Warning: The following contains POLITICS. It’s not at all researched and is mainly fueled by bile and confusion. Pinch of salt and all that…
No member of my generation can attest to be a deep thinker. Our brains have turned into mush from the poundings with give them through the incredibly fast and limitless stream of drivel that envelops our lives. Off-licenses are open twenty-four hours, terrible TV shows are always playing if you want them to be on several thousand different websites, you can have a meal cooked in your microwave in three minutes and you can tell everyone you know at any time, in any place exactly what you’re thinking. Do you know what else is immediately accessible any time you like? News. But we don’t care about that.
News is primarily infused with politics and politics by its very nature is a slow-moving vehicle. Our instant gratification lives have cultivated us in such a way that we cannot possibly care about something so slow and unwieldy. (Of course if you really want instant gratification influenced news you can always listen to Radio One’s Newsbeat, news so simplified and lowest common denominator it would make Newsround’s ten year old reporters hold their heads in their hands and turn to hard liquor.) This is such a terrible tragedy it genuinely makes me sad. That annoying advert that ran around election time in 2004 was right, if you don’t ‘do’ politics you don’t ‘do’ anything. When we don’t participate we let the truly important things slide into the hands of reactionary old bastards who make our country something we no longer feel attached to at all. For all their bastardry, they’re better than us because they cared enough about something to vote on it, demonstrate against or for it, argue about it, get angry about it. If we can only bring ourselves to get that heated about television or music but not governance and politics then what the hell is the point in all this? Why not sit down in our gardens gawping senselessly at the fence and periodically wailing out loud and soiling ourselves?
I’m not saying we should all become political bores talking about nothing but, those people are twats too, I’m saying care. Just a little bit. It can’t be hard to go from nothing to ‘just a little bit’. How many times has someone told you they don’t vote like they are genuinely proud of the fact? Next time it happens give them a swift backhand and come round mine for a high five. These people have given up their right to say anything about governance ever again. It’s maddening to see people not caring about the most important things in the world because they think it’s over their heads or it’s not for them. It’s for everyone, that’s pretty much the point of democracy. People who have no opinion on politics are lower down than whatever extreme hate-spewing wanker you happen to find has the most offensive views. At least this guy has the balls to attach himself to an ideal and get animated about it.
Which is not to say you should attach yourself to an ideal so totally. In fact I would recommend not nailing your flag to any mast. Observe and decide which political party or what-have-you suits you best at the time of voting. This is harder than it sounds seeing as everyone seems to be purposefully making it impossible to find out what our political parties actually stand for. It’s so worth the effort though because you are participating in the most important process you can be. Even if you just do it because it gives you a warm, smug feeling deep inside you, voting for the sake of an ego-wank is a much greater thing than not voting out of complete and total apathy. If you really can’t decide, which is absolutely understandable given the abysmal faceless mess our political parties have become particularly here in the UK, then go spoil your ballot. Step into the booth and draw a cock and balls on the paper. Write Gimpy McGurnface and draw a box next to his name with a tick in it. It makes a statement that you don’t feel reached out to, certainly more of a statement than if we sat on our arses at home watching How Clean is your Celebrity Pet from Hell while our brains trickle out of our ears. It’s better to be neutral and angry than to do nothing at all or to meekly subscribe to what our parents believe because it’s easier. If you don’t know what you want but you do know that it sure as hell isn’t what you have then let that be your message. Be more 1905 than 1917.
I know what this must all seem like but I’m not preaching, honestly. Well at least I’m not trying to do. People have told me I should go into politics but I just couldn’t do it because I don’t want to turn into a complete arsehole, or rather more of a complete arsehole if indeed you can become more of something that is already complete. I’m there and I’m going through this, like everything in our lives this is a great unknown. We’re completely puzzled by politics but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t care. And we certainly can’t stop caring because it’s slow, try telling that to the Tortoise Protection Group (yes they do really exist! Google it, it’ll take less than a second!)
If you feel this bewildering blend of anger and uncertainty then let your country know about it. If my government sees me on CCTV every couple of minutes then they can start paying some fucking attention to me.