Pumpkin Cake and (more) Politics

Oh the cake! She is sitting heavy in my belly! Tonight, James decided to test the new fancy mixer out on the old tried and true Delicious Pumpkin Cake Recipe. The mixing, however, was not quite right and the cake exploded into fantastic flabby puddles of mess. A little bit crunchy on the outside, a little bit undone in the middle. But we ate some anyway. With whipped cream and a glass of milk on the side. We should not have done that, but we hated to see all those pumpkin-y ingredients go to waste. Something went wrong. So we consider this a test run for the Thanksgiving feast, and we will make sure to mix it better the next time, and add the pumpkin and the eggs in the right order, too, just in case that’s what caused the baking mishap.

Onto my next point, though. With the politics. Last night, I went to dinner with a few friends. One of these friends is significantly older than myself and the other, but she never makes an issue out of it, and treats us as equals, which is awesome. We ended up having a political discussion, though, and usually, when I get into these sorts of things, my husband notices when my eyes start to glaze over, which is when he tastefully attempts to change the subject. Unfortunately, though, he was not there last night to offer such courtesies. So. Politics.

Now, what bothered me about this discussion, because it wasn’t a debate, was not the fact that I had no clue as to who or what was being talked about, probably since most of it took place before I was born. In fact, I am very used to knowing little to nothing about these sorts of things, which is why my eyes tend to get that glassy look after about 10-20 minutes or so. No, it wasn’t that. What bothered me was the generation talk. It wasn’t that I was offended to be lumped into a generation that feels entitled to what it has, because to some extent, that’s true, we don’t have to fight for big things like the right to vote or get abortions. Someone has already fought those battles for us. I for one, am grateful for that, and yes, perhaps I even sometimes take it for granted. Fighting for major change is not easy. And people tend to get pissed off and kill each other over it. The thing that bothered me, which I couldn’t quite put my finger on until today, was how Pam said how there were so many big issues that our generation should/could be fighting for, but no real “movement” to define us.

The reason it bothered me is not because we aren’t fighting. There are folks in my generation who are trying to get behind various movements, and trying to fight for change. That’s cool. More power to them. The thing is, what we would need to do is focus on ONE of these big issues, make it THE movement of the generation, and then maybe, MAYBE we would see a significant change. But it can’t all be done at once. We are diluting our energy, spreading ourselves too thin, trying to take on too many issues at once. That’s why we don’t have a “movement” defining our generation. We have too many. AIDS, Cancer research, Gay Rights, Poverty, Obesity, War, Social Security, Technology, Reproductive Rights (yeah, there’s still stuff to work on there), and I’m sure there are others I forget at the moment. We’re a generation on Television. We have a short attention span. We have issue ADD.

It’s sort of like when I am trying to read poetry but thinking about my own writing, the laundry, the grocery list, the next week’s schedule, something that my mom said the other day and who knows what else all in the span of one stanza, which I’ll have to read at least twice over. Will we as a generation ever be able to focus enough to finish something, or at least get it on its way? I’ll let you know when I finish reading a poem that goes more than a page without thinking of work, or my shoes, or the lyrics to that song that’s playing, or my fingernails, or the weather, with the leaves and the sun and the wind or whatever… Wait, what was I saying?

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2 thoughts on “Pumpkin Cake and (more) Politics

  1. Willow says:

    I don’t think we as a generation are going to do Issues, I think we’re going to do God. Have you noticed how all our friends are getting married young and going back to church/synagogue/temple/mosque? I think it’s a telling trend…

  2. Hm, you know, I’ve always thought that the reason that we don’t have a CAUSE is that we see on thing that needs to be changed, but then see another and another and another and need to change it. Not because we have issue ADD, but because we were raised to think that we could have and do everything all at once and that it should happen RIGHT NOW.

    It’s one of the drawbacks of being “open minded”. We are ok with everything and with nothing at the same time.

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