Recently, I went to my second rally in less than two months. I’m becoming a latter-day rebel. For most of my life I have kept my rebellion limited to my choices of reading and the occasional friendly disagreement. Now I have the time and opportunity to take time out mid-week to show my support for other, more courageous, people. I don’t have to ask for time off work, I don’t have to find child care, I don’t need someone to drive me where I need to go, and I don’t need anyone’s approval. I can just go.
This personality change from a quiet reader to a chanting political demonstrator has been brought about because I read the news–a lot. I have always read the news quite often, but now I read it online multiple times daily. I read various sources and I try to gain a variety of viewpoints. I pay for four news sources and get as much as I can free from other news agencies and blogs.
I try to get international news, too, and I enjoy late-night humourists of various kinds. I try to get my information from a balance of perspectives, and I won’t read beyond a headline from a source that appears to be simply rabble-rousing and/or propaganda.
There is a danger, of course, that I am taking in too much news. I might be over-reacting and I might be vulnerable to bias. I acknowledge all of that. At the same time, I am in no doubt that we live in politically alarming times. We are all being drawn to polarized positions, our elections are vulnerable to foreign interference, our governments are lobbied by industries, and journalists are vying for audiences in a very competitive market. All this adds up to heightened emotions and strident rhetoric on all sides.
So, what are we to do? Well, I can tell you what my roommate is doing. Nothing. To be fair, she has a lot going on in her life right now, but even so she doesn’t read the news and is amazed that it seems to interest me so much.
The other day she said “You are more interested in American politics than most Americans!” I replied to the effect that I was alarmed by the behaviour and statements of the president, but she brushed it off. “Oh, they used to say all that about Bush, too” she said as she went into her room to watch sit-coms.
Be that as it may, I know I’m not alone in my concerns. When I went to the last rally, I met many people who are similarly concerned. Until the next one, I’m just going to try to stay informed without losing perspective. I’m also going to crochet pink pussycat hats. In fact, I’ve already begun. The first one was much too big, but I will persevere. For the next one, I will get the tension right.
Come to think of it, getting the tension right could be a guiding principle for all of us who read the news.
I must confess, I am somewhat like your roommate – almost never listen or react to the news anymore.
My stress levels appreciate my new found indifference!
If it’s not a personal question, is the hat tailor-made to cover your pointy ears?
Ha ha! Damn. You guessed it! I am a distant relative of Yoda. Actually, the idea of making and wearing pink “pussy” hats was inspired by a crude comment that the US President once made. Many people were wearing them at the rally I attended.
”So clever, young padowan, like a tea-cosy is it. Impressed am I.”
This is so well written. Love the pussycat hat! My sister knits I’ll ask her to make me a hat like this next!
Thank you so much! You can tell your sister there are free patterns online for these hats.
I will. Thanks.
I haven’t been actively involved before either. I made three Pussy Hats for the Women’s March, and would post a pic if I knew how. It was cathartic to make them and empowering to attend the Women’s March. So, keep it up!
Well done, Lorna! My reaction to the rallies was just like yours. It felt so good to realize how many other people felt the same way.
I’m one of the concerned as well Anne. We do need to be concerned even more so as so many others are not.
I just wish we weren’t being pushed in opposite directions. I think we all have more in common than we differ over.
I’m about to pass out from holding my breath. It is very frightening to me.
You are not alone, Dweezer19! Every day brings some new, jaw-dropping, event.
[…] for the nascent women’s movement inspired me to walk in protest marches and to crochet pussy hats. Well, my enthusiasm for both the women’s movement and crochet have not diminished. My skill […]