Even when I've thought of myself as "on the Left" (early in my life, and after I began to realize that there were different kinds of libertarians), I've never really been able to think of myself as a "liberal." The word has just been too tainted with less-than-savory associations.
I tried to think of myself as a "classical liberal," but that evokes the image of a guy in a powdered wig, standing on a bench in the House of Commons and yelling "Bloody good, old chap!" or something.
So, yesterday, I took the kids out to the swimmin' hole. This entailed a walk, a train ride and another walk. In order to get change we stopped at a thrift store and I grabbed a book to read on the train and at the swimmin' hole. Halfway through the train ride, I realized that I am still not in any mood to read Bonfire of the Vanities and that, in fact, even having it made me feel, well, a little weird.
So, we get off the train. I leave Tom Wolfe laying on a bench for someone who wants to read his stuff. It's 90+ degrees, and still a bit of a walk to the swimmin' hole. We stop in at the first shop we pass to pick up cold drinks, and I decide to get a newspaper to read now that I'm bookless. And I'm still feeling a little weird, weirder all the time.
Then it hits me: I'm walking down a city street in shorts, a polo shirt and sandals, drinking an iced fer-fuck's-sake latte and carrying a copy of the New York Times. The only thing that would make the whole "liberal" image more complete would be a "Visualize World Peace" button.
Yerk. I'm looking into rehab programs right now.