Thursday, November 6, 2008

"I want you"...So?


Now that everyone's all done with the election and hopefully moving on, I want to say something about voting. While Uncle Sam might want me, he gives me no good reason to actually follow him. Everyone runs around yelling about the election...mostly yelling at me because I refuse to vote or register to vote or have anything to do with voting.

"But it's your sacred right as a citizen!"
"But you could cast the deciding vote!"
"But-but...that's just un-American!"
And so much more.

A person I knew once told me that I had the "yes, but syndrome": every fact someone tells me that I don't like, I respond by saying something to the effect of "yes, but...". For example, "You should drink less water." Response: "Yeah, but water is good for you," or something to that effect.
That's what you're doing when you say those things.

Think logically for a second. Logically as in the way you're SUPPOSED to think...the way political scientists assume you think (even though you apparently don't). Why take time (on a weekday, no less), gas money and the possibility of getting caught in the rain to go stand in line for a couple of hours to become one of the millions of people who are, at that very moment, casting the deciding vote in a system that's so skewed even if you were destined to cast the deciding vote, it wouldn't matter because someone like Bush would come along and bring politics into the equation? Funny, how that works out, isn't it?

So I hope you really enjoyed voting on Tuesday. I was taking a nap.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Nothing comes for free, not even candy!

Remember those days when you would dress up in scary/adorable costumes (gender dependent) and go trick-or-treating with your friends in groups of 10 or 20 to beg neighbors for free candy? And it was actually acceptable? Well, not any more.

Granted I'm probably a little old for trick-or-treating and my constant diet implies I'm not going to eat the candy anyway, but the idea of getting to knock on strangers doors, mutter some construed rhyme, receive a handful of free candy, and have all of that be socially acceptable is just too enticing to pass up. So I use my ten-year-old brother as an excuse to continue the tradition. Usually, we get a couple pieces of candy from each house, some better quality than most (there's always those stingy people, right?). Then there's the people whose dogs run out and sniff your butt, which is always uncomfortable. All in all, the free candy makes everything worth it, kind of like old-age hospitality in the new century (think along the lines of baking cookies for the new neighbors).

But not this year. Safety issues aside, poor trick-or-treating yield is yet another hidden consequence of the economic crisis, which is quickly turning into a social crisis as the presidential candidates race to the finish line with polar ideas on who deserves the tax cuts and who deserves the increase. Could the simple, all-american tradition of begging for candy be yet another perk of US culture removed by the recent market crashes? A microcosm of what's to come perhaps?