One thing which makes a movie or story great is that its themes and episodes can help us describe situations in our lives, understand the actions of others or help elucidate the human condition. While many people fault The Godfather: Part III for being inferior to the first two flicks in the franchise, it does have its moments, particularly the scene where Al Pacino‘s Michael Corleone bemoans his inability to leave his mob past behind him:
I sometimes feel the same way about politics. When I moved to LA, I intended to keep out of politics, tired of how friends and acquaintances would steer our conversations to politics upon learning that this literature-loving, Beowulf– and Tolkien-quoting, well-read film buff happened to be a gay Republican.
And this week, I would rather have focused on other things, notably my fascination with the quality and success of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and developing a curriculum to teach mythology while looking for places to teach it. Not to mention, debating whether I should write this fantasy epic that has been stirring in my subconscious for about eight years, how to go about naming the characters and researching its background.
Yesterday, while at the gym, I was delighted to find myself on a cardio machine next to someone else reading a volume from Martin’s opus. He was reading the first book, Game of Thrones, on his iPad while I was beginning the third volume, Storm of Swords, in a mass-market paperback. When I mentioned that I had blogged about the books, he asked the name of my blog. Even though he had heard of this site and had a background in left-of-center politics, he was content to keep the conversation focused on fantasy fiction with occasional considerations of literature (in general) and our own reading habits.
I treasure such conversations.
All that said, in a week when I would rather focus on my literary past-times, there are many items in the news worthy of consideration, particularly for a gay conservative blogger. There has been a massacre of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, Hamas and Fatah appear to have reached a pact. “Stuxnet” appears to “have completely paralyzed Iran’s Bushehr Plant.” Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour announced he was withdrawing “from the race for the Republican presidential nomination — after hiring a top-notch New Hampshire campaign manager and planning to fly around the country next week.” Serious pundits call into questions the president’s assertions about taxation the budget. An apparently astroturfed crowd attempts to intimidate a Republican Congressman holding a townhall; he responds in a civil manner. And HRC and other gay groups attempt to deprive their adversaries in a court case of legal representation.
All that said, blogging has not been as fun these past few days as it often can be. But, that is, I guess, the nature of this business. Once you start blogging about something and gain a following, you must needs keep up the flow of words when issues within your blog’s bailiwick come to the fore. When politics on week this this becomes a distraction, reminds us that there is more to life than our ideological affiliation. So, let us hope that we all encounter people like the man I met yesterday at the gym who don’t believe an individual’s identification as a gay Republican — or other other such ostensible oxymorons — means that his interest focus in life is political.