Mark Terry

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I'm Tap-Dancing As Fast As I Can

May 13, 2008
It's only Tuesday, right?

Well, I've been battling a cold, which is no big deal (to you, it's fairly annoying to me). On Sunday I got to spend the afternoon in the company of much of my wife's family, the less said the better, but I got to hear a 17-year-old who's probably joining the Army in a year say, "I want to go over there and shoot some sand niggers."

I also got to hear the term "tree hugger" spoken as a pejorative and some comments about the African-American man and white woman who are running for president, as well as at least one anti-gay sentiment.

It's not a good place for a knee-jerk, bleeding-heart liberal such as myself to hang out, but I guess family is family, although it makes me quake a bit when I realize just how much of America sees the world the same way. I actually like some of them, despite this--what can you say?

Then yesterday I more or less took the day off. My brother and I met at my sister's house, who had picked up my mother (who has Alzheimer's, but she was having a good day; not a great day, because I'm not sure she knew who I was, but she knew we were someone she knew). My niece and her husband were there from Boston with their puppy Kaia and we hung out for a couple hours and I enjoyed myself a lot. We talked politics in a rational, intelligent way and my brother told us some stories of academic infighting that weren't dramatically different than what I encountered at my in-laws, except without the the overt racism, misogyny and bigotry (is that redundant? On, never mind). It's amazing how intense people can get defending their own turf, even if their turf is small and largely in their imagination, isn't it?

Then I drove back home to do a couple hours of work.

I did a report for a big new client this year and they're throwing all sorts of work and potential work at me, including a possible newsletter editor and managing editor jobs, for which I will be conference calling later in the week. I'm pretty excited about the opportunities, so keep your fingers crossed for me.

Meanwhile, I think I should probably try to get some work done today.

Mark Terry


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sad and pathetic. (not your work, the comments you mentioned) Of course the politicians gleefully appeal to such people's prejudice and ignorance and then totally screw them. And there's some justice in that. They suffer for their stupidity. Unfortunately, the rest of us suffer for it to. In today's world, with the communications we have, the educational opportunities, all the information available, there is no excuse.

8:22 AM  
Blogger spyscribbler said...

My disillusionment with politics has grown so much I can only care for a couple days a month, max. Otherwise, it just makes me too sick to my stomach.

Good luck with the opportunities!

8:39 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

I'm sort of reminded that I often seem to live in my own little tolerant bubble. Sometimes I stray out into the real world and am momentarily shocked into realizing I might be the exception and not the rule.

9:22 AM  
Blogger spyscribbler said...

"Sometimes I stray out into the real world and am momentarily shocked into realizing I might be the exception and not the rule."

HAH! Ohmigosh, that's too funny! I get that feeling A LOT.

10:55 PM  
Blogger Erica Orloff said...

i've got a relative like that. It's all I can do to take the Buddhist path and walk away.

5:02 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

I remember sitting in a commuter rail building outside of Chicago several years ago, being forced to listen to conservative radio, hearing the callers debating whether the host should give up a once in a lifetime opportunity to travel to France with her mother. This was at the height of the freedom fries movement. And I had the exact same thought - boy, do I live in a bubble of liberalism.

This makes me feel better about my in-laws. All in-laws come with issues, but mine generally agree with my political and social leanings.

Glad you got to meet Kaia! After you left, grandma whispered to my mom, "That's my granddaughter! And she has a boyfriend!!"

2:24 PM  
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