Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I say I don't care, but I do

This is the 5th installment of my 323 part series.

I wish I Felt Nothing
Artist: The Wallflowers

There are things I care about and things I don't care about. And then there are things I care about that I wish I didn't care about, both good and bad. This is that list:

Politics - On one hand, I don't figure that my vote matters, even if I vote in every election. I'm cynical enough to know that I don't have the money or the power (mostly the money) to influence . . . err 'lobby' any politician. I'm also cynical enough to believe that politicians don't want to actually solve problems, only score political points. I'm tired of talking points and empty rhetoric, but I repeat myself. On the other hand, I terms of the world population, I'm among the most well educated and wealthy individuals on the planet. In those terms, I feel a social obligation to follow and care about the political outcomes, both in the United States and worldwide. So I end up caring about what happens without feeling as though I can do anything to affect the outcome.

The Media - Yes, I'm aware the media isn't one giant cabal that meets on Tuesday mornings in their secret lair to set the national agenda for the week. It's much more sinister than that. Actually, that's not totally fair. All the media does is what any business does, which is try to find ways to make a buck. If that means spending more time on car chases and Hollywood starlets and their legal troubles than actual news, then by God, the media will focus on that. The one story I hated, more than any other, when I worked in newspapers was the "Man on the Street" story in which I'd go ask people their opinions on a news event and then publish their responses. Why the opinions of an unscientific sampling of people who happened to be walking around the Mall when I was there was news I still don't understand. Surely there was actual news and not what Jane Mallwalker thinks about marginal tax rates and their impact on growth projections for the next decade.

Sports -  Jerry Seinfeld once said that cheering for sports teams is essentially cheering for laundry. Deep down, I realize this is true. As much as I try to deny it, I know that a player I hate will suddenly turn into a player I love if he's wearing the right jersey. I'm fully aware of this, and yet, every spring, I get excited about the Chicago Cubs and every September, I start to care about the Georgia Southern football team. Other than going to school at Georgia Southern, I have no connection to the current players. Sure, we walked through the same classrooms, but does that mean I need to cheer for them based on that simple fact? Apparently it does, and I do. But there's a part of me that can't help but think I'd be happier if I didn't care so much about the outcomes of games. Then again, that might be due to the fact that I'm a Cubs fan and I'm often on the losing end of those games.

Note: I left my iPod at home, so the next song will be added when I get back home.


Scott Garner said...

I miss the Tuesday meetings... I mean, working in journalism.

Mike said...

Actually, the meetings have been changed to Thursdays.

And due to cost-cutting measures, instead of having donuts provided, we are now limited to only eating the cheese if we can kill the rats in the printing room before the traps get them.