Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Every one counts

I was a little late for work this morning because I was voting. Some group was taking an exit poll outside my polling place, and I decided to fill out one of their forms. I probably ought to be opposed to exit polls on principle (I don't know why, exactly -- they just seem like something that should bug the hell out of me), but it felt good letting others know how I voted. I hope I DO influence others, especially if means they'll just get out and vote. It was satisfying checking the "other" box when asked which party I voted for for governor. There was no way I was gonna vote for Arnold, and Phil Angelides seems like a weak opponent. Until last night I had figured Angelides would get my vote, simply because he's not Arnold; then Sean pointed out that Schwarzenegger is way ahead in the polls and there's no way Angelides can beat him, so why not "throw away" my vote on somebody worthwhile? Thus, I voted for Peter Camejo, the Green candidate, whom I'd voted for a few years ago. The guy gets no publicity, since the Green party doesn't have the money for TV ads and endless mailings and irritating phone calls, but he has a solid plan and seems like a decent fellow -- that's more than I can say for either of the major candidates.

I get tired of people not voting yet continuing to complain about what's wrong with this country/state/community. My feeling is, if you can't bother to participate in the electoral process and change what's going on, I don't have to listen to your griping -- you've removed yourself from the public arena and are nothing more than a spectator, meaning your opinion is valueless to me. People complain that their votes make no difference. Well, if everyone who really feels that way were to vote, all of those ballots -- millions of 'em! -- could make a HUGE difference in the future of this country.

I once read a great metaphor that has stuck with me: If you believe you cannot change the world because your good acts are just a drop in the bucket, commit those good acts anyway. The important thing is not only that you believe you are making the world a better place by what you do, but also that you believe the bucket is there: have faith that good acts can accumulate and ultimately cause change. That image gives me a lot of hope as an individual.

Thank you. I will now step off my soapbox and take us back to our regularly scheduled programming...


I missed the Weegee exhibit at the Getty last year, and I'm still kicking myself for it. The review that the L.A. Times gave the show was not favorable; I seem to recall the reviewer criticizing the overly "sensational" aspects of Weegee's photographs. Well, that's exactly why I wanted to see them! This great new collection of little-known pictures ranges in subject matter from car accidents to crime scenes to burlesque queens; individual shots have such evocative titles as Girl who beat police matron and escaped from jail, Hit by cab - and dead, and Couple in voodoo trance.

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