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View Diary: The Desiccated Soul of a Politic Man (127 comments)

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  •  Who's the Senator? (none)
    Why should he or she have anonymity here if you are so outrageed about it? Put their name up here so we can all show our outrage to him or her for their insensitive response.
    •  How is it insensitive? (4.00)
      Because its a form letter? Frankly, I dont want my pols writing me originals on topics that they must get contacted about frequently. They have better things to do with their time.

      If there's one thing I've learned, it's that life is one crushing defeat after another until you just wish Flanders was dead.

      by ablington on Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 12:14:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ask that of the diarist who put it here. (none)
         because I'm sure yopu disagree with her too, right? And OK, then, "boilerplate" response as it was described. I would then like to know who it is regardless. And frankly, responding like a robot doesn't exactly show me you care. And yeah, they have much to do. Enabling Bush is hard work.
        •  I dont disagree with MSOC's emphasis that Sudan (none)
          is a clusterfuck, but dont think this form letter is necessarily rage-worthy in its own right. Harry Reid is a busy guy, whether he's enabling Bush or not.

          I couldnt tell what your take was, if you thought it was insensitive. Im still not sure.

          If there's one thing I've learned, it's that life is one crushing defeat after another until you just wish Flanders was dead.

          by ablington on Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 12:28:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  a busy guy? (4.00)
            Too busy to be a human being?  

            Not a rhetorical question, btw.

            ...But Achilles, weeping, sat down at a distance far from his companions, beside the whitening waves, his eyes fixed upon the boundless sea.

            by weeping for brunnhilde on Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 12:30:15 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  too busy to handwrite letters to constituents (none)
              about broad subjects that he most likely gets asked about quite a bit. HEnce the invention of the form letter, whether the contents are about parking tickets or genocide.

              If there's one thing I've learned, it's that life is one crushing defeat after another until you just wish Flanders was dead.

              by ablington on Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 12:40:35 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Additionally, (none)
                if a form letter exists for this subject, maybe letter writing ISNT the best way to evoke change....?

                If there's one thing I've learned, it's that life is one crushing defeat after another until you just wish Flanders was dead.

                by ablington on Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 12:55:55 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  It's clear that Bush is too busy (none)
              planing the upcoming bombing campaign/invasion of Iran.
          •  I'm not raging at Reid. (none)
            Not at all.

            I am simply talking about Sudan, and the form it took today was my response to Reid's response.

            Please do not mistake this as a screed against Reid. It ain't.

            •  It IS incidental who the Senator is, I agree. (none)
              I dont think this is a bad form letter, personally.I also think that most of our politicians (even a couple Pubs) DO care about this and grapple with the power they may or may not have to change things. Its a clusterfuck all the way up the money chain to the UN and beyond...throw in a dose of govt corruption and mob mentality and crippling poverty and it renders a situation that makes us (behind our keyboards, fat & warm) feel helpless and guilty.

              But its important to remember that its just a form letter at the end of the day. You may as well toss it in the trash. Im not even sure the answer to this issue rests with our govt beyond money and military intervention. I just dont know.

              If there's one thing I've learned, it's that life is one crushing defeat after another until you just wish Flanders was dead.

              by ablington on Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 12:45:21 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  but ablington... (none)
                ...why should we be complacent that political engagement has degenerated into something we "may as well toss in the trash?"

                I'd urge you to consider the implications of this state of affairs to the larger problem of alienation from the democratic process.  

                Why the complacency?

                ...But Achilles, weeping, sat down at a distance far from his companions, beside the whitening waves, his eyes fixed upon the boundless sea.

                by weeping for brunnhilde on Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 12:54:44 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Here's my point, I think... (none)
                  If a form letter exists about about the genocide in Darfut, maybe letter writing isnt the besy way to affect change.

                  Its not about complacency and/or outrage, its about efficiency. I dont have answers, but this seems futile.

                  If there's one thing I've learned, it's that life is one crushing defeat after another until you just wish Flanders was dead.

                  by ablington on Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 12:58:35 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Here's MY point: (none)
                    It's better than NOTHING.

                    Ya dig?

                    •  Of course (none)
                      but then we have to expect the form letter, and the cycle of crap continues.

                      Theres gotta be a better way. I think it starts with general awareness. We'd be better off writing letters to Bono. No matter how hard our Govt may or may not work on an issue, most of the country tunes them out anyway.

                      I just want our limited rage reserves to be properly channeled by subject.

                      If there's one thing I've learned, it's that life is one crushing defeat after another until you just wish Flanders was dead.

                      by ablington on Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 01:10:18 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  ablington (none)
                        The problem isn't that it's a form letter, per se.  The problem is the nature of the form.

                        It's written to promote a passive citizenry rather than an active one.  

                        Please see my longer comment on this matter downthread.

                        ...But Achilles, weeping, sat down at a distance far from his companions, beside the whitening waves, his eyes fixed upon the boundless sea.

                        by weeping for brunnhilde on Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 01:28:27 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I did. (none)
                          I would argue the problem has nothing to do with the form, and that getting mad at it (and by extension our govt) is rather a waste of time. Whether or not you are a passive or active citizen is hardly influenced by the language in a letter from a Senator, especially when you consider that most people dont pay ANY attention to politics.

                          This lack of attention by our citizenry to govt is in itself a big problem, yes, but draws off topic. To stop this genocide the energy we spend has to mean something, and Im not sure where that is best spent for the quickest results. We need to brainstorm.

                          If there's one thing I've learned, it's that life is one crushing defeat after another until you just wish Flanders was dead.

                          by ablington on Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 01:38:51 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  thanks for your response (none)
                            I think we disagree in fundamental ways about the (rightful and de facto) scope of politcial process.  

                            I'd love to engage more on this but I feel like there are way too many unexamined premises involved so we'll just continue talking to cross purposes.

                            The last point I'll make is the following:

                            Whether or not you are a passive or active citizen is hardly influenced by the language in a letter from a Senator, especially when you consider that most people dont pay ANY attention to politics.

                            I think that such a letter is both cause and effect of a passive citizenry.  In itself it may seem benign, but as I say, seen in context I think it's a symptom of the larger problem which thereby serves to perpetuate that problem by conforming to its pattern.

                            Perhaps our paths will cross in future and we'll have more time to understand each other because as I say, I feel like we live in two different universes.  

                            I'm eager to hear any final thoughts you may have if you so desire to share them, otherwise, cheers.

                            ...But Achilles, weeping, sat down at a distance far from his companions, beside the whitening waves, his eyes fixed upon the boundless sea.

                            by weeping for brunnhilde on Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 04:47:30 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  I hereby nominate Bono (none)
                        to be Gen. Awareness.

                        LMAO.

                        "For the first time ever, everything is in place for the Battle of Armageddon and the Second Coming of Christ." -- Ronald Reagan (Methinks he miscounted)

                        by grndrush on Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 01:35:07 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

          •  yes it was... (none)
            otherwise I wouldn't have typed it. Again, typing back robotic responses doesn't endear me, and I think writing Congress now is frankly a waste of time. And please, busy? This is the substance of what they should be busy about. I'm busy too, but I still give a damn.
      •  not because it's a form letter (none)
        but I think the line

        Please be assured that I will keep your concerns regarding the situation in Sudan in mind as I continue to monitor this important matter.

        is a little insensitive. It's a little late to monitor the situation. Something needs to be done now. And something other than money because apparently that isn't working.

        "I remember when the answer seemed so clear. We had never lived without or tasted fear." The Monkees

        by kisler1224 on Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 12:19:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ding ding ding ding ding! (none)
          You win the prize.

          Bingo.

          "I will continue to monitor this important situation..."

          Got a satellite filming the murders, do you?

          <seethe>

        •  Well, that too (none)
          I guess that negates the request in the diarist's former diary on that about contacting Congress?
        •  Kinda (none)
          like flying over the Katrina ravaged area in Air Force One or playing a guitar while citizens drown? The fact is the people in Congress, no matter how much the political posturing don't give a rat's ass about Africa unless there is oil involved. Hell most can't concern themselves with the average American citizen, unless there is a political advantage or photo op in it for them.

          "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent." Thomas Jefferson

          by llih on Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 01:05:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, I think it's more complicated. (4.00)
            Anything bad that comes out of Africa re-inforces a prejudice.  The purpose of prejudice is to foster social cohesion.  So, when one attacks an opinion enshrined in prejudice, one is challenging the social order.
            When the Senator's lackey pens a response which says, "I will continue to monitor," that's an expression of openness to being persuaded to chuck the prejudice over-board, but only if there's a social consensus that the prejudicial attitude is wrong.
            What difference would that make?  Well, given the prejudice about Africa, the murder of hundreds of thousands merely registers as confirmation that sub-human behavior is rampant.  Absent the prejudice, the slaughter of hundreds of thousands would register as yet another example of man's effort to rule by dispatching disposable people as an example to those who count.
            The impulse to dominate can only be realized by exterminating a population one doesn't care about because exterminating people one desires to rule is counter-productive.
            Of course, the members of populations that are systematically exterminated logically conclude that they are hated.  That they're simply disposable doesn't occur to them and, because other populations miss that its disposableness that's determinative, the process occurs over and over again.  Innocent people keep being killed because we miss that it's their very innocence that makes them convenient targets for evil.

            Forget "GOD, GUNS, GAYS, GIRLS & GETS"

            by hannah on Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 02:43:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  ablington (4.00)
        Here's what I wrote at the MLW version:

        It's a profoundly alienated and alienating letter.  Barely a whiff of an idea that these are real people and that something atrocious is happening.  It's as if you'd written demanding, demanding, god damn it, that something be done about to address the proliferation of potholes you've been noticing as you drive home from the mall.

        I wonder if it's a deliberate strategy, to exclude any and all humanity from official correspondences or whether, as you suggest, they simply have no humanity to convey.

        But I think the lack of anger, indignation, emotion is more than merely an issue of symbolism.  Because in stiffling these reactions in himself, he's de-legitimating them in us.  It's exactly, exactly as you say: Genocide in Sudan?  Don't let it get you down, it's not Your problem.

        No populace like a docile, alienated, desensitized and complacent populace.

        'Cause God forbid, if you're allowed or even encouraged to be indignant about the plight a bunch of darkies in Black Africa whom you've never met, you  might allow that indignation to vent itself on your own life, you own society.  And then, as surely as the night follows the day, you'll be gunning for Prominent Senator, Prominent Industrialist, and finally, God forbid, the pillars of Western Civilization!

        ...But Achilles, weeping, sat down at a distance far from his companions, beside the whitening waves, his eyes fixed upon the boundless sea.

        by weeping for brunnhilde on Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 12:21:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  where's the outrage (4.00)
        that's what gets me. Whether in this form letter or on TV or in the newspaper, whether over this or the war or reproductive rights - where's the outrage? I am just on apathy overload right now and what may have normally passed as an acceptable reaction now seems devoid of all emotion - because nobody seems to care about anything.  

        That's just my personal opinion, of course.

        First they came for MY privacy...

        by sassy texan on Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 12:21:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  you wanna know "where's the outrage"? (none)
          they don't make enough tranqs to deal with all the crap on the list of THINGS WE SHOULD REALLY BE ANGRY ABOUT RIGHT NOW ... disconnect is a means of coping ... helps us focus on efforts toward resolving something (just wish we could do a better job on our shortlist)

          BushIsWeak.com ... somebody really ought to register this domain name ...

          by wystler on Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 02:13:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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