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Dear (eventual) Stickies & Great-Grandstickies,
Our story thus far. I decided to write a series of letters/columns about stuff that I wanted to make sure I told you in case I wake up dead, the destined to be famous Before I Wake Up Dead (BIWUD) series.
God and Politics (BIWUD, Pt. 6), written two weeks ago and which was supposed to be the last of the series, covered God, but only introduced politics. So, last weeks letter/column should have been: Politics (BIWUD, Pt. 6.5) and that, as they say, should have been that.
However, wanting to end the year on a high note, I wrote about an inspirational commencement speech that included my favorite Bob Dylan lyrics in a column called Plagiarism.
All Politics, All the Time
"I've put it off till last because I'm sick of this subject, a subject that at one time I found fascinating." I made that statement two weeks ago but ran out of room, time, and energy before saying exactly why I'm sick of the subject.
Saturation. All politics, all the time, is the short answer. I've got a folder on my... wait a sec', I'll be right back...
OK, I've got a folder on the bookmarks bar of my browser.
[Sorry, I celebrated my 39th birthday for the 25th time last summer and I've developed some short-term memory issues. Being unable to remember that a bookmarks bar is called a bookmarks bar, for example.]
This folder, labeled FU (short for funnies, which is what we called comic strips when I was a callowyute), contains links to a dozen strips that are the first thing I read every morning, in search of a smile, before checking out my email, the news, the weather, etc.
Now, two of 'em are editorial cartoons, one by a bitter, whiny, Trump obsessed Leftie and the other by a clever, amusing, Rightie who covers all sorts of subjects. This is because I'm open-minded and want the perspective of both left and right wingers.
However, more and more, politics has reared its ugly head in the other daily, allegedly light-hearted strips, the purpose of which, I thought, was smile generation. I'm not talking making fun of politics, I'm talking staking out polarizing positions.
One of 'em, for example, although still capable of occasionally making me laugh out loud, has taken to regularly promoting politically correct eating (among other P.C. positions). Gimme a break...
If you're new here, for the record, I don't identify as either a Depublican or a Republicrat and I didn't vote for the Donald or the Hilliam. Also, in case you're new here or/and haven't been paying attention, I do identify as a perky, African-American libertarian lesbian H. sapien (my personal pronoun of choice) named Coco who is trapped in the body of a cranky old white dude.
[Wait-wait-wait. Question, is this going anywhere? Is getting lost in the weeds a side effect of that new med you mentioned a couple of weeks ago? Also, H. sapien is not a personal pronoun, it's a noun. Furthermore, it's sapiens, not sapien, you can't...]
Tut-tut-tut. Dana-Dana-Dana. Don't be a narrow-minded, reactionary hater. By the way, have you seen Iggy or Marie-Louise?
[They're standing in line at various and sundry stores to return unwanted Christmas gifts. Don't try to change the subject. I repeat, is this going somewhere?]
Absabalutely. (HT: Ray). How did we get to all politics all the time? A virus that has even infected sports, the true (and harmless) opiate of the masses. Get up off of your knees, win the game and then donate 25% of your money or/and time to saving the world (you'll still be rich).
Sorry, I digress.
Why aren't we obsessed with going to Mars or... or instead of turning global warming into a religion for people that lost theirs and never got over it, why aren't we working on a way to give the whole world the climate of San Diego and where/when it only snows if we want it to -- or something equally seemingly impossible?
Accomplishing seemingly impossible, dangerous things was what made America great.
[Well hell, everyone knows the reasons for that. You've written about 'em. The 24x7x365 news cycle of the if it bleeds it leads/wears its bias on its sleeve media.
The fact that the Gummit is so large and pervasive the Swamp is like Louis the (circle one, XIV's -- XV's -- XVI's) Versailles on steroids.
The fact that we've got a political industry! Professional politicians/political hacks/pundits and pollsters.
The fact that...]
All true, but it's all about the money. Whether you want to spend it on a gold plated toothpick, your kid's medical bills or pass it around after the revolution, it's all about the dough.
Here are some more facts for ya', bucko.
Fact one. According to this site, in 2018 total federal, state, and local gummit revenues will amount to roughly $6.66 trillion (interesting number, huh?).
Fact two. I became interested in politics at the age of 13 (1966, hey, I've never claimed to be normal). At that point in the dim and distant past, most grups, even the ones that voted religiously, were, for the most part, not obsessed with politics. In fact, didn't pay much attention till an election was approaching.
Fact three. Right or wrong, the mid-1960s was when the current version of the American version of a welfare state started to pick up steam.
Fact four. Again, right or wrong, help from The Gummit keeps growing, "rights" keep expanding. Everyone benefits, which is why most us vote for the H. sapien that promises to make sure we get our slice of the pie, or at least redistributes the slices to our favorite designated victims.
Fact five. Since WW2, no matter the who/what/when/where/why, Hauser's law has remained true The Gummit's revenue is about 19.5% of the economy. This is why we're up to our necks in debt (and rising), as a nation -- we keep spending more than we make. Officially, we're $20,000,000,000 or so in the hole as this is being written.
Of course we're obsessed with politics. Even if you set aside the political industry mentioned above and or/and it's ability to keep us hyped via Information Age technologies the logical thing to do is fight for a slice of the $6,600,000,000 pie.
My Dear Stickies, when I told you last week I put off publishing this column because I didn't want to end 2017 on a dark note, well, (gentlereaders: click the link for a hair-raising reality check) you're on the hook for roughly $120,000,000,000. Sorry. Poppa loves you.
Have an OK day.
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©2017 Mark Mehlmauer (The Flyoverland Crank)
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