The Perilous Life of the Young and Politically Moderate

I’m part of a rare breed in this country– a subset of people so difficult to smoke out that most just assume we don’t exist.

The under 30 politically moderate.

Unaffiliated with any party, never having voted straight-ticket in our lives, not in the least bit apathetic, and willing to see that the right and the left make valid arguments and all should be heard.

This also comes with the burden of never having a candidate that entirely serves our needs since we like to extend a hand to both sides of the aisle (womp womp).

I think this  particular crop of young people are vastly more politically polarized than some of our elder counterparts. We’ve been fed the mantra that “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” and “go big or go home” so it makes sense that most gravitate toward one extreme or the other. Each envisions a Utopia that is an exact match with their party’s tenants and leave little room for middle ground.

I’ve noticed with posting several of my opinions here and on other social media outlets, that my views leave me susceptible to backlash from…well…everyone.

Sometimes I’ll post a topic that will rile up my Dem friends and other times my Repub pals will feel slighted by my opinion. Never experienced this awkward phenomenon? Here’s a minuscule sampling of how my beliefs are ofttimes dissected:

Dem Pals: How are you ok with people owning any guns?! Guns kill people, you know. 

Repub Buds: Why are you so afraid of handling a gun? What do you mean we need to consider reforming gun ownership laws? People kill people, you know. 

 

D: How can you like Miley Cyrus/Beyonce/etc? Their particular displays of nudity and performances are so incredibly anti-feminist as compared to other displays of female-positive nudity (which are totally legit). They aren’t good role models for girls!

R: How can you like Miley Cyrus/Beyonce/etc? Their particular displays of nudity and performances are vulgar and their lyrics are obscene. Someone should tell them to cover up! They aren’t good role models for girls!

 

D: Seriously?! You’re ok with religious organizations not being forced to uphold marriage equality by refusing to marry gays in their church? And denying employment in their schools to gays? How can you be ok with that [and don’t cite the fact that the KKK can refuse non-whites admission in their organization, that doesn’t count] FREEDOM FROM RELIGION. 

R: Why are you supporting the government in allowing gay marriage? The Bible says that it’s a sin and it’s not ok! This country was founded by Christian men [and don’t give me any lip about most of them being Unitarian/Secular Humanists–that doesn’t count!] FREEDOM OF RELIGION. 

 

D: You know the death penalty is killing an actual person even if they are guilty, right?

R: You know abortion is killing an actual innocent person, right?

 

D: How can you even hold an intelligent conversation with a Republican, let alone be their friend?

R: Why bother with the liberals? They’re just as intolerant as they accuse us of being. 

 

D: You’re just wishy washy–read more articles written by other liberals and you’ll agree with me. You can’t straddle the line forever. 

R: You’ll come around to my way of thinking, eventually.  You can’t straddle the line forever.

 

D: I feel like I don’t even know you. 

R: I feel like I don’t even know you.

 

Sometimes I think I stand in the middle of the divide simply because of the fact that I absolutely hate people telling me how I should feel/live/be if I want to be a “good American” [and we get that daily from both CNN and Fox News].

Stubbornness as motivation to be a political centrist–that has to be new.

It’s a precarious position to be in, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. At times walking the tightrope between right and left is frustrating, sometimes it’s the “brink” of a friendship that leads to a “de-friending” (usually on their part), but it’s always exciting.

 

 

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Lost in Preschool Translation v. 1

And now it’s time for a new segment on the blog: Lost in Preschool Translation. Here, I will document some of the crazy/hilarious/mind boggling things the children in my life have said to me.

This conversation was between me and a 4 year old during dinner.

Me: Hey, what’s your favorite food?

Kid: Bishticks.

Me:…what?

Kid: [Louder as if I couldn’t hear her before] BISHTICKS!

Me: So fish sticks?

Kid: NO. BISHTICKS.

Me: What do they looks like?

Kid: They’re round and you take them apart and they’re fluffy.

Me: OH! BISCUITS!

Felt like I won the million dollar question after deciphering that one.

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Think. Thank. Thunk.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I know I’ve skipped over the obligatory resolutions blog post, but don’t you worry, I’ll get to it.

First, I wanted to let you in on a little secret. One that’s taken me years to unravel and I’m  pretty proud to say its effects are already astounding.

Goal setting gets the job done. 

I’ve kind of known this for a while, I’m a planner and the promise of writing another hundred lists is what lures me out of bed in the morning.

But something happened recently to make me feel like I should be setting more short-term/weekly goals and, more importantly, putting in effort to make sure I achieve them.

This particular story begins, as many stories often do, with a picturesque landscape as our setting.

I do my best thinking while driving. I know, I know, I should be focusing all of my attention on the blaring car  horns blazing past me on the 405. And, truly, I am. But when that radio is turned up, and whatever song happens to be streaming through the speakers elicits an emotion or a memory, the cogs start a-turnin’.

Christmas Day this year started, for me, with a drive down the Pacific Coast Highway a.k.a. CA State Route 1. If you’ve never been to California, this magnificent stretch of road starts somewhere down in Orange County and travels up north all the way to Mendocino County–over 655 miles.

Whenever I have a visitor in LA, I try and make it my business to take them on a little jaunt down a small section of this road, not only for it’s cathartic aura, but for it’s pristine beauty: on one side–mountains, on the other–the glistening Pacific Ocean.

When my car tires wind through the ebb and flow of the curvy lanes, it’s as if a dam breaks and the water flows so monstrously fast it takes out everything in its wake…[Wait a minute. This was supposed to be a peaceful analogy. Try again.]

…it’s as if my brain blasts into hyperdrive and all my best musings spill out, ready to become personified in a physical manifestation of excellence [Better.].

One major problem: I’m driving, you guys.

I haven’t yet figured out a way to transfer all of my thoughts from my head to some sort of recording device while in the midst of travel. I feel like pen and paper may be a little dangerous to use while operating heavy machinery and talking into a tape recorder just seems all too cliché. I feel weird hearing my voice speak out loud to no one in particular and I’m sure I’d get more than a few stares from others on the road.

Christmas Day, though, I was doing some pondering that didn’t involve specific details and were easy to remember.

“Today, Short and Feisty, you’re going to learn a little bit about the powers of setting a short-term goal,” I remarked to myself.

“That sounds great, self. Did we shower this morning?”

“Stop trying to sidetrack us! You want to really get into screenwriting, you need to make time to do it. No excuses, pony up.”

“Pony up? Where are we getting these words from–have we been gambling?”

“Oh my gosh, YOU ARE ANNOYING.”

“You’re just learning that about yourself?”

“……….”

“Ok, continue.”

“When we get back home, we’re going to sit down in front of that computer and research. Pick an underlying theme or topic for our next work, and watch every documentary we can find. Read every article we can uncover.”

“Oh, yaaaaaay, we love documentaries!!”

“That’s the easy part. The hard part will be what we have to do next.”

“Ruh-roh.”

“Starting this Saturday, we’re going to write the first 20 pages of our newest script. By Sunday night, we should be up to page 50.”

“Is this going to require us to become a hermit, again?”

“You got it, sister. Over the course of the week, we’re going to write at least 10 pages a day. That means waking up at 5:30am to get to the coffee shop by 6:15am and then on to work by 7:30.”

“Can’t we just write at night?”

“No, you scallawag! You’ll be too tired from chasing babies all day. The following weekend, we hunker down, again. Get the take-out menus ready today. By next Sunday, January 5th, we will have at least 110 pages written–a full feature length script.”

“I dunnoooooo. This seems difficult. I’d much rather eat an entire pack of Milano cookies while watching a pirated version of BBC Sherlock’s latest episode.”

“Pirating is bad (right? I dunno…that’s a gray area. They should’ve released it in the US at the same time). BUT WE CAN DO THIS. We just have to really push our limits. Then you’ll have a completed script to enter into any one of the plethora of screenwriting competitions out there. So let’s stop making excuses, turn this car due east, and get started.”

“Can we dangle the promise of those cookies over our head each night? Or maybe an ice cream or 12 from 7-11?”

“I will allow it.”

Today is Monday, January 6th and my first draft of my latest script is finished and in the record books coming in at 111 pages.

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