Monday, November 06, 2006

Those Darn Insurgents

On Friday evening I caught an All Things Considered piece on the war and the election. It profiled Minnesota’s First Congressional District - my home district and where my parents vote - which covers the entire swath of southern Minnesota.

You can hear the whole story here. It runs a little over eight minutes, but you gotta at least listen to the part where Michele Norris talks with Pat Scoggin, a resident of a Rochester retirement home.


Okay, if you can’t or don’t want to listen, Ms. Scoggin closes her interview by saying, “But I don’t like so many people being killed over there, it’s just terrible. And I just wish they could get rid of those darn insurgents.”

When I heard this, I laughed out loud.

Not because Pat’s sentiment is ridiculous (even though it sounds a little ridiculous), but because Pat could be channeling my mother. The accent, the inflection, the simplicity of opinion - it was like my mother had joined me in the car.

Let me defend Pat for a minute. I’m sure she had a variety of ideas on why the social and political climate in Iraq fosters an insurgency and what factors need to come into play for violence to end. We just didn’t hear them. Or maybe not, but for a Minnesotan woman of a certain age, “that darn” anything is about as colorful as language gets. Those are strong sentiments you hear Ms. Scoggin uttering.

What I’m trying to highlight is that, if you’ve got a limited number of expletive options in your arsenal, you have to use what you’ve got. “Those darn insurgents” is the Little Old Minnesotan Lady equivalent of “those goddamned cocksucking douchefuckers.”

This is also my way of telling you that I’m so preoccupied by tomorrow’s outcome, I find it difficult to concentrate. Ordinarily I’d say that elections don’t change my life that much, but this one could profoundly impact my world. I'd ask you to keep your fingers crossed for me, but I'm actually not sure which result is better.


Kemp said...

I hear ya... this mid-term election is killing me. I'm so in-tuned with what's going on that I'm finding it hard to do anything else.

I imagine doing what you do and where you do it would make it worse.

Though I assume you also could be directly effected by tomorrow's outcome as well.

Em said...

Imagine living in a district where you can vote against Tom Reynolds and he is still in a statistical dead heat with the Democrat, and people are so staunchly Republican that yard signs supporting him abound, and the Foley story has died. It just went away!

I feel so outnumbered.

Mom at Work said...

Fingers crossed for the nation. Driving the train is much better than riding the caboose.

Also, every comment I've made this morning I have had to enter the words several times. I hope I didn't screw up my ballot like this.

stefanierj said...

Utahans are similarly restrained in terms of profanity: I have heard "Oh my HECK" so many times that it's not even funny anymore.

I voted Saturday, and I feel like I've been on pincushions ever since to GET RESULTS. Am I the only dork ready to pop popcorn and stay up all night?

Heather said...

I heard that same bit and laughed out loud at the darn. But I was also a bit indignant, thinking lady, you do know what "get rid of" means right? It's their country, gosh darn, even if you think they are wrong.