Posted by: Kate | August 5, 2009

The Right Not to Care

Several of the interviews I’ve transcribed lately have been between a reporter for a Boston-area publication and prospective (perhaps even official, now – I haven’t kept track) candidates for Boston City Council. They’re essentially campaign speeches in interview form, and happily, I am often able to largely tune out and just sort of channel the words directly from my ears to my fingers without them spending a lot of time in my brain.

Because, really? Politics just ain’t my thing. Not at the local level, not at the state level, not national or international. I just can’t dredge up sufficient interest outside of big election times – and the word “big” is an important one, because there are always some level of elections going on, all year long and every single year. It’s astonishing, when you start looking for it. Even then, it’s not that I’m all that interested, it’s that I capitulate under the pressure of four million news articles in every available format, and I pay attention as a form of defeat.

Please don’t misunderstand, I love the fact that we have the type of politics that we do, in the US. I love the idea of an elected leadership, and checks and balances, and the options for choice even when you don’t really want them. I love that the people who want to get involved, can do so. I also love that those of us who don’t, can avoid it.

But it’s not my cuppa tea, and for the most part I’m able to steer clear. To the point that I’m sure I come across as uneducated or ungrateful, at times… I couldn’t tell you, despite sending hours transcribing their words, the names of the candidates I listened to the other week. I don’t know many key figures in Obama’s Cabinet, and in fact I don’t entirely know what the Cabinet is. I have a very weak rote memorization of the “red states/blue states” distinction, but every time there’s a Presidential election I have to look it up to make sure I don’t have it backwards.

I could learn all this stuff, and use it to astound – or alienate, as the case may be – my friends and enemies at dinner parties. I do, after all, have a strong leaning toward a certain mindset and world view that seems to match better with one party over the other, and I seem to be halfway decent with words. But I choose to focus my attentions elsewhere, and that is part of the beauty of the system: I can.

Madhouse again, an entirely appropriate term as we are as completely in the middle of a move as we could possibly be. The movers arrive in New Hampshire tomorrow morning, and Willem and I will be spending tonight with the last-minute packing and stress that comes, part and parcel, with a move. We’re in New York now, because I can’t think of anything more logical than to leave, two days before a move, to go to a concert (Dave Matthews Band in Syracuse, and of course it was a good show! Especially since Willem stayed at my mom’s with the kids!). We head back today, pack, move tomorrow, and then collapse in a pathetic heap, because of course once the boxes are in the new place, the work is done…. right? No?

Sigh. Anyway, check out the other Madhouse sometime-participants, see who played along this week…


  1. Wave to me! I just drove through Syracuse and spent the night in Binghamton! 🙂

    Good luck with the moving craziness.

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