While checking my messages on a yarn crafter site that I frequent (read: am obsessed with), I found myself irked, and probably unjustly so, by another user. I got a message from a moderator asking to use a picture of an afghan I crocheted for the pattern’s description page. Fine. But the moderator's avatar that appears big and bold in my message screen? A big picture of McCain with "McCain for President 2008."
Now I understand I don't really have a right to be irritated. For one thing, the moderators on this site are volunteers so it's not like this person is pushing their point of view while on the company dime or anything. And I'm sure if it had been an Obama endorsement I probably wouldn't have reacted, might not even have noticed. This is just another user just like me, and they have the right to freedom of speech just like me, or what's left of it anyway.
But it irked me. And I'm still irked. Presidential election years are always nasty and this one feels more so than average, but doesn't it seem like the world of yarn should be relatively out of the scope of politics? It's not like spinners and knitters have lobbyists in Washington or as if the price of alpaca is federally regulated. Shouldn't we be able to do this one thing without banners and buttons?
I suppose I should be glad that some people in this apathetic country of ours still bother to follow politics at all, regardless of their party affiliations. I remember once being in the car with one of my cousins and her daughter who was probably about 9 years old at the time.
“Who did you vote for?” the 9 year old asks me, out of the blue in the way that only cute kids can get away with.
My young relative crossed her arms over her chest, pouted out her bottom lip, and refused to look at me.
“Now, now,” her mother says from the driver’s seat. “The important thing is that she voted.”
So, why am I irritated at a fellow knitter who has to tell me who she’s voting for? Because campaigns and cardigans don’t mix? Maybe. Because bumper stickers, lawn signs, and stars and stripes avatars don’t educate or stimulate dialog but rather shout your opinion like you were betting on the Superbowl? Surely. Because I don’t like the guy? Yeah, that too.
So what am I trying to say here?
I’ll be happier when this is all over. See you on the other side.