A possible The Journal article

February 2, 2008 at 11:57 pm (Day to Day)

I’m thinking about sending this, or a version like this, to The Journal. Suggestions, including titles, would be appreciated.


The college years, the time when young people are supposed to be idealistic about matters they don’t really care about and overly-opinionated about issues they just heard about five minutes ago—all done in between skipping class and lying to their friends that class was cancelled as a ploy to get them to eat with them at Oscars. (Hint: take from plate and insert directly into toilet to save your body the time and energy of actually trying to digest that.) (Second hint: whatever that is/was.) Unfortunately, it seems that only the part that is actually true is the not-going-to-class part.

When reading the January 31 edition of The Journal, I was a bit ashamed after reading “Kenya Violence Goes Unnoticed”. It made me fully realize just how apathetic college students have become to global and domestic affairs. I consider myself fairly affluent to the happenings of the world around me, but it wasn’t until the Facebook status of a Kenyan friend caught my attention that I was actually impacted by what was happening in a country that was hailed as the African beacon of what a stable democracy should look like. And then The Journal article.

Does anybody remember the 60’s? I know I don’t but that’s because I was not born yet. I do know that if I was born, I would probably remember like this. “It was a time of political unrest, with rabble-rousers running through the streets, engaged in all sorts of tom-foolery and shenanigans. Trouble makers were demanding civil rights (thanks Martin Luther King) and birth control was no longer a damnable offense against God (thanks…Super Pope?) The Satan-inspired music of The Beatles was pumping our children’s heads with lyrics that caused rampant adultery and the possible cause of the HIV virus. It was a time of change, and definitely a time of advocacy. It was the youth of America that effected change. Despite grandmothers wagging fingers in young peoples’ faces, screaming ‘That’s how it’s always been! Now time for nuclear duck and cover practice!’ things changed. Kids protested, people wrote congressmen, and bohemians everywhere listened to good music (take that, bourgeois squares!).”

Now, I love wearing my Save Whatever Country it’s Currently Trendy to Want to Save t-shirt and my Live Strong bracelet just as much as the next bro, but it seems like this is what caring about the world has come down to; causes are a trend that come and go—I swear if I see One more One bracelet—they are a statement of social status. Come on, no college student is green, but it sure is cool to talk about that cute new term, carbon footprint, and how to reduce it. It wasn’t long ago that I had a conversation with a friend about environmental protection while going 85 mph in his Chevy Silverado Gas Guzzler Edition with a Think Green sticker on the back windshield. No, he was not trying to make some kind of mind-boggling ironic statement. We seem to create a false dilemma in our minds; that is, it is either all or nothing when it comes to “being involved.” It’s either bomb abortion clinics or don’t do anything. “I’d like to help, but in between only getting $500 a month from my parents and working for only $600 a month I don’t have the time, and I definitely don’t have the money.”  I like to eat, so making sure everybody else does in my place probably isn’t going to happen, but making sure somebody does by volunteering at something like Matthew 25 Mission isn’t going to do much other than take a few hours every month that would otherwise be used sharpening my sloth-practicing skillz.

Perhaps it’s been too many years in the sociology department that has caused me to be so cynical about the world, but the injustices of yore are far from over, and the ones that have been corrected could just as easily return if we allow apathy to ferment. Oh, and a hint to the intro to sociology student: put “blame society” as your answer on every single test question, and you are guaranteed an A.



  1. Scott said,

    How about this “Saving Darfur Isn’t Sexy”

  2. Rob said,

    That’s delicious!

    Any big critiques. It has to be a little bit entertaining (one of the requirement by The Journal), but I also want it to have a point.

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