Well, it’s been a while. I knew it would be harder to update this after I started my internship with USAID, but I’m really gonna try for a once a week thing.
So, this evening, I was blessed with the opportunity and honor to witness a debate at my school between the always classy Ann Coulter and t
hat other guy I’m not nearly as interested in Lawrence O’Donnell. Now, last year I saw Ann Coulter speak to a room full of mostly Republicans, so I knew that today she wouldn’t be facing as many supporters. Needless to say, she spoke a lot of nonsense (which is what I was hoping for), and a lot of booing was involved. This is what my face looked like for a large portion of her time talking:
I attempted to take down as many quotes as possible throughout the debate on my phone, and thought I’d share a few of the highlights of the night:
- The Moderator immediately brought up Rush Limbaugh’s comments about the Georgetown law student being a “prostitute” and a “slut” for her contraception beliefs. A Republican spectator cheered at those words, and most of the audience booed him. This was literally within 5 seconds of starting.
- On whether insurance should cover contraception, Ann uttered: “insurance is supposed to be for unexpected disaster.” Um…so what about check-ups, lady? Are people not supposed to check to see if they have cancer until they’re half-dead? Yikes.
- Ann says that Occupy Wall Street participants are “pro-Mao.” I laughed out loud at that one!
- Here comes my favorite part of the night. The Moderator asked for comments on the voting and drinking age. According to Ann, people should not be allowed to vote until we are able to pay for our own health insurance or until we are 26. And women shouldn’t be allowed to vote AT ALL!! Women are why the Republicans lost all the elections (supposedly). She said, “If the rest of my gender didn’t vote I wouldn’t miss it at all.” Then came my favorite moment. The audience booed her after her voting comments, and the Moderator asked her to respond to it. “Why, because people who shouldn’t have the vote are booing me?” Good lord, woman. You are just insane if you think you can get away with saying that at The George Washington University.
So yeah. I didn’t really pay attention to that other guy in the debate. Whatever. Bitches be crazy.
Now, onto a completely unrelated topic. As I mentioned in my last post, I am in the process of applying to study abroad programs in Ghana and Uganda. Shockingly, my parents, especially my mother, are not pleased with this. They are convinced that I will be taken hostage by some crazy pirate and killed. Ummm…so why did you let me go to Africa like 8 months ago?! Is Botswana and South Africa way safer than Ghana and Uganda? (Well…Uganda is probably not the safest place for me. Since there’s this whole “Kill the Gays” law they’re trying to pass. Wowzers.)
Anyway, after I told my mother that I’m not afraid of being killed while in Africa, that I don’t believe that will happen, she said to me, “That’s because you don’t value your life.” I haven’t been able to get those words out of my head. I was/am so completely offended, shocked and just hurt by those words. Is that really what she thinks of me? More unsettling has been the more recent thought, What if she’s right? Is she right?? Do I really not value my existence?
That can’t be true. Otherwise, why would I bother going to class, caring about my grades, going to my internship, looking both ways before I cross the street? There is so much that I look forward to, like getting an actual job, traveling the world,
owning a bulldog maybe even falling in love. I’m always thinking ahead, and I really don’t think that’s what people who don’t value their life spend time doing.
Now, do I have this insane fear of death just from traveling to another country that might not offer all the safety and wonderful shiz that America has? No. I don’t. I am not going to avoid traveling and working somewhere just because I’m white, American, and gay. I am not going to generalize about populations and cultures. There are good people and bad people anywhere in the world, in any society and community. There is no such thing as a “bad country” and a “good country.” There are psychos in every country. Might I have to be a little more cautious in Africa? Perhaps.
When it comes down to it, I’m a really big believer in the world not being black and white. I don’t hate a lot of things, but generalizations are definitely on that list. Like people who hate all Republicans or all Democrats. Or people who think Israel is evil or Palestine is evil. The way I see it, there’s pretty crappy people on both sides. But also some pretty great people.
Things I do fear? Climbing, and subsequently, falling. I am not the most coordinated individual (evidenced by my trip into the river and fall down a tree in the span of 24 hours in Africa). This is why I avoid climbing any kind of mountain. There’s a lot of anxiety, a lot of thinking that at any moment I’m just gonna slip and barrel down this rock formation of death. How I managed to survive all the climbing in Africa amazes me. Wearing my hiking boots probably helped (unlike in Peru when I decided that sneakers would be great hiking footwear. Down the mountain I went!!)
So no. I do value my life. I think I just need to explain to my mother that I’m studying international development, that going to these “dangerous” places is what I want to be doing, and probably will be doing for years to come. But the fact that I’m spending so much time thinking about it makes me wonder if I don’t fully believe it.
Maybe I don’t value my life enough. Maybe I spend too much time caring about what part of the world I’ll be visiting next, or what future job I’m going to have, or when whatever assignment is due, and don’t spend enough time caring about my life today. I think about my personal life today and…Lord. There really isn’t one. I make no effort to forge relationships with people, even in those rare times when I come across amazing people whom I would love to be close with. When it comes down to it, I just don’t know how to start friendships. Not sure what that’s symptomatic of, but it’s probably not anything pleasant. There’s one person I would to just
text go up to and say “Hey! Let’s get coffee sometime when we’re both not too busy!” But, I just can’t. I know I’m going to look back and regret not having those 10 seconds of bravery. I have a list of excuses that include “Well, I’m going to be in Africa in the Fall so what’s the point of starting a friendship now?” Or “Well, he’s got like 9,000 friends in his life already who also think he’s great, so why would he even want another one?” I think I just don’t want to admit out loud that the real reason I don’t try is because I don’t think I have much to offer.
Do I value my life? Yes. My future life. That (hopeful) time when I won’t be in the way of myself. My present life is what I need to start caring about more.
Well, if you made it through this “drivel,” your reward is this beautiful clip of Alicia Keys singing “Prelude To A Kiss” in Africa. Acapella is my favorite.