Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Apathetic Voters for a Better Candidate

Hi, my name is Anne and I'm an Apathetic Voter (Hi, Anne). I have a confession to make: I did not vote in today's election. In the 16 years since I became eligible to vote, I've probably missed a couple of minor elections because I forgot to go, but this is the first time that I deliberately chose not to go. I've just gotten so disgusted with politics and politicians that it makes me ill to think about it for too long.

I tried to convince myself to vote today, I really did. I told myself that being able to vote is not only a right but a privilege; I reminded myself how hard my foremothers fought to win me that right; I reminded myself that there are millions of people around the world who do not have that right and probably won't win the right to do so during their lifetimes. But none of these arguments were stronger than the realization that there are absolutely no politicians worth voting for! Not a single one. It seems completely worthless to me to vote when there's no one you really want to vote for. It doesn't even come down to voting for the lesser of two evils, since all the politicians on the ballot are equally bad in their own special way.

Let's face it: there isn't a single politician out there who honestly cares one iota for the "little people" like you and me. Oh, they'll tell us continuously that they do care about us and our problems, but that's only so we'll be fooled into voting for them. But when it comes right down to it, no matter what they say during the campaign, as soon as they're elected they'll pursue their own agenda. They'll vote to give themselves raises, they'll do whatever they need to do to please the corporate bigwigs who paid for their campaigns, and they'll argue endlessly with each other to avoid making any real decisions or to prevent the passage of any legislation that might actually make a difference to you or me.Is there a single politician out there who gives a damn that the State of New Hampshire screwed me out of almost $9000 in unemployment two years ago? Of course not. Is there a single politician out there who cares that I'm in debt to the U.S. government for twice as much as my annual income just so I can pursue a degree? Nope. Is there a single politician out there who cares that I am a recovering cancer patient who has no health insurance? Not at all. The only way any politician would ever care about me, my life, and my struggles would be if I was rich enough to fund his or her campaign. And frankly, until a politician comes along who honestly cares about me and my issues, I'm going to find it extremely difficult to talk myself into exercising my civic responsibility.

My name is Anne and I approve this message.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Maybe I'm Crazy

I've begun to seriously worry about my mental health. There have been several times in my life when I've casually thought that I could possibly be insane, but it was a thought that was never taken seriously or pursued in any way. Recently, however, I've had more reason to take that thought seriously.

I'm currently taking a sociology course, and during the second week of the course we were going through an overview of psychology and some of the more common psychological conditions. As I was reading through the symptoms and diagnostic criteria for some of these conditions, I felt like I was looking into a mirror and seeing myself clearly for the first time in my life. Depression? Yup, there I am. Post-traumatic stress disorder? Hey, there I am again! Bipolar disorder? Certainly looks like me. Compulsive eating disorder? Wow, I'm there, too. What's happening here? Is there a really screwed-up person who looks and acts exactly like me somewhere? Yes, there is, and she's sitting right here in my chair typing these words.

How could I not know that I have so many issues? How could I not know just how screwed up I really am? My guess is that, when you're screwed up from childhood, you think that you're normal simply because you have no other benchmark to compare yourself to. And yes, I probably have had some or all of these issues since my childhood, though that may be hard for some of you who know me to believe. It seems that I learned very early in life to hide myself behind a mask of happiness and normalcy, but over the past year or so that mask has been crumbling little by little, and it's getting harder every day to hide behind it. Which is probably a good thing, as it's forcing me to deal with these issues which I have pushed aside and allowed to fester for most of my life.