Monday, February 23, 2015


Although it's more than a few months old, which by internet meme standards is closer to decades, I've been chewing on this and its 100-plus comments for the better part of the weekend, and it's provided some clarity as to why I'm wont to criticize my own. If I have one issues, it's that he defines blue and red along lines of class -- which in American politics is correct -- but doesn't factor that into his analysis (though some of the commenters did). I'll get to that in a second, but  for me, a blue (albeit with a noticeable gray streak*) dot in a red state who spends a lot of her time in the indigo world, I'm just as frustrated with the far left as I am the far right. Maybe more so because it's easy for me to dismiss the right as "oh, those wingnuts." Criticizing the ingroup isn't hard because it seems hypocritical not to. Keeping to the margins provides some safety, too.

But I'm willing to entertain that the "blues" aren't my true ingroup, at least according to this definition:
The Blue Tribe is most classically typified by liberal political beliefs, vague agnosticism, supporting gay rights, thinking guns are barbaric, eating arugula, drinking fancy bottled water, driving Priuses, reading lots of books, being highly educated, mocking American football, feeling vaguely like they should like soccer but never really being able to get into it, getting conspicuously upset about sexists and bigots, marrying later, constantly pointing out how much more civilized European countries are than America, and listening to “everything except country”.
I can relate about half of those. I'm openly atheist, supportive of gay rights, read a lot of books (a number of them aren't necessarily blue-approved, though), and unmarried. However, I know quite a few people who own guns, I don't drink fancy bottled water (though I do drink cheap store-brand bottled water but that's only because the pipes in my apartment are a little sketchy), I don't have an environmentally friendly car, grew up with country music, and my grandparents, if they were still alive, probably would have more nuanced views on European-style socialism than your typical college student. In my non-online life, I know a lot of people like me who call themselves liberals, but when political ideology is reduced to a handful of cultural signifiers, I look conspicuously like the outgroup and they mine.