today when i was driving back to work from lunch a leaf, carried by the swirling eddies of highway air, beached itself on the dash of my open convertible. "poor confused leaf," i thought, "this was not your intent", so i gingerly lifted it from the dash and released it back to the nurturing wind from whence it came.
it was at this point that the clown behind me started honking his horn vigorously and proceeded to pull up beside my car and yell out "go back to washington jerk, we don't need your kind here". (how did he know i had previously lived in washington state you might ask? well, i have not yet switched my registration to california so i still have washington plates. i paid for them, and they're good for another couple months, and i'm cheap enough to not want to dish out a whack more money to change them over until i get my money's worth. when i buy food, i eat it. when i pay my green fee i make sure to see the whole golf course. it's about not wasting stuff. but i digress...) i gave him a very calm and reasoned rebuttal of two middle fingers, which oddly didn't seem to placate him. it's regrettably difficult to have a meaningful conversation about the environment across freeway lanes at 65mph.
to be fair, mr. uninformed granola munching ass clown has a point, which i take the liberty of paraphrasing for him: littering is bad. i even fully support that point of view. but when you offer that point of view with the shrillness of a yoko ono chipmunk remix it gets lost in the emotional response of the person you're screeching at. and if you parrot a dogmatic message with a knee jerk quick draw, you run the risk of looking like an extreme and/or extremist idiot. these two observations i think are the roots of a great many liberal failings. (they are the roots of a lot of conservative ones too, but then i don't broadly care about their platform) i believe that the liberal message is a good one, and one that a sensible intelligent person has a good chance of accepting. it's the delivery that's the problem. and the root of that problem is that the people who get activist on everyone and push the process are precisely the people who have the most passionately extreme views. factor in my hypothesis that the general public are idiots who care more about whom j.lo is dating than anything remotely political, and you have a recipe for the least amount of calm and reasoned discussion possible.
but what do i know, i can't even vote.