I hopped down to Library Mall today to get some Thai food for lunch.
It was delicious.
When I sat down on the cement stage area at the center of the mall, I was approached by a young lady trying to sell me a year's subscription to the Socialist newspaper. I told her I wasn't interested, but she, seeing the Kerry button on my backpack, decided to verbally attack me about the war in Iraq.
It ended up being a nice conversation, but she had the most puzzling mix of optimism and pessimism. She was full of high hopes that "humanity" would continue to innovate and excel in a system where there was no personal incentive to do so. I asked her about greedy capitalists in such a system -- how does a pure socialist system get them to be productive citizens? She had faith that they would somehow be converted in the revolution.
She expressed at one point the idea that garbage men should be paid more than doctors, since no one wants to collect garbage, while some people want to practice medicine. I didn't point out the absurdity of making this argument to an aspiring lawyer.
On the other hand, she was certain that Imperial America in its current incarnation was evil, no matter who ran it. She insisted that there is no difference between Bush and Kerry. She was pretty young, so maybe she wasn't paying much attention when people said that four years ago. On the other hand, maybe every capitalist candidate looks evil when you are a Socialist. Nevertheless, I think perhaps she was, as my boss last summer would say, letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.
Only in Madison. Don't get me wrong, I didn't mind. I didn't buy the paper, though.