Okay. So I’ve made it through the situation from my “Upcoming Personal Challenge” post. I reined in my feelings and didn’t behave rudely, fly off the handle, or try to claw anyone’s eyes out. Plus one for me!
Mostly I just walked the other way and tried to avoid my nemeses. (Minus one?)
Hey, I said I made it through, not that I made it through perfectly. I give myself a score on the good side of meh. Which brings me to another upcoming situation in which I feel very strongly about being apathetic: the elections.
I’m a bit of a conspiracy theorist. I believe that UFOs and space aliens just might be government covers for secret-weapons testing and biochemical experiments on humans. I think that Britney Spears works the dumb-blonde angle because it sells, but that she is actually extremely intelligent—just like Marilyn Monroe. I think food manufacturers unnecessarily put gluten into almost everything because of some sort of back-room deal with teamsters from the wheat farmers’ union. I believe the Secret Service—not OJ—killed Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman because… (okay, I started to explain more, but I really, really like this idea, and it’s the basis of a thriller I’m working on, so ‘nuff-said on that one for now). I have also come to believe that modern elections are rigged—especially the run for the White House—and are therefore pointless.
Which is why I’m not going to vote this year.
Elections started out as a good idea about democracy, but they’ve dwindled away to become farce, and everyone knows it. First of all, political ads are nothing more than half-truths and outright lies that each side spews about the other. The vitriolic salvo, which begins its crescendo in the late spring, reaches a two month nonstop climax this time of year. Debates and public appearances are basically shouting matches mixed with cheesy grins and more lies, and organizations that try to sort through the veracities get accused of having biased interests.
My grandfather used to say, “Don’t believe anything you hear, and only half of what you see.” Well, I don’t believe any of it, from either side. It’s exhausting and disheartening to witness. It’s one of the reasons I’m glad I barely watch television anymore. I mean, why get myself worked up for or against a candidate, when I have no idea what the truth is?
Then there’s the gripe about the Electoral College vs. the popular vote. Is he the People’s President or the States’ Man? (And why are they always so mean and unfair to every woman candidate, on both sides?) With the way candidates manipulate to leverage wins in certain states, it’s like teaching students how to do well on the state accountability test, rather than making sure they understand the content-material.
But the real conspiracy happens on Election Day.
Elections let us think we’re involved, but in the end the losing side always claims the thing was a set-up. Even the winners have that tiny whisper in the back of their heads wondering if it could be true. I believe they’re right. I think elections are either won or lost by well-paid specialized teams (this is where a huge amount of the campaign funding goes, btw) who play a clandestine King-of-the-Hill game against each other with sites that they determine will be the key hubs. In the olden days, these key hubs were at the polls, and teams needed to control the ballot boxes in order to, literally, stuff them. Now they do more sophisticated things, like create stealth programs and viruses to override election computer terminals. Hang chads and control the recount room. Manipulate the media.
So voters stand in line for hours on mere pretense.
Today is the last day to register to vote in Colorado. I’m not registered, and I’m good with that. Call me un-American, unpatriotic, an anti-democracy subversive, whatever. I’m none of that. I choose to use the term “clear-headed-individual-who-is-tired-of-pretending-that-my-vote-actually-counts.” I’m removing myself from the silliness, and on November 6, I will have a free day. Maybe I’ll go give blood.