Yesterday the Brits flocked to the polls like the swallows of Capistrano, for better or for worse, to cast their votes in a national election. From reading the news coverage, it seemed that there were only two candidates—Blair or Not Blair. Sound familiar?
(Although Bush or No Bush makes a much better dirty joke.)
Regardless, as Blair’s tenure hung in the balance, some nasty things were revealed about the behind-the-scenes affairs of his Prime Minister-ship.
(Yes, there is a reason I am not a political columnist and that sentence shows why.)
The brilliant and talented Jarrett Murphy explored many of those revelations here in the Voice (see Blair’s Battle: Democracy in Peril in the UK). Jarrett, who also has a very lovely name, points out the following:
Jarrett finishes off his eloquent discussion by pointing out that, “the trick to establishing an accountable government [is] people have to decide to hold it accountable.”
I maybe, sorta have a crush on Jarrett.
But I digress (call me). The point is, that all this political talk got me thinking about my own one-year anniversary. Not with a man, of course—that would be both optimistic and exciting, and I don’t actually know what that’s like. Rather, my one-year anniversary with real life.
April showers have brought May flowers and it has officially been a year since my peers and I tossed our pointy hats in the air and bid farewell to bliss, as we knew it.
Surprisingly, my short reign as a contributing member of society mirrors Blair’s own trials and tribulations during his tenure as Prime Minister.
Let me explain.
To begin with, nearly everyone I know lied in encouraging me to graduate from college. They made graduation seem as cushy as retirement. I even got a watch (it’s not gold, but it does tell time).
“Supporting yourself is going to be amazing and empowering!” my mother told me confidently.
She was right. The fact that I am able to support myself on my salary is amazing. I’m empowered just thinking about it. Who has a lighter? I’m about to burn my bra.
Next, it seems that all of my friends are receiving some secret legal advice that I have yet to take advantage of. The pearls of wisdom they’ve been culling have linked an ivory-tinted strand leading directly to law school. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Interestingly, none of these people actually know why they are going to law school—sure, there are the rare few that have a deep desire to become intimate with the tax code—but the rest are just deciding on a rationale as they go.
I even asked a friend to explain his reasoning. “Why? Why are you trudging down that road so traveled?” I implored to know.
“Why not?” he replied nonchalantly, as if the decision to go to law school was like choosing between Tasti D-Lite flavors. It was like he was, “Hmmm, I could go for the vanilla, but I do love that delicious S’mores kind. You know what? Just swirl ’em both together—why not?”
If that’s not a Blair-ism, I don’t know what is.
Moreover, many of us young and sprightly graduates have sexed up in the hopes of finding a mate, someone to help guide us through our travails in this concrete jungle. While sexing up has proven to be easy and mildly satisfying, navigating this newly minted world of dating has presented some stronger than expected challenges. Getting a boyfriend out here in the real world is hard with all this “he’s just not that into you” business.
But the parallels do not end there! No sir! They go on and on and on like the sweaty last slow song at your eighth grade dance (always “Stairway to Heaven” or the one that goes, “I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that”).
Many of us graduates have discovered that our soft drug policies are rather difficult to support in an inflated New York market, and have, on the rare occasion, even gotten us fired. Who knew peeing in a cup was part of a job interview?
(Unless, of course, you work in advertising or media, then you should be doing copious amounts of hallucinogens.)
I point out all these similarities because there is a bigger lesson to be learned here. One that dawned on me, as I hopped out of bed this morning, eager to find out if Blair prevailed or if Not Blair shattered his political aspirations. Alas, Blair came out on top.
I, for my part, realized that as us life-neophytes slowly learn how to be truly accountable for our actions, we will at many (many) points, fuck up (like Blair!). But more often than not, there will be the chance for re-election, the golden opportunity to pick ourselves up off the ground and, as the Brits might say, “have another go at it.”
So as we enter our second term, I wish us all the best of luck.