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Friday, October 24, 2008


Alright, well, I haven't posted in a little while, though nothing too exciting happened this week, but I did finally take care of something that had been hanging over my head for a while: voting. All in all, the process wasn't too tough - download some forms, fill them out and sign, email some photos, get the real ballot, then send it all together in one package to the county registrar.

My inner skeptic tends to come out around voting time. This because, uh, I still can't think of any good reason to vote. It was pretty easy not to worry about that in St. Louis, when my voting location was Bartmer Elementary School, just down the street. Even if my vote was inconsequential, so was the amount of time and effort it took me to cast it. This time around, though, I had to go through a bit more of an ordeal, and in the end, I wound up having to spend a whopping 15 dollars on airmail. This was because the ballot has to be turned in By Nov 4 at 7pm, and I sent it on Oct 21st, and standard mail can take up to 2 weeks. So, despite not considering my vote too important, I wound up deciding to spend 15 hard-earned dollars on it. I can buy dinner Monday-Friday with that much money! Anyhow, I'm glad it's done with.

I wouldn't have informed you of all the above boring errand stuff if it didn't lead to something a little more interesting, which is: George Carlin. When he died, I obtained a set of his HBO specials and have been watching them on and off since then. I found his early stuff OK, with some interesting takes on the way we talk and the oddness of so many of our phrases, but his later stuff is getting really good - lots more socio-political commentary, with some anti-religious stuff thrown in. And then also some weird stories about his pets. But he makes it work. Anyway, I happened to come across the following schtick (profanity/crudeness warning). If you don't wanna sit through it all, I'll transcribe the highlight:

While all of it is hilarious, I think he makes a pretty good point in the third section.

"I don't vote because I believe if you vote, you have no right to complain. People like to twist that around, I know. They say "well, if you don't vote, you have no right to complain," but where's the logic in that? If you vote, and you elect dishonest, incompetent people, and they get into office and screw everything up, well YOU are responsible for what they have done, YOU caused the problem, YOU voted them in, YOU have no right to complain. I, on the other hand, who did not vote, who in fact did not even leave the house on election day, am in no way responsible for what these people have done and have every right to complain as loud as I want about the mess you created that I had nothing to do with."

I guess, according to that logic, I actually just spent 15 dollars (and several hours of my time) to divest myself of the right to complain. George isn't around to do any more complaining for me, but I suppose he did enough in his lifetime.

1 comment:

Jamal said...

Of course, both his argument and the argument that unless you vote you can't complain hinge on the efficacy of voting in general. But mostly when I bring up that issue people get touchy (you excepted).