Thursday, March 3, 2011

I'm taking off my West Wing pin.

Art Sparker made this Star Trek badge for my 50th birthday.

"Did I miss something in the thirty years I've known you?" Stefalala asked me on the phone last night. "Did you ever want to be president?"

No, I didn't. My political ambitions are pretty much met by walking down the street to cast my vote every couple years or so.

I felt like a failure after watching 8 episodes of The West Wing (in three days) not because I want to be a success in its story world but because I'd wandered into the wrong story.

We're all living out some story or another, running several story lines at once, really.
The "politics is the only game that matters" story line is not mine. It's my father's, the political scientist, the guy who told me he was disappointed in me.
Well, duh.
No wonder I felt like a failure, entering into a story that shares that pov.

I run a little test sometimes, to see how stories intersect:
I google "_______ + Star Trek."

The only match that showed up when I plugged in "West Wing" was this clip from WW where Josh tells a new White House staffer she can't wear her Star Trek pin to work because Trekkies are not fans, they're fetishists. Aaron Sorkin even manages to insult her gender.

I think he's onto something: The two story worlds don't play well together.

When I watch Star Trek, I feel like engaging in the pursuit of excellence.
When I watch The West Wing, I feel like going into protective hedgehog mode.

The way I see it, it's important to create or claim stories that help us become the heroes of our own real lives, and that help us to listen to one another's stories, without needing to take them on as our own.

So, I feel enfeebled watching WW?
Easy solution: don't watch it.


Rudyinparis said...

I went through a WW phase. It made me feel--I realize this in retrospect--a kind of sympathetic tiredness. Those poor people, never allowed to sleep, always stressed out. I wanted to tuck each and every one of the characters into bed, and put a sandwich on a plate by their bedside for when they woke up.

Fresca said...

Interesting. I see what you mean, but I mostly I just smelled their adrenaline, coming off the ego rush they got from being In Charge of the World.
They wouldn't thank you for rescuing them from that.

Hm. Guess I'd have to say the show pushed my buttons! :)

Anonymous said...

AHhh, Honeys! Buttons, buttons who TF hasn't got 'em!?!

I'm REALLY NOT IN THE MOOD TO BE DEALIN' with cyberspace, but, I had to sneak a quick peek to see if you'd gugeo'd anything new this p. m.--and, once again, I get seduced into eating from your cybertree of knowledge/life. Small pieces of fruit being part of my daily repertoire...

I'll be peppering my mixt metafours-- (like petit fours, but made up of words)--with lots of catholicish ones thanks to Ms. Erdrich having written THE LAST REPORT ON THE MIRACLES AT LITTLE NO HORSE which I can't bear to get my nose out of and which is carrying me off into a bunch of different dreamstates. [Have to finish it before the 14th for the dreaded book group.]
JFC!!! (My homie)-- Who are these people and what are these bad spirit creations we give so much power to that we let their criteria for "validity", "success", "usefulness" degrade our lives and fuckup our senses of who we are in the universe? I tolja I only watched a few snippets or maybe one almost complete episode of WW. I found it annoying and full of lily-livered, super-privileged white folk--(and I mean white in the catholic sense)--who had nothing better to do with their time than further fuck up Our Mother and engage in myriad pissing contests. I wanted to kick their asses to the curb--not feed them chicken soup and tuck them into bed. (I don't, apparently, possess RudyInP's form of compassion for folks who behave this way. However, if in real life they were laying bleeding on the ground somewhere, I would be a Good Samaritan, no questions asked. Cuz that's who I am; I'm always trying to see the connecting bits rather than the alienating ones in a world that usually feels hostile. That part of me I love, even though it has "cost" me a lot in terms of "success".

So, Frescadita-- be your lovable, Twister-playing hedge-hog self and just peek at that scary or disheartening stuff in little bits from between your spikes/under the blankies. Or, ask me over for soup and hard liquor and I'll holjer hand and we can watch big chunks of it and laugh and cry at them scary monsters together. But, more than that, I need to walk with you!

Wear your Trekkie badges with Pride and carry la Revolucion Adelante con tus amigos! Holy Hell on Earth: Has it really been 30 years!?!



Anonymous said...

WW seems like lots of ego ick from the very little I've seen. Better off without it! Speaking of "fetish"---a new Dr. Who arrived from Netflix today... wa-hoo!

bink said...

The above should have read "bink" not anon... as if you couldn't tell...

Emma J said...

amen, amen, amen - I've had to decide my criteria for stories I'm going to imbibe is if they feed the courage more than the fear. Period.

ArtSparker said...

Well, if it makes you feel any better, I've been streaming Hercules The Legendary Journeys on my computer. I LIKE Kevin Sorbo (while sewing). There, I've said it. Also looking forward to rewatching Xena.

Fresca said...

More courage, less fear, as EMMA said.

ARTS: I've never watched Hercules or Xena so have no opinion, but I approve of such things in general (OF COURSE!)