(this is annie)

european vacation

So, good friend Trevor and I went to London and Paris. London didn't do much for me. It was nice enough, I guess, but the city and I just didn't click. Paris, on the other hand, felt like home. The pace, the environment, the food, the people—they all felt like old friends. I'm starting a little savings account called the Expatriate Writer Month 2005, and so next summer I plan to take a sabbatical from my job and just laze about the city for a while. Until then, here are a few pictures:

pont neuf
ah, existentialism!
westminster abbey
trevor at the tate modern

Also, I've been trying to examine why I am unable to commit to a romantic relationship. Some theories:

- I am very busy, and moving a relationship beyond the beginning casual stages takes time investment. When I (rarely) have free time, my first thoughts involve sleep, food, or bathing.

- For the past five years, I have had an embarrassing long-distance crush on Person X. I have built Person X up in my mind so well that he is practically perfect. In my mind, Person X's armpits smell like freshly baked cookies, and he never does anything even mildly foolish, ever. So it would be impossible for anybody else (even the non-idealized, real-life Person X) to live up to this ideal, and so I pine away foolishly. This allows me to be emotionally detached from anybody else. I am working on eradicating this crush, but it's hard work. I feel really stupid about this situation.

- I have frivolous subculture daydreams: oh, I could be dating a mod, and we could ride around on a Vespa and wear nice shirts and dance! or I really miss dating hardcore kids. Doesn't anybody love Chino Horde? Why can't we cuddle and listen to Sunny Day Real Estate when we are feeling sappy? I know that it shouldn't matter, but I'd be lying if I said that I didn't get excited by lip rings or whatever.

- I don't want to give up silly crushes quite yet. If I want to flirt wildly with somebody, I don't want that to hurt someone else's feelings.

- I need more alone-time than most people, and the more people are all, "I like you! Let us spend a lot of time together!" the more I want to flee. It makes me feel boxed in and pressured.

- I am an insensitive jerk who is callous and flippant when handling the hearts of others. Even when I am dating somebody who is wonderful, I get scared, and so I back off. In time, most likely when I am 40 and mourning the death of my cat, sitting alone in some tiny studio apartment, I will really regret this.

punk voter

Spring is close and coming. This afternoon's sky is the color of a faded ink stain. Lightning crackle-flashes in the distance, and I feel stronger for having weathered another winter.

The other weekend, I had an interesting conversation with my friend DK about Punk Voter. DK, who is an anarchist, doesn't believe in voting (obviously) while I do. Our personal politics aside, we both agreed that we have mixed feelings on PV. DK thinks the whole thing is ridiculous, while I am a little more namby-pamby about it.

The good: PV is probably reaching out to the kids who aren't already overtly activist, and I'm all for getting people involved in politics that shape their lives. And not to sound like an old lady, but if some 18-year-old feels like it is cool to vote and be an activist, then PV has already made a positive difference.

But that's not the punk rocker in me; the punk rocker in me agrees with DK that in defining punk activism within the confines of a two-party mainstream system (as opposed to a more radical approach), PV leaves out the more progressive political elements of punk culture. Will PV support the Democratic candidate completely, or with reservations? In other words (and I think this is a larger issue for liberals in general) will Kerry/Edwards be supported despite his wobbly position on certain issues (for instance, gay marriage)? Or will PV use its voice for more than that? Is the desire to oust Bush equal to the desire to effect real progressive change? I ask these questions rhetorically, of course.

On a personal, nit-picky level: I am glad to see that there are women involved with the creation of PV and that reproductive and gay rights are an issue for the group. The thing is, I don't see any women or queer people on the site. The news section has it covered, but all of the guest writers on the site are men. The site says, "We will be the loud, clear voice for the many minorities in our society." But how can you do that when those minorities are not represented as featured writers? I'm hoping that this is an inadvertent omission, but the whole thing feels like "Okay, we will do the speaking for you" rather than just having us speak for ourselves.

I'm also perplexed by the commercial aspect of the PV store. I'm all for things that make "the kids" think that voting and activism are cool, but I don't understand why you'd need a t-shirt to show the world that you're a punk voter. Or any kind of voter.

I also wish there were more political analysis and less name-calling. Listen, I can't stand that beady-eyed jerk and his policies, but calling him Dubya is a little nyah-nyah-nyah. I feel the same way about Maureen Dowd's columns in the NYT, for what it's worth.

It seems like PV's heart is in the right place, and my hat's off to anybody who tries to mobilize people into caring about politics. But coming from a punk background in which politics were a given, I can't help but wish that I felt a little more at home with PV.

say hello

    it's anniet at gmail.


© 2009 avt

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