Thursday, August 16, 2012

Dare to Deport Your Undocumented Idea


Every so often one or more elected representatives holds what is euphemistically called a town meeting, there to gather with constituents to discuss vital issues.  In recent years, such meetings have devolved into shouting matches worthy of the great combative dramas of the ages, with various sides and splinter groups railing and roiling on behalf of some belief or agenda held in high esteem.

You could allow yourself a moment of facetiousness in which you observe that these town meetings have become cable TV news, but your purpose is in fact more metaphorical than facetious in intent.  You’re familiar with Town Hall Meetings to the point of regularly hosting them.

The venue is your head or, to be more accommodating to the metaphor, within your psyche.  The participants of the Town Hall are varied; they represent diverse factions of your personality, as though a demographic of a more conventional constituency. 

By your accounting, the majority party is happy-go-lucky if not outright carefree in its cynical mistrust of many entrenched establishments and traditions.  While not quite hail-fellow-well-met in its exuberance for progress and all-around progressive agendas, it allows itself to try new things, new ways, and new ventures.

In its own way, your ruling party’s biggest fear is the fear of not venturing far enough in an endeavor to become vulnerable to the possibility of making a mistake.

To be sure, there is a minority party, given to the occasional filibuster or outright tantrum, some of its members representing deep cynicism, conservatism, bigotry, stubbornness, and other manifestations of fear.  They neither trust nor are they, by your reckoning, trustworthy.  They simply do not know how to give of themselves in any meaningful way, which, as you extend the metaphor in this essay, causes your internal politics to seem a great deal like the current one of actual fact at play externally in this country.

You do not believe yourself as racially, socially, nor in any gender specific way as extreme in your minority party as the actual minority party appears to you to be in today’s political reality.  This in no way intends to be a demurral of the presence of these issues within your minority.

Your true purpose in writing of such things in this context is to sketch in the real possibility of outside voices speaking up within your Town Meetings.  These voices have come from outside your family and immediate cultural influences. They come from such diverse sources as your education, friends, mass media, reading, and random ambient noise passing itself off as information.

There is a tenuous verge between your multiple personality and the perceptions you have of individuals who can’t tell when there’s been a shift in leadership, don’t at all costs wish to recognize that there are in fact other voices wishing to be heard.

You believe you’ve found a balance between the times you need to be in dialogue with the factions of your ruling party and to give some ear to the caucus of your minority or less social nature.  You’re also aware of the occasional comfort of outside voices, whether they’re encountered on your evening walks, your reading, or your exposure to music and the voices of artistic expression.

Great joy comes from the sounds of individuals engaged in dialogue using a language you cannot begin to identify.  This joy is every bit as comforting as the voices of artistic expression you frankly do not understand.  Nor can you articulate why some languages you cannot understand have a more positive effect on you than others.  Is it, you wonder, some input from one of your Town Hall voices?

In a way, your interior landscape is always subject to political propaganda and advertisements, of candidates pushing agendas for the personal economy or wishing to spend more time in pursuit of satisfying a curiosity that often complains about cuts to its budget.

You listen to these voices with varying degrees of care and concern, alert to the strident voices of the minority party, haranguing about the potential for undocumented presences, wanting a say in the way things are run, wanting you to listen to them.  And you hope when they do speak you’ll be able to understand the language.

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