Thursday, November 6, 2008

Pre-scooped Ice Cream

I'd just like to start with a little blurb about the current condition of my education. I'd like to describe my education as "facebook." Its facebook in the sense that it is really what takes place. I don't go to school to learn or read, I go to school to facebook, at least the evidence points that way. Sometimes three, maybe four times an hour, I'm checking for new photos, funny status updates, and new friends I haven't yet found, when I'm lucky I strike up a little facebook "chat". All while being lulled to sleep by Prof. I-Know-Everything-Except-How-To-Be-In-The-Slightest-Funny. Facebook is my counter-attack.

So I voted. Took me two hours, but I voted. Ah, a fresh breath of democracy. I have to admit something here as I reflect, once the results came, I felt that I had more of a fantasy football experience. I read politics for months, months, months. CNN, BBC, I even lowered myself to FOX, I read Politico.com, Realclearpolitics.com. I watched and watched. Read the candidates websites. Debates. NPR. I figured I was informed. I like Obama, as you've read. But then, as I realized after the old lady had handed me my ballot, we vote on a lot of stuff all in one day. I did my best, left a bunch of them blank,  placed the ballot in the oh-so-secretive ballot box, smiled at the old lady, and walked home. I went to some parties. I went to the winners' parties, went to losers' parties, ate beautiful crumbs from the table of the bourgeois. But by the end of the night, I thought, "Dang, all the people I voted for won." I've never played fantasy football, but I'm pretty sure it feels something like that. 

One party in particular struck me. The Republicans. They know how to party. I walked into a five star hotel, the men leaving were in suits and the women smelled like perfume. I saw guys my age cleaning off the dishes and the reporters taking to cameramen who were packing their bags. Spent campaign signs and the children of the candidates sitting on the side looking worn out and ready to go. I grabbed a coke, poured it from the bottle into a glass and then watched one of those guys that was my age bring out a huge serving bowl full of already scooped ice cream. What? I felt the disconnect. I saw my boundaries. It was like in The Truman Show when Jim Carrey gets in the boat and sails until he hits the wall. He saw the boundary. Anyways, I cracked some jokes about it, but it was a moment of reflection. I buy ice cream when I'm trying to impress a girl, and we usually buy it in the carton, eat it with plastic spoons that always break. But here they were serving pre-scooped ice cream. No cartons, no server, no soft-serve, nope, pre-scooped, and stacked into a pyramid. I like to think of myself as a learner and here I learned, learned that I don't know the half of it. I wasn't taken back by the pompous-nature of the party, ironically of people who want to represent people who eat ice cream right out of the carton. I wasn't taken back by the beauty of the girls at the party, though they were mighty fine. It was this ice cream that showed me there is so much left to be seen.