Monday, November 03, 2008

Circle Jerk

Friday night I took the two older boys out for a round of tricks and/or treats. One went as a pirate, the other as a black cat who wore a pirate hat (since he refused to put the top part of his costume over his head). Neither one has yet developed a taste for candy, so whatever we took in was booty for mom and dad to pick through later in the evening.

It was a gorgeous fall night perfect for a wagon ride through the neighborhood. Since we moved here in May, it was also a good opportunity to meet some neighbors for the first time and reacquaint myself with some others. And it gave me a chance to get a closer look at their homes and--in some cases--their political persuasions.

Our street is relatively quiet and doesn't have much through traffic. So I decided to forgo displaying any political yard signs this year. Not much point if no one can see them, is there? None of my immediate neighbors have signs out either, which makes for a non-political setting.

There are a number of cul-de-sacs that run off our sleepy street. On Halloween night, our party ventured down one. There are four houses on the semi-circle at the end of this particular cul-de-sac. Starting from the left house (appropriately enough) I noted the following:

- An Obama yard sign

- An Obama yard sign

- A large poster next to the front door that read something like "End The War: Fight For Peace & Justice"

- An Obama yard sign, a Franken yard sign, and Obama and Franken bumper stickers inside the window of the front door

Remember, these four houses are at the end of a cul-de-sac off a street with very little traffic. No one likely sees any of these signs other than the immediate neighbors. Neighbors who all have signs supporting the same candidates. So what--other than taking some strange pleasure in joining this ideologically-conforming little circle--is the point of any of these people putting out a lawn sign?

It's all about feeling, not meaning. Which I guess is appropriate for the candidate they hope will become our next president.