Out of the box
I appreciated what my state assemblyman Bill Monning said at last night’s healthcare discussion and decided to email my appreciation as well as a comment about parity for those he called ‘the mentally ill’. I composed carefully, went to his website, reluctantly accepted a category (For ..., Against ... Appreciations, ... ), pasted in my comments, and, ... was refused.
“You’ve exceeded the maximum,” said a bold red message. Exceeded. Ah, but no hint of what the maximum is. I’d worked hard. This felt disrespectful to me, a constituent. I was already resisting being channeled into a category, thinking only the tally would be read, not content. I had something I wanted to say, wanted heard, about language and politics and ‘the mentally ill.’
And as I saddened even more, I realized I was grieving the loss of electronic access, the triage of the comments page, this marvelous internet tool not as available, mediated.
I typed up my input, didn’t revise content for hard copy, printed it, and faxed his office, links I carefully chose not useful on a page, ... I wonder if a staffer will even read.
I’m feeling overwhelmed by systems, the only way I know to cope is to withdraw.