Saturday, July 17, 2010

Anarchy, or the Power of Persuasion?

Next posting I'll talk about blueberries and log cabins, but today, allow me to indulge in a minuscule political harangue.


I have no use for anarchists. You know, those guys that think the world should be like an NHL game with no referees. I may sound like an anarchist sometimes, but I'm not really. In spite of my frequent ravings about government incompetence, I curb my primal urge to knock political heads together, and stick to simply making fun of them for the most part.

But sometimes a little anarchy might be good for the soul of the nation (I don't really believe that, but it sounded poetic). Or at least, smashed windows and torched vehicles capture our attention for a few milliseconds, and we wonder, "What's eating those idiots?"

I do feel a little sorry for these nutcase wackos though. They are not taken seriously. The only time you hear about them is when the G8 leaders have a billion dollar party (or 'summit,' as it's called). Thinking about that much money spent on who-knows-what makes me want to smash something too.

When people on a mission are consistently ignored, they are driven to illogical, counterproductive action. Such is the life of the anarchist. The only way to be heard is to act like a spoiled toddler who just discovered the Molotov cocktail.

Then there are volunteer firefighters. They have nothing in common with anarchists, except that they are consistently ignored as well. They don't flip cruisers and smash plate glass in protest, but they do try to get the attention of their leaders, who are busy fiddling while Rome burns.

Click here and here for recent stories of volunteers vying for the attention of their leaders. It's curious how one mayor plays the "public first" card. I wonder if that card was cut from the deck when Council reduced the department's budget.

I understand the reasoning of the mayor and council: if they cave in, anarchy will ensue and democracy will give way to mob rule. However, ignoring the volunteers sends a clear message too: "we don't have to listen to you because you care too much to quit for real." And politicians know that such protests only grab the attention of the public for a millisecond.

Volunteers are at a distinct disadvantage in the political tug of war arena. They really do care too much, and everyone knows it.

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