Monday, 7 January 2008

The Elect(ion) & the Damned

Nothing doing here ´cept a grey drizzly day and dogs scratching scratching scratching at the door to be let in. I don´t blame them, as the fire is very nice and there´s Brahms playing on the box. But the dogs are making it hard for me to breathe, and somehow I managed to leave all my breathing inhaler thingies at the other house.

...And they ARE dogs, after all. Let em be cast into the outer darkness for a while.

We didn´t win the big El Niño lottery, even though we bought a ticket! I wonder if my bud in Salamanca won. (the author at www.wandering_woman. She said she could feel it in her bones. But she must have the same kind of bones I do.

But speaking of trying your luck: I am encouraged by what´s going on in the caucuses in Iowa and New Hampshire. Today I downloaded the forms to apply for USA absentee voting ballots, as this is one election I don´t want to miss! (I´m a legal resident in Spain, but for the next 9 years, at least, I´m still a USA citizen.)

I know they don´t count the absentee votes til WAY after the decision is made, but what the hey. I´ve always gotten a real kick out of voting. And after the mayhem and monkey business that have plagued elections all over the world in recent years, it´s all the more important for people of good will to cast a ballot. Otherwise, the terrorists really do win. One way or another.

¨The sleep of reason brings forth monsters,¨ indeed.

Another interesting thing about watching the elections from the opposite side of the planet is the news coverage thereof. The USA political process is quite heavily and comprehensively covered here in the national press... sometimes even better than the job done in American papers! People in the café will sometimes ask me about the voters in my home district, and when my primary is, and which parties hold the majority there, etc. Intelligent questions. I have to think really hard to remember the answers! But I wonder how many citizens from anywhere can answer simple questions about local political matters that ought to be more important to us. (not to mention the challenges of answering them in Spanish! Another vino tinto here, please!) I think it´s easier just to adopt a cynical attitude, to not bother, or stop caring. Not caring translates to too many people not voting, or too many not voting responsibly. Which gets us into the kind of mess we´re now living through.

It´s not as if America is at the center of Spanish media, though. They cover elections in England and France and Germany and Russia and Turkey very thoroughly too. The papers here are just a lot more international than even the "America´s Great Newspapers" I used to work for.

All that said, I gotta tell ya: One of the most wonderful things about this election is I DON´T HAVE TO COVER IT!!! (God how I grew to DESPISE covering elections!)

All that makes me feel a lot better about life and drizzle and breathing. Maybe now I will let the dogs come inside, and put an end to this weeping, wailing, and teeth-gnashing.

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