Monday, November 01, 2004

don't want to live my life protected

Anybody remember School of Fish? Anyone? Bueller?

My brother coolly remarks, after listening to me ramble about my anxieties about W getting another 4 years in office and the elections being too close to call, "Yeah, I don't even care anymore." That deflated me to the point of depression. My brother returned from watching Fahrenheit 9/11 with nothing but rave reviews; he even went to see it a second time with me. When I walked out of the theater rather unimpressed with the movie (I personally think there's so much vitriol in that film that it masks some of the points Moore is trying to make), my brother tried to coax me into the same rage he felt. And now, a few months later, he's inured. Sadly, my brother is often a good indicator of the 18-29 demographic in this country.

Also, my brother (and I promise that I do actually love him and get along with him really well) is a perfect example of the problem with that demographic as a whole. Everyone is just too cool for their own good. Heaven forbid that you should feel impassioned about something, that you should strive to make some kind of difference. Should you exhibit such behavior, you are just a clueless idealist that takes things too seriously. My brother always looks at me with this glance of dude, chill out, it's not that big of a deal whenever I get worked up about anything. I really dislike this notion that living life disconnected is a healthy approach. Escape is never the safest path... it seems a midlife crisis waiting to happen.

Now granted, I take it to the other extreme, to daily rollercoasters. My brother's good for me in that sense, since he's good at forcing me to do a reality check as to whether I am getting worked up over something worthwhile or just for the sake of getting worked up. In the case of the elections, I consider it a valid anxiety. I do think this is a very important election. I do find it incredibly depressing that I had to vote for Kerry, because I miss the days when I felt optimistic about a candidate. I did feel that way about Clinton the first time he ran. I remember what a coup it was for him to beat George Sr, and how the 18-29 demographic helped him accomplish that. I remember hearing him speak, and thinking, now this is my president. And even though he didn't amount to everything I hoped he would be, at least I went into it with hope. I do feel uneasy about Kerry, I can't deny that, even as a lifelong Democrat. He campaigns with a platform so similar to Bush that I feel he may actually be too right wing for me. But I can't abide by Bush, if only because of his religious views, and his stubborn colonialist attitude about the rest of the world. I just have little faith that my reason for voting against him will be compelling enough to get the rest of America to vote against him.

The nice thing about George Sr. is that there were multiple reasons for disliking him. I didn't like him because he took us into an ill-planned war and pulled out prematurely. But many others didn't like him because, during his presidency, the economy was in the toilet. The economy is not great right now, but in 1992, the economy was all the way down, past circling the drain, headed for the sewers. That, I remember vividly, even though I wasn't officially old enough to be stressing out about it. And then, on top of all that, you had the ravings of Ross Perot helping to carve up the votes in favor of Clinton. That was an unprecedented moment in history. Tomorrow doesn't seem like it will be so unprecedented, somehow.

Also... aren't the elections starting to feel like they should be covered by ESPN? Maybe it's just me, but I keep expecting John Madden to pull out a telestrator, circling swing states. If all the news coverage is going to treat this election like a stupid game, you might as well have ESPN cover it, since I'll take Rich Eisen or Stu Scott over Dan Rather any day when it comes to calling out a play-by-play. Of course, next best thing, I'll just watch The Daily Show cover the election instead.

Incidentally, both election campaigns should have taken all that money they raised and spent it hiring the marketing dudes at Sports Center- those guys make the funniest advertisements ever.

And finally, since this seems to have turned into a Monday rant, is it already that insane time called the "Christmas shopping season"- this has become an ever expanding season, it seems. Last week, there were already Christmas trees in many of the stores I passed. That's why this year, most of my friends & family are getting homemade gifts for Christmas. First of all, my family is Hindu, so I'm still not a 100% clear how we became such Christmas fanatics... more on that another time. Secondly, I refuse to participate in this consumerism crap. That's why I bought a new car this weekend. That was a healthy poke at myself, by the way.

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