When my grandpa was alive, he would not put up with idiots. If there was a moron who was doing something stupid that affected other people, he would find out as much information as he could about the situation. Then he would call the office of the idiot to try to find out more. Was the idiot misunderstood? Was it just a lapse in judgement making the usually-sane person do something idiotic? If that didn't do the trick her would write an informed and witty Letter To The Editor. I remember him opening up the paper to that section and clipping out his words in print. Often times there would be someone else a few days later that would comment in response to his words, either praising him for his insight or siding with stupid and telling my grandpa he could go sit on a rock. It never made my grandfather mad. It was like gasoline. It only fueled his fire. Now he had TWO idiots to contend with!
As a kid, it felt empowering. That a wrong could occur and you could wield your pen to fix the situation. Looking back on it, maybe it was more therapeutic for him than anything. I know that the John Birch Society never came to power because of my grandpa. Democrats were never driven from this land for being the heathens that they are. Taxes still exist. Daily forced school prayer is still not legal. So, was it all in vain? All of his righteous indignation...
I guess that is what is slightly disconcerting. That as passionate as he was about his issues there was going to be someone equally passionate on the other side fighting just as hard. So is it worth it to even fight? Even question? Even care?
Apathy seems to be the norm. My grandfather would truly roll over in his grave right now if he saw how apathetic people are. Not 18 year olds. He never held out much hope for anyone who was not yet 30. But those of us who are 30 and 40 and 50. We are the laziest sons-of-bitches on the planet earth. And why?
I think that part of it is because we are scared. To form an opinion about something (anything) you need to know what the hell you are talking about. This is necessary because if you talk with someone about the subject who does know what they are talking about and you do not, you will look like an idiot. So, what do we do...we turn Switzerland. We are neutral blobs of goo.
But not really, we're not Switzerland. We're idiots. And just as scary as it is to not know what we are talking about, is the idea that we might be on the wrong side. What if our opinion is wrong?! So what do we do? We defer. We defer to some moron on TV, or someone who looks kind of smartish in our ward. Or we just say that we're "not in to that".
Another scary thing about having an opinion is that then we might not have the same opinion as those we love. And then how could we keep loving them? How could we still like a friend who didn't agree with us on all aspects of life? It would mean we weren't soul mates...our bodies weren't forged from the same fire a millennium ago. It would mean we would have to break up...we could not play bunco anymore, or let our kids play together...it could get serious. So instead, we must keep all conversations about inane, meaningless topics but get passionate about them so it looks like we have some semblance of a soul inside of our bodies.
YES, I did see the Bachelor...NO, I CAN-NOT-BELIEVE what that dick-for-brains did to that sweet heart. And yes, I am dying about the performance of so-and-so on So You Think You Can Sing/Dance/Act/Live. Heard about the oldest or youngest or middle Kardashian sister?...Wanna try out as a team to be on the next Amazing, Incredible, Spectacular Race Around the World or Kitchen or Boardroom???!!! Have you tried the VaEnilla bagel at the latest cupcake store?...the newest long shirt that doubles as a full body moo moo?... Have you done the latest cleanse with pepper, honey, deionized water, and oven fumes?...Can you believe this slash her slash that?!?!
Who gives a flying shit? I mean seriously? There is some serious stuff going on in the world and rather than try to figure out what to do about it, we think that it's cute to go stick our heads in the sand, but not before having it highlighted, with some botox and restilin, and maybe a new set of veneers, just in case when we do reappear David Archuletta is anywhere in the vicinity.
So, where do I get off? Who do I think I am? Someone who is equally intimidated by all of it. Not one area, not one country...the whole fetching mess. The whole world. Every state with it's individual problems. The country with it's red v blue/ mama grizzly v communist Nazi paranoia. The world...even though I can only locate a handful of the places on a globe, can hardly pronounce half their names correctly, and don't know the first thing about half of the countries.
Are you Libeckistanieria? Oh yes, the one with the drought, no-plague, no-dictator, no-queen who used to be a US movie star but married that short fat king and was obviously unhappy for the rest of her life...that one? Oh yes...let me try to commit to memory all that makes you special so that I can recall it a hundred years from now when it comes up again in conversation.
What is the point of my rant...oh yes. Our politicians are MORONS. That is the problem. I don't think that they mean anyone any harm. I think that they are stupid as the rest of us. They just don't know. I think that they are like that old shriveled dude behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz, trying to impress us and give us a little show and hoping that we don't pull open the curtain and see that they are really just idiots.
What to do about it? Well just like anything, it gets easier the more you do it. Kind of like putting out after you've been with the kids for a full day, haven't shaved for a week, haven't brushed your teeth for two days, and have a cancer sore or giant zit or funky smell between your legs. But low and behold, you can do it. It's not fun at first. But then you get over it, and you see that a little effort can pay off. OK, I know this is kind of a sick analogy. But I couldn't think of anything with quite the same painful dread behind it.
We can do it. We can give a shit. We can call our elected leaders and feel like morons cause we don't know what the heck we are doing but we will say, "I want to tell the Senator that I think that he should get off of his duff and raise the debt limit. Thank you goodbye." I think that we just need to get over ourselves...and get in the game. We don't have to play varsity. We can even sit on the bench. But just to know what game is being played. Even the Kardashians would approve...I know my grandpa would.