Saturday, August 11, 2012

Why Politicians Suck: Part One

     It's election year. That means many a debate on the the television, many an argument at the kitchen table, and many a politics-obsessed page in the newspaper. Eventually, the American citizen is surrounded by constant notifications of who their political savior is, who will make their lives great and reduce taxes and reduce debt and stop terrorists and buy you a unicorn that poops diamonds. I, personally, am heavily dreading this time period precisely because unicorns don't poop diamonds, and the other things aren't too probable either. To put it frankly, everyone sucks. Why so? one may ask. It is, the way I see it, because of two heavily interrelated reasons:
  1. To run for any position of high office, you have to be filthy, stinkin' rich. 
  2. We only have two parties with heavy influence. 
Nineteen Eighty-Four
See Goodreads page here.
See Shelfari page here.
     And why not look at George Orwell's 1984 for some support on this one, eh?
     Winston Smith is trying to navigate through life in an oppressive, totalitarian government. The oppressive, totalitarian ruler is a figure named Big Brother who controls every aspect of life, as represented in his motto, "Big Brother is Watching You." Winston, being a lower party member--and therefore allowed by Big Brother to have a moderate amount of intelligence--feels trapped in a world with no outlet. He knows how truly twisted Big Brother's government is. He at times feels like screaming profanity at the top of his lungs, but cannot because of the telescreen (or a stalkerish window through which Big Brother can see his every action) remarkably adorned to a wall of his living room. There are also other Big-Brother-enforced social groups in Winston's world, among them proles and Upper Party Members. Proles are the Proletariat, or working class, who are herded into only certain areas of cities and forced to do only the most menial labor. Like animals, which is basically what Big Brother makes them viewed as. On the other hand, Upper Party members are those with the most comfortable houses, those allowed by Big Brother to have the most intelligence, those who can even shut their telescreens off as they desire.
       Talk about stratification, eh? And stratification is exactly we get because politicians suck. It's going to take me a while to tell you why, but stick with me, and we'll get there.
       Since we only have two parties with significant influence, all smaller parties and their candidates--all the Winston Smiths, if Mr. Smith would contemplate entering politics--are swallowed into them. The Republican and Democratic parties in act very similar to the single, ruling party of Winston's world, the party of which Big Brother is the head: Ingsoc. You see, these obnoxiously large parties swallow the smaller ones and force all the smaller candidates into adopting their same old ideals.
     These parties also make the smaller candidates adopt the same old corrupt, money-making practices like lobbyism. What is the goal of this corruption, what is the "greater good" the politicians serve by destroying the integrity of the American system? Accelerating their political careers, of course. If they're running for high office, they need money to pay for career-accelerating phenomena like television advertisements to compete with....
     All the other politicians who are filthy, stinkin' rich and can use it!
      "And can use it" is a huge aspect of the sentence above. For if the wealthy politicians were rich, but could not use their savings funds to ensure publicity, the playing field would be a lot more even. In other words, the need for lobbyism and corrupt, under-the-table deals would decrease significantly. However, this is not the case. This is not the case in the slightest. Instead, the American governmental system has made it so that a person with a lower income must participate in the same old illegal, money-grabbing activities to be considered for a major spot in national politics. And you know what makes it even better? Even better?  The already-wealthy politicians keep participating in the same old illegal, money-grabbing activities to get an edge over their already-wealthy competitors. Excellent!
    So in conclusion, we have a system where there is a huge gap between politicians in high office and the rest of us--politicians in high office are filthy, stinkin' rich whether they started out that way or got that way  through illegal, money-grabbing activities, while the majority of the American population is still middle or lower class. The two parties with heavy influence ensure that gap by being in charge of the American government, with no significant competition but each other--remember, candidates of smaller parties are forced to buddy up with them in order to achieve any high office.
     If a politician is reading this and thinks himself or herself to be an exception to what I'm saying, please comment about how are. It would make my year.     

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Frivolously Follow Me this Friday! (Numero Seis)

"Follow Me Friday" is oh-so-wonderfully hosted by Parajunkie's View and Alison Can Read. So what question is inquired today?

Do your reading habits change based on your mood?

Hell to the yeah. When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me, and my reading habits change drastically. The much simpler novels on my bookshelf instantaneously become more attractive, and I  might not even complete them. Although relaxation by cracking open any kind of novel would probably help me calm down, my stress-engulfed mind will probably prioritize the problem at hand over reading. A relaxed mood, on the contrary, makes the more complex reads on my bookshelf seem just dandy. It is during these times that I venture into classic authors as well as longer works by modern authors (such as The World According to Garp by John Irving--a post about that one is in the works, I promise!). 
     Now, let's get funky with this subject; funky meaning philosophical, of course. Moods usually come about because either one sees the events happening to him as similar in nature, or one event is so potent that it overshadows everything else. An unwanted mood can therefore be solved in two ways, the first of which being that if a person has a case of seemingly similar, repeated events, he should attempt to think about how those events are different. Find optimism in some event if you are surrounded by pessimism in most events, for example. The other way by which an unwanted mood can be solved is, if one event is potent enough to overshadow everything else, attempting to think of reasons why that event isn't so potent. Why that event isn't so powerful.
      Because more powerful than any event or series of events is the human mind.

*PS: Please follow by R to the S to the S!