Skip to main content

Criticize Your Government

Yesterday I had the opportunity to spend an hour of my day listening to Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones upon her visit to our school. Very few people knew she was coming until few hours before the speech was schedualed, and it was a surprise to many. After it was announced that we would be listening to the congresswoman talk at about 10 am, everyone in my homeroom has some wise-ass comment to make. The thing that I found most amazing however, was how few people actually had any idea who she was... I heard people call her everything from a state senator, to city councilwoman, to Ohio represenative. People were asking if she was a Democrat or a Republican, what she looked like, and why she was here.

Granted, probably only a minority of the people at school are represented by her since they live in Cleveland's "thriving" subburbs, but it seemed odd that no one knew who the congressperson from their major city was. Of course, I'm not going to claim to know all of the representatives from the state of Ohio, but I'm at least aware of the representatives from Cleveland East, Cleveland West, Lorain, and Lake Country are and have a mild idea of how they stand on issues and vote in the congress.

The fact that so few people know so little makes for a humorous situation when they try to criticize the government, leaders, or policy. For example, the other day people were baffled at why the drinking age in the United States is 21 years old and not 18 like in other countries. They honestly believed it was based on maturity and they felt they were mature enough for it. They had absolutely no clue about the federal mandate handed down to the states during the construction of most of the interstate highways; mandating of course that states would recieved federal funding for interstate projects if they raised the legal drinking age to 21. The other day in English the question was asked who would be a possible candidate for the Republican ticket in 2008, someone proposed that Bill "First" might run, and only a handful of people knew who Bill "Frist" actually was. Another time someone was excited about the prospect of Hon. William Renquist having to step down as chief justice, because it meant that Bush could appoint a new "conservative" to the Supreme Court, clearly of course, this person had no idea how William Renquist swayed ideologically.

Maybe the problem is that no one reads the newspaper anymore... Maybe they just flip straight to the sports section and the funnies for a laugh at the day's Ziggy cartoon. Maybe the problem is that people rely on Action 19 News for reliable information, and thus end up knowing only of the latest Jay-Lo affair and dirty dining experience. Maybe everyone obsesses about their math, science, and theology classes and hasn't a care what goes on in the world... Whatever the case, at least I can leave high school knowing that even though I don't have the best grades or the best test scores, that I'm infinitely more knowlegable on issues that actually have significance in the world.


Llewis198 said…
I don't think anyone obsesses over theology homework, but I see your point.

Popular posts from this blog

In Praise of Southwest's 'C' Boarding Group

A few weeks ago I saw a tweet from someone complaining that their Southwest Airlines boarding pass had been assigned A20 (meaning they would be at least one of the first twenty passengers to board the plane). Apparently this person though they should have been assigned a higher number, less their flight experience be considerably spoiled.

Despite the complaints, Southwest has resisted demands to assign seats on its flights, a decision which I personally applaud. I'll admit that I was skeptical when they rolled out the newest boarding procedure, assigning both boarding groups and a line number; but in hindsight it seems like one of the best operational decisions they've ever made. If nothing else, it effectively eliminated the infamous "cattle call" whereby fliers were getting to airports hours in advance and sitting in line on the floor as if they were waiting for the midnight showing of the new Star Wars movie.

When I was an intern at Southwest Airlines last winter, I…

So You Want to be a Southwest Airlines Intern?

My personal website must have pretty decent SEO - because in the past year, I've received about two dozen emails from aspiring Southwest Airlines interns looking to draw on my experience in search of their own dream internship. In the past two weeks alone a few new emails have already started rolling in...

(from flickr user San Diego Shooter)

If you've found your way here, you might be hoping for the silver bullet; a secret tip that will propel you above the competition. Unfortunately, I do not know any inside secrets. I can only share my experience as an internship candidate about two years ago and, rather than responding individually to future emails I anticipate to receive, I hope that potential interns will find the information posted here valuable.

Understand: Southwest Airlines is a very unique company. The corporate culture at Southwest is truly unlike that of nearly every other company. But you probably already knew that, since it now seems mandatory for every management,…

Mixing Sports and Business

In the last two days I've devoured every article in the Washington Post about the Nationals painful and epic defeat on Friday night in the NLDS. It was a tough way to see the season end, there's no doubt about that.

(from wallyg on Flickr)
These articles make it clear that there are a lot of people emotionally invested in professional sports. I think they sometimes they forget that, ultimately, Major League Baseball is big business. Each team is a major corporation and the league itself is an organization governed by a bunch of executives. The television networks that show the games are under contract with the team owners and the games aren't usually available to those without cable.

This is why it can be so hard to be a fan in this game. It's the multi-millionaire and billionaire owners that call most of the shots. They get to decide how much they're willing to spend on players. They get to decide who to hire as the CEO of the company. They get to decide how much t…