Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Politics + Me = lol equation

I'm not big on politics. I'm really not.

Hmm... how to phrase that in a more meaningful way.

Okay. I'm not a big fan of politics. Or moreover, I'm not a big fan of what politics can do to talented, decent people. You dig??

...ah, fuck, I can't explain this well enough. Alright, lemme dig up some backstory.

I'm interested in politics, I really am. I watch "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" religiously. I took a political science course last semester at UConn, enjoyed it fully, and am taking another in my sophomore year. I read blogs, I read internet articles and the like. I enjoy keeping track of things, you know? I like to feel "relevant" 'n shit. Makes me feel like I'm a functioning part of my generation.

I got interested in politics - for super-serial - back when I was in my sophomore year of high school. Ah, the old days. It was then that the Iraq War was starting up, and I mostly learned my meat of politics from... well, eh, the internet. And my U.S. History class. God... I was very young and malleable then, but it was back then that I finally decided to be somewhat vocal against the Bush administration, and when I really started to dislike conservative talking-heads like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. (Btw, I still hate those guys.) With my new somewhat liberal stance, I would argue with uber-conservatives and moderate-conservatives alike. For me personally, it was a kind of bizarre reconstruction of my own personal beliefs.

Well, it's been about three years, and I've toned down a bit. Nowadays I like to think of myself as a moderate. I lean towards the liberal side, still. But I realize that there are plenty of smart, reasonable conservatives out there as well. I may not always agree with them, but I tend to agree with them on key issues (that I can't seem to remember at the moment, hahahar, just take my word for it). And, in a sense, there are plenty of annoying idiots on the liberal side of things as well.

Now I don't want to climb up on that "BOTH SIDES ARE STUPID!!!!" argument that a lot of people like to take. The nihilist route, you know.

But what I DO hate - I hate how politics have infected the kids. Or early adults, whatever. People my age.

When people my age take a strong, unflinching political stance, they immediately become very VETTY egotistical and faux-intellectual. And it's terrible, absolutely terrible. Now, I'll admit something - the people who get incredibly egotistical are, yes, mostly liberal. You don't see many teenagers taking irrefutable conservative stances save for church kids and the like - but, yes, 90% of college kids interested in politics are liberal.

Really, it's nothing against liberals. But I think you know the type. They join the College Democrats, for one thing. If they're writers, they write articles in the "Commentary" section of their student newspaper with witty, wannabe-parodies about Bush's stance on gay marriage. If they're musicians, they listen to "American Idiot" (which had, what, two songs about Bush?) and System of a Down and write songs with titles like "President Douche Needs His Dick" or "Heil Furher Rove" or something hilarious like that. They read Rolling Stone and find articles like "Bush Stole the 2004 Election" incredibly insightful, while admiring Dave Matthews' amazing courage to speak out against the current administration. And all that jazz.

It's because of all this that people start to think that they're rebels. They think, "Oh no, Mr. Bush! You can't control ME, see? I'm gonna throw taboos in your face and listen to indie rock and watch the Daily Show and just totally throw ALL that shit in your face, man! And I'm gonna spread the words to all my friends and we're all gonna hang out together and talk about what a bad president you are. And then I'm gonna get all the Democrats together at my school and we're gonna march with posters 'n shit that have very offensive slogans! AGAINST YOU!! How'dya like THAT, President DUMBASS??"

It's not just a liberal thing - it's like that with conservatives, too. Die-hard conservatives my age tend to not really know the facts very well and believe whole-heartedly what they're told, and it's depressing how oddly malleable they can be. But the problem with most active liberal youths nowadays is that they tend to think they're Woodward and Bernstein - they're all "OMG did you know that the Bush administration is doing THIS??" as if it's fucking Watergate. Yes, of COURSE I know the Bush administration is corrupt! And I don't like it! Stop acting like you're some fucking messenger of truth and justice just becuase you read something in Al Gore's blog!! (Does he have a blog?)

My point here is - many people who feel that they're saving the world with their political stance just end up furthering their massive egos and tend to forget about, you know, human decency. Yeah, I know, you're "fighting for the people" or whatever. But can't you just give it a fucking rest once in a while?

Case in point: when Ann Coulter was invited to come to my school last winter (mostly because the College Republicans are total fucking morons), every person I knew on campus went in droves to, well, "protest" her. They chanted angry slogans at her, messed with her mic, and forced her to end her speech after about 15 minutes. One kid, during a Q&A session, asked her how many times a day she combed her Hitler mustache. OMGLOL, nice riff, dude!

But seriously - Ann Coulter? You're gonna protest Ann Coulter?? Are you people so fucking stupid that you can't see RIGHT THROUGH HER? She's just saying stupid Naziesque crap so she can 1) bait dumb liberal college kids into mindlessly hating her, 2) go on Fox News and talk about how all these dumb liberal college kids are "oppressing" her, and most importantly 3) makes BUTTLOADS OF MONEY writing books and giving speeches about how liberals are stupid and hate her for speaking the "truth" or some shit. In other words, she's a money-grubbing asshole who wants attention and money. And all the "protesters" at her UConn speech gave her all the attention she needed to make herself look like a martyr.

You know what I did that night? I went back to my dorm and dicked around in Something Awful. Muuuuuch more entertaining. Wouldn't it have been a great thing if, like, three people showed up to see Coulter? She'd be nothing, then, and it'd encourage groups like the College Republicans all over the country not to waste their money on someone as utterly useless as her. But nay, it was not to be - people were too busy voicing their opinions to someone who obviously didn't care.

You know what bothers me more than political corruption? Crappy music, crappy comedy, and crappy video games. There, I said it. Maybe it's irresponsible of me to think that. Maybe Jon Stewart would be angry with me or something. But when it comes down to it, I'd much rather rant about how Hawthorne Heights and Staind don't deserve to be in existence than Bush's foreign policy. And I genuinely mean that.

So my point is - don't get too involved with politics. If you've got a cause, something to believe in, that's great. Fight for it. But don't do it to further yourself, don't let it blind you. That doesn't help anybody.

...argh, that entry was a little scattered. But I really need to get that off my chest. 2 months of buildup will do that to you. :P And just to reiterate, I'm mostly liberal myself, and I am not a fan of the Bush administration. But damn... this shit gets to me.


Paul said...

Hmmmm...can't say I disagree. But what I can say is that despite their cliched antics and thier falling into the system, at least these kids are following politics. Eventually most of these people will mature into working adults who only have enough time on their hands to pay attention to politics and to have an opinion. And, most importantley, they'll know when it's the right time to voice that opinion. So yeah at least these kids are actually aware of politics, albiet not exactly for the best motives, and hopefully they will have better intentions in the future.

Luke said...

Well, I have to agree with you on the point that too many people use their political ideology for faux intellectualism and tend to simply be intolerable. I'm going to disagree with you on the fact that it's mostly liberals that do that, however, since around here, at least, liberals tend to be in the majority. I'm sure that in other regions of the country there are plenty of conservatives doing the exact same thing, listening to Limbaugh and Hannity with religious fervor and repeating lines from them, much like liberals do with the Daily Show and the Colbert Report, etc.

Then you could go on about how people don't necessarily think about their positions, but go on at length because of what they think is morally right. That's really all that politics seems to be, when you really get down to it. And it's because many of the Republican campaigns try to simplify arguments into absurdly naive positions that we have such a climate of name calling and gut reactions controlling the political processes of the country.

As to whether the either of the parties are any good, that's a matter of little debate for many people, since liberals and many conservatives now see the current administration and those associated with it as completely out of line, while the Democrats waste their time by getting bogged down in the traps that Republicans set and debating on small points that only they care about. Both parties are simply infuriating, which is why many people are beginning to call for a serious third party that might help to shake things up a bit.

But yeah, I'm getting tired of politics just after writing this, so I'm going to turn to another topic: it turns out that I was wrong (again), and that Colin Moulding has not yet left XTC. It was in fact their other guitarist and keyboardist, Dave Gregory. Unfortunately, XTC hasn't released an album's worth of new material since 2001, so I hope that they still do something.

Sean "Seventeen" Rose said...

Luke: True, it's a majority of liberals around here. And there's my bias. I probably should edit the post accordingly... I was just mouthing off without thinking. I had other stuff to say about conservatives but I think I got way too into the liberal thing.

And about XTC, well, at least they've still got their two key songwriters. Doesn't guarantee quality but it's something.

Paul: FUCK YOUUUUU but yeah you make a good point. People mature. I guess I'm just impatient. :(

stephen winchell III said...

blog more, i enjoy it

Zack said...

[happy birthday] sean rose! how are ya?

i really like this bit you wrote. i was wondering if i could put it up on my website with other essays and such -- in addition to anything else you'd like up there.

let me know on AIM or email, cause i probably wont see the reply to this comment soon

take care,


AIM: bigredrosen
email: bigredrosen@gmail.com