Ask Auntie Establishment

Election '04
Dear Auntie:

It's only the beginning of March and I'm already sick of hearing about the election. Everywhere I turn, it's Kerry or Bush. And I don't hear anyone talking about the things I have to deal with on a daily basis: traffic, health care, loan repayments and smog, to name just a few. Whenever I turn on the television, I get a stomachache. How am I going to make it to November?

Overloaded in Orange County

My Dear Sensitive Friend:
First step is to unplug your television. Possibly this is a good time to donate it to some worthy cause. You are not going to learn anything there anyway and the stomachaches have got to go. Ditto your mainstream newspaper subscriptions (or just keep the lifestyle and the comics sections). You can check back in with mainstream election news on October 31. Second step is to find books and magazines that cover the things you do care about. Grist Magazine and Yes! are two publications that might be up your hopefully unpolluted alley. And a meaty novel or nonfiction book is the best antidote to the whining buzz of TV and daily news coverage. Oh, and have you looked into alternative transportation in your area?

Dear Auntie E:

Is sex still political? It used to be, in the '60s and '70s, and then it sort of seemed like it wasn't again. Now, with sodomy ok'd by the Supreme Court, another wave of anti-abortion legislation passing Congress, Bush and the FDA refusing to approve over-the-counter emergency contraception, and everyone up and getting hitched in San Francisco, it seems like maybe it is again. Do I have it right? And, if so, what should my position be (literally and politically)?

Looking for Direction in Iowa

My Directionless Dear:
Sex has always been and likely always will be political; it's just that sexual politics occasionally goes underground (like in the '90s) and then resurface. Auntie's favorite position is: As long as it's legal in San Francisco, it's something you should do if you'd like. Should you put your sexual politics on parade? That's a personal decision. Many activists are fighting for the day when your sexuality will be nobody's business but your own. In the meantime, you may have to make a stand -- with your vote, and perhaps with your body, in protest -- if you want to keep the sexual freedoms you have come to enjoy.

Dear Auntie Establishment:

I feel so completely out of step with the rest of the country. I don't care who won the Oscars; I voted for John Edwards in the primary and really thought he would have made the best president; I didn't watch a single episode of Friends; and when I read about how the majority of Americans support the death penalty, oppose gay marriage and are more interested in J Lo than in Haiti, I feel like I must either be crazy or in the wrong place. My girlfriend says I take everything "too seriously." Is that the problem? Do I need a new girlfriend, an anti-depressant, a vacation, or what?

Cheerless in Chicago

Dearest Dour One:
Auntie doubts you're as alone or out of step as you think. There are plenty of people, and plenty of them in your very town, who feel as you do -- if not about everything, then at least about some of the things you care about. Surely there are groups in your area working on the issues closest to your heart; why not drop in at a meeting? Or peruse the personal ads in Z Magazine and The Nation to find like-minded friends.

May your Auntie also gently suggest that having fun and caring about the absolutely heartbreaking situation in Haiti are not incompatible. In fact, finding the little things that give you pleasure from day to day (be it chocolate or even, yes, an episode of Friends) sometimes makes it easier to deal with the myriad personal, national and international troubles that surround you. On the basis of a single "too serious" comment, Auntie cannot in good conscience recommend getting another girlfriend quite yet, but she does suggest that the two of you find some common ground, whether it's politics, having fun, or both.

Politically confused? Write to your Auntie for help: Missed last week's Auntie? Find her columns in the archives.

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ }}
@2022 - AlterNet Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. - "Poynter" fonts provided by