tammikuuta 29, 2006

Piano and politics

I had all sorts of plans for how to spend my time when I came here to "babysit" the cats. One of them was to sit down at the piano and see if learning how to play would be fun. The piano has been moved from the living room and is right now behind locked doors in a room, which isn't kept warm (my dad wants to save in the heating costs), so I only remembered that the bloody piano exists earlier this week. And it was only today that I finally decided to give it a try.

I found one of my sister's old "piano for beginners" -types of books after trying to play something a bit more advanced and failing miserably. Starting from the beginning, however, turned out to be a good idea. Now I know a couple of more things about notes, managed to play something elementary two-handed and realised that playing is indeed fun. I am not going to buy meself a piano, but I could invest in a keyboard. For a beginner that's basically the same thing, isn't it?

Hmm, hmm, hmmmm. Couple more hours and we'll know the name of our next president. I still haven't followed the debates very closely, but I can't have helped noticing some of the things expressed in the local newspaper. Imatra has traditionally been a fairly socialdemocratic area and perhaps that's why Niinistö's supporters have been quite vocal in their opinions. I have nothing against Niinistö personally - I'll even admit to finding him rather charming sometimes - but reading the views of some of the people backing him up reminded me clearly why I do not want him to win. I had ever so momentary doubts after the first round because some of the things Halonen said started to annoy me. Then I read the readers' letters and remembered that it is about values.

Now I am sure - fervently hope - that Niinistö, even though being clearly on the right on the economic scale, is still fairly libertarian on the social scale. (If you want to know where you stand, take the following test . Also explains nicely why when grouping people it is not enough to take into consideration the old left-right division, but why you also have to pay attention to where you fit on the authoritarian-libertarian scale. I was happy to find out that my views coincided best with people like Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. Thanks to P for bringing this test into my attention.)

Anyhow, it seems that quite a few of Niinistö's supporters definitely do not belong to the libertarian side, whatever he himself may think. I couldn't read too many of those viewpoints though. Is it because I'm too cowardly? Because I don't want to know that there are so many people who harbour such old-fashioned, intolerant ideas? Because if one were to admit to oneself, that those people do exist - in hordes - then there is always the decision: whether to close one's eyes and let things be or actually try to do something about them. I've never been active or political, but earlier it was mainly because I didn't have too many opinions. I didn't care. Now that I have accumulated some opinions it remains to decide whether one should be more active in promoting them. Or can one convince oneself that it is enough to vote always once in awhile?

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