Who to blame

A conversation on FaceBook (modified for clarity)

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J: Except many people didn’t vote because they were mad about Bernie.

K: Then, they gave their votes to Trump because they didn’t vote against him. They are as responsible for his election as the people who actively chose him.

J: I agree. But this graphic forgets that.

J: I don’t blame Bernie Sanders. But I do blame a lot of his followers who were too stubborn to vote for Clinton

 K: I don’t care WHY they didn’t vote. They didn’t. Now, we have to live with that choice.

J: Well yes, and no. I mean understanding why people don’t vote is a step toward getting them to vote?

J: I’m starting to wonder if we should have compulsory vote like they do in some countries.

 K: Part of the problem is the Electoral College. And no Republican Congress is every going to kill that evil entity because it keeps giving them elections they didn’t win popularly.

K: I think the 2 party systems is a problem, too. And it will take a HUGE grassroots movement for an extended time to change that. Because it will have to come from very local elections, first.

K: And, no. Understanding why they didn’t vote isn’t a step to getting them to vote. That’s like a vegetarian going to a dinner at a barbecue restaurant and letting their friends order for them.

J: I don’t understand your analogy

K: As a non-eater-of-fowl-or-mammal, going out to dinner with some people has been difficult. Especially when then change in diet was fairly new. Even dining at a place called Beef O’Brady’s, I can find a meal. Not what I would have chosen in someplace like Living Kitchen, but adequate for my immediate need.

K: Voting can be like that. You don’t get what you want. So, you do your best to make the least bad choice.

K: And not voting is like telling a waitress at Beef O’Brady’s to pick a meal out for me.

J: Ah, I see what you’re saying.
L: Or not eating.
K: That’s where my analogy quits working. In the case of voting, not ordering means you get a plate that you must eat no matter what your preferences are. Even if it’s a shit sandwich.
 K: I hold non-voters as much responsible for this as the people who actually voted for the Psycho in Chief.
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Conversation with 20-something

Them: If someone’s entire ideology is based around the idea that people like me and people of color have to be violently expunged from existence, even a violent response is self defense. To say otherwise is gaslighting.

Ergo: bash the fash.

Me: What do your peers say is the reason they don’t vote?

Them: “if it were possible to vote away their wealth, the rich would never allow you to do it.”

Typically it’s a pretty in depth analysis of how utterly broken and vile every elected official has been, and how their time is better spent organizing their own communities, and exemplifying direct action.

Me: Do they not know they can do both? And that who they vote for locally is significant?

Them: They despise the government on an even local level.

Me: They will never change it without using the voting booth as one of their tools.

Them: Tbh they’d rather have an actual revolution. Changing the system from within is a joke.

Voting for who is going to not represent your interests bc the other person who won’t represent your interests to a marginally noticeable degree more seems pointless to people who want to burn the entire system down.

Some more literally than figuratively.

Me: This does not give me hope.

We went to the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University today. Ostensibly, it was to see this installation, entitled Precarity, by John Akomfrah. But, of course, we saw everything else while we were there, too. It is based on the life of “Charles ‘Buddy’ Bolden, the first person known to have explored the sonic tonalities of the music we now call jazz.”

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There is a single row of benches in the room. And, in the beginning, we had to stand by the wall because all the seats were occupied. When a group got to their starting place and left, we sat at the end of that bench. But, it was too close for me to see all 3 screens without a lot of head turning. So, I moved back to the wall.

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It’s a curious piece. There’s no actual narrative. But, it’s still very moving. Some of the triptychs are the same scene from different angles. Some are different scenes entirely. There is old footage from the time of Bolden’s life in addition to new footage of … I guess, ghosts of his life.

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I’m glad I saw it.

French map

I am addressing the next phase of my wine education by trying to learn where the wines I enjoy come from with an eye to elevation and soil.

Michelle Gibson, the owner, manager, former wine distributor and all around sweetheart at the Cork and Cow is always very informative if I know the correct question to ask.  But, my geography class was a very long time ago.

I found this map of France and have saved it so that I can have a peek at the topography of where the French wines I like come from.

French regions

The wine shop in Hillsborough has maps on the walls that I can use when I’m there and my iPad has begun traveling with me to Burlington.

March wine

My choice at the monthly wine club was 2 bottles of Oak Farm Vineyards Zinfandel from Lodi, California. The vineyard was installed in a place that had an oak grove and the owners refused to remove the trees in order to plant the grapes, thus, the name. The wine is aged in oak casks, too. This gives the wine a delightful and unexpected spiciness.  It retails for $20.

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Friday is usually “shopping in Hillsborough night” with a stop at the Hillsborough wine store for a taste and a glass followed by dinner and grocery shopping at the Weaver Street Market coop.  There is usually a distributor doing a little wine tasting at the coop, too.  So, between Tuesday at the Cork and Cow and Friday in Hillsborough, we have a nice range of opportunities to taste a lot of fermented grape juice.

Last Friday netted us 2 whites that are intended to go with mussels the next time we find them.

The Maz Caz is a 2016 French blend from Costieres de Nimes in the southeastern region near Marsailles made of 60% Grenache Blanc and 40% Roussanne. We got that from the tasting table at the wine shop.  It retails for $19, but was on sale for $14 because it was part of the tasting.

Our second purchase was a surprising Muscadet that is absolutely not sweet and has a nice body. Château de l’Oiselinière is in the middle of the west coast southeast of Nantes. This one cost $11.

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Purpose

“Things don’t have purposes, as if the universe were a machine, where every part has a useful function. What’s the function of a galaxy? I don’t know if our life has a purpose and I don’t see that it matters. What does matter is that we’re a part. Like a thread in a cloth or a grass-blade in a field. It is and we are. What we do is like wind blowing on the grass.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven

(Michelle posted this and I stole it because it is correct.)

Labels

My dad told me, once, that if you believe what the Nazarene taught, you are a Xian. Church doctrine isn’t what determines that.

I found some comfort in that, at the time, because peeling that label off was hard. I grew up believing that God loved me and that Jesus did, too. It was hard coming to grips with the belief that the loving god I was taught about had to be as much a myth as Zeus and Odin. All those stories are interesting, culturally, and are useful to see how people have tried to explain a confusing world. But, none of them have any more significance than that for me.

I don’t like to use the labels “agnostic” or “atheist,” though. They come with their own baggage that I don’t care to wear, either.