Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Wherein Mona Decries Apathy

Time was in this country when you had to be white, male, and a landowner to vote.

But people decided that was wrong.

Women won the right to vote in 1920, via the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.

By law, African American males had had the right to vote since the 1868 passage of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, but were largely kept away from the polls by obscure sections of state constitutions, poll taxes, and threats of death.

The 24th Amendment did away with the Poll Tax.

The 26th Amendment guaranteed the rights of everyone aged 18 and over the right to vote.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 enforced equal access to voting.


My rant has nada to do with proper elections, that was last week’s news.

My rant has everything to do with voicing your opinion.

I’m on this committee, studying full-day vs. half-day kindergarten. (Our school district has mostly full-day, with one half-day program that is only half full.) I distributed surveys to parents of next year’s kindergarteners, asking them which program they’d prefer, if they would use a proposed half-day childcare in the school, etc. These went to nursery schools, daycare facilities, and other places where parents and 4-year olds hang out. I put out 125 surveys. I gave them an extra day to complete them.

How many surveys did I get back??


That’s “9”.

What? The? Fuck?

Hey. Parental Units. Do you really care SO little about what your child does, the learning environment that they’ll be exposed to, that you refuse to answer even a six-question survey? What the hell is your problem? I never asked for your name. I specifically noted you wouldn’t be contacted. The surveys were confidential. And NECESSARY for the school board to make a decision that DIRECTLY involves you and your child!

I’m pissed off. I’m beyond pissed off. I’m angry at the whole system who lets that sort of thing ‘be’. Who doesn’t call folks out and chew their ass up for not voicing their opinion, for not making a difference, for just thinking ‘someone else will do it’.

Fuck you.

Fuck you and your tired little world of self-absorption.

Fuck your apathy, you little snooty bitch, you blind bastard.

I didn't ask you who you wanted to run your city, your state, your nation. I didn't ask you to decide important property tax issues or when and where folks could vote. I didn't ask you to come to the polls and push a dot out or connect the lines of an arrow or push a button on a screen. I didn't prevent you from responding with threats of death, or extortion of money, or by closing access to the means to express your opinion.

I asked you what you wanted for your child.

Plain. Simple.

When they decide to change your world, don’t come running to me asking, “Wha’ happen?”

‘Cause I fucking asked you.

And you didn’t care.


At 10:39 AM, Blogger her master said...

Did they have to put a stamp on it to return it? You could have made a web survey as another option. Apathy is no fun, is it?

At 10:43 AM, Blogger Mona Buonanotte said...

her master: no stamp. They just filled it out at the table (or got it in their kids backpacks or cubbies) and returned it to the teacher or put it in the handy-dandy envelope I left at the main desk with clear instructions.
Apathy sucks big donkey balls.

At 12:54 PM, Blogger Elliot said...

It's called "anticipated breakage." That's what the rebate scammers call it in the boardrooms (the not-televised boardrooms). Rebates, I know from working "inside," were created because the manufacturers know that you can muster enough energy to go buy something on the promise of getting it for a lower price later, but they also know that, odds on, you are ultimately probably too lazy to send back the reciepts, bar codes, coupons, nail clippings, whatever so that you can get that rebate. The probability (read: "hope") that you'll not return your rebate shit means that they don't pay out and, have gotten away with selling you an item for retail price, yet making you think you got it on "sale." Ha! Apathy wins again!

Politicians love apathy too. That's how they can "change our world." People are easily numbed by rhetoric and forms to fill out, and so they don't do it, and the piggish people in charge have their way with them. I'd love to offer a solution, but there isn't one. The Force of apathy is strong in these ones, Luke. They will only learn when they have had enough, when they open their front doors one morning and a pile of shit falls on them, shit that smells like elected officials, bad legislation, and bodies floating in floodwater.


At 2:52 PM, Anonymous bugg said...

The shit of it is that these losers will be the first ones to bitch up a storm when they don't like the things that are happening in the schools.

I don't miss Michigan in that regard. People here in Seattle are very vocal and active and liberal, thank you jeebus.

At 3:01 PM, Blogger Mona Buonanotte said...

Elliot: I wonder if that's a function of our 'instant' society; things that take time and effort are ignored in favor of immediate gratification (which would be me with a hershey bar in one hand and a recipe for cheesecake in the other...the candy bar wins every damn time). The best things take effort, and noise, and sticking your neck out and daring to go against the flow. Too easy to say 'It'll never happen to ME", and then freak out when it does. Harumph!

Bugg: That does it! I'm movin' to Seattle! Liberals with fine coffee are just what I need right now!

At 3:26 PM, Blogger Maine said...

Mona... this has always bothered me. People who take having their opinion heard for granted.

Don't they know that's the "freedom" we're fighting for in Iraq? Don't they know that, unless you have big cash, that's all the say you have in this world? You're allowed to voice your opinion, and on some scale... it matters! so do it!!!

At 3:38 PM, Blogger SVN, prn said...

Mona, your hard work is valued

....it may not be by 125 people but it is by nine people. Nine people that care enough about their child.

Personally I know I had a huge opinion on the subject of AM vs PM kindergarten and the school just did what they wanted, not what was best for my daugther.

At 4:43 PM, Blogger Rob Helpy-Chalk said...

It sounds like the people weren't picking up the survey in the first place.

The forms were left in public places around the school with instructions to return them to the school? Most people don't stop to look at pieces of paper lying around--only exceptionally curious ones really.

You might have a better response rate if you approach people directly and ask them to fill out the form. Perhaps you and everyone else on your committee could carry a bunch of forms with you, and give them to anyone you meet who looks like they might have a 4 year old in the right school district. This may entail hanging around playgrouns more than you otherwise would.

At 9:17 AM, Blogger gypsy said...

I teach government to high school seniors. Talk about apathy. I've never met a more bitchin'er crowd, but they fully admit they couldn't give a shit about voting -- locally or nationally. I want to poke my eyes out.

At 10:18 AM, Blogger Marcheline said...

I don't vote because:

a) It doesn't make a difference, really - I've never voted, and I can't see how different my life would have been if I did.

b) All politicians lie. They say whatever will get them elected, and then they pursue their own agenda, regardless.

c) I hate politics. I hate the stupid "VOTE FOR XXXXX" stickers, signs, and commercials - they're not changing anyone's mind, they're just annoying people.

d) Choosing not to do something is part of "freedom". I live in America. I enjoy my freedom. I hate people telling me what to do in a free country. People that say "You have to vote" are really saying "You have to vote for who I support." Bleh.

e) I'd happily vote if there were anyone worth voting FOR. I just don't happen to think there is. When I do, then I'll vote.

I know you were talking about school stuff, but I just had to get my $.02 in....


- M


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