Monday, March 3, 2008

Playing God in the Ant Farm

Remember those hot summer days when you were a kid, with none of your friends around because they were on holiday and your parents busy with whatever grownups do? You had to entertain yourself out of boredom, or indulge in the sweet bliss of idleness. Remember the ant farm in your backyard? There was the uncontrollable urge to help them build their fort, get them some sugar, or to guide them to wherever they needed to go. But at your whim, you could decide to make them walk an obstacle course of straws, erasers and all kinds of small rocks, or to plainly be evil and destroy their nest, or burn them with a magnifying glass.

Peter Molyneux confessed this childish urge to and glee in total control, was his main inspiration in creating Populous and Black & White.

The media however, has much less constructive expressions of this prime instinct.

With Junior Super Tuesday less than 24 hours away and the polls tighter than ever, the media has not stopped analysing and digging. I've already touched on my deepening fatigue, but this video has gotten my blood boiling altogether.

Link to MSNBC Video

In this segment, pundit Craig Crawford discusses the Ohio and Texas primaries. What enrages me however is the glee with which he describes the political process. He literally says "Why should the media want to end this?", in a statement about the exceptional length and intensity of the 2008 Democratic primaries. Although I share the observation of the extraordinary nature of it all, and the wonderful fact of (new) voter participation; an "enjoyment" of the ongoing trench war is sickening to me. It's like Nero playing the harp when Rome burnt, like the Navy SEAL instructor enjoying to see his men suffer, or like the boy playing with his ants.

But these are not ants. This is serious business - the future of America is literally in the balance. While pundits are quick to say Sen. Obama arouses empty, rock star emotions, and that Sen. Clinton is on the short and dishonest end of everything, they are ignoring that both are campaigning at an inhuman tempo, with, in the end, only their political beliefs to drive them. The media doesn't care about the issues, the candidates, and even less about the voters. They care about the story, the spin, and the impact of it all. But I don't blame them. It's their job.

So please turn off all the TV sets, talk radio shows and internet politics joints. Take a pause, think about why you like or want to vote for any candidate. Take pride and responsibility in democracy, and cast your vote. And let March 4th be the end of it.

Because we are not ants. We deserve better.

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