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   suggests political futility
Wednesday, June 23 2004
In a language class the students talk about a wide range of topics because that's the way one learns a language. Our Spanish class has been no different, and it didn't take long before Gretchen's leftist political beliefs became well known to her classmates. Mind you, my political beliefs are just as strong as hers, but there's something about a class of dimwitted 19 year olds that suggests political futility.
Perhaps because of the strength of Gretchen's views and her constant references to them, everybody seemed to be in agreement with her for most of the six weeks of the course. In the past few days, however, there seems to have been a breakdown in that agreement. This probably was an effect of the imminent end of the class (we take our final oral exam tomorrow), and people who felt constrained by the reality of having to see Gretchen in the future have come to realize that the consequences of rebellion are rapidly decreasing. So a couple of the class dimwits (all of them men) have suddenly begun parroting talking points from the Bush campaign. Since there are no political ads in New York and these guys are not the kind who read newspapers or watch news shows, I can only surmise that they heard these things from their similarly-dopey drinking buddies, passed word-of-mouth with ever-increasing telephone-style distortions. Gretchen quickly launched a counterattack, of course, but it was obviously futile. These, our classmates, are walking examples of the idiocracy that governs this country. Their imaginations are too weak to discover anything wrong with holding a view such as: "Sure, Bush has completely fucked up our reputation in the world and has screwed our economy, but we're in the middle of this war, so the Bush people are the best ones to lead us out." Under that kind of thinking, even a potted plant would merit re-election, so long as its advisers kept ordering the invasions of countries.
I don't involve myself in these hopeless battles. Whenever I'm embarrassed or bored by anything - the non-Spanish vowels of a classmate attempting to speak Spanish, the querying of the teacher for the Spanish word for "but," or even cloaked references to the possibility that Dorothy (our class's youngest female student) is wearing her sixteen year old sister's underpants - I just doodle.

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