Saturday, November 12, 2011

Making A Case for American Apathy

Just make it past the introductory paragraph. Keep your apathy at bay for just 10 lines and we'll get to the good shit.

I just listened to a 30 minute interview with David Rosenberg, the great economic predictor of Gluskin Scheff. Rosie, as he is affectionately called, makes no bones about labeling the current state of the American economy what it is. In a depression. No happy media spin for the clown prince in chief. Rosie states simply that recessions are contractions followed by rebounds. There is no rebound here and none in sight. We have not added one job in ten years. The stock market is no higher than it was 12 years ago. Recent GDP was a little better than expected but included one time aberrations that will not be repeated in the newer quarter.

What does this mean for the typical on the ground working stiff in America? Not a damn thing.

The current state of the economy will not put bread on the table, it will not help your attitude, and talking about something you have no control over- is a waste of time. Non productive.

Some people simply hate to read. Others hate the subject matter. Others hate politics. Trust me when I tell you- that many folks see the economy and politics as subjects joined at the hip.  They avoid any talk of either at all costs.

I will tell you quite flatly, that my ex-wife did not give two shits about politics or the economy. This made her a happier human being. That in turn made me a happier human being just as long as I had the good sense to keep quiet about politics and the economy. My ex went to work each day, came home, relaxed a little, then did it all over again. Day after day, week after week, year after year. Like a hamster running on a wheel that never stops. The hamster never questions why it runs on the wheel. Asking why involves risk. The hamster just runs. It is safer that way.

If you have read this far, you are probably not a hamster. 

That I believe is your garden variety and average American. Desperately working hard to acquire things (money) so that they can perform in whatever play or function that their subconscious ego demands. For some it will be raising children. For others it will be fame or personal accolades. For some it will be acquiring money to buy "things" and prove their self worth. For some it is traveling the globe. And yet for others, it will be to prove to the world that we are vastly intelligent and of the non hamster variety. But for most Americans, talking about politics and the economy will not do a damn thing to change their immediate needs. It will not make them healthier, wealthier, or put them in a better mood. Concisely and briefly, they see no upside to discussing the economy or politics.

They are the majority. They are winning. They are proving that there is nothing wrong with apathy. In fact, having apathy makes good sense to them. It's hard to argue. I hear that from the hamsters all the time. Here's the shortened version. It's "shut the fuck up" about the economy and politics. You cannot change any of that and we don't want to hear about it. There are more useful things to do. Like running on this wheel.

My goal as a listener or reader and then perhaps as a writer, is to be a facilitator. My beliefs were acquired as a result of investigating the unknown and arriving at the most likely conclusion. But in order to do that, I had to care. Caring is the opposite of not caring, apathy. You simply cannot change or facilitate a change in the beliefs of an individual who is convinced that apathy is the best defense. Collectively, as long as the apathetic remain the majority, they win. There will be no change in the status quo leadership therefore there will be no trickle down effect or improvement for the rest of us, economically or politically.

Not one great leader or person of note EVER was apathetic about their current state of affairs. Had they been, history would never have known even one of them. Think about that.

In a democracy, the majority speaks. They win. The hamsters have become the facilitators. Now shut up with all that talk about stuff you can't change. Be like us. Get on that wheel and run.


Anonymous said...

I fear tat the only thing that will break through the apathy is when they are forced out of their comfort zone by the events they believed they could not affect.
BTW, thanks for the heads-up this morning on my post title. No excuse. I was in a hurry and it showed. Hopefully a lesson learned.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it was my lack of "Apathy" thet got me into trouble. Think about you a lot, Hope all is well!

Brian said...


I was pretty much a full time sheeple complete with apathy until 2007..thanks Lisa.

Teepee said...

Apathy and personal peace/piece; the piece of the mythical materialistic pie. keep your hands off my slice. P. Floyd