Thursday, September 08, 2005

It turns out I am a little TOO Fair and Balanced

One of the benefits of having an OBGyn rotation in OilTown is that you get to room with two other guys. It has all of the charm of a college dorm room without the annoyances of cleanliness or frequent interpersonal communication. Everybody you room with has to be up at 6am and study until 8:30pm, with occasional microbursts of complaining about the residents and talking about sports. I could write a whole post about me trying to talk about sports in any ‘meaningful’ fashion, but this is not that day. Nor that post.

The biggest plus about this apartment is the cable. I don’t have cable at home. I have four channels: CBS, FOX, UPN, and WB. Therefore my usual choice of entertainment is CSI: [city of population >500,000], When Buildings Explode, You Go Girlfriend, and Blind Date reruns. But now I have 50+ channels to provide background noise while I plug away at soduko puzzles.

This background-noise habit of mine led to an awkward exchange with one of my ‘roomies’ (read: roommate) a few days ago. He left the apartment one evening to pick up some dinner as I sat placidly in the living room reading blogs between bouts of soduko. I didn’t have the gumption to crawl over to the loveseat to grasp the remote and switch the channel from FOXNews to something more satisfying like Futurama or Reno 911. While this may seem silly to most, my laptop becomes a pivot point when it is in my lap and all of my motions are made from an Indian-style position until nature calls or my lap gets too sweaty from the Chernobyl-level heat emanated from my Dell.

The next twenty minutes were an award winning display of ignoring Sheperd Smith’s comparing New Orleans to Hiroshima (yes, he really did that). Soon, Roomie returns and says, “So you’re a good ol’ Southern boy too!”

I looked up and tried to make the connection between reading updates about the new iPod and “Southern boy” status.

Roomie, being connected to me through similar location status, picks up on this and points to the television, “FOXNews.”

After another moment of me pursing my lips and squinting at him, Roomie starts on how much he likes nutty ol’ Shep and his fair and balanced news. I feel uncomfortable that my Southern status test turned up a false positive and I think that I should stop Roomie before he starts telling me Southern boy trade secrets or puts me on any mailing lists.

I stop him with, “I actually just left the TV on the station when you left.” Not knowing better I also add, “I usually watch CNN or MSNBC.”

Roomie looks as though he has just lost a new brother. “Oh. You know, I thought you were a Democrat.” … It all starts making sense: Southern boy = FOXNews watcher = Republican. Likewise: CNN/MSNBC watcher = Democrat = bastard heartbreaker. And from the look on his face I could also figure: Republican > Democrat.

I try to salve his pain by saying that I’m not Democrat or Republican, but rather, I vote only for candidates that I have researched well enough to support. This leaves Roomie in a quandary. Die-hards for either side of the political line work only with absolutes, much like the Sith. Roomie stares at the “Republican Friend” and “Democrat Enemy” tags in his hands and still doesn’t know which to place on my ear.

“Are you Pro-Life or Pro-Choice?” he asks.

I realize that he is not interested in nuance and a deeper conversation about extreme cases. So I decide the best way to diffuse this situation is with a poorly delivered joke. “Neither,” I say, “I’m just Anti-Life.”

“What does that mean?!”

Fie on his literalism! I explain that my answer was a joke on how the names for each side insinuate that the other side are against life or choice. “You know? Pro-Lifers are not against choice and Pro-choicers aren’t against life.”

Roomie’s half nod inform me that I am wrong about both counts. Two minutes of silence pass like an ileus. I cough nervously. O’Reilly cuts off someone’s mic on the TV. I finally awkwardly break the silence once more.

“I’m not really Anti-Life.”

…I don’t remember who switched the TV station to ESPN, but things returned to normal after someone’s helmet flew off during a tackle. Thank God for the simple joys of sports injuries.


Blogger Dr. Charles said...

interesting, glad you think outside the two party box. a friend of mine once said that the pro-choice people should call themselves the "anti-regulated lifers" or something like that. the battle of words is ridiculous.

9:39 PM, September 08, 2005

Blogger Clive Dangerously said...

I am anti-life. I think there should be no more babies at all so that the human race dies off in 80 or so years. Maybe earlier because there will be a fiver or so year period where everyone is elderly and nothing will get done.

6:24 PM, September 11, 2005


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