Apr 102011
 
Authors: Johnathan Kastner

Governmental Armageddon is here! Not because of the shutdown itself, but because we’ve finally reached a critical mass of petty bickering where we’re actually using the “hold your breath until you pass out” method of negotiation.

To be frank, I’ve not done a lot of research about this issue. This isn’t out of sloth. I’ve just given up on anyone telling me what’s actually going on without lying and bias. All quotes will be taken out of context, poorly researched and then smeared with heavy propaganda until any hope of the truth vanishes like the last hope of rational discourse when the plywood signs calling the other side Nazis come out.

The media has to have up-to-the-second reporting, which means no one can go back and fact check or point out that we’re being fed bull-plop. Instead, the press release is gently scanned, the sensationalist quote is echoed a thousand-fold and public discourse remains the vapid cesspit it’s been for some time now.
What can you do about it, personally? Well, voting for less corrupt politicians is simply not feasible. We’ll always have corrupt politicians –– it’s a longstanding tradition from back when they could legally hunt us peasants for sport on horseback.
Marching to Washington and tearing corruption out at the roots is right out. Things are too nice on a personal level –– most of us have a roof and as much food and water as we could possibly want. Also, we’re a little too geographically distributed to take our rage and storm the Bastille, so to speak. Have our hard earned dollars, various corrupt corporate types. I’ll rage a bit about it then forget what I was doing as another celebrity has a hilarious public breakdown. Tiger blood.
I remember a simpler time. A time when we distrusted and disliked all politicians regardless of whether we picture ourselves more as country-destroying communists or mini-gun wielding sociopaths. When anything said by either political party was naturally assumed to be a lie and when the latest sexual scandal was no more than confirmation of long-held prejudices about men in power being basically stupid, horny teens.

They have us working against ourselves now. Occasionally, we’ll buy a dream. We’ll think someone’s a real game changer. Maybe a few good things will happen to push this along. Each politician wants you to believe they’re King Arthur, ready to bring the country back to whatever fantasy golden days are most appealing.
Or maybe you believe one side is totally wrong, and they’re destroying everything you hold dear about the country. Maybe social changes are scary, or money is being spent foolishly for the first time ever. Maybe your side is the only one that can protect the country you love from the people who are eager to crack open the skulls of the young and elderly to feast on their brains.

Whatever you believe, you believe because someone told you. And she or he told you because they read some official papers or talked to someone firsthand. But that original source? That would likely be a politician, or one of their media machines. And that means it’s a lie, or at best a pleasant lie coating the truth, like the candy shell you believe coats chocolate.
It’s not chocolate.

The point is not to remain apolitical, to not vote or to give up. The point is that we need not to be rabid. The people at the top are just people. Whether they represent your political interests or not, the odds are they’re not murderous cannibals. They’re just people. Stupid, corrupt, lazy, confused, afraid people who work a little less than half a year. Not demons. Not angels.

So by all means, vote for the people who represent you. Be concerned. Be active. But don’t quote things that are probably lies just so people think you’re smart. That’s something a politician would do.

Johnathan Kastner is in his second year of his second bachelor’s degree, majoring in computer science. His column appears Mondays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 2:43 pm

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