Friday, October 17, 2008

October shirking

Aaaaaah, and there I was promising to keep up with the blogging during October. Oops. Well, now that we're through the debate perhaps it will be a bit easier. That took a bit of time and a lot of mental space. I volunteered as a media production assistant with the thousands (seriously) of credentialed journalists and broadcast engineers who overtook two giant parking lots outside the arena at Hofstra where the debate was held on Wednesday. Only about two of the student volunteers came from the law school, of course, so over the days of set-up plus all day on the day of I had the privilege of spending hours and hours with undergrads.

Undergrads are all right. I must say that having the debate at Hofstra appears to have inspired them and I have seen qualities such as intelligence, activism, passion, spirit, pride, engagement, and so forth on display in the past week. It's like a whole new Hofstra experience. I'm really proud of my school and how they pulled it off. I think it was a good investment (of millions) to have a debate here and totally worth it. Woot! But back to the 18-year-olds. Good god. Did I really used to sound like that? I imagine I did.

Some are more thoughtful than others; some are more annoying than others. They think they have decided their majors, they think they know what they want to do with their lives, and they think that the former actually matters with respect to the latter. They have all kinds of untested ideas about the world. They think they have a lot of work to do for their classes. (Spare me.) They can't legally drink yet. It is just plain weird to hang out with them.

But the weirdest thing about hanging out with them, apart from the minority who are seniors and actually, say, 21 or 22, is thinking about how FREAKIN' YOUNG they were when Dubya originally usurped the White House. Hello, a lot of them were 12 years old. Or 11. Or TEN! They were not teenagers. Let me repeat this, for full and proper effect: they were 'tweens when the Supreme Court handed the White House to George W. Bush. Their entire lives as thinking people with any chance at legal capacity, or people who have, say, gone through puberty has been with that monster as the so-called "leader" of this land.

Well for Christ's sakes, it's no wonder they think B.O. is a savior. They have NO CLUE what a presidential race even is! Because, really, in 2004 there wasn't one, just a weak and spineless Democratic party that acted like a cross between the adolescent who's in big trouble but secretly wants to be grounded because they need someone to show them what is up and a dog who is good at tricks like rolling over and playing dead -- too good, in fact.

There are many, many reasons I want to vote for McCain, and a few reasons I don't want to. There are many, many reasons I don't want to vote for Obama, and only one reason I do want to (the chance of having Hillary in a cabinet position). But more than anything I want all these people who have never experienced a presidential election before -- no, more than that, they've never really experienced a president -- to try to get their heads around the fact that it's not just the Big Game followed by a Victory Parade. They're not electing the goddamn homecoming king, although it's hard to tell by the way they swoon in the face of Mr. Handsome Popularity.

God I hate George W. Bush's presidency. I am ashamed of (at least 50% of) you for letting it go on so long. How dare you? And then how dare you blame it on McCain? You have only yourselves to blame.

"We all have work,
let no one shirk,
put your shoulder to the wheel."
--random hymn we used to sing in my past life in Arizona

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