Thursday, September 4, 2008

Raison D'Etre

I have more political conversations with friends that feature the phrase "I didn't know that" or "I just stopped paying attention because there's too much" than I'd really care to recount.

In a sense, I get it. It's extremely easy to go into sensory overload where this stuff is concerned. That said, you shouldn't have to be a political junkie to know that the party that's calling Obama & Co. "elitist" also features a wife whose outfit for her speech at the RNC on Tuesday cost $300k. (Suddenly, two $400 haircuts seem like a drop in the bucket.)

And what does it say that a large number of my cohorts are more aware that pro-life/pro-abstinence-only-sex-education Palin's 17 year old daughter is pregnant, than they are of either Palin's firing of podunk Wasilla's Police Chief, attempt to fire Wasilla's Head Librarian (both for not being supportive enough of the only-days-into-her-mayoral-administration pitbull); attempt to ban books; or what has become known as Troopergate?

The media's not doing its job in full, sure, they're only highlighting whatever's going to get the majority of the populace riled up Springer-style. But it's not as if this information isn't out there, and on this front there are a number of reasons for the disconnect.

Apathy - The news has been so bad for so long, it's too "inconvenient and depressing" to try to keep up.

Lack of Awareness - You want to know, but don't know where to look.

Over-stimuli - There's just too much to know.

Which is where I hope we come in. I'd like to think of this place as a gateway drug to more hardcore sources for political news/thought; sharing specific links pointing to something worth reading/thinking about; as well as providing a decidedly left-leaning POV on the political talk du jour.

We're not pundits, it must be said, and I don't think anyone posting here has any pretentions to that pigeonhole.

Speaking for myself, I'm just a political junkie with a hopeful bent; though I tend to engage with right-leaning wonks who are essentially spouting whatever viral meme's been trotted out by the likes of O'Reilly, Limbaugh, and Hannity, and I like being prepared with some actual firepower so I'm not caught off guard.

So that when the wonk goes into Katrina, to use an old example, all "Katrina was the result of faulty local government being caught unawares," I can retort, "yeah, well, the federal agencies are there to jump in whenever the local government is overwhelmed, and those agencies fielded a request from both the mayor and governor three days before the hurricane hit, and they still took a week to get anywhere close to NOLA. A week in which both Canada and Venezuela had forces on the ground before the US arrived. Let's not get started on the slip-shod job by the Corps of Engineers."

In short, I want to enable you to be able to reply to that conservative member of your family who insists on sending neocon emails to your inbox with something that'll just flummox them.

It's a two way street, though. If there's something you want to know about, let us know in the comment field.

More to come.

No comments: