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September 06, 2008

Who are you voting for, token white male?

September 5. Day 67.

Oh my. This is the last sentence I wrote:

"I turn to Claudine Ghiacchetti's analysis here, best explains this lines."


I've been working on this chapter all summer, but of course it comes down to the week before I take off when I actually hammer it all out. It's 2:39, and I still have a few hours to go before tihs section is coherent.

It will all be worth it, in the long run: write this chapter. Write one more. Convince adviser to cut final chapter. Graduate in the spring. Earn six figure salary. Get a dachshund.

Sadly, I don't think that's going to happen. Today I was reminded why: I started chatting with a guy sharing my table at Rebecca's and I told him I 'm a grad student and he looked at me suspiciously. "You're not doing a dissertation in business, are you?"

"No, I'll be very poor after I graduate. Even poorer than I am now. That's a hint."


"Worse. French."

There you have it: my dissertation is in French literature. Nineteenth century French literature. I didn't get into these details so far, because who'd want to read them? But now that I've started blabbing, and my critical faculties aren't all intact, I'll just leave my confession here. (And what an ideal mental state for writing a dense academic study, no?)

So, I can sense you're tapping your feet. What on earth did I ask for?

I was sitting in Rebecca's, listening to jazz and feeling a little random and gutsy. So I went up to a guy reading by himself in a corner. He was reading The Crying of Lot 49, and I told him it's a great book (hated it), just so he'd loosen up. Then, I asked.

"Who are you voting for?" Before he could answer, I explained that I was curious what he, as a token white male, my words exactly, thought of choosing between a black male and a white female. I cited a WSJ article I'd read (subscription only, or I'd post the link - sorry!), which said that middle class white men are feeling disoriented and turned off the political process because they can't identify with either of the democratic candidates -- abck when Hillary was still running. When I read that story, I had to laugh. Can't identify with the candidates? Welcome to how the rest of America has felt since 1789 (our first presidential election)! Actually, only white males could vote back then, so make that 1920, when both women and blacks joined the fray.

Jeff, my adorable TWM, told me he makes his decisions based on policy and ideology, not demographics, and then said that my question stressed him out so much that he's going to abstain from voting.

Gained: a break from my dissertation!!!
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