March 25, 2008

Keepin' the Faith

[I originally wrote this as a note to my Amanda, but I feel that it applies to
everyone and therefore, I am posting my thoughts and forcing them onto the
Blogging world.]

First of all- PROPS to William for posting "UBL" on my friend Amanda's
Facebook. FINALLY! Someone gets the guy's friggin name right. This is one
of my pet peeves. (Of which I have several.) The man is Usama bin Laden.
You may know him as Osama bin Laden. You would be wrong. The FBI and
the State Department have ALWAYS called him Usama, or UBL. For no
apparent reason after September 11th, 2001, the American Media changed
his name. Maybe it's because they (I mean "They") didn't want a terrorist
who took more American lives than anyone ever before to have a name that
begins with USAma, or maybe some intern at a news office messed it up
by accident and they just ran with it. Who knows? Either way, its Usama
bin Laden
. End of story. Don't believe me? Just ask the FBI. Go to the FBI
website, and on the middle right-hand side there's a link that says "Most
Wanted Terrorists" click it, He's numero uno. Look, I'll even provide you
with a link.
Something I would like to say: you can't let the world get you down and I'll tell
you why. Did Bartlet let conflict between India and Pakistan get him down?
No. he immediately got the ambassadors in the white house and tried to
dissipate the situation. One man. and the guy has MS.

What did Josh and Toby do when they met Matt Kelly at that little bar? Did
they despair at the poor conditions of the economy? Or did they do
something about it? No one thought that they could, not even the President
of the United States, but they had an idea and they ran with it. That, my
friend, is going to be you (the people who are committed to the study of
history, politics, social justice, human rights, civil liberties, world events,
terrorism, and government) some years from now.

Just remember from 20 Hours in America, part 2:
JOSH: Campaigns aren't about the candidates.
JOSH: They're about the voters. How-how are we going to create jobs? how-
how are we going to get healthcare? How are we going to make the lights go
on? How are we going to protect ourselves?

The point is that it's not about the state of affairs, it's not about what has, could,
or will happen, it's about YOU. It's
about the future of politics. It's what we are going
to do to
fix the world. And you can't lose hope for change, because Faith that you
can change it is the only thing that will ever
change the world. And a little bit of
cynicism can be good.
It's what allows us to not simply accept the status quo, but
effect change. To demand change. The key is to stay just critical enough to force
a change, but not too much that you
lose the faith that you can.

JOSH: Learn things. Be good to each other. Read the newspapers, go to
the movies, go to a party. Read a book. In the meantime, remember
pluralism. You want to get these people? I mean, you really want to reach in
and kill them where they live? Keep accepting more than one idea. Makes
'em absolutely crazy.
Josh then, of course, reminds the students to refrain from stealing anything
before they leave :) I leave you with that my faithful reader.


Amanda said...

Thanks for the encouraging post, complete with wonderful bits of West Wing :) I was just in a really cynical mood because I was learning about and discussing international politics all day yesterday - Israel's threatening Holocaust on Gaza, Turkey's attacking Iraqi Kurds with our government's help, Iran is too which may spark a war - basically the world's going to hell, and our government's foreign policy is just making it worse!

With that being said, I haven't completely lost faith in change. I do still believe that it's possible to effect change - I'm just kind of at a loss as to how. The problems of the world are so immense that it's easy for me to be cynical. However, I AM excited about our future lives in politics! :) I guess we're just at a hard place in life now - as students, we're learning about all of the problems of the world, but aren't in positions to do anything significant about them yet.

Maybe I need to stop watching so many depressing movies. In the past few weeks I've seen:
"Charlie Wilson's War" - about how the armement of Afghanistan to fight the Soviets in the Cold War made it a hot spot for terrorists.
"Lord of War" - about the international small arms trade which is fueling bloody conflicts in Africa.
"Who Killed the Electric Car" - about how our government and the oil industry effectively killed a vehicle that would've moved up towards less pollution and global warming.
I should find some hopeful political movies - if there are any out there.

I am often amazed at how articulate and wise your posts are, and I will definitely take your advice to heart. Thank you!

Amanda said...

P.S. You don't have to send me another present - I still haven't sent yours yet! That's nice though :)