This is a double-purposed post: one part about how I want to drive a tent stake through a guy's head; the other part about being progressive.
1. This is our second drink together and he's giving me a rash. Like, seriously. We've just yelled at each other about private vs. public interests, valuing education vs. valuing money, 'consequences' vs. comprehensive sex education, living with integrity and a sense of moral centeredness vs. life being just an existential hellhole. My face is flushed, my neck is hot and my chest itches. I've broken out into an ideologically-fueled rash.
He reminds me of Sidney Poitier in his early 40s. In fact, that's exactly who he looks like - neat, trim, dark, and tidy. We're meeting for a purely casual, this-is-not-a-date, after work drink. Why is this not a date? Because he already has a girlfriend. I'm happy to sit in a crappy bar and chat with a near-stranger about books, work, music, politics, relationships, and growing up odd.
(And, considering my less than stellar boy-record, I don't think I need to be dating anyone right now.)
But he's an utter pragmatist. Having a conversation with him is like talking with the Borg. Or a conservative from Dartmouth. Hence, the tent peg.
2. At one point during our conversation he leaned back and said, 'You really believe all that, don't you? Helping the poor, the brown people. You really swallow all that.'
And I said, 'Yes, I do. Every word of it.'
It makes me an easy read. I mean, you don't really have to think all that hard to wonder how I'll come down on an issue. And I'll trace it back to the book of bible stories I had when I was a kid. There was a fabulous illustrated story about David and Goliath. And that was it. David was a cute Israelite with smarter technology and Goliath was a moron. My ideological loyalties were born.
Political stances birthed by childhood Bible stories perhaps aren't the most flexible. Or the most 'of the moment.' There doesn't seem to be a lot of room for rhetorical maneuvering when you stake out a progressive claim.