What’s the Matter with Indiana?

What’s the Matter with Indiana?

On Wednesday, Feb. 24, I sat down to write, and I made a horrible mistake: I checked Tweetdeck.

I have a special list called “Indiana” which is how I stay in touch with my state. It includes newspapers, colleges, political and cultural organizations, progressive and conservative politicians, TV and radio stations, etc.

Yesterday, every tweet in my “Indiana” column on Tweetdeck filled me with despair.

A song came to my head. “Anything you can do, I can do better…” So I started retweeting all the bad news with my tweaked ditty.

After awhile, I got so angry that I logged into Facebook and wrote this:

Screenshot 2016-02-25 13.19.10

Yes, I sacrificed my novel-writing time to Facebook-screed writing time.

This is why I’m going to have to go off social media again.

Tell me, why do you hate Indiana?

My friend Barbara Shoup asked me to contribute something to an Indiana anthology that’s going to be published in conjunction with Indiana’s 2016 bicentennial celebration. Although, who knows? Maybe that’s not going to happen either, since it’s not clear if my governor will be able to find the money to “celebrate” Indiana’s history.

So I got out an essay I started here a few years ago and expanded it.

This essay doesn’t celebrate Indiana. It critiques it. And the more I worked on it, the angrier I got, and I’m actually not sure it’s still appropriate for the anthology.

Here’s a snippet:

I don’t think Indiana is honest to goodness. Sometimes, I think it’s the angriest place I’ve ever lived—and I’ve lived in a lot of places.

I’m going to read it this Saturday and see what happens. Please come and tell me what you think?vouched

I guess that the news about plastic bags and Tesla and payday companies wouldn’t have enraged me any other week, but this week it did.

If you know me, then you know how much I love my home state.

But this week, I did not.

I’m reminded of this scene in my favorite novel, Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! (Replace “the South” with “Indiana,” and that’s how I felt this week.)

“Tell about the South,” said Shreve McCannon. “What do they do there? How do they live there? Why do they live at all?…Tell me one more thing. Why do you hate the South?”

“I don’t hate it,” Quentin said, quickly, at once, immediately; “I don’t hate it,” he said. “I don’t hate it he thought, panting in the cold air, the iron New England dark: I don’t. I don’t! I don’t hate it! I don’t hate it!”

Subscribe to my list and keep tabs on Indiana

My “Indiana” list has always been private, but I just made it public, so you can subscribe to it, too.

You’ll see bad news, probably, but I also hope this list gives you hope as well.

If you use Twitter, I highly recommend you use lists. Here’s how. It allows you to follow accounts without actually “following.”

Once you subscribe to the list, create a column for that list on Tweetdeck (or Hootsuite). Here’s how.

I hardly ever look at Twitter via the Twitter app (unless I’m on my phone). I look at Twitter via Tweetdeck, where I can see a variety of columns. Some people think Tweetdeck is overwhelming, but I think Twitter is, actually. Once you get used to the interface, it’s easy, because your feed and your interests are nicely organized–by you.

Maybe my legislators think that no one is paying attention to what they’re doing?

I’m paying attention. I hope you will, too.

Writing

2 comments

  1. Therese Mageau says:

    Cathy — I am not from Indiana but I became interested in your FB and blog post because I will bet you that much of the crony legislation that you mention was written with ALEC’s help or outright involvement. Do you know about the American Legislative Exchange Council? According to their own web site it’s a, “Partnership of America’s state legislators and members of the private sector. Writes model legislation to advance free-market enterprise, limited government…” They literally write the text for legislation that members then take back to their own legislatures to get passed. Right to Work, Stand Your Ground, minimum wage, privatizing prisons and public education. You name it. Some of the issues that you raised seemed to me to be prime territory for ALEC. Maybe not, but if you are covering “legislation that is bought and paid for,” make sure you look into and expose ALEC’s role.

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