It’s a strange thing, being in airports. I imagine them as these micro-versions of the cities where they are based and travelers from other U.S. cities are like foreigners looking to find their own cultural souvenirs, or metaphorical passport stamp. Yes, sometimes these places are home to concentrated evil that we’d all like to forget after canceled flights and lost luggage, but other times, I think there’s something to be found.
Last weekend I was in Bushland. No, that’s not in upstate New York. I’m talking Houston, Texas — real Bush Land. George Bush Intercontinental Airport, to be exact. I was there on a layover to California. Like Texas, the airport is big. It was also filled with some sizable travelers, a shift from the coffee fueled tiny technorati of John F. Kennedy International Airport and Laguardia in New York.
And, Fox News was everywhere. From the Fox News Channel stores to the gigantic Fox News Sky Box, it was clear I wasn’t in Liberal Land anymore. As a news junkie of all things not Fox, this, in itself was completely foreign and about as scary as eating chicken feet. Though, I’d probably eat chicken feet before hanging out in the jumbo sky box.
As I sat in the terminal and Sarah Palin jabbered on the screen above, I searched my feet for ruby slippers. When they weren’t there and my flight was running late, I couldn’t help but examine the buxom faux blondes and broods of boy scouts sneezing on each other. “Is conservatism contagious?” I thought. (Oh, gosh, now I’m thinking like a Republican! Ha!)
In all seriousness, I had a small revelation at this moment in the Lone Star State. All of these people, laughing and spending time together. This is America too. We are not all cracking snarky jokes in our “Yes You Can” and “Believe” t-shirts. Though I detest conservative politics and the media Republicans propagate, there are hot-blooded, Palin-applauding Americans who believe I’m the weird one.
So often I rant and feel bitter about the insane tea party and the millions of people who bought Going Rogue…and worse, voted for George Bush. But, in reality, some of those people are highly intelligent tax payers who may even be related to me. I guess you could say visiting the Houston airport was a reminder that there are Americans outside my eco-friendly, feminist, Obama-bubble. And, even though I hate propaganda, bigotry and republican politics — that doesn’t mean it’s not part of America, our families and our reality.
For me, conservative politics is like fast food. I know it’s really unhealthy for me and I try not to eat it, but others can’t resist its appeal even though studies show there are bad effects from consuming them.
Speaking of food, after I ate what I could of my too-large vegetable burrito, I went to the bathroom to wash my hands. Inside were receptacles for needles. Diabetics, huh? Guess all the beef, fast food and Texas toast got to some.
Well, that’s the beauty of being American and having the freedom to travel, hold our own beliefs, politics and diets. At least you aren’t the only one who needs to dispose of medical waste. Now if only I could fit one of those Fox News signs into the needle box.