My Expletive Filled Apology for My Facebook News Feed.
Dear Internet Friends,
I’m sorry I’ve annoyed you with all my Bernie Sanders posts. Some of you have blocked me or ignored my posts because, gawrsh darn it, I flooded your news feeds with my Democratic Party propaganda and that shit gets annoying, right? For your annoyance, I apologize.
And you know what, you’re totally right to be annoyed. Even if you agree with me, let’s be honest, even the converted probably get a bit sick of being preached at, right? Heaven freaking help you if you happen to disagree with me. I really do hate that I took up valuable space from your news feeds that you could have been utilizing for more fantastic recipe videos, inside jokes about Deadpool, or trying to figure out if you really WON’T believe what happened next!
And you have to believe me, I hadn’t planned to post and share so much about the election. Particularly not THIS early. This primary was supposed to be easy for people like me. The game plan was simple: Hillary Clinton and Jeb! would complete their obligatory primary interpretive dances, go into the general election and mostly things would not be much different than they were when Obama was in office.
Which is to say they’d probably still suck, but we’d have 4 more years of Bill Clinton’s antics to distract us! That’s not an indictment of Obama, that’s an indictment of democracy. Democracy is pretty damn ugly, just ask those pesky ancient Greeks! Right?! #governmentgoals. But lately, democracy has been extra ugly, extra dysfunctional, and not working for anybody except rich people. And see, this might sound crazy, but I’m pretty sure it’s your fault it’s gotten so bad.
See, you’re probably one of those types who says, “let’s not talk about politics at the table,” or starts the conversation but then gets all pissed off and stops talking or listening. Or maybe you’re the mythical disaffected citizen who really, literally, could not care less.
You shirked your responsibility to talk about stuff, vote, and give a shit and so the only people left to do it are the ones who either REALLY care or are REALLY crazy. And you keep doing it. You disagree with me, and instead of talking with me, just turn me off with one of the many options for muting me at your disposal.
But wait a minute, you say, “didn’t you just get interested in this politics stuff again because it’s political season?” Right you are, Felicia. It’s not that I stopped reading or giving a shit, it’s mostly that I got annoyed dealing with people like you. And you got annoyed dealing with people like me. It’s a vicious cycle that ends with us not talking to each other about anything important and focusing on areas of common agreement like how awesome that new Star Wars movie was. So yes, I too was/am a chickenshit citizen.
But see, I’m getting older and my brother and sister are getting ready to graduate high school school and it’d be really awesome if maybe, just maybe, the world was a little less fucked up when they graduated college. So I’m willing to be annoyed at your nonsense and listen to you if you’ll express a little curiosity about politics and maybe even chat with me a little. (Please. I’m so lonely. )
Look, nobody wants to be the crazy uncle who talks about those god-damn-good-for-nothing-freeloading-welfare-queen-minorities every Thanksgiving. Literally nobody. Not even your uncle. But, you know, funny thing happens when you treat politics like sexual fetishes #whipschainsandtaxpolicy — It starts getting just as freaky. But less sexy and more Kafka. The real problem with that is politics… Kind of actually does matter a lot more than whether somebody is really into being tickled.
How much more does it matter? Well, your great grandma probably couldn’t vote early in her life, your black friends’ parents probably remember the days when being lynched was actually something to worry about, oh, and thanks to the votes of people (*cough your parents cough*) in the 80s, 90s, and 2000s, YOU probably can’t find a decent job out of college.
Seriously though, why are you not out every day with a pitchfork and torch? Oh, it’s probably because you can’t afford to buy them with your shit wages. And have you ever noticed that all the ways to get better wages cost a LOT of money or you literally have to risk your life in the military for an education? This is 2016 United States, NOT Sparta. It’s one thing to tell people to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, but it’s kind of shitty to charge them $60,000 for the bootstraps and give them cement shoes instead.
And hey look, the last thing you want is for some shithead like me to ruin your chance to to disappear into your mobile phone and forget how really screwed up the world is for a few minutes while you look at cat pictures. I understand. I wish you’d all shut the hell up about WVU games, too. Seriously people, I don’t know anything about football.
You’re my *fellow American*, so please don’t be offended when I ask, as a person who is affected by your indifference, if you take a few minutes out of your day to begin a ritual of giving a shit. And more importantly, learn how to talk about politics above the level of say.. A 5th grader. Nobody is expecting you to suddenly become an expert in economic policy, get a history degree, or figure out how congress works. That’s unreasonable since clearly the people running our government don’t do those things. But take time, learn who represents you locally, at state level, and federal level and maybe even write those people a letter once in a while just to let them know you’re paying attention and they have to impress you to keep their job.
(NOTE: If you REALLY hate politicians so much, you should write them frequently. They really hate being forced to, you know, represent you instead of just voting however they want on stuff.)
In order to ease the transition from chickenshit citizen to democratic badass, let me give you a few guidelines:
#1: You are not right, probably, so don’t be an asshole. If someone starts saying it’s cool to hate on minorities, you can be pretty sure that person WILL be the one that nobody wants to talk to in 50 years. Or visit ever. Other than that, you’re probably not right. It’s not that you’re wrong, it’s just that some questions haven’t really got an answer. Should college be free? Who the hell knows. Here’s what we do know: Charging students out the ass for it hasn’t been really great for anybody except the people making loans. So.. Maybe we should try something else? It looks like some of those countries that are doing better than us in education tried the free school thing and it worked out.
(Also please, for the love of God, don’t pretend you’re an economist. You’re not an economist. Economists are barely economists. )
Free yourself from the burden of being right — it will make you a better person.
#2: Ask why. Most people are not actually insane and usually have some halfway decent thoughts backing their political opinions. Should we raise the minimum wage? Again, nobody really knows. So ask someone WHY they feel strongly about it.
#3: Look for the stories. Most people want to pretend they have facts backing up what they care about, but more often than not they’ve got a story that matters more. Maybe they got passed over for a job because of affirmative action, maybe they had a friend hurt accidentally with a gun. You seriously don’t know until you ask.
#4: It’s OK to get a bit heated. Look, some issues are not freaking simple. End of story. For instance: I find violence and murder to be pretty damn awful and I will never agree with someone who says it’s ok to bomb civilians, shoot people, or kill someone for doing something awful. Some people think a few civilian deaths are OK, or that it’s alright to take someone’s life from them because they made the mistake of breaking into your house. I strongly disagree and I will get my temperature up when people suggest that human lives don’t matter.
#5: Don’t talk about fight club.
So here we are, about 1400 words later and somehow you’re still reading this. I won’t blame you if you stopped in the middle of this post for a tall drink. I certainly poured one while I was writing it. *hiccup*
As a favor to my adorable brother and sister, your perfect kids/nieces/nephews, and everyone else who’s just trying to get along in this world: read the news from good sources, talk with your kids and family about politics, watch the debates, write letters to your representatives, and VOTE. For the love of God, VOTE. Take people WITH you to VOTE. I don’t care if you have to literally drag your friends to the polling place. VOTE.
Here’s a picture of a cat as an apology.