2005-11-14

Generating Interest / Political Apathy

    The plight of America... This is a topic that is getting kind of trite, every John Q. Public that is vaguely informed can be heard (at Starbucks, perhaps) ranting about what exactly wrong with America. None of these rants, of course, are in any way productive to correcting there perceived ills. Most of them are just done in the spirit of conversation, a more edgy and profound sounding version of weather talk. This will probably be no different.
    We can though, dream that our open discourse will be heard, and that perhaps one individual will hear it. Will hear it, and not even accept it. Acceptance doesn't matter, acceptance is the game dogmatists play. For reasons that I shall get to, what matters is thought, getting someone to care. Perhaps you will say something that will jar someone out of their apathy. Perhaps that person will disagree with you, this is fine, at least they thought about it, perhaps it changed their actions. A subtle change is all that is needed.
    This relates to my thoughts of the day, APATHY. This is what is wrong with American politics, and America as a country. Some people would disagree and claim that ignorance is the virus infecting our collective political psyche. Ignorance is a symptom of apathy, there is always a choice to be ignorant, but if that choice is ignored, or passed-by, it is due to apathy.
    We just don't care enough about our real, deep, surroundings to bother researching. We are too lazy, too comforatable to ever worry about this changing, and too apathetic to realize that our lives depend, and are directly contingent to, politics. Our lives is the sum of the surrounding politics, and now, more so GLOBAL politics.
    We worry more about reality television, our SUVs, our having children, and all sorts of other smoke-screen issues, that really have no actually bearing on our lives. Consumerism may well breed us this way, a bundle of short-sighted needs and wants, with no eye on the future.
    Also, it seems, I might be being overly pessimistic here, that we don't want to think anymore. Thinking seems to require too much work.
    Sadly, I just realized, that if anyone were to read this, I'd be preaching to the choir. You must obviously be interested in politics if you discovered this little, dusty, corner of the web (I refuse to say blogosphere!).
    A quick solution, before I give up in futility, is to talk politics to everyone, especially if they have no knowledge, and don't seem to care. Don't leave them be. But, also, don't badger them, or try to force a view onto them. Especially a partisan view. Nothing makes someone tune you out like trying to force something down their throats. Make a good example of a politically thinking, and active person. A reasoning, caring individual, something we all can aspire to, unlike Ann Coulter, or any of the myriad of extreme leftist blogs out there, who all just come off as whining, somewhat vindictive morons. They far more like character assassination, that reasoned debate (naturally covering issue in which they don't agree). Sure, Bush bashing is in vogue right now, but does it actually promote any political view? It is the same as just calling your 3rd grade nemesis a "jerk", utterly immature, and not even worth paying attention to for over 2 seconds. (those two seconds are the time it takes for a smirk of superiority to hover over your lips). To be fair, dismissing people with environmental concerns as "hippies" or "tree-huggers" is just as laughable (and contemptible) as dismissing George W. Bush as " a monkey", or just stupid.
    The ad hominem; argument does nothing to cause people to think of your claim. It is not intriguing.
    The only way to get people to take you seriously is if you engage in a compelling, reasoned, debate. Sure, it might get boring, but it is so much better, and easier to keep someone interested, if you keep it compelling. Grounded in their life, and in the things that matter and are directly relevant to them.
    Avoiding the topic of politics should be a crime!

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In other news I'm still messing with the content, and lay out of this blog. Thanks to some good advice, posted on A Consuming Experience, and Freshblog, I got a little bit more running, a little more sophisticated layout (not much more than stock yet, mind). I'm also trying out a template from blogger-templates, but am terribly disappointed, since the CSS is hosted elsewhere, I'd much rather have full control over my code! (Technorati tags brought to you by Ultraseeker)

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5 comments:

*L* said...

"(I refuse to say blogosphere!). " you just did.

I agree with the majority of the politics rant. I wish that I could actually debate with people on things better than I do at this point. yep.

Beth said...

Did I ever tell you your my hero?

Omestes said...

cue whitney housten.

Anonymous said...

We worry more about reality television, our SUVs, our having children, and all sorts of other smoke-screen issues, that really have no actually bearing on our lives.

Having children has no bearing on the lives of the people who have them?!!!

Omestes said...

The having them part is an post facto thing, we worry more about immediate "nest building" than we worry about the things that would effect it.

And I'm guessing that the majority (of educated, at least) people thought about raising a family before having such.

If not, shame on you.