pander” for the win, Alex.





But oh, well, I chose my way

10 06 2012

I try to regret nothing, I used to say. What’s the point of regrets, what’s done is done, you do what you can. . . .

Stop laughing.

I know, coming from me, the whole no-regrets things sounds laughable, but I really meant it. I might take hot pincers to my memories, but hey, that’s not the same as regret, is it? No, I was far more interested in tormenting myself over my bad choices than in wringing my hands over good choices foregone.

I’ve eased up on the self-torment somewhat (that habit is too longstanding to give up entirely: it’s my emergency pack of smokes, if you will), but—or perhaps, and as a result—I’ve noticed regret has crept into my repertoire.

This is not an entirely bad thing.

One of my go-to concepts of the past few years has been “consequences”, as in, there are consequences for every (in)action, consequences which can only be dealt with, not wished away. But I haven’t always dealt, truly, with these consequences, at least not in terms of tracing back the actions and coming to terms with the original decision.

No, that’s what the torment was for. And that was why the torment was so exquisitely irresistible.

Exquisite, because it so perfectly allowed me not to interrogate the decision, and irresistible because it allowed me to ‘take responsibility’—a.k.a. punishment—for my mis-deeds. A beautiful distraction.

I’m old enough now, I think, to take these regrets, to understand that to have done this instead of that—to have gone to Northwestern instead of UW-Madison, to have majored in theatre or journalism instead of political science, to have not backed away from D., to have told G. how I felt before it was too late, to have gone to New York instead of Albuquerque, . . . —-would not necessarily have led me to a better life, merely a different one, one with its own set of what-ifs and why-didn’t-Is.

I’m old enough, finally, to know there’s no escaping these questions, that the regret will come, regardless.

And now that I’m old enough to know to let the regret come, perhaps I can be wise enough to let it go. Perhaps one way to wisdom is through that reckoning with what was done and not done, and living with it all.