Monday, June 13, 2005

A Rant And A Letter To The Paper

this is my most recent letter to the Fresno Bee. printing it is up to them.
i know that most of my friends who look at this blog are put off by my political push, but it is more important now than it has ever been. we are on the brink of fucking everything up beyond redemption. in many ways, we may have already. you and i can agree that bush is not "our" president. you and i can agree that this Iraq war is not by our bidding. you and i can disagree on these and many other aspects of our current political and social climate. but the one thing we cannot let ourselves do is ignore it. check that. there are two things. and the second is that you and i cannot allow ourselves to be satisfied with what our local paper and/or TV news tells us. There is so much more information out there via the internet that it is irresponsible of every one of us not to look for it, to research the McBites we get from our local news. Intelligence is no longer a privilege, it's a responsibility.
if this seems like a tantrum, so be it. if it seems like a slap at some of you who read this, so be it. i don't ask you to agree with my writings or clippings. in fact, i'd love to hear from you who disagree. but those of you who would agree silently, but not investigate yourselves, i say shame on you.
it's an emotional attack i admit. but i believe it. we are nothing if we are not informed. and our american population is not informed. we believe in the big mac. we secretly wonder what jared would do. we can quote commercials ad infinitum, but not remember what a president said in a state of the union speech. we pretend to not care about michael jackson's trial, but stop our work for an hour to hear the verdict and the talking heads' resultant effluence. We have an opinion about every minor bit of minutia that is spewed to us daily by the press and will expound upon it to anyone within earshot, but we shy away from those topics that will affect us, our children and millions of people around the world. are these topics too big? is a cybercue more fun and easier to handle? yes, they are and yes it is. i know the answer as well as you do. and i know the excuses. why would i want to go on my friend's blog to face politics? all i do every day is read about politics, watch the news and get politics. why would i want to come here and be faced with more politics?
the truth is, however, that most of us are not faced with politics daily. we shun it, we run from it. we know it exists and we have our opinions about it, but we don't look any further into it than we have to in order to maintain our beliefs. in short, we ignore it. we take for granted that those people who we don't like will continue to say and do things we don't like. we take for granted that the truth will emerge in fairly quick fashion and the rest of our community will see the light and vote for sanity. and we also take for granted that the truth will NOT emerge, because our leaders have always been a bunch of liars. and we take for granted that the right to vote is a right, not a responsibility. wake up. it's a RESPONSIBILITY!!! the main way in which to exert your influence as a member of this country is to vote. writing letters to the local paper, letters to your politicains, donations to candidates or parties can be good and sometimes work, but the only way in which you can truely say that you are involved and commited is to vote...every time.
so ends this diatribe. to those of you who actually read it to this point, i thank you and beg your forgiveness for my ranting.

the letter begins:

Let's recount. We have the Downing Street memo, which describes Bush's intentions to invade Iraq and force regime change with or without evidence. There's the minutes of a British intelligence meeting, which detail Bush's lack of a strategy on what to do after the invasion and "rose petaled" victory. There's an "insurgency" that won't go away. Dick Cheney said last week that it was in its "last throes". Military commanders are now saying that our army will likely need to remain in Iraq for thirty years. The military and private contractors' bodyguards are shooting at each other. Prisoner abuse by the military continues to happen. Polls show that now American support of this "war" is less than a majority. Military deaths continue to occur and escalate. Evidence emerges that Iraqi soldiers are applying for the paycheck and actually remember the Saddam days more fondly than they did a year ago. Military recruiters are targeting high school dropouts and those with "only" minor criminal convictions. And Democrats are now mentioning a draft as the only way in which we can continue our push toward global hegemony. I can spell "quagmire", "quicksand" and "quandary". Can you?

2 comments:

airplanejayne said...

Joel,
Please keep doing your three "R's" -- reading, writing and ranting. although we don't respond (often), you do hit home often. Why is it that we don't? I don't know the answer, I know that I (personally) find that our government keeps sinking lower in the slimey stuff at the bottom of the barrel, and that everytime I think it's the bottom, some new slime appears. How this man ever got re-elected is part of the quagmire and quandry that I find my mind in. I only hope that the further damage he can inflict in his remaining two years will be small and reversible. But please take heart, you are not ranting at a brick wall. You, and other ranters are being heard.
oh - and by-the-by, I wrote a letter to the editor on 6/10: "Tight Shoes." So see? an inspired moment....
APj

scarysquirrelman said...

awesome, baby. much of the time we feel like nothing we might do will make a difference, but it does. and if enough of us do something it becomes impossible for the politicians and the media to ignore. we don't have to become zealots or screamers. we just need to speak up.