Snap To & Pay Attention

A few weeks ago while I was on vacation from work and my ill conceived plans to clean out the garage before my bi-annual brush/bulky item pickup, I made a tragic mistake which sucked the better part of ninety minutes from my precious life. That’s right people. My DVD mailer service littered my mailbox with a copy of Swing Vote, and I planted it into the player as if I had absolutely nothing better to do.

What’s even worse is the fact that I dozed off halfway through it. One would think that such a sign would be an admonishment that I should just give up on the damn thing and get it back in the mailbox and on its way out of my life. Sadly, I felt compelled to rewind it to the point were I lost consciousness and give it another shot. I’ve practically given up on the expectation of having an enjoyable movie experience. It’s all become so predictable anymore that I rarely come away from a viewing the least bit surprised.

For those of you who haven’t seen the film, and those who may make the same mistake I did, allow me to summarize it for you. In yet another cinematic statement that the actions of Kevin Costner alone provide more relevance to the world than those of anyone else, the reputed philandering prima donna portrays a phlegmatic drunkard who finds himself in the position of being the one deciding vote for a Presidential election. Over the course of the film and its accompanying assault on reality, the sitting Republican President and the Democratic nominee whore themselves to Bud (Costner) in hopes of garnering his vote. As I expected, they each produced commercials directed specifically at Bud in which they do a complete about-face on the issues they traditionally hold. My Magic 8 Ball nailed it when I asked if Bud would be invited to party with the candidates and their celebrity friends. Imagine my surprise as Bud made a last minute push to get educated about the issues so he could make an informed decision when the time came to cast his vote. Don’t even bother asking who he voted for. If you have to ask that, then you missed the point of the whole film.

Frankly, I don’t need the likes Kevin Costner, his co-stars, or the rest of Hollywood to tell me that the suffrage of the uninformed (and ill-informed as we see now) is a pretty bad idea. Voting is a civic responsibility like jury duty. At the same time, consider this. How many people can you think of right now which you would never, ever put on a jury which is charged with judging your fate? ‘Nuff said.

For those of you drive-by voters who haven’t been paying attention to things lately, allow me to smack the middle of your forehead. Let’s clarify something here real quick. If the culmination of your political knowledge is the fact that you know how Tom Delay is doing on Dancing With The Stars, then I want you to stay home next election day. We don’t need you. Just phone or text in your vote based on who has the shiniest sequins.

Do you even know what else you’re missing? Last week, a whole load a thug dictators and their idol appeared at the United Nations (the one in New York City) and trashed this beloved country of ours. One of those dictators senselessly rambled on for so long that his interpreter quit mid speech in favor of a seizure similar to those brought on by flashing lights to epileptics. In the meantime, another thug announced the existence of a second nuclear reactor in his own country. Here in the U.S., we don’t even like the fact that they have one reactor, let alone two. At the same event, yet another speech maker uttered just enough anti-American sentiments to inspire the American delegation to get up and walk out. Inspiration is about as far as that went though, because the empty skull who made the blasphemous remarks was American too. All in all, there appears to be no signs here in America that those in power have the gumption to do things about the potential problems the confederacy of dunces are stirring up.

Don’t stop there, though. There’s more.

Do you remember the war in Afghanistan? You know, the one that was justified and worth fighting? Apparently, that’s not the case anymore. Coalition casualties are way up. I don’t really need to tell you which country has the largest participation in the coalition, do I? The head honchos have asked for more troops to fight back the hordes, win the war, and move to end our involvement over there. Recent history has show us that troop surges work to advance such a cause, but the powers that be refuse to acknowledge that such a surge worked in 2006, let alone 2009. As such, the thumbs continue to twiddle over subject matter which doesn’t personally involve the self absorbed creepy cult of personality and the building blocks of the metaphorical monument to himself.

On a more trivial subject, it would seem that the city of Chicago is in a heated competition to capture the 2016 Olympics. The funny thing is that there are plenty of those in Chicago who don’t want them. Just the other day, the local Fox Station reported on the matter. They were subsequently told not to air the story again, because it may ruin the city’s chances to host the games. It’s not really definite at this point who actually told them to stop, whether the call came only from station management or someone else. It seems odd that anyone would tell a news organization what they can and cannot report in this day, what with that pesky First Amendment and all. Ultimately, the decision will be announced in the next week or so in Denmark. The good news for those in Chicago who actually want the games is that its favorite son has chosen to take time out of his busy schedule of fundamentally changing this great nation of ours to make a trip (at taxpayers expense) to Denmark in order to lobby on behalf of Chicago hosting the games.

Pay attention now, Bud. Do you see what’s going on? We’ve got terroristic thug dictators coming to our soil and bad mouthing us. They’re also threatening the world with their wicked machinations. Things aren’t going so well in Afghanistan, and the White House doesn’t appear to be dedicating any real priority to the growing urgency of any of these issues. Instead, the priority is being placed on the expansion of government’s control over your life through vehicles such as a government run healthcare system, and energy taxation.

Don’t get too down about things though, Bud. Given the presidential presence in Denmark next week, it looks like Chicago is a shoe-in to get a collection of games that won’t take place for another 7 years. What could possibly happen in the world between now and then?

Randy Tharp

TharpSter is a husband to one woman, a father to two kids, a master to two dogs, an occasional cubical occupant, and unable to make up his mind on an adequate theme for this website.

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