Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I've truthfully been almost deliberately avoiding forming an opinion about Libya simply because I feel like my attention to current events and national politics is completely maxed out, and I just don't feel like I have the mental capacity to analyze all of the information out there, given the energy I already spend paying attention to labor movements in the Midwest, local politics, and the general ideological struggle between big business and citizens, among other things.  Oh yeah, and food, and health. But I do feel a bit reassured by the information that Obama has given here:

Also, I've been keenly aware of how few substantive posts I've been writing here lately, and I attribute this to the same problem.  It's weird, really, how stressed out I feel lately, considering the fact that my only obligations at the moment are making sure I participate in a few online discussions for a whopping two unbelievably easy online classes, and the knowledge that I start a new (and completely different than I've ever done) extremely part-time job in a week.  But even the job thing only happened as of a couple weeks ago, so, yeah.  Since quitting my shitty bank job in November, I've managed to stress myself out to the extent of minor panic attacks by merely reading news on the internet and listening to the radio, to the extent that it feels like a full-time job to even keep up with reading my Google Reader.  It's... well, I don't know.  Silly?  Annoying?  A pointless waste of time and energy?  A white whine?  Or, perhaps more optimistically, a catalyst for becoming more involved in... anything?

Mostly, I am trying desperately to fight against the whole stuck-in-the-suburbs, cold-ass Minnesota lethargy that sets in every year, that I'd been able to at least partially able to avoid when I lived in the city.  It's a lot different here, and I didn't think it would make such a difference when I moved last summer... until winter happened.  It's really difficult to live like I'm most happy living in a place where public transportation is practically non-existent, grocery stores stock for a 97% white population and as a result don't even carry Tapatio or basmati rice (it is Michelle Bachmann's district, where most of the grocery stores are; perhaps Mexican hot sauce and Indian rice are considered unpatriotic?), and the only restaurants to choose from are Applebee's and TGI Friday's.  And I can't even express how desperately I miss gridded, numbered, alphabetized streets.

That's not to say that I've had a completely bad time living here so far.  There are countless benefits to living with my immediate family, including serious financial benefits.  Rent is extraordinarily cheap, and while my husband and I still have an annoying number of monthly static expenses, the break on rent (even factoring in the price of gas, now that we have to drive absolutely everywhere we want to go, even if it's only half  a mile away) is a huge bonus when it comes to pretty much everything else.  Being students, Jesse and I were able to afford to register for Netroots Nation, which is happening in Minneapolis this June.  I was also only able to comfortably make spontaneous plans to take a road trip to attend the rally in Madison a few weeks ago because of my current living situation.

So, really, like anything, there are serious pros and cons to my current living situation.  But, man, I miss Minneapolis.  I miss being able to walk or bike anywhere I wanted to go.  I miss the walkable and bussable farmer's markets.  I miss having a wide variety of items in the local grocery store-- at the big regional chains, even.  I miss having a bar nearby that wasn't one of those sports bars where dozens of 20-something douchey turds with backwards baseball caps and large and unnecessary trucks feed bleached-blonde girls Jag shots all night to a soundtrack of Nickelback.  Not to mention that whole "social life" thing that the kids keep talking about, that ceases to exist when work schedules and a lack of desire for DWIs are factored into weekend plans. 

So, pardon my lack of posting.  I hope you watch all of the videos I manage to link to in lieu of real substance, though, because they're good.  I promise to get back to regular, substantive posting soon.  Here are some more videos:

Al Franken consistently makes up for Minnesota's 6th District's terrible choice of Bachmann.

Donald Trump (who plans to run for President in 2012, remember) is a completely ridiculous person, as expected:

About language-- specifically, how ensuring that English is the only language in which we will discuss important technological, educational, and other pressing issues, is potentially harmful in numerable ways.  I'm really bad at summarizing everything from videos to articles to anything else you can imagine.  Just watch it; you'll be happy you did.

One great thing about going to my first training at my new job (I'm a phone canvasser.  This means I call members of my organization and ask them to donate money for current legislative efforts we're focused on) is that when I went into the phone room, one of the first things I saw was a Wellstone yard sign.  These are still in people's yards around the more progressive neighborhoods of Minneapolis.  Minnesota will never forget Paul Wellstone.  His followers were, and are, some of the most dedicated and devoted progressives around.  The murder death of Paul Wellstone is still, to this day, felt and discussed all the time around progressive circles.

About Paul Wellstone, I can't claim a long support or anything toward him.  When he was killed, I was just 18, and only starting to get involved in local politics.  All I knew of Wellstone was what my mom had said of him, disparagingly: "he's such a 'bleeding-heart'!"  I didn't know what that meant at the time, but was alternatively beginning to embrace my seemingly intrinsic support for anyone willing to actually have a bleeding heart, especially out loud, like Wellstone did.  I worked in a photo lab with a very ardent Wellstone supporter at the time, and based on her frequent discussions about him and my own research, I had decided that I was going to vote for him, without question.  His death a few weeks later shocked me.

That was also the election year (the first one I was legally allowed to vote in!) that Pawlenty was running for governor, for the first time.  I remember thinking I might vote for him, and that I really liked his claim that he was from a working class St. Paul family.  I believed him.  I also based the majority of my political opinions on network television commercials.  That year, I ultimately ended up voting for Ken Pentel, the Green party candidate, rather than either of the two main party candidates, based on a lot of Dave Matthews Band listening and weed-infused Daily Show viewings that made me believe that voting for a third party was beneficial (I still do believe this; I just want us to be practical about it).  

Fuck Pawlenty, though, seriously:

If I could just be juvenile for a moment: BARF.