On mass entertainment: There is a group of us who can't abide the popularity of hip hop music or stilted TV shows like "The Bachelor," and still haven't quite gotten a feel for NASCAR. We like college football, even though we know it's really semi-pro. We tolerate the NFL and Major League Baseball, but we can't figure out why anyone would watch anything but the last two minutes of an NBA game, when the games are almost always decided.
Those of us trapped in this apparent no-man's land of culture often frown upon abortion, but privately wonder what we would do if our teen-aged daughter got pregnant. We believe people have the right to own handguns, but we fret that the weapons can't seem to be kept out of the hands of deluded teens and committed killers. We see little reason to obsess over the posting of the Ten Commandments in courthouses because too few people so much as notice them, even as they walk right past. So why not just leave them in place? We can't understand why someone would oppose the death penalty but have no problem imposing a similar "death penalty" on a woman in a vegetative state by depriving her of intravenous nutrition.
And yes, we can hold paradoxical views. We believe Alaskans should be allowed to drill for oil in their state, but we also yearn for laws to curb the growth of population and industry. Call us the semi-environmentalists. We are annoyed to hear about people boycotting a chicken shack for "animal cruelty" or food manufacturers for producing fatty but tasty foodstuffs.
The fact is, there are millions of Americans who don't fit the mold -- any mold. We're contradictory and hard to categorize. Many are dismissive of our views because they find them boring and not strident enough.
Is it wishy-washy to analyze and scrutinize before forming an opinion? More importantly, must every opinion always fall in the neat categories of liberal or conservative? Perhaps there are more of us than meets the eye. Maybe enough to influence matters as important as elections and media ratings.
And by the way: We're not always frustrated. After all, the Yankees just lost the World Series!