Those of us who live in the country, are very conscious of our fashion. You may have guessed this already from plenty of pictures which show us in fine farmer garb–the one piece denim bib is a great example. Functional and oh so elegant. Just a bow tie clip-on for the t-shirt and you are ready for any dinner party.
The other day, I was fashionably clad in my rubber muddies, walkin’ through the watery muck of the lane, when my brother-in-law caught up to me on his backhoe. He had been hauling some hay to the cattle who did not have have benefit of the corn silage, since the fields were still not done due to crap weather.
As he shut off the motor and opened the cab, I saw that he too was clad in rubber muddies and but for the size, no doubt, they were identical to mine.
I mused on this fine sense of the fashionista shared by us both, when I realized upon heading back down the hill into the timber that the trees were indeed nearly bare of leaves. “Damn, it seems he was right again!” This to mean, the Contrarian, who but a few short weeks ago had predicted in Nostradamus fashion, “I think we are going to lose our leaves this year.”
Not to be all depressed and such, since last early spring, he confidently predicted that we would have leaves this year, and of course, that too transpired. The Contrarian is proving himself to be quite good at this prognostication business. One is tempted to say the same of many things in the bible, until one learns that often, the book in question with its “prediction” was written well after the event in question happened. At least the Contrarian announces his predictions well in advance.
Anyway, such thoughts give rise to still more ideas and sneaky partially worked out theories. I’m always happy when I see that I’m not alone in devising such philosophical questions of the month. This morning, Charlie Gibson, late of GMA and now nearly late of the Nightly News, was interviewing John Irving, the writer. Gibson in one of his better moments, asked, “Do you think one can find real happiness in one’s own imagination?”
What prompted this jaw dropping, stop in the street kind of question, is anyone’s guess. Yet it seemed to me, worthy of some thought. I think that you can, and in fact some people do. Then again, some can’t and some don’t.
Do you construct day-dreaming scenarios of lives unlived? I mean do you have a dream house/job/spouse/hobby/you name it, that you construct delicately and with precision, making it all just perfect? Is it your place to escape the cares and turmoils of the day? Is it a place where Johnny Depp falls in love with you, forgetting that you are nearly though not quite old enough to be his mother? Does Halle Berry hang on your every word while sipping Dom Perignon?
I can see how such worlds could be happy. Truly I can. I rather suspect that liberals engage in such mind play more so than Republicans. Just a guess. No polling or scientific evidence. But there is evidence that liberals are more unhappy than Republicans. We tend to take on the woes of the world and grouse about them. We have guilt as to what we have, given that so many have almost nothing. We can’t compartmentalize as well it seems as Republicans apparently can.
We probably drink more and drug more and sex more, though that last may truly be wrong. Republicans with their public stance on morality and their dirty little minds creating all kinds of kinky plays which they all too often cannot help but attempt to act out, may in fact engage in more sexual naughtiness than liberals. I dunno.
But escapism is escapism as they say, and so I suspect more liberals have a fantasy get away that allows them to unwind from the mean little world that we inhabit every day. And perhaps there, we do find the happiness we are so prone to deny ourselves in reality.
Someone the other day suggested that liberals “talk a good game” but that somehow we don’t live it. Actually, I think its the conservatives who act rather differently than they talk. The evidence seems on our side. I have a ton of liberal friends (Facebook proved that) and a huge number of them are very actively engaged in regular service to their communities through food pantries, homeless shelters, health care clinics, and such. They aren’t paid, they just do it, because they have to do something to help. Our unhappiness at the state of affairs in the world forces us to engage and make a difference, no matter how small that might be.
I’m not suggesting that conservatives don’t do charity work, but I suspect they see it somewhat differently than liberals do. I could be wrong on that. I’m wrong on a lot of things. But I feel comfortable in saying it. I hear way too much about how we “have to have the poor” as a means by which the rest of us can perfect our salvation, to think any differently. And then there is the failure of most conservatives to agree to anything that smacks of redistributing wealth in this country to make life reasonable for ALL. They start raising words like, lazy, and pulling oneself up by one’s boot straps. (I checked, and my muddies don’t have any boot straps by the way.)