Where was I when you were driving up the comments number in last night's post?
I'd love to say that I was out carousing with fans who lined the Canyon of Heroes for the big parade yesterday. Or that I was fabulously costumed and celebrating Mardi Gras. But I was calmly re-ensconced in my Brooklyn Heights apartment, eating 2 bowls of Golean Crunch cereal and drinking C-Boost.
It seemed, after all this blogging about the 2008 Campaign, that I should be supremely excited about watching the election returns, but my attention wandered, and I found myself talking on the telephone and watching "American Idol." (I don't care much about "American Idol." It's just cozily familiar.) After agreeing to do some TV commentary, I was glad it got canceled.
I think there's something about me and voting returns. I tend to lose interest. I like following the campaign, but why?
I'm really not very interested in politics. I'd be moderately satisfied having any of the major candidates as President. I write about politics because I'm absorbed by the dynamics of the fight and the rhetoric. (I feel much the same way about Supreme Court cases.) I'm not actually rooting for anyone, and so the news of who has actually won bores me a little. I can read it in a second on-line at any point. I don't really need to see Wolf Blitzer dramatize it for hours on end.
And yet, somehow, I feel that it's my role to dramatize the election returns for you (or — God help me — for some TV audience). This morning, it's staring me in the face that I'm not that kind of person at all. I'm not going to rise to this occasion. It was obvious — why do I keep denying it? — that I'm this way back in November 2004 when I was watching the election returns. All I wrote here that evening was one post:
Yes, I care a lot about the outcome of the election, and I'm sitting here waiting for the news to come in, sampling the dribbled out exit polls, and fretting. But at the same time, I feel complete assurance that as soon as the outcome is known, I'll fully accept it. Either man will make a decent enough President. I think Bush deserves to continue in office, but if it is to be Kerry, Kerry can handle the job too. Both of my sons support Kerry, and shouldn't I want them to be happy? Despite all this political blogging, I'm not really all that political. Note the subheading above. ["Feeling a strange, nervous equanimity."] It will be nice to break loose from the grip of politics that has held us for so long. As I blogged long ago, I've had preferences in presidential elections going all the way back to 1960, and only one man I've supported has been President. (In case you've forgotten or are not a long-time reader, that man was Bill Clinton.) I'm accustomed to spending election night seeing my man lose. I've even had the experience before of supporting an incumbent who loses when I did not support him the time that he won. (For new or forgetful readers, that would be Jimmy Carter.) Basically, I am a grand supporter of losers. My support is the kiss of death. Oh, no! Have I gone all pessimistic? No, no. It is equanimity that flows through me. Time for a nice glass of win, a plate of pasta with Bolognese sauce, and a calm absorption of reality.So there you have it, the Althousian viewpoint. I keep forgetting this is the way I am. There I was doing it again last night.
UPDATE: "A nice glass of win" -- ah, so hope does live on! Time for a nice glass of wine and toast to hope! A glass to be refilled later, perhaps, in a quenching of sorrow!
ANOTHER UPDATE: 10:53 p.m. Maybe I am going to get that nice glass of win after all. I'm really surprised. I let those exit polls affect me. Then I called up my sister in Florida and ended up talking with her for a long time, just watching the numbers on the TV screen with the sound off, so I wasn't getting any punditizing and wasn't drawing conclusions about much of anything. I got off the phone, and it took a while for me to absorb it, but eventually I got the message that everything was trending toward Bush.
I need to remember myself and not create the impression that I'm another one of these political bloggers. I'm really not like them. My C-Span appearance got canceled because the blogger on the other side — I was told, late in the day — backed out. Side? I hadn't even been informed that I was booked to take a side. But — I protested, after it didn't matter anymore — I'm not on a side. I'm not able — I'm not willing — to hold up a side. My stress about going on the show was retroactively intensified. I had no business agreeing to do that.
So my relief felt like even more of a crash. Have I had a migraine headache for days? Or am I allergic to something in that Golean Crunch? What the hell is in that anyway? Chicory root! Should that be in cereal? I took a hot shower and curled up in bed. I was thinking maybe I'll analyze the rhetoric of the various speeches in the morning blogging but I don't need to know the results now. Why stay up, when all the news will be there to read in 1 minute when I get up? I fell asleep.
This morning, looking for that old 2004 election night post, I also found this, written the next day:
I know they can't help it, those people who are gearing up for '08. I got into my car to drive to work this morning, clicked on the radio, and the first thing I heard was some talk radio guy raving against Hillary Clinton in '08. How absurd! And then there are those pro-Kerry websites that want to keep fighting out the futile battle of the Ohio provisional ballots. Ugh! I'm not going to tell you dyed-in-the-wool politicos to give it a rest. For you, it is like breathing. You must go on. But many of us are glad to have a chance to return to normal life. Politics is part of life, but the election fight is over now. It's already taken too much time.Ah, I need to get my bearings and keep them. It's Lent now, and a good time for reflection.
Am I giving up politics or just Golean Crunch? I'm giving up my forgetting the true nature of my interest in politics. I need to be careful to do only what I want to do, to write what I want.
UPDATE: I've rethought my suspicions. I don't think it's the Golean Crunch with its chicory root that is making me feel poisoned. I think it's the C-Boost, with its Echinacea, Astragalus and Maitake Mushrooms — ingredients that seem vaguely medicinal — and with its camu camu fruit, acerola cherries, and — not least of all — mango. Mango, you know, contains urushiol, which is the poison in poison ivy.
ADDED, 6/10/08: I was just writing this post and I gave it the tag "Albert Camus," and so then, following my usual practice, I did a search in Blogger for all the old posts with "camus" and added the "Albert Camus" tag to all of them. I clicked the tag to see all the Camus posts on one page and read this post again. It's interesting, but what on earth has it got to do with Camus? Ah! It's the camu camu fruit! Blogger helps you out by grouping plurals and singulars together. I find it charming to put the old French writer together with the fruit I was so suspicious of, so I'll leave the tag here.