Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Weighing in on expecting more and compromise--
There's this movie I've watched basically a gazillion times called Rowing With the Wind (American VHS release title). I like it for purely idiosyncratic and basically wrong reasons, such that I am hopeless to judge whether the movie itself is any good. As a Eng. Lit. Major, I was and am a fan of the Romantic poets, and find the friendship of Shelley and Byron fascinating. As a fan of classic horror, I am piqued by the conceit of Frankenstein's monster being an avenging demon stalking the Shelley and Byron clans. I don't think an awfully young Hugh Grant is miscast as Byron at all--he has the physical prettiness and swagger a bit naturally, and I always thought the brooding was a bit of a pose with Byron, anyway (Don Juan and its wry, cynically and funny lightness, was a bit more the reality).
So, you are wondering, how does this obscure video have bugger-all to do with Obama seeming to lecture the DFH's yet again on the topic of "letting the perfect be the enemy of the good"?
There is a scene towards the end, where Shelley hears a voice say something to the effect of "How long do you mean to be content?" I feel like I hear that voice all the time. How long do I mean to be content? Well, I'm not! I can't be content, damn it! I am a self-avowed Progressive, and that means that I am willfully part of the force that urges the asymptotic bend of history towards justice. I want to have better....
And I kind of want to get it, too. And I think I knew that Obama was a pragmatist and a realist. And even though I want more, and am galled that the rich still get their tax cut for a little while--
I am disappointed but not mad. I expect more, but I am....what's the word? "Content?" Why?
I'm not unemployed, just pissed at rich people. They don't pay their share, but I want folks who can't get a job to keep their lights on and their families fed. Did Obama have a choice?
I just can't tell myself it was worth playing "chicken". There are provisions like reinstating the estate tax, albeit at a lower rate, that I can appreciate as deficit-lowering. And I want him to draw the line--two years means two years (hey--does that put us right in the, um, election season again? And by then, could a press for yet another extension get downright poisonous if someone wanted to make an issue of it? Perforce, quoth I. Mayhap.)
I try to get all "that's not the change I was promised!" and yet, the only promise I ever wanted was a Democrat in the Rose Garden, really. Because I hope for better, but deep down, I see the Frankenstein's monster of the Reagan-tent (the small-gov't libertarians, the Christian Right, and the corporate/military axis) and I'll take change that at least guards against fucking worse.
I am so cognizant of worse. I fall upon the thorns of life, I bleed!