By MICHELE NIESEN
So where will the lines be drawn for the new civil war? It’s not just Mason Dixon lines, it’s all over the place. Right or left? Gay or straight? Right-wing uber-conservative, hater of all but big money and steppin’ on the little guy? Or lefty-spendy on the social welfare program, commie, hippie, pothead, recycler?
Who killed the middle? Why is there an US and a THEM? Why is everything a Salem Witch Hunt?
I didn’t even know I was somebody until everyone started pinning their tails on my donkey. “You drive that big SUV? I thought you were a liberal! Sheesh!” What I am is a small farmer with several dogs, bales of hay, chicken feed and lumber. I live in the mountains. It snows. Dunno if that makes me liberal, but it sure makes me not drive a Miata. Next time I’ll be sure to junk that paid for 14-year-old truck for a $30,000 car I can’t afford to save 8 miles a gallon so you think I’m green.
The other day I was tagged again. A woman told me she hoped I wouldn’t lecture her on using a plastic water bottle because she was eco-savvy in too many ways to list, but truthfully she doesn’t care where her tomatoes come from or if they’re organic or out of season. She doesn’t have time for all that. She has a life, you know. But she reads my blog and she sees that I’m a proponent of organic and locally grown, and she doesn’t want to hear it. “And my dress was sewn by someone in a Third World country, and my kids eat cereal with corn syrup, so maybe I should go directly to the gallows.”
Listen, honey, it’s all I can do to get my sneakers on every day and run my tired middle-aged ass around the pasture and clean the chicken coop and wonder why they aren’t laying any eggs, or fix a fence post because a raccoon has torn it out and eaten the latch. I’m wondering about my love life, my bank account, why my middle keeps spreading, whether my elderly mom will be okay alone and what this country is going to do about immigration, which I think about a lot since my boyfriend got deported. Will I do something important or will I merely get by? Will I retire to a beach in Mexico or be walking around town looking for cans followed by a flock of chickens?
We’re all just trying to do the best we can. We have a lot more in common than we think, and if we just turn off the television, make some better choices about what we read on the Web and maybe exhale through some of the vitriol, we’d all be a lot freer. And I don’t give a fig whether you buy organic or not. There’ll always be a McNugget for someone. And hey, I grow my own. I’d be happy to sell you one out of the back of my big ol’ SUV.