In Which Our Heroine Beats Con Crud

11 September 2004

Em and Aaron are married. I saw it happen, and I saw the paperwork signed, and it is official. Frankly, I think they were married before. I asked Em where her husband was, sometime in the middle of the reception, and unlike every other bride I've seen, she looked neither confused nor googly at the h-word. "Downstairs, I think," she said, and went on with the conversation. (The thing about married is that if you are in your hearts, they can't take it away, and if you aren't in your hearts, none of the ceremony will make it happen. I've said this before, but it bears repeating: the ceremony is not what makes people married.)

Anyway, it was a funny, lovely ceremony, very quick, followed by good food and relaxed conversation. My latest wedding tip for you: if you are under, say, 5'7" or so, do not sit surrounded by Mark, Rachel in heels (even very little heels), Ben, Vanya, and Timprov. You will see nothing unless you crane your neck and squirm in your chair like a little kid. Possibly not even then. So pictures: somewhat sparse.

And coming, I promise. We're going down to Ren Fest today, and I'll do picture stuff sometime after that.

The con crud seems to be departing. I'm going to take tissues and a dose of DayQuil in my purse just in case, but I think I am the clear victor here.

What I would like to say on the anniversary of September 11, 2001: there is no way you can vote for a presidential candidate and guarantee that terrorist attacks will never happen again. No candidate can offer that. No one who isn't running could offer that either. It can't be done. The president of the U.S. does not have that kind of control over other people's actions. That kind of control is not, in fact, possible.

Any candidate who says that he will make the U.S. safe from terrorism is lying and, I would submit, knows that he is lying. (I realize that a careful combing of candidate statements may reveal that our choices are all lying.) Any candidate who says that his opponent will make the U.S. vulnerable to terrorist attacks is being disingenuous at best. We are already vulnerable, and neither maintaining nor changing the administration is going to change that as of next January.

I'm not saying that different administrations will have identical responses and policies to terrorist acts. I'm not even saying they'll have equivalent responses and policies. But there is no magical step that will convince thousands of people across dozens of countries that their lives are worth continuing, their causes are better served by other means, and violence is not the answer. Electing one man president or another will not change the thing that has to snap in a person's soul before that person can look fellow human beings in the face and torture or kill them. The changes to get to that awful point -- or to pull a human being back from the brink of it -- are many and varied and complicated. We can't take refuge in, "[candidate name here] will protect us from the bad guys! We will vote and then sit back and wait for him to magically make it all better!"

No matter how much some politicians across the political spectrum would like us to do so.

Anyway, anyway. We're leaving for Fest soon. I'm reading The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric and Discredited Diseases, and also Robin Hobb's Mad Ship. They address fairly different parts of my reader-brain, which is all for the good.

Back to Novel Gazing.

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