Friday, November 12

The Backlash Against the Backlash

There has been a fair amount of complaining lately in the knitting blogosphere that people are getting too political, and that the anger and sadness and opinion being expessed about the election and the state of the US is inappropriate and unbecoming.

To quote Teresa Nielsen Hayen's brilliant post, Grieving Process "Oh, malarkey."

This post is just so right, so apt, that I have to do more than link it. Here's what I'm talking about.

I’m entirely out of patience with Americans whose whimpering plaint is that we Democrats brought this on ourselves because it hurt their feelings when we acted like we think they’re stupid.

To this I say: Oh, malarkey.

First response: Grow up. If they’re that big on self-esteem issues, let them go volunteer as helpers at their local elementary school, where it’ll do some good. It’s faintly nauseating to hear so many supposed adults whine.

Second: Bullshit. For the last ten or fifteen years, I’ve listened as Democrats, liberals, the French, and other groups have been treated to sneers, calumny, loutish bullying, and unashamed lies by the right. It’s been a terrible burden to the spirit, and has brought public discourse in America to hitherto unheard-of lows of infamy. Where was all this sensitivity, when that was going on? If they could bear years and years of hearing that thrown at others, with never a protest or reproof at its callous ugliness, they can surely bear up under a breath of implication that they’ve made a singularly disastrous decision.

Third, I say bullshit and malarkey again. They weren’t upset about the Democrats acting like we thought they were stupid before the election took place. It wasn’t an issue back then.

You know what’s really happening? They’re seeing our reactions, and they’re scared. It’s like that moment where someone tells you what they’ve done, and it’s disastrously wrong, a complete catastrophe; only they haven’t understood that until now, when they see you stagger and turn pale at the news. And as you’re standing there steadying yourself, feeling your heart pounding and a terrible weight descending on your shoulders … you realize that the other person is preemptively yelling at you. They still don’t quite know what’s happened, but they can tell they’ve screwed up big time, so they’re screaming that they certainly hope you aren’t going to pretend that this could somehow have been their fault, because …

They can tell we’re not just acting like we’ve lost an election. They know that politically, they haven’t been acting like responsible grownups. So now, their reaction is to raise and sharpen their voices, and say they certainly hope we aren’t going to pretend that this could somehow have been their fault …

Well, yes. It is. They’ve been stupid and self-indulgent and irresponsible. Not having to pay attention to what’s happening around you is the most expensive luxury there is; and they just went to the ballot box and wrote a blank check to cover it.

The truth of this is just staggering.

Like I said before, this isn't simply a knitting blog, so I don't feel like I have to back down from my bitching. You come here, you get the whole package. Frankly, I'm so concerned with boring the pants off of those who might not be interested in the endless knitting minutae that I may soon move over to typepad so I can have categories. But I don't think that any of the brilliant crafters who have been publicly grieving these past weeks should apologize for anything.

"Remind them that they are the creatures who knit the wool, not the creatures who grow it on their backs." -Barbara Walker to Elizabeth Zimmerman, 1971


Anonymous said...

You keep it up, Cate. It's really no problem to scroll through the knitting content to get the political (although, frankly- whose day isn't brightened by some lovely pictures of FOs?) and vice versa. I personally, welcome both, and I loved the link to the Grieving Process.

Susan Ryan-Vollmar said...

I love this blog and the combo of knitting stuff/mom stuff/politico stuff. I can only really relate to the latter two as I couldn't knit my way out of a paper bag, but I enjoy it nonetheless. And you're pretty clear in how this is set up that the blog is here for whatever you want to write about.

Jenifer said...

mamacate rules as a mama/knitter/thinker! Don't stop doing any of those things (and I'm sure you do much more, too)!

Anonymous said...

Don't g

Anonymous said...

Don't go changing...

Your blog reflects you.No apologies needed.Ever.



trackingprojectbackpack said...

No shit. I mean if someone finds a political rant so offensive on a knitting blog then DON"T READ IT. It's not rocket science people. Until we turn into balls of yarn and assorted needles and notions I don't think our blogs need to be all knitting all the time.

lynn from

Anonymous said...

OMG, I am loving your subtitle more than anything. It is just plain DIVISIVE. :-D (Yes, look up the spelling you random commenter.) I also for the first time saw your VP debate graphic you posted way back in October. HILARIOUS. I sent it to my daughter, who will LOVE it. And yes, MALARKEY. Blog on! And I will too.

Anonymous said...

It should be that blogs are always "the whole package". I'm glad you're committed to being yourself.
Don't go changin'.

Happy Birthday!

(Yarn Harlot)

Holly said...

I'm fairly new to the world of blogging and the funniest thing is the tickle I got yesterday as I read through a few blogs and noted, not just the highly intellectual level of discourse, but the highly political nature of knitters as well. Your quote says it all and I'm planning to post it on my wall as a reminder to read the paper and use the voice I'm gifted with as a citizen of this bruised country. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Dudette, have you read yet? Screw the hicks. Keep knitting, keep bitching. Let 'em all rot in Walmart hell.