The following is an unedited screed from your humble Satellite Show administrator. It may not reflect the views of the rest of the staff or myself on any other day. Enjoy!
Like the simulacrum of Ben Franklin in the delightful musical and film, 1776, I try to keep it light. As the song goes, “The things I write are only light extemporania.” I tend not to put politics on paper, as it is, indeed, a mania. However, there is an angle I want to discuss because it concerns me. They keep talking about me and my role in the recent election.
I am the shifting demographic.
I am that long feared Hispanic majority that so shakes the far-right and robber barons, that they hedged their bets and produced a standby half-brown child just in case the demographic shifted before they were all dead. I represent something they fear even more the color, gays, or science. I am the 21st Century.
Hell, that does sound scary, doesn’t it? Imagine a 21st Century were social change is rarely the realm of government and even those who support smaller government and fiscal conservatism can have a voice, because, hey, not everywhere in the US needs the federal level to regulate.
Gasp, what a shocking attitude for a liberal to have.
I also like guns, but claim no rights over what a woman wants to do with her body. None.
I am post-Catholic. I have no allegiance to the Pope and would not give this country to his imagined army of UN observers and Papist fanatics. Growing up with the values of guilt, repression, and, oddly, enough, submission, I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy, let anyone else. The 14 Century ended a long time ago and we are all little countries now. There’s a reason for faith to stay out of the statehouses, it may sustain, but it gets in the way.
Or I could be lying. My civility a mask to lull you into a false sense of security. When the majority comes, I could easily strap on my bandelero, drop my practiced broadcaster accent and announce “¡Revolución!” Maybe I’m here to reclaim California for Mexico because, after all, I am a dirty immigrant, right?
Nope, sorry, the 18th Century ended a long time ago, too and my goals really are no different than anyone else born in this hodgepodge of stolen land, god-fearing, and plain old compromise.
And perhaps this is the hardest thing to accept for someone still living in the 19th Century. Compromise was a good idea. It’s often hard-fought, but the results are worth the effort. It was a good idea worth putting to use as long as one can accept not getting 100% of their way all the time. I suppose that was easiest when the people you had to compromise with all looked the same.
But let’s talk about the thing the hypothetical you might have you the most terrified: turnabout being fair-play. As the representative of the 21st Century shifting demographic, I will not subjugate you. You will not be forced to clean my house or tend my vineyard. You will not be offered scraps for your labors because I am a student of history and I see how well turnabout has worked whenever the poles shift and ancient grudges get in the way. It’s not for me.
What the 21st Century wants is not “it all.” Those stakes are costly and, ultimately, cut into the harvest. We don’t want it “as it was” because it never existed in the first place. Most of us don’t even want the power. It’s not helpful. But we’re tired of vitriol, we’re tired of no compromises, and we’re tired of the notion that anyone not abiding by the same philosophy is, ultimately, subhuman.
Most of all, we want to prepare for the 22nd Century, not the 10th.
I can sympathize with your wish to hold back the clock. I’m not enjoying the slow decrepitude of my body, either. Change is scary, particular when it means the loss of control, power, or the worldview you clung to for so long.
But the demographic has shifted and it’s not just the face of immigrants and former field-hands. It’s more diverse than 19th Century thinking can possibly imagine. It’s younger, broader, gayer, woman-er, than simple old lines on a map or tone of skin. It’s also, at least in the circles I run in, more inclusive. It might even be okay with your local community remaining two centuries behind in social thought if that works for you. We’d still be willing to trade resources.
But you can’t expect the rest of the country to stay there with you. Time, like the demographic, shifts despite your deepest protest.
Or, y’know, I could just be a guy who likes movies that happens to fall into a certain part of your spreadsheet with no real power individually. It’s always possible.
And this is why I avoid politics, it’s all passion in the end. Next week, we return to film studies. In the meantime, enjoy this Justin’s first movie review on the site or Tim’s take on the Sindbad ride at Disney Sea.