Monday, September 08, 2008

A Brush With The Common Man



Waiting for the off-site parking jitney to pick me up this morning, I had the "opportunity" to speak with a regular guy.

A Bit of Background
First of all, I normally wouldn't have spoken with this man...he initiated a conversation, and it would have been awkward waiting with him if I had tried to terminate the conversation rudely.

Second, like many in this society, the man was overweight and out of shape and had an antique piece of luggage that clearly tagged him as an amateur traveler.

After some discussion of where we were both traveling, and the fact that he was "forced" by his employer to fly home on 9/11, he asked me who I preferred, McCain or Obama. I told him Obama, and let him know I was frightened for the future of this country if McCain got elected. I asked him his preference, and he sheepishly said McCain.

After some additional discussions on various political topics, I realized a few things about this man:

- He didn't appear racist
- He had at least some understanding of the candidates...most likely he listened to the news on TV
- He wasn't overly smart, but he was definitely not stupid

Finally, I realized that this man was going to vote for McCain because he liked him better. Yes, not because he embraced conservative ideals, not because McCain was better qualified, not because he thought McCain's wife was hot. But because he liked him better than Obama. Based on this man's appearance, it was all I could do to let him know that he couldn't afford to have McCain be elected president...unfortunately, neither can the World.

I realized that this man was like the majority of people in this country, and that unless folks start taking a much more personal interest in the workings of government, we are truly fucked.

Current Knitting
I worked on both my travel project and my home project since the last blog post.

I've gotten up to the ribbing on the Noro Kureyon sock.



I was working on it at a picnic yesterday and realized I had lost a stitch somewhere. I was a bit too distracted to try and figure out what happened, so I just put it away and figure it out when I could concentrate a bit more (having reading glasses will help too).

I also got a few more squares done for the Manos afghan.



Why is it that some pattern stitches are a pleasure and seem to have a naturally pleasing rhythm, and others seem like jerky and chaotic? As I practice with lots of different stitch patterns, I can honestly say I don't enjoy some of them at all.

19 comments:

Mel said...

I had a similarly frustrating experience with a colleague last night. It begs to be blogged, so I suppose I should get on it. After I set up a blog raffle.

Anonymous said...

Ray Bradbury talks about this problem in Farenheit 451(One of the best books in the world, I think.). I swear that man is a psychic.
Michelene

Judi said...

I have the same worries about our future - and I am at a loss what to do about it. I am hoping that McCain will have a major meltdown that will show him for the little tyrant that he is.

Lorelei said...

Some folks think, evaluate, act (read: learn) and some just react.

The Republicans are counting on the reactors responding to fear. It will come down to progressive gotv in the swing states.

Hoping the debates will spur some of them to actually think...

Hissy Stitch said...

It's the same kind of thinking that gets celebrities elected to office. "I just think it'd be cool..."

I think McCain also has the "familiarity factor" going for him. As an older white guy, he looks like the other older white guys in political office. He's familiar, and that's comforting for a lot of ordinary, middle-of-the-road folks. It's not that people "like" him better. He just looks more like what they expect.

Franklin said...

I think the Republicans are just copying my by nominating a crass, unqualified, hot-headed former beauty queen with a largely fictionalized biography for president. I have a good mind to start a copyright thread on Ravelry.

It would fascinating to know why some of those patterns tickle your brain and some don't. Is there ANY commonality you can see to the patterns in either group?

Barb b said...

Well, at least that guy thought about the whole thing enough to vote for someone he "likes", and not "by God my family has always voted for the Rhino party, and that's who I'm voting for". Not much better, but a smitch.

I hear you on the patterns. It's funny, there are a couple I make all the time that are very wide, each row different, and I can just zip them off without looking at the pattern. Then there's one that's 6 sts. repeat, and I unpick that sucker more than I knit it, I swear.
Barb b.

Vtknitboy said...

i heard on one political show that something like 75% of americans learn about candidates solely from their neighbors and coworkers, and vote similarly. i personally think that most americans lack any knowledge of the candidates beyond the talking points and buzzwords, and they vote by emotions and personality. sad.

hey, aren't you the one who posted about obama and called us 'obamatrons'?! ; )

Maureen said...

Here in Australia, voting is compulsory - do you think the electorate is more, or less discerning because of this? I know that in America, voting is a free choice, and I have often wondered if that system gives the best result, since only the motivated would bother to make the effort.

Judi said...

Ummmm, I think Dolores is waaaay better qualified than Palin. And she wouldn't put up with any of those tantrums McCain is noted for. And I bet she can go head to head with him on foul language (should she choose to lower herself that much).

Geek Knitter said...

Oh dear god, Franklin... if you start a copyright thread I'm going to hunt you down and do something drastic with my lace needles!

Ann (yet another) said...

There are rational reasons for voting for either side. In particular, if you are a one issue voter, that may land you on either side of the fence really fast. I think people over estimate the number of one issue voters, though.

If you are a member of of the vast moderate middle, who say, agrees with Obama on 1/2-ish of the issues, and McCain on the other 1/2, then if may well come down to voting for the one you like the most, or the one you dislike the least.

In most cases, I suspect it's the one you dislike the least. In fact, I think that's why Gore lost. He just rubbed alot of people the wrong way in his delivery during the debates. Bush, otoh, just annoys the begeezus out of me and always has.

Cynthia said...

This is, in part, why we have the electorial college and not a one person/one vote system. The founding fathers did not believe the vast majority of Americans had enough education or attention to make the choice on their own.

Re stitch patterns--this is why I find myslef repeating the same pattern with a variety of yarns. I really 'click' with some, and not at all with others...

Emma in France said...

What worries me is that if McCain gets elected then it's not just the US that's fucked but the rest of the world.

Susan said...

"Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups."

That's why they mocked Obama's Harvard education. I thought that McCain's blunder about not knowing how many homes he owns would be his death knell; but then I thought about Jim Baker and other "evangelists" living the high life while sucking dry the bank accounts of their poor faithful. This isn't any different.

The eighties brought the era of "I got mine." Now it's "I got mine, but there isn't enough to go around, so if I want to keep mine, I have to keep YOU from getting yours."

The Stupid People own the media. We are screwed. At least I have knitting.

sean said...

That kureyon sock looks gorgeous. I have so much of that yarn I have to use. When I pick up the needles in the Fall, I may tackle socks for the first time.

And yes, we're fucked.

Cat said...

One problem is that the radical religious right WILL get out and cast their votes. Come hell, high water, car problems, sick kid, hurricane: in lock-step they will vote! Are the Obama voters that committed to casting that ballot? We'll just have to wait and see, I guess.

TAJBloom said...

Nico for President!

Jeff said...

Wow. Snap judgements abound, Joe. I could probably stand in for that guy by your physical description of him and his luggage. And, according to your assessment, I'm untravelled and going to vote for McCain and Palin...none of which is true. I find your comments about his habitus and luggage a bit much. You seem more intelligent than this. However, it's your blog, you can judge if you want to...