Saturday, October 4, 2008

hypocritical vultures

Madison is known for being a liberal campus and a hotbed of political activism where socialism is a common ideal. People are always saying things like, “Why can’t everyone just be nice to everyone?” or “Why would anyone not like someone else?” It is especially familiar here to hear people ragging on politicians or the upper class for being selfish.

But what they don’t realize is that it’s not the selfishness of the people in power that has created our unjust capitalist system; it’s the everyday selfishness that they all possess. That their individual selfishness is not as far-reaching does not make it any more ethical.

Last night I went to the Annex to see Casiotone and Sunset Rubdown. When I got to my friend’s dorm, I realized the pregaming was going to be more intense than usual. In addition to the regular drinks, white dust was lined up on the desk. I’ve never done coke, and I didn’t plan on starting then, so I just sat on the bed as I watched them snort lines.

When someone who didn’t have any coke asked to have a line of someone else’s he was rejected. When someone would finish a line, tongues would flock around the residue, pecking in competition for the dust, like vultures on a carcass. As their brains sent artificial rewards to themselves for good work that was never done, they became more elated.

There are only two elevators in Witte, shared with ten floors of residents. On our way out of the building, one of my friends called the elevator and then stood in it for maybe five minutes while some other friends went to the bathroom and goofed around. If she had let it go, we may have had to wait a little longer for the elevator, but other people could have used it too. It seems like an insignificant action to be bringing attention to, but if you think about it, the elevator is a shared limited resource with no governing. Was my friend holding the elevator away from the rest of the building really any different than money-lovers holding their wealth away from the rest of the population? The effects differ in scale, but the root cause is the same.

At the Annex, I lined up next to the stage with another one of my friends (the only other one who had not done coke), and waited excitedly for the show to begin. We talked to some people around us, including a group of girls who had come all the way from Chicago for the show. Smiling and laughing, we started dancing to the music coming over the speakers to keep us occupied. In the small space, we accidently bumped the Chicago gals a few times, and their faces stared ahead coldly. When Sunset Rubdown came on stage we really started going crazy. The band was alive with energy that just grabbed my body and shook it up. We were having a blast just riding their waves of music and dancing our hearts out. But throughout the entire show the girls behind us just glared at us and stood stone still. They came from Chicago to hear music that radiated this attitude of happiness, chaos and getting along together, but they were actively unhappy, composed, and condescending.

I’m just sick of all the hypocrisy. I’m sick of people saying things they don’t understand, and not owning their own actions.

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