A New and Better Afghan

So, I was over at the Professor’s yesterday working on W.’s afghan while she cleaned.

“How tall is your cute boy?” I asked.

“6’2″ ” She said.

“Perfect,” I said, “I’m almost done with W.’s afghan and I want someone the right height to try it out.”

“I kind of had the feeling that W. was conservative.”

“Well, yeah, me too.”

“Then you need more blue.”

“More blue?”

“I don’t know, but I’m just guessing that most conservative men don’t want a purple afghan.”

“Purple? No, it’s blue and red. See, it’s an artistic statement about the ways that people of different political backgrounds can bond over their shared love of afghans…” But folks, blue and red make purple. Prince would love that fucker.

So, off I went to Walmart this morning to pick up panty hose, pepper spray, and some darker blue yarn to try to fix things.

Would you believe that Walmart doesn’t carry pepper spray? I can buy something that will make me smell like deer piss, but I can’t buy some god damn pepper spray.

Anyway, I got to the yarn aisle and I was trying to find a dark enough blue to redeem this afghan in the eyes of my more conservative readers, when there, way down low, I saw the most beautiful green. Folks, I’m talking the kind of dark woodsy green you want to put right against your skin even before it’s crocheted into anything. A dark, manly, woodsy green.

And so then, I knew, the purple afghan is going to have to go to someone who likes to kiss boys–preferably someone who knows the joys of running your fingers lightly over a nice scruffy face.

And W. will have an afghan with this amazing green.

So, the purple afghan is going on hiatus and I’m starting W.’s today. It’s going to be beautiful, in a manly conservative way. I promise.

Dinner with the Socialists

“Don’t insult yourself by calling yourself a liberal.”

“No, my god, you’re much too interesting for that.”

“You’re at least a radical.”

“She’s a socialist, just like the rest of us.”

Last night, I had a long, leisurely dinner with the Professor, her blonde colleague, and two old, old-school socialists from Chicago.

It was awesome.

I know you’re going to find this hard to believe, but I don’t consider myself very leftist. I think that “the individual” is kind of a bullshit concept designed to make us feel okay about neglecting our obligations to each other and I believe that a person’s happiness and well-being are of prime concern to the community because it directly affects the well-being of the community and that the community’s well-being is of prime concern to each person because the community’s well-being affects us.

You might think this would make me a socialist, except that I think that something very interesting and important happens to ideas as they play out on larger and larger scales–they tend to work the opposite of how they do on the small scale.

So, I think it’s stupid for you and I to run around thinking of ourselves as individuals with no reciprocal obligations to anyone else and to not keep those relationships and obligations at the forefront of our political thought.

But I don’t want to live in a socialist country (well, except for the healthcare). I want my government to think of me as an individual with individual rights that need to be protected both from other yahoos and from the government itself.

I think it’s important to maintain that tension between the needs of the group and the rights of the “individual.” I also think that what we’re kind of trying to maintain here in the U.S. is the only way to work it. The most powerful body–the government–must protect the rights of the least powerful–the “individual” (a being so powerless that, in my worldview, it doesn’t even exist). And the less powerful–the people–must invest in maintaining the more powerful–the community. And the tension between all those things must be sustained in order to keep things healthy.

I don’t think this is such a radical position. And when you’re having dinner with people who belong to the socialist party, it’s really not very radical. It puts you left of the Democrats, but shoot, it’s hard not to be left of the Democrats. But it’s not very far left.

So, I’m tickled to be reminded of that, because Christ, sometimes when I’m reading y’all’s reactions to the shit I write, I feel like some of you think I’m writing to you from way out in left field. It’s nice to be reminded that there’s a lot further left one might go. If you think I’m a radical, you should have been at dinner.