Thursday, December 18, 2014

Col - bear!

I thought it was Friday. But it turns out it's Thursday. I still have two more days here before I leave on Sunday. Score.

Though I miss home.

One advantage of being here: Stephen Colbert. It's his last show tonight; I've been watching all week, and today Comedy is running his shows non-stop. I didn't watch him much - his right-wing persona, though brilliant - really brilliant - was noisy and grating, and 11.30 was just too late. But now the TV is on and I'm watching. He just interviewed Maurice Sendak in character - hilarious. How he gets away with being such an asshole is a study in performance art.

Today I met another tenant here, said hello as I swam in the pool and she sunbathed beside it, the only two people there. We began to chat. She was from New York, owns here and rents out, and I talked about trying to sell our place. I confided that the politics of Florida horrified me and told her about the bumper sticker I saw a few days ago, "Guns don't kill people, abortions kill people."
"As a left-wing Canadian, I find that so hard to understand!" I said, assuming that someone from NYC is a kindred spirit.

She stopped talking. That was it, fini, no more conversation. I was reminded again, people here take their politics seriously, and it's best not to bring it up. DON'T BRING IT UP. Especially abortion.

I spent an hour today reading the New York Times. Now that is one fine newspaper. But I still have miles of New Yorkers to go before I sleep.


  1. We have friends in NYC -- he is an actor -- exactly the same gap. And it's always so startling to realize that we're not on the same page about really important stuff -- although we are about other important stuff! I remember them staying with us and a hugely "animated" discussion one evening and I was worried about how we would continue being friends the next morning! (Politics, guns, education, medical care...) And we were, in that way the human beings figure out what to avoid, what to take on.

  2. Yes, it's funny how those accommodations are made - the basis of human society, learning what to ignore and what's too important to ignore. And marriage!

  3. Yes, but sometimes the différences are too big to ignore. I recently discovered that a long-time friend of mine (Jewish) does not condemn the killing of 500 Palestinian children by the IDF this summer during the Israeli-Gaza conflict. Nor does she condemn the deaths of 2,000 Palestinian civilians killed during that same conflict, civilians who have nothing to do with Hamas.

    And then, if one dares to criticize Israel's actions, one is accused of being pro-terrorist and anti-Semitic which is so absurd. I find it difficult to continue the friendship now; otherwise it would just be hypocritical, no?


  4. I agree, Juliet - there are accommodations we can make for friendship, and there are some we can't. But then the Middle East is so incredibly divisive. I too have a friend who's 100% pro-Israel no matter what. He has an excuse - he grew up under terrible persecution in the gulag. But still, I find his views impossible to condone. So now we are not in any way close. We don't talk about it. We talk about other things.