Sunday, October 24, 2010

Existential Lyrics

A friend recently posted a lyric to the recent Shakira song, Gitana, on facebook:

"Yo soy quien elige como equivocarme."

I am the one who decides how to make (my) mistakes.

I actually read it wrong the first time, however. A simple dyslexic error. I read it as:

"Yo so quien elige como evocarme."

I am the one who decides how to evoke myself.

I mentioned this to the friend who posted it, and she responded, "how existential of you!"

Actually, I think both the original lyric and my (mis)read of it are existentially interesting and empowering. I choose my mistakes. I choose how I evoke myself. I choose how I project myself. I choose who I am.

(Aside: This lyric by the way, while it is part of chorus of the Spanish song, is not included in the English version, Gypsy. The songs are not exact translations. And, as with many of Shakira's songs that have been made in two languages, I find the Spanish version much more interesting and poetic.)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

MA Voting Update

Dear state/local election authorities,

I apologize for doubting you. I did in fact end up getting a postcard from my local (city) election commission telling me the election date and where my polling place is located. This is wonderful news.

However, now I ask of you (state/local election authorities), why do you not do this for primary and special elections? Can this please change? Now. It's important. Find a way to fund it. Seriously.



Sunkist Miss

Monday, October 4, 2010

More on Voting in MA

Well, it turns out the situation isn't quite as dire as I thought. It seems that while there is no voter information sent out by the state before either special elections or primary elections (my two local voting experiences so far), they do sent out information before the general election. Of course I still find it highly problematic that voters are given no information in the former two cases.

This voter guide is much less comprehensive than the one in CA -- it focuses exclusively on ballot measures (it does not list candidates who will be on the ballot, even for state-wide offices) -- but it does at least inform voters of the date of the upcoming election, how to get an absentee ballot, and where to get information on where to vote. Neither the voter guide nor any other publication sent to voters (there isn't any that I've seen so far), actually tells voters directly where their polling station is located rather than requiring them to ask. But this is a start.

So, overall I am less appalled than previously, but not satisfied. I want to see MA address its citizens before all elections. Not to do so is unconscionable -- low voter turnout is a major problem with our democracy, particularly in primary and special elections. The state government should at a minimum take responsibility for making sure citizens are informed that an election is upcoming (on such-and-so date) and how to get further information. And I really also want to see direct mail to voters telling them where their polling place is located. Is that so much to ask?