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Bird's Blog

Poetry, musings, observations, commentary, rants, confessions...and who knows what else!

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Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Teacher, writer, poet, grandmother, lover, wine-drinker, chocolate eater, beach comber, hiker, traveler, Giants fan, San Franciscan. All work on this blog is copyrighted material.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

GOTV Rant

Normally, I volunteer to register voters at the university where I teach. This year, I am not. I cannot seem to muster up the dedication, the idealistic verve needed for such a task.

Register these kids to vote? Register these ignorant, un-educated, ill-informed students so they can vote without considering the issues, without doing their research? So they can vote based purely on the tv and radio commericals they hear? So they can vote based on what their political science prof told them in class one day instead of researching the issues and the politicians and arriving at their own decision? So they can vote in opposition to how their parents vote (only considering that they want to oppose, never considering the real issues)? So they can vote like one of their friends (Tulare's really smart - and he supports so-and-so, so I 'll vote for that guy too)?

I think not.

Let someone else register these kids. Let someone else who still believes in master narrative of our country: every vote counts; voting is a not just a right, but a responsibility; democracy requires your participation.

I still believe democracy requires your participation. But this mindless voting ain't participation.

Takes more than bellying up to the voting booth to participate in democracy.

27 Comments:

Blogger boneman said...

Yes'm, it does at that.
Unfortunately before the last election, I saw that same wave of apathy being woven into the Republican campaigns. "no need to bother with things....we have everything under control."

Crap!

'Course, I'm guessing I'm a bit more radical than you being as I'm a Republican with a dream, but, nobody's listenning anymore.

TERM LIMITS!

Dang! The more people we can get into the government system, the more Democratic it'll be, and I don't mean "Democratic" as in the Democrats.
I mean more voices!

I'm tired of the rhetoric of needing leaders, because that's not why we vote for anybody! They're supposed to SERVE US, not their phoney-baloney jobs!

But, even worse than that is the idea that almost every state in the union has made that occurence near impossible with their hoop jumping attitudes, their more experienced than the other guy attitude, their pay us more, give us more, fan us feed us and satisfy us till we die attitudes....

Dang!
I do believe I'm going off, again.
I do that with those weasels!

October 03, 2006 10:26 AM  
Blogger K9 said...

/bark bark bark

i dont think im going to vote. theres no one who represents rottie ideology. and of course i realize that means i have no right to complain after the elections. i shall confine myself to musings on the culture and of course phtochoppies.

/grrr

October 03, 2006 11:51 AM  
Blogger Bird said...

boneman -
i agree - we need more voices - unfortunately, our current two-party system elimnates that possibility.

k9- i disagree - i do not suscribe to the idea that you have to vote or forfeit your right to critize your government. that's just bullshit. if you choose not to vote because there is no candidate in which you believe or who can ably represent you, if there isn't anything on the ballot that you feel will assist your country/state/county/city/district in addressing issues - then why should you be compelled to vote for people and propositions which you do not agree or endorse merely so you can have the "right" to say - hey - this isn't working, or this could be different?

October 03, 2006 12:42 PM  
Blogger Little Lamb said...

I agree with you Bird. I don't even liek the political ads. So approves of this message, I hate that. If it's good, it's from that person, if its bad, its from the other guy.

I will vofe for who represents how I feel about things.

October 03, 2006 1:26 PM  
Blogger The Flabbergasted Heathen said...

People who don't vote piss me off.

If there's no one you think can represent you the way you deserve, CAST A BLANK FUCKING BALLOT!!! Don't waste the opportunity!!!

If you don't vote, you're not allowed to bitch about the guy in charge.

October 03, 2006 3:49 PM  
Blogger Little Lamb said...

That's waht urks me, people who won't vote and yet complain abotu the government.

October 03, 2006 4:24 PM  
Blogger K9 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

October 03, 2006 4:25 PM  
Blogger K9 said...

/bark bark bark

see what i mean boyed?

/grrrr

October 03, 2006 4:28 PM  
Blogger /t. said...

i'm not even in your country, can't vote... but it doesn't stop me from bitching about your government -- where do all these rules come from anyways? FTW, folks

a _ n a r c h Y

/t.

October 03, 2006 4:42 PM  
Blogger Little Lamb said...

EVERYBODY hates us and they also complain about our government

October 03, 2006 5:21 PM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

Birdie, I hear you. I am in a mood, too, and I think you are doing the right thing to step away from this, at least for this year.

I vote.
Chances are if its a Dem, its a good person. Maybe not great, but I take my chances. If you don't vote, than don't ever complain about our government. Around here, there are plenty of Independents to vote for...

October 03, 2006 5:24 PM  
Blogger Little Lamb said...

Ok, let's put it this way, everybody, whether they vote or not, is entitled to their opinion.

I really don't like how our public schools are teaching our children (NO offence Bird) What I mean by that is the teachers have to pass the students regardless.

Is it that way in your school Bird?

October 03, 2006 5:24 PM  
Blogger Bird said...

oh my what a tempest has been unleashed - hahahaha!

i still maintain that you can complain all you want regardless of whether you vote or not. i do not, at this point, see how casting a blank ballot says anything more than not voting.

i don't think everybody hates us - but i do think many from outside the country see us in ways that we don't fathom - they are tied to our polciy often and they don't have a voice in making it. that causes problems. frankly, i sympathize. as a US citizen i am tied to my country's policies and actions, yet more often than not these days, i do not have a voice - or rather, my voice is not heard in these matters and i do not approve.

little lamb - specifically about the passing along of students - nope, i don't pass students who don't deserve to pass. however, in my remedial courses (which are sometime two levels below college-level) passing is relatively easy. students meet the requirements to get out of the basic skills class, but that doesn't mean they are ready for primetime. i do not provide soical passes in the transfer-level english class. it's do or die there.

i have some pity for my beleagured high school counterparts. don't know how it is necessarily in the rest of the country, but i can't imagine teaching 4-5 sections of english with 30-40 kids in each section and EVER helping anyone learn to write effectively. no way i could comment and provide guidance and feedback.

it's not the teachers, little lamb - it's the system.

dawg - ignore all those naysayers and criique all you want. we have that thing called free speech you know. hahahahahahaha!

October 03, 2006 5:35 PM  
Blogger Bird said...

i forgot -

/t - EXACTLY - where did these rules comefrom?

feel free to bitch away.

October 03, 2006 5:36 PM  
Blogger Mrs. B said...

bird,

thank you for your sympathy for high school teachers. we need it. contrary to the lack of capitalization, I teach English to seniors. I am faced with the dilemma of teaching them to write like college students, or helping them learn how to read.

Off the subject, I am sorry...back to voting.

I really feel your pain as far as the fear of an uninformed electorate. I firmly believe that that is how I got stuck with No Child Left Behind; but being uninformed only lasts so long. The "voters" soon lose passion, or gain more. That is the way that I have seen it. I am for helping their passion grow, but I have not been beaten down by years of registering idiotic voters.

Keep up the good work. I love stopping by the nest.

October 03, 2006 7:35 PM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

Thanks for the empathy, Birdie!

As for passing students, I don't pass any student who does not do work in my English class. I was disappointed to read that this was a common opinion of us high school teachers.

October 04, 2006 7:04 AM  
Blogger Reverend X said...

I pulled this from the news today. Figured it could help ya with motivation...

The road to fascism is being paved at a clandestine yet alarming velocity, across valleys, prairies and forests, surrounding cites, towns and states, from Atlantic to Pacific, immersing 300 million individuals into a fog of engendered tyranny, who without a care or whisper or concern remain trapped by comfortable surroundings born through perpetual indebtedness. Even as their rights and freedoms and liberties are made to disappear, even as their Constitution is burned, even as their nation hangs on the precipice of despotism, even as their collective destiny is being destroyed those residing inside the belly of the beast hear no evil, see no evil and feel no evil, preferring to gossip about pedophile politicians and celebrity failings than informing themselves to the last throes of the American republic.

Excerpt from America the Tyranny

October 04, 2006 9:41 AM  
Blogger CROAK said...

Can a non American comment on "to vote or not to vote" considering here we have no choice. One of the few democratic nations that have compulsory voting.

"For bad things ( I hate the word 'evil') to flourish all it takes is for good people to do nothing."

Your example is too good to waste, Bird.

Help the young'ns to see how important it is to 'register'. Only the fearful and stupid will end up voting and voila...Republicans are back in!!!

Just a small thought.

October 04, 2006 12:59 PM  
Blogger Crashtest Comic said...

I don't believe in voting.
Last time I voted I heard my vote ended up in a box in a basement in Florida.

October 04, 2006 5:58 PM  
Blogger K9 said...

/bark bark bark

if i said i was marrying a dolphin i would be celebrated!
grrrrrrrherherhahaahha
actually i will need to vote for the governor of the great state of jawja.

/grrr

October 05, 2006 5:37 AM  
Blogger Bird said...

anyone interesting running for the guvnor of jawja?

non-american commentators are always welcome!

here ya CT - that's part of my jaded cynicism as well. but, but ...i will still vote - just not sign up others to do so - this round.

October 05, 2006 6:31 AM  
Blogger boneman said...

wait a minute....
you said (wrote)
"Takes more than bellying up to the voting booth to participate in democracy."
but then yer not going to do but just that?

maybe not.
Got some action goin' on here, doncha?

Din't know y'all were a school marm, as it were.
Or, are ya?
A gal at the Art Center suggested to me that "dumbing down" my writin' was a less than honorable thing t'do. Knowin' that there are school teachers running loose in these here blogs, though, makes me wonder if'n I shouldn't be a bit less slang laden as i have been.

Y'got any thoughts on that?

October 05, 2006 9:13 AM  
Blogger Bird said...

hey there boneman!

haha! you've called me out on my stuff. but, i do more than just vote (usually). i write letters to my elected reps, i participate in protests in demonstrations when i can (and when the sponsoring organization is one i approve of), i keep informed - and study up on issues - and i try to teach my students to do the same (sometimes i FORCE them to do the same). but i am taking time off from registering voters for now.

slang on a blog? go for it! you've seen my writing style - sometimes very articulate, other times filled with slang and swear words. for me, blogging is sometimes the place i can let my hair down as a writer.

yes, i am a school marm of sorts - teach at a community college and university.

October 05, 2006 12:19 PM  
Blogger /t. said...

go bird!

blogging
is a place
to try out new
things, including new writing styles, techniques, causes, and too, new personas (for those interested) and new ways of communicating, and and and -- try it out and find out what works and what doesn't -- have fun

my 2 cents

/t.

October 05, 2006 12:38 PM  
Blogger K9 said...

/bark bark bark

/t: exactly. a medium as fluid as they come....esp your dynamic works

boney: well we've all swung from rap to aunty style country drawl to percivals romantic dandyism and back again ..

i figured your speak was dog vernacular

boyed: muir beach is my hangout and i will be there next year in spring. SHB's on the beach? neva!! neva!

/grrrr

October 06, 2006 5:50 AM  
Blogger Bird said...

there'll have to be a meeting then - bird and dog on the beach.

i'll bring lots of sticks. and tennis balls. chewbones.

steaks.

October 06, 2006 6:19 AM  
Blogger K9 said...

/bark bark bark

marry me boyed.

/grr

October 06, 2006 8:05 AM  

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