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November 7, 2006

The Flipped Lid: All good dogs go to Congress

I don’t do politics. Sure, I vote. But do I research candidates and issues? No. Do I trust rhetoric coming forth from television and radio? Nah. So, what you’re about to read comes from the reflections of an unapologetically uninformed, dubious and sadly apathetic voting citizen. I would like to get fired up about politics; specifically about a politician. Any politician. I miss the John Yarmuth of his LEO days. I liked Howard Dean’s antics. Years ago, I even felt fired up (briefly) about Ross Perot. He stood out at least. Ultimately, though, he came off like the Tasmanian Devil; a wild little tornado of a character speaking only slightly intelligibly amidst much larger weather events. Speaking of weather events, I love weather. Rather than check CNN, C-SPAN or Fox News in the morning for political commentary and happenings, I go directly to weather.com. I do not pass go. I do not collect $200. Watching big green blobs moving around or coming into our area, especially as temperatures drop and the blobs turn white, gets me going. What does not get me going are “weather events.” Why is rain a weather event? Or storm event? If I could vote for one change, I’d vote to have the phrase “weather event” banned from all meteorological rhetoric. I miss “rain,” or even “snow,” being forecast. Weather should be expressed simply. Politicians should speak less so. Are we confusing the impact of severe weather with the impact of watered down (and often impolite) electo-speak? Another ballot I’d gladly cast a “yea” for would be nipple twists for strangers who decline to say “Thank you” when the door is held for them. What exactly keeps anyone from acknowledging this civil gesture? If politicians modeled better manners, perhaps such unmannerly conduct would be blighted. Almost nothing annoys me more than after (re-)finding the kindness of my heart for the 100th time when I’ve gone through a door, to stand and wait 10 seconds for someone coming that way, to be in turn greeted with … nothing. No smile. No grunt. Nada. Do some people feel that those of who hold doors have no life? No world to go into a bit quicker? Do they feel that doors being held for them is their god-given right for which no thanks is necessary? God-given rights bring me to the following issue I’d care to vote for: God’s manifestation (if God exists, that is). How smart would God be (if in existence) to let the people decide on manifestation of presence? (In whatever form God(s) might take for whichever people.) Enough with the qualifiers. Let me be blunt: I would heartily endorse an earthly godly manifestation. None of this shroud stuff. Or tears of the virgin business. I’m talking God, in the streets, being interviewed by a CBS news anchor (who probably wouldn’t say thank you if a door was held for her) in Bucksnort, Tenn. (airing immediately after the 5 o’ clock lead story of a severe weather event). I understand that faith (in God) without such a manifestation constitutes a profound tenet of God-involved religions. I would still vote to know one way or the other: kind of like Bob Barker calling “Price is Right” contestants down: “God, Father of Humankind, come on down,” or, “Ganesha, Shiva and Hanuman, you’re the next contestants on Gods Made Manifest.” Reflecting on God and faith brings me to a bit on Oprah last week. As clichéd and sentimental as this sounds, she shared a family’s determination to keep a deformed pup. The dog, Faith, has undeveloped front legs (little stubs) and was almost smothered by its mother when his family scooped him up. He can’t walk like a normal dog, so the family’s vet suggested putting him down, but they kept him and eventually taught him to walk on his back legs. A video on Oprah’s Web site shows Faith running through their front yard. It’s a surreal tear-jerker, but as far as voting goes, I’d vote this family into the presidency. A young man following me into Ekstrom Library said “Thank you” today when I held the door. Perhaps the rain shower event prompted his response; perhaps God had manifested on the quad seconds before. Maybe he owns a rescued dog I could have voted into Congress. Contact the writer at carriemichaelle@gmail.com