Afraid to care

I, for one, am a quiet person. In person, that is. I shy away from confrontation, preferring the simple life of tractable conversation to one with any degree of difficulty.

I’m not alone in this. Thousands of self-help quacks have made millions off of people like me – people who are more at home hiding in under a sweatshirt hood than out raising fists and causing riots. There’s a fine line between recluse and polite conversationalist, and sometimes I feel like I’m backing myself into the former.

Still, I have my beliefs, and I’ve begun to exit my shell of safety. This blog has helped a lot in that regard by offering me a faceless (though not nameless) sounding board for whatever it is I feel. Politics, economy, sports, whatever – if it’s a subject worth fighting for, I’ve begun to fight for it.

My reservations aren’t due to meekness. They’re due to a fear of looking stupid. I’m more afraid of speaking out without having my argument down than the actual act of speaking itself. Call it the proofreader’s dilemma. Call it a careful atmosphere of logical thinking. I usually call it chickenshit – you can’t fall down trying if you haven’t bothered to try in the first place, right?

So it’s with a wary eye focused on myself that I even dare to complain about what others are saying.

Yet complain I will, my friends. In an age where knowledge and change are struggling to keep up with the status quo, you’d think more of us would be striving to alter the world. To rise up with voices bleeding, fighting for our causes. And some people do. Some people genuinely care about the world. About life. About what might happen in the future.

And some people don’t. Which is amazing to me. This isn’t a liberal or conservative thing. This is an American thing. This is a case of “who cares?” This is a snapshot of our future – a dumbed down, self-serve society too busy worrying about looks and stuff and general escapism to realize they’re at risk.

At risk to lose the ability to care about anything.

Which means they’ve taken themselves out of the equation altogether, rendered themselves another body in the populous, a voice only heard every ten years on a census form.

My good friend Tim has witnessed a drastic change in culture over the past two years. From the chilly, friendly confines of Minneapolis to the Poindexter-populated metro of D.C., he’s been exposed to a different life. Yet one thing seems to stay the same – a lot of people simply don’t care. And it pisses him off.

From Tim’s most recent blog entry at Misc. Asst.
(Careful – it’s not edited and NSFKids. That’s something else he picked up in D.C.):

Yeah, yeah, trust me I know; you work two jobs, you got two kids and a wife, or maybe and ex, a mortgage and interest on college loans that’s a burden to your unborn children. But quite frankly I don’t give a shit; because: I don’t know what the threshold is… and neither do you.

Tell me: what would be enough? What life situation absolves you of responsibility? Tell me how many hours do you have to work in your shit ass job with people you fucking hate for what reason you don’t even know to justify not thinking about anything greater?

Why is it that everyone just can’t wait until they’re off the hook?

Check out his post at Misc. Asst. You’ll love it. You’ll hate it. Hopefully, you’ll feel one way or the other about it. Because an opinion is your basic right as a free-thinking human.

If you’re not used to opinions, try one on for size. Go ahead. They won’t bite.

This was lovingly handwritten on January 21st, 2008