First, there's this dispute on Alex's blog. I'm nothing if not thorough. Here's what I think about laundry:
"While it annoys me that people leave crap in dryers/washers too long, it seems to be a problem that's not confined to members of either sex exclusively. Guys and girls here seem to be pretty equally inconsiderate. I generally just take their stuff out, fold it, and put it on top of whichever machine it came out of or (here in the dorm) on top of the upright washer on the end. I could be inconsiderate and throw their stuff around, but then again, I'm one of those people who takes up four-plus washers/dryers at a time myself, so I figure that a little courtesy goes a long way. Perhaps if I'm nice to their stuff, they'll think twice about messing around with mine. (Not that they know it's mine, which is why I've really gotta question the idea that people can actually tell that one person is taking up more than one dryer—how could you possibly tell?—but nonetheless, perhaps people will figure out that that's the thing to do.)
As for touching other people's laundry, 1. if I'm touching it, it's been washed, 2. if it's been washed it's probably clean, and 3. someday I'll most likely have to do family members' laundry when I have a family of my own, at least until the kids are old enough to do their own laundry, hence I think this squeamishness is really rather misplaced. I personally tend to think that a lot of our promiscuous friends here are probably more diseased than the general population, but nonetheless, laundry is laundry.
As for the selfishness of taking up four dryers with four loads of laundry, that's actually pretty necessary around here, as the dryers aren't terribly efficient. You oughta know that. If I'm willing to spend the money to wash and dry four separate loads of clothing at once, I think I'm entitled to the time and space."
Next, here's the recent dispute with Ben on darkmachina's blog. For the lazy (and for the record), here's my pseudo-conservative apologetic:
"Well, OK, as I noted, perhaps we don't want it exactly like it was then, but you've got to see that being able to believe in things and have some sort of faith in something may well be better than what we've got now, neh? While sure, it seems like we're more open about 'scandalous' things these days, there's still a good bit that's not uncovered even now, so in that respect I really don't think we can say things are that much better currently than they were 'back then.' People are still oppressed all over the world, so apparently the things we're championing as 'enlightened'—our rampant commercialization and secularization, Big Business, and whatnot—aren't necessarily the answer to things, either. In the grand scheme of things we're now seeing a lot of disaffected, disillusioned people in this country. Faith and ideals are subjugated to the mores of pop culture and Janet Jackson's breast.
Anyway, it's not possible right now, as far as I can see, to actually return to the sort of time where, as you say, anyone who wasn't a WASP was persecuted along with blacks/minorities/women. I'm pretty sure we're not going back to that, as there are a lot of forces in this society fighting against getting to anywhere that remotely resembles that. What we're talking about is, I believe (correct me if I'm wrong, DM), the fact that even using the word 'morals' today can be enough to get you laughed out of a news conference—or perhaps the fact that there are news conferences in the first place, where before you'd have face-to-face interviews. Where perhaps before there was once too much innocence, too much blind faith placed in certain 'inexorable' truths, today we have too little innocence and too little faith in things working out. Being allowed to question things, have different hair styles, etc. is a great thing, but I think we can preserve that freedom of thought without this massive bulldozing of culture that's taking place.
Oh, and as for using Hitler as an example, yeah, that's dramatic and all, but the man was essentially an anomaly. While lots of people talk about so-and-so being 'just like Hitler,' that's really an out-of-hand comparison. His talk of going back to "the old times" was a call to German sentimentality, a form of insidious propaganda. Perhaps he wanted a return to the 'old ways,' but his tech-savvy regime wasn't exactly running for the highlands. Now, the part of the comparison that's at all valid is that yes, the U.S. used similar propaganda to call citizens to 'fulfill their duty' and trust the government. Nonetheless, I don't think I'd mind living in a time where I could at least feel sure of something, rather than having the rug pulled out from under my feet by the continually jabbing media and the wool pulled over my eyes by a government that insists it's being honest. The government today is probably far less honest than the governments of yesteryear, only it has new ways of manipulating the media into believing that it's telling the unadulterated truth. Whichever regime we're under, we're still being manipulated.
I'd just like to be able to believe in something without being laughed at and called a fundamentalist. I'd like the government to stop lying. I'd like to be able to make my way in the world without fighting ridiculous, complicated tax codes. I'd like Big Business to stop imposing its will upon me. I'd like a lot of things, but of those things, only the first one is at all likely at this point. What I'd like is a return to some of the simplicity of life. I'd like to be able to disappear and live somewhere in the middle of nowhere (not that I'm going to, but I like the idea of it) without a zip code or post office or news being piped into my house. I like the idea of learning a trade and being able to take an assumed name if I want. These things could only happen, though, in a society that gives the government those few rights which belong to the government and renders everything else unto the citizens."
That's it for now. I think I win. I'm getting good at decimating all possible arguments with the least words possible, if I do say so myself...
Does anyone know what the hell Josh meant in his letter to the editor today with the sentence, "I seriously doubt that the conversational climate surrounding one's sexual intimacy doesn't get any less chilly as we all get older." Triple negatives, anyone?