Circumlocuting Thanks

11/10/2008 By Shawn Burns

This is the most awkwardly expressed post I can remember writing. I know that because I’ve trashed four versions of it. It’s important that I say what I’m saying, but I just don’t know how to do it properly, so I end up writing incoherent, babbling, sentences that are barely related to each other. Ever happen to you? Also, it’s all wrapped up in this "I just want girls to like me" meme that has been reproducing itself and directing my actions since high school, and it’s hard to look that right in the face, but I have to if I’m going to understand all of the reasons this needs to be written.


I don’t think I voted in the state election immediately prior to this last one. It was utter laziness. When we moved to the Bay Area I never updated my voter registration. It took someone literally shoving a clipboard into my hands at WonderCon this year for me to finally register. And even then I might not have done it if the line I was standing in hadn’t been so long.

Before this year I was a fairly apathetic voter. I’ve had periods of high interest and low interest, but mostly I just didn’t care. I could talk about politics as much as any other suburbanite driving an hour to get to work in the morning and listening to talk radio could do. But I didn’t really care. Not enough to update my voter registration when I changed my address.

Maybe it took having a daughter who was growing up in a world affected by public policy for me to really start caring. Enough to fill out a piece of paper while standing in line to do other things, at least.

But I can’t credit Erin with all of the interest I’ve had in this most recent, most historic election. And I don’t think it has much to do with me.

It’s them; not the big red ants; but the big red (and blue) bloghers, who have generated and maintained my interest in politics and who have inspired me to participate and think about what is going on around me instead of remaining at a cynical distance. Their earnestness and effort shamed me into activity. And the bullshit they have to put up with for not only writing about politics, but presuming to do so in an environment that mantles itself in misogyny when arguments fail, spurred me to be better than the anachronistic reactionaries permeating the political ether.

It isn’t that there aren’t male bloggers out there who could have inspired this same kind of attention in me; but for whatever the reason (*cough* I want girls to like me *cough*) I just don’t read them. And if I did I can’t be sure that they would have had the same effect on my political psyche. I did listen to male talk radio hosts for years without ever experiencing the same kind of excitement about politics. Of course most of them were insane blowhards, because that’s who gets to host radio shows. But still, I’ve never cared as much as I do now.

So, Erin, Liz, Julie, Dana, Stefania, Jill, Joanne, Debbie, the Momocrats and BlogHers who have not sat idly by while other people decide what kind of world my daughter will inherit:


you know.