February 6, 2008

Super Super Tuesday Tuesday Fat Bowl.

I abandoned you, dear readers, last night. It was Super Tuesday, yet also Fat Tuesday, and for many here in New York it was still the Super Bowl — or Super Bowl afterglow. So: Super Super Tuesday Tuesday Fat Bowl.

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.

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.
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.

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.


ricpic said...

Too much introspection.
Too much navel gazing.
Whodathunkit? It's amazing.
Life gets better sans reflection.

rhhardin said...

I write about politics because I'm absorbed by the dynamics of the fight and the rhetoric.

The question for women is how to make this, their interest, a public serious and self-aware interest, yet not something that should replace the more abstracting male interest.

Pogo said...

I was at the caucuses in MN last night. In our county, Democrats topped their best year ever by 5 times, almost 10 times the GOP turnout.

My poor little corner of the state is supposed to be conservative, but in Minnesota, that only means people openly go to church, unembarrassed.

But hey, even Garrison Keillor can sound like a conservative sometimes, so maybe there's still hope.
"Face it, the schools are not run by Republican oligarchs in top hats and spats but by perfectly nice, caring, sharing people, with a smattering of yoga/raga/tofu/mojo/mantra folks like my old confreres. Nice people are failing these kids, but when they are called on it, they get very huffy. When the grand poobah Ph.D.s of education stand up and blow, they speak with great confidence about theories of teaching, and considering the test results, the bums ought to be thrown out.

It is morally disgusting if Democrats throw out Republican programs that are good for children. Life is not a scrimmage. Grown-ups who stick with dogma even though it condemns children to second-class lives should be put on buses and sent to North Dakota to hoe wheat for a year."

Bob said...

Chicory is good in coffee; I haven't ever tried it in cereal. It grows wild on the roadsides near my house, and in the summer its lovely sky-blue flowers add lovely color to the fields. The flowers behave like Morning-Glories, opening and closing throughout the day according to how much sun they receive.

I'm glad you reminded me of it, I want to grow some in my back porch garden this year.

George said...

At 10:53, did you get that "nice glass of win"?

Fragile but makes you feel good.

Ron said...

I've never felt you've had to perform for us readers. If you feel you do, maybe the blogger is being overtaken by "Ann Althouse" the social construction, who, apparently, takes sides, and is "in denial" about 9/11, and is now sucked into her own vortex.

I'm less interested in this fictional character, but would option a script about her with maybe Streep and a Virginia Woolf-spin...

just write. we'll read. Oh, and take photos, too; those come from the blogger and have been bound to be tied to "Ann Althouse," and are pretty cool to see.

blogging cockroach said...

professor its nice to read some introspection
and personal comment on your part
despite what some may say
and believe me they will say it
just you wait
maxine will be here soon enough
anyway last night was fun at our house
mom who is french made crepes for mardi gras
with lots of spilly fillings
let me tell you about the dessert ones with nutello and whipped cream etc
i got some of that yum
because mom didnt clean up and watched the election on tv instead
i heard merde and lots of other bad french words coming from the den
thats cause mom doesnt like hillary at all
and basically is in love with obama
and didnt like california at all either
having stayed up late to get disappointed and all
oh well at least its pretty even
and obama has a chance
mom thinks he should be president of france
which is what hillary thinks too

Mr. Forward said...

ricpic's comment (navel gazing) would work on the next thread also. (dead gurus)

I have taken much of the pain out of politics by trying to focus on events, trends, principles anything but candidates.That eliminates 90% of the news coverage, no big loss.

Ann Althouse said...

Ron said... "now sucked into her own vortex."

Definitely to be avoided. I don't so much have a problem with blogging -- I only blog what I want -- but with accepting invitations (seeing them as opportunities).

"Oh, and take photos, too; those come from the blogger and have been bound to be tied to "Ann Althouse," and are pretty cool to see."

It's harder to take pictures in winter. But look out: I ordered that fisheye lens and will be bringing some special distortions to the enterprise of photographing this dreary city in winter.

Simon said...

I second what Ron said above, but I am curious about who the other blogger was!

Glenn Kenny said...

Jeez. You're starting to sound like a Samuel Beckett monologue adapted for Lifetime.

Ann Althouse said...

Simon: I don't know.

ricpic said...

blogging cockroach picked the wrong household. At Trooper York's she could have been licking mascarpone off the floor. Ooh-la-la.

Ann Althouse said...

glenn kenny: "Jeez. You're starting to sound like a Samuel Beckett monologue adapted for Lifetime."

Glenn Kenny, film critic, thinks he's smart and thinks he's good, so let me knock him down a peg or two.

Why did he make the elite literary reference to Beckett? It's not subtle. It's because he saw my sentence: "You must go on," and it reminded him of the famous Beckett quotes: "you must go on, I can't go on, I'll go on." It's nothing fancier or apter than that.

As for Lifetime, that's just a trite and easy way to say: You are a woman and because of that, I look down on you. Pure sexism.

Simon said...

Maybe it was Greenwald - he backed out when they told him to keep his comments concise. ;)

Maxine Weiss said...

For years, Rona Barrett stayed up all night on Oscar Night. It was unthinkable that Rona Barrett would miss an Oscar Night.

They used to paint bags under her eyes, the false eyelashes stuck together, as she'd breathlessly, the next morning, tell about all the frenzied parties, and caught up in all the reverie of the previous night.

As viewers, the morning after, we depended on Rona's compelling yarns, and breathless delivery, about all her glamorous adventures the night before.

Maxine Weiss said...

"A nice glass of win"---Althouse

Sometimes a typo....is just a typo.

Can you really make a Freudian slip on a keyboard?

Maxine Weiss said...

Here's the scary part of this whole thing:

"called up my sister in Florida and ended up talking with her for a long time,"---Althouse

Images of the two wily sisters figuring, plotting, scrambling, conniving.....

When those two put their heads together, nothing good can come of it.

I think I liked it better when they weren't speaking.

Why does Dell have to continue to trek to New York to hold your hand? Can't you amuse yourself in the city on your own? Or, better yet find a Man.

former law student said...

Kashi cannot face reality: among the ingredients listed for Golean Crunch is Evaporated Cane Juice Crystals. It's sugar, dammit; sucrose. I suppose Kashi's consumers would faint dead away if they realized their high fiber and protein breakfast food contained sugar.

blogging cockroach said...

see what i mean about maxine
shes always here despite having to get up early out there in so cal
maxine is like a chipmunk in the basement
shes cute and seems harmless
but there are three problems
first chipmunks are smelly
second they are messy and leave acorn chips etc all over
finally they gnaw holes so that rats can get in

chipmunks are cute but unpleasant
let me tell you about rats
they can chomp and devour you like that
anyway far be it from me as a cockroach
to recommend an exterminator
but if you could get one that does rats
and not cockroaches
and maybe plugs up the holes in the baseboards
it would be fine with me

Trooper York said...

Sometimes as a blogger or a commenter or even just as a person, the people that know you put you in a box. They think they know your opinions and how you think and if you veer off in another direction, they go crazy. TV news just wants to pigeonhole you and keep you in that box. But no one is all of a piece. So it is good to try and do something different, that people don't expect. If you get predictable, you get boring. Both to your audience and to yourself.

You always hear people say “You don’t know me.” It’s true, you can never know what is fully in another persons mind or heart. Sometimes we delight in striking poses, for effect, or to make a point. Sometimes that pose is all there is, nothing more. Sometimes we become our pose, a statue frozen into immobility. Just waiting for a pigeon.

So let’s shake it up. Do something different. Screw politics for a while. Drop the navel gazing. Have some fun. Jump on the F train and go to Coney Island. Lots of great pictures there. Head over to Williamsburg or Fort Greene. See some of the fun parts of Brooklyn. Enjoy, life is too short.

Now back to tit jokes and stories about the sexual escapades of former first ladies.

Maxine Weiss said...

"I'd rather be scary than sycophantic"



rhhardin said...

As for Lifetime, that's just a trite and easy way to say: You are a woman and because of that, I look down on you. Pure sexism.

Where is the feminist call for the upgrading of soap opera to something valuable?

Which is to say recognizing a talent that comes from a gender-based interest difference, and applying it to life without delusions.

Which is also to say there's a need to ridicule the women's porn level soap opera, most of all in news, where it drives out not only every male interest, but any serious female one as well.

One instance is Vicki Hearne, refusing to take up math and explaining why ; Althouse could be another.

So the guy suspects it's based on the lowest soap opera, to dismiss it. Show him it's better.

More sexism is needed.

I'd relate it to a love of finding connections and complications, vs a love of abstracting from complications.

Sometimes one is good, sometimes the other is good.

Either sex can do either, but usually finds not much reward in the other one. Each sex tends to do what it finds rewarding.

rhhardin said...

Derrida remarked that feminism wants not a castrated man, but a castrated women.

Which I think is the same insight.

He speaks of the received feminism.

essaybee said...

I tried to watch the returns on TV last night, but after a few minutes had to turn it off.

It was so frustrating, I couldn't click on anything and I realized I wasn't absorbing the information the same way I do from the internet.

Is TV a terrible medium for information gathering for everyone or just for me?

Guacamommy said...

Uh-oh. Beware the GoLean Crunch.


(Yeah, I should know how to do links by now. 2008, is it?)

Blake said...

I find the sentiment pretty understandable. When you get down to it, what's going to happen will be business as usual. How many real changes actually occur--and when they occur, how long do they stick?

Mr. Forward said...

"Can you really make a Freudian slip on a keyboard?"

Ice the keyboard, place in front of Freudian's door, Knock and holler "I know what women want" then run away and watch from the bushes.