I was outside just now, fighting the wind as I painted the roof of Sven, Anne's 1998 silver Volvo S70. Benji was helping by thrashing around in a dirt puddle, chewing stickers off his dirty feet with an equally dirty mouth (see photo above). After his bath, I passed my computer and saw that I had a new email from a high school classmate. I read it, burst into flames, and spent a few furious moments learning how to block someone from my gmail. I'm usually a compleat idiot with things technological, but I was so very motivated that I whipped through the process as if I'd invented it myself.
Then I took a shower, needing no hot water at all.
The email has text first:
The devastation and ignorance being caused by thisThen there was a painting called The Gathering Storm. There were human faces painted into the storm clouds. Now, I've never been familiar with famous faces. I'm usually reduced to saying things like, "Oh, you know -- that French Connection guy." I hadn't even laid eyes on a picture of David Letterman until a friend made me watch the Tenth Anniversary Show. Nope. I'd never seen him before. So I don't recognize all the people in the painting, but the main one is this black guy who would look just like President Obama except that he seems to have a bit of a moustache. A not-quite Hilary is next to him, and it looks like McCain on the other side, so it must be Biden (that was an earlier blog). And others.
Catastrophic occurrence will forever destroy the
Fiber and character of a once great nation
With little hope for correction or rebuilding
At the present rate of duplicity and complacence
Being displayed by the American public.
These peopled clouds are squatting oppressively over a small town that looks like it's from the Depression Era, and the subtitle says -- unbelievably -- We're from the government ... and we're here for your guns.
The wit who arranged the email added: And your healthcare, taxes and your personal choice.
As if all that weren't graphically pleasing enough, there's the latest monstrosity from emoticons, the inventor of which should be made to read by blogs for the rest of his life. Not content with a winking, blinking, colorful Smiley Face, my, um, friend from high school added a big-eyed, orange-haired little girl swinging her legs (and one shoe lace has come undone -- awww!), clutching a teddy bear. The girl, unfortunately, is rather more demonic than endearing, with eyes like that Chucky person who was not in The French Connection.
Well, I became instantly incensed, of course. Obama is here to remove my personal choice. What does that even mean? Isn't that usually about abortion or gay marriage or something?
Well, one personal choice that's still available to me is what kind of junk I get in my emails. I hit REPLY and said, "No right wing stuff for me, please and thank you." I added more, then deleted it, then wrote something else instead, then deleted it. Reason, oddly, prevailed.
She wrote back immediately and said, "LOL - you liberals have no sense of humor! I won't send you any more truth."
Hah! If I thought I was furious before, that was nothing compared to my reaction to the LOL. But I've had a shower now and I'm sipping a soothing cup of coffee. I've turned the AC on and soon I'll have some lovely chicken kebab leftovers from the Pasadena Steak House, so all is not horrible in my world. But let me get this straight. I object to devastation and ignorance, duplicity and complacence, so I have no sense of humor? I object to calling the election of Obama a catastrophy, and someone thinks I should be LOLing instead?
That's when I figured out how to block her.
So here's the deal, then. I celebrate some diversity. I'm all about culinary diversity, racial diversity, sexual diversity (as long as the involved people are smiling). Give me cultural diversity and literary, musical, and visual diversity. Yay for religious diversity. Well, and go ahead and have your political diversity, just don't burden me with it.
No one has ever changed my mind about politics by sending me an email. I don't expect that to change. Look, one time I sent all of you in my Blog Group an email from Amnesty International. There was special action to be taken to try to, gosh, stop torture. One of you (and you know who you are) wrote back and told me to leave you out of my political mailings. And so I have. I did not write back and taunt him for being pro-torture (despite all evidence that proves it doesn't work, ahem). I didn't accuse him of losing his sense of humor (believe me! torture's a great topic for humor!). I just quit sending him political things.
I want my classmate to act like me. Is that so much to ask?
I see a woman every couple of weeks who sort of wastes the group's time by telling us, over and over, how her feelings have recently been hurt. She's had nearly thirty years of active self-improvement, so I'm always baffled by this annoying behavior on her part. "Grow some ova!" I want to shout. But today I was thinking that I'm just like her, except I don't tell you about it. I am so thin-skinned and so very tender and easily wounded that I can't stand to engage in political debate. I hear "you liberals," and my throat closes up. Tossing out my television and refusing to read newspapers, while certainly a sign of spiritual superiority, is nothing more than or less than self-protection. And that's what blocking Brenda McNulty, who shall remain nameless, is.
On a lighter note (yay!), I took the first of five painting classes with Keith Stillwagon. What a delightful mess his paints are! He's a frowning, muttering man who is nonetheless a total charmer. He somehow managed to make most of us begin some pretty good paintings. I have every faith that I won't be ashamed to hang my painting right in front of everyone before it's all over. Of course, not all that much shames me ... and "right in front of everyone" might include the crawl space in my new house (about which I continue to hear nothing).