I’m trying to stress less. My job is a little stressful, my family life has its own necessary peculiarities that are stress-inducing. So I’ve unplugged myself from the world of current events and news in general as much as possible. When the news broadcast comes on during my classical music radio programme, I turn it off. I don’t watch TV, so that was an easy one to forego. I ignore newspapers, I removed all the news websites from my favourites on my computer.
Nevertheless, I live in this world, with people, and so naturally SOME things will filter through. For example, I would not have known that there was the Republican National Convention going on recently, had Mr. C. not chatted about it with his family on the phone. I tried to tune him out as he carried on his conversations, but there you have it, now I know. Then, some non-news websites carried the story about Clint Eastwood’s speech at this convention. I tried to ignore that too, but there you have it, I’m curious, and now I know.
I try to stay away from all the information that is thrown at us because it’s overwhelming. There’s just TOO MUCH INFORMATION. Most of it is IRRELEVANT. And NARROW-MINDED. Also, some people, like Mr. C., can be aware of current events, take it all in, have opinions about them, even find them funny, and they can still sleep at night. Other people, like me, who don’t have a highly-developed sense of humour, ruminate and ponder, toss and turn, worry and fret about all this narrow-minded, irrelevant, much too much, information.
Along comes Clint at the Republican National Convention. The mystery guest speaker. Now, I like Mr. Eastwood, great actor, director, one-time mayor, that voice, those nice crinkles around his eyes. This is a man with whom you could sit down and have a conversation about something or nothing. You get a sense that he’s a straight-talker from the heart. Which is why it wasn’t so much his identity at the convention that was a mystery, but the fact that he was actually endorsing the Republican candidate. Didn’t Mr. Eastwood publicly support same-sex marriage? American politics is confusing. Amusing, but confusing.
The Republicans and their Stepford Wives are not to be mocked, however. Back away from them slowly. They should be feared for the subterfuge and false sense of hope that they create, kind of like the bully in grade school who pretended to be your friend but slowly turned everyone against you for no reason and proceeded to make your life a living hell. At a time in when mass shootings and horrific violence are once again at the forefront in the U.S., why would the Republican party feel it was a good idea to have a guest speaker known around the world for portraying a vigilante cop? “Go ahead, make my day” was shouted from the Republican crowd at the convention. Does this makes sense? See what I mean by amusing but confusing?
Even Mr. Eastwood seemed confused. Notwithstanding his bizarre chair talk with President Obama and his off-colour jokey-jokes, it seemed like he wasn’t really sure himself why he was making this undeniably ad-libbed speech. At one point, he urged everyone, no matter their stripes, to come together for change. And he didn’t even seem that convinced himself that Mr. Romney was the answer to the prayers of the country; the message I got was this: President Obama was given the opportunity and could not deliver, so let’s try someone new, and because the only alternative is Mr. Romney, let’s give him a try; not that Mr. Romney has proven himself, but heck, there’s no one else to vote for.
Being married to an American has certainly raised my saturation point of American culture, but it has also given me new paths to understanding people. But sometimes, the American way is just too different from how I’ve lived all my life. So when Mr. C. and I talk American politics, or gun laws, or health care, or Canadian history versus American history, I wisely hold back opinions I might have, as I’ve learned that much will be gained in insight if I listen and mull things over first before giving my take. This lesson, unfortunately, has not yet been learned by the kids, who relish the opportunity to pit what they know of America (i.e. what the media feeds them) against Mr. C.’s arguments, which can be vociferous and patriotic (I think he surprises himself).
I’m at a loss as to why I’m affected by an octagenarian’s halting speech about a political party that I distrust (along with most political parties….does that make me apolitical?) in an election I have no say in, in a country that is not my own. Is it because I find them circus-like therefore easy to make fun of? But I don’t think politics is funny….is it because I take it too seriously? Is my husband’s nationality the reason? After all, he is my lover and best friend…..would I care as much if he were not American?
Ah…it’s because I care. I care about what happens in this world, I care about what happens in the U.S. because it will ultimately affect me in ways near and far. Some may say that I don’t have the right to voice these thoughts and opinions, but they are more thoughts, less opinions.
From a PR point of view, Clint Eastwood’s appearance was more damaging than not, but after reading the speeches of Mr. Ryan and Mr. Romney, they didn’t need anyone else’s help, they are a damage tag-team unto themselves.
But from an ordinary Canuck’s point of view, Clint Eastwood’s appearance was an oblique confirmation that even the glitterati are as confused and maybe a little weary of the game of American politics. Maybe it’s not just me……