Wednesday, November 05, 2008

One Comment, One Promise

When I was writing my humor column for the student newspaper up at USU, there were a number of times I was tempted to take a stance on a serious political issue. When you're a white conservative Mormon getting a master's degree in the humanities, you encounter them often.

But every time I felt that temptation, I eventually set it aside. Not because I was afraid to speak my mind, but because I realized that partisan political commentary was not my role. My column was a respite from that battle, not a participant. When you live in a world that is saturated with bitter vitriol over all sorts of important political and social issues, you can feel burned out. You need a break. So in the same way that pulling out one of my old Far Side galleries used to help me re-set my internal perspective meter with a little well-needed humor, I wanted my columns to provide that necessary escape for my readers. Obviously they would be a vehicle for social commentary, but I wanted them to be a vehicle that welcomed both sides, and offered criticism in a way that would remind people that we're really all in the same boat.

Four years later, as I spend nine or ten hours a day saturated in the world of the news media, I feel the same way. I realize that I may only have a few readers, and I realize that the social responsibility of some generic Google blog is painfully small, but I still need that respite, and I think my few readers do too. I'm also thinking that this blog hasn't been very funny lately--probably because it's reflecting my current status in life--and diving into politics isn't going to help that much.

So instead of go into a lot of detail over what's happening in the world of politics right now, instead of getting elated over the historic nature of this week's election--or the apprehension that is the other side of the coin--I just want to make one comment about my own experience this week, and then promise to reassert myself in the task of making you laugh.

Here it is:

This is probably the first presidential election I can remember where I have honestly felt like the outcome was going to make a direct impact on my future.

Maybe that means I'm finally growing up.

If that's true, I fully intend to retain my sense of humor. And whether you're on the right, the left, or a part of the vast confused sea of "undecideds" in the middle, I think you can agree that we're all going to need it.