The Year Without Politics?

Everybody seems to hate it when Christmas decorations show up in the stores before Thanksgiving. Me? I hate it when we’re talking about the next U.S. Presidential election a full eighteen to twenty-four months away from the actual poll date. I mean, come on, seriously? Methinks this particular election (and this particular office) is literally blown out of proportion. The President is not — or at least shouldn’t be — an all-powerful individual who can make sweeping changes in a mere four years. What Congress and the Senate do actually has more impact on our day to day lives. So how come we’ve been rolling with the Election ’16 media frenzy since January of ’15?

Honest to goodness, I am sick of it. I am sick of the whole thing. Especially since nobody being pushed by either the media or the two big parties really gets me out of my seat right now. The only guy who got me out of my seat lately, was Romney, and before that . . . Perot. So obviously if I feel myself getting excited by any particular candidate, there’s a good chance (s)he’s gonna lose anyway.

My Facebook friends have also noticed that I am dialed up extra-cranky about the cultural Chekist infestation that’s plaguing social media right now. I was prepared to launch into a lengthy tirade about the whole schizophrenic mess, but (irony of ironies) Bill Maher did it for me!

Now, nobody can accuse me of fondness for Maher; he’s far too much of a raging anti-theist. But I think he nailed it right between the eyes with his Halloween 2015 commentary. It really says something when a chap like Maher is going off on the Politically Correct. His point at the end is especially apt. It’s something I’ve been saying for awhile now: the cheap “virtue” of internet slacktivism, is no virtue at all. It’s just self-righteous no-effort self-huggies for people who don’t want to break a sweat, nor get their hands dirty. You want to make the world better? Get off the damned internet and go do something that takes work. Otherwise, you’re not helping anyone, or anything.

Which takes me to Sad Puppies — or, rather, the people who fought against Sad Puppies with every fiber of their being. Because when the Hugo awards went off-script, it was literally a catastrophe so terrible and great that the Puppy-kickers pulled out all the stops to challenge Lord Vox in the Ritual of Desecration.

Me? Sad Puppies burned up my political fuel on a personal level. It’s one thing to pay attention to and argue about politics on the national scene, but Sad Puppies was both heated and contentious, and it took place right on my doorstep.

Certain people thrive on that kind of stuff — they eat political fights for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It gives them energy. Not me. I find politics draining. I felt (and still feel) it was worth it. But the baton has passed to others — and I am fully confident that Kate, Sarah, and Amanda will carry the banner high, and acquit themselves handsomely. If the vitriol they face is anything like what I faced last time — and there are plenty of indications that it will be — I am glad they are tag-teaming between them! In the words of Emmett (from Silverado): “You’re in it now, and it’s gonna get mean.

Which reminds me of an anecdote I once heard, about the glory years of the Soviet Union — before the world found out about all the horror that was committed by the Soviet state. It was said that Lenin (perhaps also Stalin) were so fully steeped in politics, that they even dreamed politics. For them, the Soviet Revolution was not just a waking thing, it was front and center in their unconscious lives as well.

Frankly, I find that notion more than a little creepy — and it may explain part of the reason why the Soviet Union (as happens with all Marxist states) turned out to be such a grotesque train wreck. Those men literally lost themselves to their political obsession — and innocent people suffered and died as a result.

I look at the social media agit-prop spilling across my screen every week — plenty of stuff that would make Lenin and Stalin smile — and I want to just . . . switch it all off.

The CHORF war against all things canine will continue whether or not I drop dead next week. The Republicans and the Democrats will keep playing flag football for the White House, with the media acting as one-sided referees. My social media feed will continue to be populated with high-volume, low-density blather about how Bernie, Hillary, Ted, and Ben, will all ruin the world — unless good people rush to stop them! It’s a state of perpetual crisis, fostered by the pols and the lobbyists and the activists and the fanatics, who want us forever teetering on the edge of a fearful abyss — lest we go back to thinking life is actually okay. People who aren’t in fear, can’t be maneuvered to do things the activists and the pols want us to do.

So, consider this my one-man vote against the politicization of everything over the next fifteen months.

Do I care about the election? Sure. Do I care about Sad Puppies? More than ever! And I will be cheering for Kate, Sarah, and Amanda! They’re going to have their hands full.

But this coming year . . . I am going to devote my full attention to things much closer to home. Being on the other side of the planet (from loved ones) has reminded me in a big way how lucky I am to be able to wake up every morning and have my wonderful little family. By the time I get back to the States next year, my heart is going to be very, very far away from the hollering and shouting. And I may just keep things that way. Again, politics are draining for me. I talk about them because I feel I have to, not because I want to. And right now, the “have to” is being displaced by a very strong desire to just let the typhoon pass over me.

In other words, this motherf***er needs a dandelion break!


21 thoughts on “The Year Without Politics?

  1. Calling it The Ritual of Desecration is probabbly the best way I’ve seen their reaction to SP described across the whole thing.

    Pity many of them won’t have read that one.

  2. A voice for sanity, crying in the wilderness…… I agree with you 100%. I am so tired of fear-mongers, be they political or be they commercial advertisers. I am trying to cultivate an attitude of calm but excited curiosity to see what the Lord is going to do in my life next, it keeps me calm but optimistic and that is where I want to live. Bless you Warrant Officer!

  3. Allow me to pre-empt the folks at File 770:

    “Blah, blah, Brad is whining. Blah, blah, Bad Puppies, blah, blah.”

    Enjoy your dandelion break, Brad. You’ve earned it.

  4. The problem is, as far as the social justice whiners go, they don’t see this as politics, which does get old (and that’s coming from someone who does it for a living)… they see it as LIFE. They literally don’t do anything else. They’re not normal people with normal lives. That’s why they never let up.

  5. I was in Asia over the summer, and it was refreshing to turn on Channel News Asia and see actual NEWS, not just presidential punditry. Even worse than the bias, I think, is the massive shift in American media from journalism to editorializing.

    As for the Hugos fight? I can’t possibly care as much about that as I do about the actual books.

  6. Amen, about the editorializing. I am not sure anyone in the current crop of “reporters” knows the difference between merely delivering events, and spinning events to meet an agenda.

  7. The whole concept of impartial reporters is an industrial/mass media era anomaly. The print and broadcast silos limited the number of voices available, benefitting condo located power structures. Prior to this, most speakers had the same scope due to transport and communications costs. Radio and tv licenses limited the number of people with megaphones. Internet provides everyone with megaphones, leaning toward a more level field. It’s a more horizontal market than what existed mid-late twentieth century. Pre wire service, many providers with limited reach, local choice is different and limited. Industrial, few providers with wide reach, everyone has the same limited choices. Information, many providers with wide reach, everyone has all choices.

    In pre-wire days, the news and local concerns created regional point of view. In industrial days, everyone had the same news, which, like it or not, bread a common outlook. Now, the news selection is based on what makes sense or is most appealing, frequently this is confirmation of existing bias, and acerbates echo chambers. This returns us to contention over “news”.

  8. “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed — and hence, clamoring to be led to safety — by an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” — H. L. Mencken

  9. You may not be interested in politics, but politics IS interested in you!

    I’m glad you tried Brad. But when things get this stupid you either pull your guns and fight to the last shot or you head for the hills, keep your head down, and hope the stupidity blows over.

    Unfortunately stupidity is the natural state of Man. It was nice to know that for awhile, it seemed like we might be able to reach above that and maybe even reach for the stars.

  10. File 770 linked this post, so you might get an influx of idiots. Just thought you should get a heads-up.

  11. Good for you, Brad. You need to prioritize. The fight will always be waiting, as long as there is a puppy trying to have fun and a village missing its idiots. But caring for your family is a lot more important than caring about what the renegade malignant idiot squad is doing in its ongoing Puppy Hate.

  12. Brad, you paid your dues man. You suffered under the slings, arrows, and shitestorm of the puppy kickers for an entire year, culminating in that obscenity of an awards show.
    Now you are engaged in service to your country, and thank you for that.
    If anyone deserves a break from politics and such crap it would be you, so take care, stay safe, and come home to what we all here will try to make a better place to welcome you back.

  13. Cheer up, Brad. It might rain here in the AOR sometime in the next few weeks. I think a nice wet Thanksgiving would be nice to have.

    Note that the hurricane down in Yemen and Oman last week was a little TOO much rain, thanks.

  14. I 18th your sentiment. I’d love to have one month of politicking before the primary, then one month before the national. period, end, and the first person to bend/break the rule gets kicked off the ballot for his/her/its party. Would it happen? Naaaahhh. Can I dream? Yeppers. Enjoy the dandelion break!

  15. TXRed has a point. We just recently had a federal election in Canada, with a whole eleven!!! weeks of run-up! That was about twice what it’s usually been, and a fair number of Canadians, and the Canadian MSM, commented on what a long, drawn-out process it was. Eleven weeks. And yes, by about week six, I was pretty well convinced the party leaders had said all they were going to say of any substance.

    And now some of those of a conservative bent (which probably equates to about the US middle) are already lambasting the new Prime Minister for actions such as selecting a gentleman who is Sikh for Minister of National Defense. They seem to have missed completely that he was also an officer in the army, did a tour in Bosnia and three in Afghanistan, and (because he was a reservist) also spend 10 years with the City of Vancouver PD as a detective. But the cry is “Trudeau picked him so he could have a Sikh!” It doesn’t seem to occur to any of them that maybe, just maybe, Trudeau picked him because he’s a retired officer who has actually been in a war zone, been out on patrol? In other words, who’s been at the sharp end of the spear?

    In the meantime, some of the more liberal bent (meaning hard left, to the US) are complaining that he’s not moving fast enough, and that there’s still too many white people in the cabinet. Well, you know, he kind of has to work with the MPs that were elected, you know? if there weren’t enough non-white Liberal MPs elected, maybe the liberal left didn’t do a good enough job getting out the vote for the candidates they favour? And not moving fast enough? Hell’s bells, the man was sworn in like about a week ago. Give him a chance, for the love of God.

    Personally, I’m with the “give him time” crowd. And if he does things I don’t like, I can bitch about it over a beer, because I did my duty as a citizen, examined the party positions and voted. In the mean time, as the good Chief says – dandelion break time.

  16. So what can you tell us about your present situation? All I know is you’re deployed. C’mon, Brad, you’re a great story teller . . . tell us some stories (within the limits of OpSec, of course).

    Here, I’ll get you started: the coffee in the Army, they say is mighty fine. Izatso?

  17. It should take great passion to fight and a fighter should pursue rest and relaxation after the fight with equal passion. Best wishes for a peaceful deployment and a very happy return.

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