A recurring theme over here in Mondoville is that contrary to the popular phrase, the personal is not political, that if your life isn’t bigger than your politics, you’re doing one of them wrong. This is in fact one of the reasons I’ve opposed greater government involvement in healthcare — and why I thought it was excessive even before the current debacle. We’re seeing how this plays out, and it seems to play out with the government claiming purview over our activities and our inactivities, as if government is That within which we live and move and have our beings. And I suspect it will prove a jealous god — history seems to support that.
Which brings me to the QotD, from the Mad Dog’s favorite columnist’s weekly Goldberg File — and if you don’t subscribe, you should. Even if you disagree, he’s an entertaining writer — or I think so, anyway. This is from close to the end of this week’s installment, and the subject is the left’s combination of intrusiveness and crassness, which I reckon gives “vulgar Marxism” a new meaning:
[T]oday’s [lefty] hipster culture requires a certain glib profanity married to a weirdly forced earnestness. “We care more than you heartless Republicans, but we’re also cool enough to drop f-bombs.”
Perhaps the best example isn’t profane at all. The Obama Gift Registry [Link added — Prof. M.] is perfectly banal, but so incredibly tacky. I cannot imagine ever giving anything like that as a (non-ironic) gift, not because I care less about politics than the progs, but because it just strikes me as terribly inappropriate, dragging politics into places it doesn’t belong.
The thinking behind it strikes me as a variant of the thinking behind the Life of Julia website. There’s no aspect of our lives where politics and government don’t define us. It’s the idea that progressive politics is so cool, there’s really no boundary for progressivism. It can intrude anywhere because it’s the f’ing bomb, as it were. It strikes me as the partisan façade of political correctness, now with more cursing.
…if your life isn’t bigger than your politics, you’re doing one of them wrong.
Excellent way of summing it up.
I’d say both are being done wrong, almost certainly.
During the dot-com boom, as sites like eTrade really got rolling, I has acquaintances who started a business for engaged couples. If you were in your thirties and already financially stable, you could dispense with the usual teapots-and-egg-cozies gift registry and instead use a website that would make it easy for your loved ones to buy you shares of the stocks of your choice. To the principals of the company, who were deeply immersed in the finance industry, the concept seemed brilliant. Their potential customer base, however, found the idea deeply tacky, and coverage in the business press ranged from ambivalent to harshly critical. The company folded fast.
I suspect a politicized wedding registry has much the same problem, a failure of imagination that everyone ought to grapple with: the inability to see one’s own bubble from the outside.
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