(Note: I’ve been busy writing and grading final papers, so I’m reposting this article, originally written May 14th, 2007. It was one of my very first blog entries, so most of you probably never read it, but I find this issue as relevant today as when I wrote about it seven months ago. I’ll be back soon!)
People say I spend too much time ranting about the problems with this country and what they will eventually mean for this world and for all the people I love who live here. They say its pessimistic to dwell on such things.
In fact, pessimists don’t care enough to bitch in the first place. If you recognize that things are getting sketchy but don’t love your country enough to publicly acknowledge its corruption, then shame on you. By not bothering to talk about or worry about it, you’re essentially indicating that you believe there’s no hope–that getting hosed is inevitable, so you may as well go back to watching Clueless with the clueless.
Worse still are the spectators. Like the apologists, spectators make it a point to criticize absolutely nothing. They overhear people like me bitching in the background, but can’t be bothered to investigate whether or not our bitchings are warranted. We might be right as far as they’re concerned; the world just might be en route to hell via a brand-name, corporate hand basket. But even if such was the case–even if everything was completely fucked–let’s worry about that tomorrow. Informed citizenship requires being informed in the first place–how lame and boring is that?!
What better way to disempower the people, to see keep the public out of your big business, than to launch media campaigns that make political news seem boring and paint civic participation as uncool? That’s only step one, of course; step two is to distract us with catchy alternatives.
That’s why I doubt most of you are still reading. Right now there are football teams to cheer for and fashion trends to keep up with. I understand. Go back to rearranging your MySpace Top Eights; and don’t forget to support your favorite American Idol candidate. Remember you can vote multiple times, so feel free to blow an entire day clicking on Melinda Doolittle’s name. Over and over and over and over again. Oh yeah, and try to stay positive.