Perhaps I am not built for the troubles of the 21st century. When I think about the future imperialism over the body of man, it is almost too much to bear. So I close my eyes and dream about armadillos and panda bears dancing the salsa. I squeeze my eyes so tight I poop a little, but when I open my eyes, alack, alack! The world pours into my jello-ish mind like fresh pineapple juice. Oh God, it burns. As the pain once again numbs to a dull throb, I realize once again that I am a cog in the giant machine, a brick in the giant wall, a salmon swimming upstream in the giant river. And what of this river, this wall, this machine that we awake to realize ourselves as part of? This giant monstrosity is called the universe. And even when you are closing your eyes looking at the salsa-dancing quadrupeds, you are still a part of it.
It’s very easy to disassociate ourselves from politics, but it is impossible for us not to be political. The act of existing is a political act when we have to eat food, make money, work at a job and pay taxes. Every act of our lives is political, even not voting. We tend to oversimplify American politics to how George Bush and Arnold Schwarzenegger are riding around in pod racers paid for by tax dollars or how Darth Cheney is using the force instead of diplomacy. We put a head on the government that just doesn’t exist. These people are our representatives. They represent our views and they represent America, but we are America. America is for and by the people. Everything our nation does – war, arms dealing and the sale of environmentally hazardous herbicides to the Columbian government for use on illegal drug crops – reflects on us.
Even an abstaining vote is a vote. So many people sit on their couches at home when they are not out shoveling brown stuff and think, “There is just no way I can ever be part of this complex thing going on outside my front door. I think I’ll stay on this couch with this armadillo.” Little do these couch potatoes know that they are still voting yes when they fail to take action. Most of us vote “yes” on most things every day. Sometimes there is a protest or a conversation and we vote “no” for a while. As long as America is at war, the couch potato is crucial in making sure we stay at war. The ayes have it until there is a recount. Therefore, those who abstain constantly cushion the status quo. Even those cute people who say, “I don’t vote because it wouldn’t change anything,” are going along with the status quo, which is keeping America at war.
Luckily, participating in politics is easy and does not have to consume your life. Who am I kidding? Once you have the revelation that your life is completely political, you will become completely absorbed in the creative possibilities of a political life. You do not have to switch to be a political science major or drop out and live in Azerbaijan. Real politics happen at the micro level. How we think, how we act and how we imagine ourselves in the world all falls under the realm of politics. From drama majors to English majors, to math majors to the nanotech Billy Bobs: Every act you do influences everything. We have a butterfly effect on each other and on the world. An art project seen by one person is having a political effect. A small breakthrough in materials research has giant reverberations. And if you want to isolate your body and mind behind a television screen or you are still participating.
Though the 21st century gives me chills and the imaginary pandas give me thrills, it is through interaction with the undulating substance called reality that I receive meaning. In the end, who knows what will matter. I’m just trying to make the world safe for fuzzy animals – especially the platypus.