A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….
I coined the use of the terms:
In reference to two different types of diaries on dKos. Oatmeal being the kind of upright, forthright decent citizen….a kind of John Proctor meets the Quaker oat man kind of figure….whose political writing matched that appearance. Stolid, informative, earnest, wonky.
And…Sugar Smacks….well, we all know the frog here…it was about writing with humor, life, brio, a kind of insistance that we human animals like to pick the lice off each other once and awhile. And, hey, that can be good too.
What the hell did I mean? What was I getting at? Did I even have an, ahem, political message…??
Hell yes I did.
At that time the recommended diary function had been put in…and everybody seemed to be writing the most earnest, tidy little essays in search of the glory of that elusive….uh….box. In other words:
Everyone was coloring between the lines.
That’s bad politics. Politics is more than policy. More than formula. More than one thousand dittoheads dittoing whatever in hell they choose to, or are told to, ditto that day.
In fact, few of the folks on this list would be there if they had lived a life of strict oatmeal. It takes balance….it takes a recognition that we’re all human…
and any politics that is gonna succeed over the long haul has to balance the oatmeal with the sugar smacks. Has to give folks a place to fly their flag.
And amen for that.
Politics is about community AND ideology. The one without the other equals a very lonely and ineffective movement. (and, yes, this IS a movement…and a moment.)
Years ago I stumbled into a Love drug store (one of the better store names ever) on Broadway after a night of political discussion and drinking during the Gulf War. I forget the details of the conversation I had…at 4AM…with the woman at the cash register.
But the upshot was, whatever political dilemma it was I was asking / telling her about…that she so politely listened to…and put up with my intrusion…and my 20 year old confidence that everyone cared about whatever the hell was on my mind…ie. whatever BS I had to say to her…
she told me something whose import I remember to this day. She said,
“I’ll tell you what I tell everyone. I’ll tell you what I tell my kids. You should do what makes you happy. Everything else is bullshit.”
Aristotle would agree. Oatmeal. Sugar Smacks. And a tube of toothpaste I bought at Love drugstore in New York city almost 20 years ago. It was worth every penny.
In that spirit….best of luck to this blog…and all the others sprouting up in the blogosphere. We’ve got work to do. And we’re gonna have fun along the way.