We tend to surround ourselves with like-minded thinkers; people who understand, if not agree with our politics, our, as Ignatius J. Reilly would say, “world view”, and our humour. By and large. We have small differences here and there, but for the most part the lion, it is said, does not lay with the lamb. There are a few exceptions to this rule in every social circle, including my own.
So I guess I just don’t understand, on a very basic level, why right wing-nuts seem to think it’s at all insulting to call me (and many of my peeps) ‘granola’, or ‘earth muffin’, or ‘crunchy’. They seem to toss these epithets around like a bunch of jocks coming up with new and crueller ways of insulting fat kids, ugly girls, and geeks. But here’s the difference, at least for me: they’re right.
I *do* eat (and make!) granola. And it’s very good granola! I *am* an earth muffin! I define “earth muffin” as “someone who cares about the future of this planet; someone who believes that human activity has an effect on every ecosystem on this planet; someone who believes that it’s a good idea to continue to study alternate (and additional) forms of energy generation; someone who believes in reducing our dependence on non-renewable resources; someone who believes in conservation of habitat and of species; someone who believes in healing rather than treating symptoms”. And ‘crunchy’? I’m ABSOLUTELY crunchy. That’s because I have bones. Everything with bones is crunchy. And if you think about it, what’s the opposite of crunchy? Smooshy. Marshmallowy. Soft.
I am *perfectly happy* being crunchy, thank you very much.
I am a card-carrying socialist. The leftmost party in this country is not left enough for me. Political leftism scares the shit out of right wing-nuts because they (the right wing-nuts) think socialists want to take all their money and give it away to poor people. And, really, *they’re right*. We don’t mind being accused of the truth. But we go further than that. It’s a complete ruse that socialists are in favour of huge governments and bureaucracies. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find a card-carrying socialist who’s all “oooh! Yeah! We need MORE PEOPLE RUNNING THINGS!” What we want is co-operative management of the economy. We want to actually have impact into how governments spend money and how they budget.
In a truly socialist economy, everyone would work for the common good. What’s the common good? Look at a very small scale example. You live in a family, or in a communal house with roommates. If everyone does their share of chores; if everyone shares equitably, by way of bills, groceries, etc., everyone benefits and no one does more than their share. In families, we take care of the very young and the very old, of the infirm and of the ill. All socialists are saying is that we’re all family. All of us. Every human on earth is part of the same family.
I’m not entirely certain why people are so concerned about their money and their stuff. Most folks work their arses off to get more money to get more things. But to what end? To have more things? To leave more things to your kids when you die? At the end of it all, are you going to look back on your life and regret not having had more things, or are you going to look back and regret not spending more time doing the things you love with the people you love? I fundamentally don’t understand people who’d agree with the first part.
And that’s why it’s not an insult to call me ‘crunchy’ or ‘earth muffin’ or ‘birkenstock-wearing’ (I do wear Birks, although I prefer going barefoot), or ‘tree-hugging’ (I only hug trees when I’m *very* drunk), or ‘long-haired’ (I do have long hair, and I don’t shave), or ‘unwashed’ (it’s mean, but it’s also untrue. I wash frequently. With hand-made soap.). It’s hilarious to hear folks use ‘socialist’ or ‘left-wing-nut’ as if they were insults.