Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Agreeing to (ahem) disagree

Biking up Stuart Street at 8:30 this morning, traffic was dead-stopped.  I didn't remember why until I righted onto Charles Street and cruised by an idling bus wrapped in this banner:


But, I remembered that a friend noted on his Facebook page yesterday that he was attending a counter-rally today, also on the Common, that looks more like this:

I'm a fan of free speech and political engagement, but not of the Tea Party as political movement and the resulting irrationality of some involved (i.e. Obama as Hitler, the "Pro-Life, Pro-Gun, Pro-God Veteran. A Right-Wing Extremist Who Won't Apologize" signage). Not a fan of Palin, particularly. 

But even if I was, I was overcome by the brilliant creativity of this tea party's approach.  Folks taking back the definition.  Embracing the tenets of "good tea, good food, beautiful clothing, beautiful china and linens, and inoffensiveness," to wit:

"My ideal would be for the press to come up to interview people about their opinions on tax policies and health care, and have responses such as, "Oh, dear, isn't that a rather personal question?" and, "Really, I prefer not to discuss politics over tea. Would you care for a cup?"
Maybe I've just been reading too many of Joan Didion's late-1960's essays about San Francisco lately, but I love this.  Not exactly putting daisies in gun barrels, but not yelling obscenities.

It's a moment where I remember that I live in a scarily interesting city and am glad to do so.

I have a friend who is politically in the same camp as me, and yesterday we e-mailed about this series of protests and counterprotests.  He had posted the polite link to his Facebook page, attaching it to a comment about "teabagging."  Which, he said:  "resulted in several Obamahaters taking offense at the use of the term followed by various quotes of gandhi and our founding fathers ...

Him: in a rare move i deleted and reposted the link saying "For those of you attending this week's Tea Party" as i decided its funnier on its own
Me: You're facebook friends with Obamahaters?
Him: i have friends of all shapes and sizes - makes it more fun
Also, at some point, this:
Him: there have to be people we disagree with otherwise we'll die of boredom
Of course.

It's a Wednesday morning in April.  The magnolia trees are blooming. The sun shines.  Helicopters are circling the park.  Tea of all kinds is being either drunk or listed on tagboard signs or symbolically dumped in the harbor. 

It's a good day to disagree in Boston.


veggiegal said...

Ha! Lovely! Thanks for posting this!! I love the idea of a counter protest in the form of an actual tea party, what a brilliant idea :) And now, I am going to make myself a delicious cup of tea - feels just right somehow :)

kevin cassidy • kazz[blog] said...

your teabagging friend is very wise