Sunday, February 29, 2004

two things that reduce me to despair

first, wandering around on Dan's blog i see an article about a woman who was dragged away by her drunk boyfriend from her workplace, in front of her 'horrified colleagues', driven home kicking and screaming in his truck, punched and then thrown over the parapet of her apartment to her death. charming. does anyone need a better explanation of why i think people are basically sucky and horrible? (note: not evil, because evil requires a spark of insanity and genius that i find worthy of appreciation, in a twisted kind of way) both because some drunk guy thought he had no choice but to throw his girlfriend over a wall to her death because she wanted to break up with him, but also because he wasn't stopped from taking her away, clearly against her will. what, ten people standing around can't stop one drunk man?

second, i'm trying to write a paper about the benefits of free trade, selling it to some senator who is protectionist in stance becos he has a lot of job loss through the collapse of the auto manufacturing industry in his state. and in the back of my mind, while i am running through all the standard arguments (which to me are PERFECTLY reasonably and totally compelling; the greater good and all that) i am constantly thinking that there is no way such a senator would vote against protectionist policy, because he would lose the next election in his home state. even if it meant denying tons of people the benefits of free trade; even if it meant risking a trade war with japan/china/korea. -shrugs- people who have the chance to make a real difference to lots and lots of people rarely do because it requires them to stick their necks out and risk something personal. and what incentive is there for that to happen? disguise it as concern for your unemployed workers, by all means. all it really means is those unemployed workers are not going to vote for you in the future. there are so many things wrong with this scenario i can't even put them into coherent sentences.

besides, i'm hungry, and it's time for dinner, and for me to stop thinking about trade policy for a while. gah.

UPDATE: yet another thing that fills me with despair: reading over the comments on my paper last week for LRS. it seems i will never be a good writer. the language of confused, befuddled, obstruse academia calls me to in its lack of concern for comprehension on the part of the reader...

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