If it wasn’t for politics, I could have gotten pretty lucky last week. Alas…. In the midst of electoral fever here in UK many people are trying to get their heads around who’s a liar and who’s a bigger liar. Frankly, to me, politics fall under the same category as sport – irrelevant. Although as a (nearly) a citizen I could actually be very concerned about the state of welfare and NHS policy, however most of the time political debates and interviews to me spell indistinguishable mumbling and fairy dust. Political jargon has been alien to me since I was born. I never had patience to make the sense out of what’s been so passionately debated about. I vividly remember the time when I so eagerly tried to impress my father by watching evening news and football despite the burning desire to hang myself from the chandelier.
I didn’t get much credit or pat on the back for that, but it was the only time I could spend quality time with my father. And so it goes for majority of women who had shit relationship with their fathers, dragging bad luck into their romantic relationships with their future boyfriends. You don’t need to be Freud to understand this pattern. After years of vain attempts to please my boyfriends, I decided that in fact I don’t like football and I’m not bothered by politics. I felt strong about my ignorant ways until last week, when I experienced the most unprecedented shaming act form a guy I met on a street on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
After years of vain attempts to please my boyfriends, I decided that in fact I don’t like football and I’m not bothered by politics.
When an attractive member of the opposite sex approaches me in public, I have the same response: listen to what they have to say. It takes me about five seconds to figure what or who I am dealing with. Sometimes they are guys who have just read THE GAME and are picking me for practicing their routines. Sometimes, it’s sales people trying to sell me faux modelling contracts (I’m 5”2 give me a break!), and rarely, but it happens, guys who actually have something interesting to say (usually not involving a vocabulary of adjectives). So I was very pleasantly surprised when a good looking guy in his early thirties approached me on the street with a request to pose for a photograph for his magazine column in exchange for few words for the article. He had this rough sexy, bad boy look which is (shockingly!) very appealing to me so I gave myself a permission for a little innocent flirtation. What followed next threw me of my sassy horse.
I know it’s bad to judge the book by its cover, but when somebody who looks like a member of an indie band, who has just stepped down from the stage, asks you about your views – of course – on elections – you freak out. To be honest, I think that anyone who is deeply interested in politics can be very angry individual. Maybe it’s just my perceptions, but the last time I was subjected to an angry political discussion, I left the premises without finishing my meal. And that was bad enough. So naturally, my first response to this guys was full frontal negation.
INDIE GUY: What are your views on elections?
ME: I don’t have an views because I don’t follow politics.
INDIE GUY: How come?
ME: I don’t have time or patience. I get enough information from reading headlines on fellow passenger’s newspapers. It’s not my thing.
INDIE GUY: Are you going to vote?
INDIE GUY: Why?
ME: Because I’m busy. Look, I know it’s important to vote, but since I have no clue what’s out there, what’s the point? Nobody is ever satisfied with whomever gets elected anyway, it’s a no win situation.
INDIE GUY: Well don’t you think that it affects you?
ME: I do think it affects me on a grand scale of things, but it’s not on my things to do priority list.
INDIE GUY: I see, well I guess I have nothing to add to that (eyes rolling)…. Thanks….. Bye.
Instantly from feeling smitten by this guy, I became infuriated by his audacity and absence of sense of humor. I was politically shamed on the street by a dirty hair guy whom I don’t even know. If we happen to live in the society where tolerance and respect is a appreciable attitude, where did this Mr. Grumpy come from? Political apathy should not be greeted with resentment, in fact, any sort of apathy is a personal choice which is nobody else’s but individual’s personal business. However, this wasn’t the point.
How something, which started off as a harmless flirtation, turned into a battle of convictions?
Despite being mildly irritated by this guy’s attitude, I was also bemused. How something, which started off as a harmless flirtation,turned into a battle of convictions? It confirmed my belief that people, who are passionate about politics, can never have a polite conversation with somebody who opposes their beliefs. Haven’t we learned that it’s not only advisable, but also mandatory, not to discuss religion or politics?
Politics is a two ended stick. If you pick up one end – the other will follow. Most of your views, at least, on the beginning stages in your life, were shaped by the views of our parents and grandparents. Because these are strong topics, there is a great deal of emotions associated to it, therefor it’s never an objective opinion – it’s opinion formed by your environment. Regardless, I too, have strong views on many topics, however most of my views are concerning food industry, global warming, ecology, sustainability, medicine, and social issues, such as human rights, ways the government approaches rape or domestic violence. Do I hear about that on the television? I don’t think so, so why should I vote?
I could write another ten pages explaining what’s wrong with politicians, but then I wouldn’t be any different to this guy. Bless him. I now learned that nothing has changed for me since I was a little girl. Trying to impress a man with either my political knowledge or the absence of it will always backfire so from now I take a wow of silence – whenever asked about politics, religion or sports – I’m keeping my views to myself thank you very much.