Help Wanted (But Not Yours)

You may have heard that media spectacle Kim Kardashian has expressed interest in running for mayor of Glendale, California. (Note to Kim:  Glendale doesn’t elect a mayor. City Council Members are elected and the mayoral position rotates among the council. But don’t let rules and facts stop you, girl.)

What did Glendale ever do to deserve this? One of my best friends lives in Glendale and it’s a nice enough place. But, Kim’s political aspirations got me thinking about famous people and the professions they should never attempt. Here are a few from my list:

Mitt Romney:                                        Humane Society spokesman

Alec Baldwin:                                        Anger management specialist

John Edwards:                                     Marriage counselor

Newt Gingrich:                                     Hospice volunteer

Joe Lieberman:                                    Motivational speaker

Marcus and Michele Bachmann:       Dancing with the Stars contestants

Kirk Cameron:                                      Inter-faith liaison to gay community

Bill Maher:                                            Director of Christmas and Easter pageants

Rush Limbaugh:                                  Sexual harassment seminar speaker

Mel Gibson:                                          Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center

I’m sure you have plenty of your own suggestions for those poor, bored politicians and celebrities. There is one guy who is in bit of trouble for all the money he spent on a Las Vegas conference, among other things. Jeffrey Neely is an official with the Government Services Administration (the “GSA”) and the apparent organizer of the $823,000 Las Vegas conference.

‘Ol Jeff pleaded the 5th before a House committee and it doesn’t take a genius to know that he’s going to be out of a job soon. But with his skills, I see a rosy future as an event planner. Kim Kardashian’s inauguration party won’t happen on its own, after all.

The Lady Doth Not Protest

I’m not a protesting type of gal. For those who feel strongly enough about an issue to protest, bully for them. It’s just not my style. As I’ve mentioned before, I have friends all over the political spectrum and this includes people who have gone to Tea Party rallies as well as Occupy Wall Street. (Am I schizophrenic or inclusive? I’m not sure.)

 

During my college days back in the mid-to-late 1980s, the two big issues were anti-nukes and anti-apartheid. I do remember going to an anti-nuke rally in Golden Gate Park only because Carlos Santana was playing. I’m not kidding. Even as a liberal college student, the notion of disarmament struck me as naïve wishful thinking but I loved live music. So, I’d trudge along following the smell of pot and patchouli, clap and chant, “No Nukes!” and wait to hear “Oye Como Va”.

You may be wondering (or at least I hope you are), why protesting isn’t my thing. There are a combination of factors at work and in no particular order, here they are:

 Aversion to Confrontation: I shrink from any situation where a confrontation is possible. This stems from seeing and hearing lots of arguing at home when I was a kid. Anger and raised voices made me nervous and they still do. My coping strategy back then was to be perfect and compliant in the hopes that life would be calm. This strategy, ineffective as it mostly was, can lead to…

 No Interest in Rebellion/Acting Out: I was one of those kids who adults adored. I was polite, smart, articulate and could be taken anywhere without fear that I would throw a tantrum or otherwise be an embarrassment. I remember staring at other kids in the midst of some bratty outburst or another and not understanding what was wrong with them. I was a little adult trapped in a kid’s body who felt no need to rebel. It’s not a surprise that I didn’t grow up to protest anything.

 Dislike of Crowds: Being short doesn’t help you in a big crowd of strangers, that’s for sure, and I’m only 5’3”. I’m also an only child. This means that I don’t know how to share and I’m accustomed to having my own space. There aren’t enough people I know personally that I’d agree to be in close quarters with for any extended period of time, let alone strangers.

 I’m a Cranky Camper: We were not a camping family. In fact, I never slept in a tent in the great outdoors until I was in my mid-20s. And I HATED it. Sure I loved playing Trivial Pursuit at night, the grandeur of Yosemite and the peacefulness of the Redwoods. It was the dirt and bugs, the never feeling clean, the sound of mountain lions in the distance or the sight of wart hogs near the bathroom that I didn’t like. Knowing all that, can you actually see me camping out on the streets of New York City or San Francisco?

 So friends, however you choose to exercise your First Amendment rights, have at it. I support you, I do, from the comfort of my living room, with cable, running water and a microwave, that is.

Welcome to Bizarro World

In my never-ending quest to not just entertain, but to enlighten you, I came across this interesting article today. Apparently, British theoretical physicists are attempting to find evidence of multiple alternative universes, aka, “multiverses”. You science fiction and comic book readers are very familiar with the idea of a multiverse. (See DC Comics Infinite Crisis and 52, for just two examples.)

In essence, the thought is that we live in a multiverse in which new universes form each time they collide with each other. What really piqued my interest was the theory that these universes could possibly not adhere to the laws of nature with which we’re familiar. For example, time could move backward instead of forward. Freaky, right?

This is just like Bizarro World. For the uninitiated, Bizarro World, aka, Htrae, is a fictional planet in the DC Comics universe. In Bizarro World, society lives by the Bizarro Code in which everything is done the opposite way it’s done on Earth. I had a dream that I woke up in Bizarro World.

Someone named “Snooki” who inhabits Jersey Shore, supposedly makes $100,000 an episode. According to a website called PayScale, high school teachers in New Jersey earn between $35,269 – $73,705 per year. Snooki must be doing something really impressive.

Then, I hear a creepy disembodied voice talking to me. I’ve heard it before but I have a hard time placing it at first. I realize that it’s Michele Bachmann.

Suddenly, I wake up shaking and covered in sweat.

“Good thing that world isn’t real,” I mumble. But then, I turn on the television and see:

“No, no, no!” I scream. “This can’t be happening. It must be Bizarro World!”

I hear another voice, this time emanating from inside my own head. The voice says, “Kelly, this is your world, for better or worse. Just because it’s not Bizarro World doesn’t mean it’s not bizarre.”

The Personal is Political

The phrase, “The Personal is Political” has been around feminist circles for decades and it popped into my head the other day while I was thinking about how my political beliefs tilt and shift from one extreme to the other like a teeter-totter. Sometimes I beat myself up and say I’m wishy-washy but really, that’s unfair and inaccurate. I’m an extremely curious person. It’s a trait I highly value in others and myself. I’m fascinated by people, what they think and believe and why, and I know this is a key component to what makes me open to divergent opinions.

However, it’s frustrating to not feel emotionally connected to an ideology sometimes. It’s the same struggle I have with spirituality. I can envy the self-assuredness of true believers and atheists alike and I’ve dabbled at both ends of the spectrum. That sense of fervent belief, or disbelief as the case may be, in a political, spiritual or philosophical ideology is just not part of my make-up and I’m trying to accept that.

I’ve decided that instead of viewing this as a deficiency of character, I should look deeper at why I hold certain viewpoints at certain times in my life. What I’ve discovered is that how I’m feeling about my life and myself directly affects the ideology that resonates with me at that time. For example, when I’m feeling frustrated, angry and depressed about how things are going for me personally, I tend to gravitate to a more conservative political ideology. When I feel more optimistic and happy, I tend to veer towards liberal thought. So, the personal is indeed political, in my case.

I have voted Democrat, Republican and Green. I have contributed to candidates and causes from Left to Right and I have friends who identify as conservatives as well as progressives. What all these people have in common is their love for truth and justice, as they perceive it, and I have the utmost respect for that.

Some may scoff at being emotionally driven when it comes to matters of world-altering consequence and that’s okay. I understand that. I tend to live in my head a lot and only accept something if it makes sense to my head first, and then to my heart. My goal is to integrate my heart and my head in an attempt to find peace internally and externally. I haven’t mastered it yet but it’s definitely worth the effort.