StreetLegalPlay by Kyle Thomas Smith

Is It Complacency or Just Plain Good Sense?

Posted in Uncategorized by streetlegalplay on August 16, 2008

I’ll start with a segment of an article I found from the great Martha Beck called “Martha Beck’s Anti-Complain Campaign.” It was published in a 2007 edition of O – The Oprah Magazine. (I don’t know which month.) The following paragraph – about a young woman named Dinah – specifically addresses why it is foolhardy to bitch and moan about the government:

College sophomore Dinah spent hours with her friends ranting about a certain high-ranking elected official, who shall remain nameless. This, Dinah told me, was activism. I said it looked more like passivism — neither activism nor pacifism but an excellent way of feeling intelligent and important without studying.

Today, I found myself thinking the following:

I know who I’m voting for. I support Barack. I give him money. I sign petitions. I volunteer. But do I have to keep checking polls? Do I have to keep blogging about this election? Do I have to keep taking the GOP to task? Should I even bother talking about the presidential race? About Barack vs. McCain?

Frankly, should I even care? I mean, how much can little ole me do to turn the tide of stupidity, the kind that the majority of American voters raised to such overwhelming heights in 2004?

Why don’t I just go merrily on my own way and let the chips fall where they may?

Then another monologue starts up in my head:

Why are you even letting that complacent bullshit run through your head? The fate of the world is at stake! Even if stupidity overruns this nation again (which it might with the electoral college, at the very least), I for one should not let us suffer silently!

But, if I were to cling to that line of thought, wouldn’t I just exhaust myself in an attempt to control – or at least inveigh against – what I cannot control?

Wouldn’t I be better off just making my donations of time and money to Barack and then stop checking polls and just ignore the presidential race entirely until voting time?

I can’t be the only one out there weighing these same questions.

I welcome any answers anyone might have.

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2 Responses

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  1. ellen9 said, on August 18, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    Hmm.
    “Wouldn’t I be better off just making my donations of time and money to Barack and then stop checking polls and just ignore the presidential race entirely until voting time?

    I can’t be the only one out there weighing these same questions.”

    You are NOT the only one!

    It’s a nightly debate in my home, where Olberman is on just about every night, preaching to our long-ago converted household on the couch. (By this point, if the cats could pull a voting lever, they’d vote for Obama, so thorough is the indoctrination in 6N.)

    I put my foot down: “Enough already!” I cry. I am donating, talking to friends and staying positive together, and voting in November. The endless picking at the inevitable scabs, wounds, and bruises of the political process, breathlessly following the twinges in the polls – it’s just distraction. Just seeking for sensation – for mind-candy.

    Not complacency, but not purposeless activity.

    But my husband prefers the witty verbal pyrotechnics and emotional fire of Olberman to the coolness of the cushion. And sometimes, occasionally, when the wit is particularly tasty, so do I.

  2. streetlegalplay said, on August 18, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    Oh, Ellen. I agree completely. In fact, I just got off the cushion and had the most surrendered attitude.

    Having said that two seconds later, I went online and checked the polls. But give me credit: I only did it once – not 250 times – today.


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