Sunday, July 18, 2010


Democracy is not exclusive. In theory: power to the people; all the people. I am a democrat. I vote; I belong to no exclusive clubs and shop at no exclusive stores. I frequent public libraries and belong to a union. I am a graduate of a public grammar school and high school.

Yet democrat though I am, I'm aware of my many acts of exclusion. Take these two pictures. Imagine how much I have left out.

Some of my colleagues at work would say, "My door is always open." Not mine, I would think. "Please knock," said the sign on my office door. (I was lucky to have an office with a door. I'd freak in a cubicle.)

Oh, the luxury of privacy! I've heard about the punishing lack of privacy in prisons, except when there's too much in solitary.

Though in the larger sense, I'm one person among many, crowds, conventions, huge gatherings turn me off. You won't see me at a fireworks extravaganza. Let me have a table for one or two people or a larger round table where a congenial group may talk and eat something delicious. Do you have a favorite dish?


  1. Mim-

    Although many would call me a misanthropist and unsocial in the extreme, I think it's just that I prefer small and intimate connections. One on one or two on two, maybe six people at the very, very most.

    I abhor more that six. Mindless chatter.

    But intimacy lets things be revealed. lets people be themselves instead of some projection of themselves they have prepared for the world at large.

    I don't know about democracy. I am just as prone to exclude as any high society type- except my acts of exclusion are more likely to be against rich and powerful rather than penniless and strange.

    Ah, the many ways we fail this world.

    One thing I do know is that I enjoy the world more by seeing it through your eyes.

    Thanks for that much, at least.



  2. This kept me awake at twenty to three in the morning. A deep bow in respect of your writing and giving voice to many thoughts, most of the time am not dareing to say. Please have a nice start into the new week.

  3. This is a very insightful and witty post about the dichotomy collectivity vs individuality. As someone born in a country where collectivisation was imposed, I find my little corners of this world too precious to lose. I share your feelings. I like congregations, but get turned off by demonstration because I was compelled to take part in them whether I believed in the cause or not.

    Thanks for such an articulate post.

    Greetings from London.

  4. I know I'm totally dependent on times and spaces where I'm all by myself. I think I wrote this before... So now, since I'm back from this festival I hardly can leave my house, and I prefer not to talk at all. Travelling, changing places always confuses me, and so do crowds. Even if I temporarely enjoy to participate; I always need to have a good eye on me and my necessitiy to withdraw.
    Besides; I love pasta in all variations and a glass of good wine with it. Doesn't need to be a table; a blanket on the green grass will be totally fine :-)
    all the best, smilla

  5. Here we are at our small table. I'm grateful to hear from you!

  6. Right now the word democracy sets me to tears. Perhaps it's because we know and hear too much. Perhaps I preferred the days when I never heard NPR. But I get ready to tear my hair out about this democracy, all the while knowing how much more terrible it would be if it wasn't one.

    I have a dreadfully hard time with small talk. Give me another person, or several, all dripping with personal stuff or some interesting idea to talk about.

    Right now my favorite food is peaches and yogurt.

  7. Small groups are by far preferential. Why do pupils in smaller classes generally outperform their peers in bigger classes? Perhaps we all just like a little attention!

    Apologies for a prolonged absence. Thoroughly enjoyed this.

  8. Lewis,

    Delighted to hear from you.

  9. Mim,

    I will miss you at the TP-blog. Hope you don't mind if I visit once in a while.


  10. dearest mim,
    you are the dinner guest i always wish to get seated next to, but dont.
    i'm with tearful on this...a few people, max. and good food. groups make me tense, and i cant taste anything.

  11. Welcome, John! Susan, too!

    Thanks from Mim

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