Elections are coming to town, and the whole country will know it. Every single politician has chipped in and are now playing the game that lays at the foundation of a flawed democracy; they are turned against each other and feuds are forged that will last throughout the coming period. Ladies and gentlemen: The pigs who rule this country. The bastards who rule us.
My mailbox has been bombarded with propaganda for the last two weeks, flyers from every major party full of flashy colors and smiling faces. Several from the right-wing party, even. Holding children, walking along the beach while gazing over the horizon willfully, fearlessly. I don’t read them. They go in my trash where they belong, because if they aren’t packed with bulshit lies, then the truth is bent and masked.
In Belgium, voting is mandatory. It’s fucking obnoxious but I don’t mind it all that much, because it allows for moderation. People who, in truth, lack a political opinion will vote for the ”in-between” parties, forming a government where extremes can meet rather than rule.
People died for this right. Women, workers, students, the road to democracy is covered in blood. However, I don’t think it is time for us to pat ourselves on the back and sit on our lazy asses. Because if we do, we end up in a situation like we find ourselves in, today. We’re stuck with a system that is fundamentally flawed, frustrating, and obviously inefficient. Countless “reformations” have occurred but none really changed anything.
I was addressed the other day by a woman active in the left-wing party ‘GROEN!’ [GREEN!] They have been stuck at the very bottom of the ladder ever since they fucked up back in the early 90’s in such a recordbreakingly brisk manner, that they blew their trust for many years to come. In my eyes, they’re naive, and voted for by people who don’t really get what politics are about, and think it a good medium to express their love for kittens- and treefucking.
I hate it when they approach me, because then I have to explain myself all over again.
You see, I don’t vote. I do show up, but I paste a nice red ‘A’ on my paper and file it in. I’ve done that since the very beginning, and my ideals have hardly changed since then. And every time I get the same reaction: “You know you’re giving your vote to the biggest party then, right?”
Wrong. It’s when you vote blank, that it automatically goes to the biggest political party. If you vote invalid, you declare your vote nil. At least, that’s what I’ve been told, and that’s what I tell them. And the fact that they have nothing to say to that, shows that they really don’t have a fucking clue what they’re talking about. They’re just buying whatever they are told and will even swallow what I feed them. But even when I’m wrong, it’s the closest I can stick to my principles without getting fined. I’m so sorry.
You can’t protest the principle of marathon by running it it. In the same way, you can’t question a political system by participating. The fact that I openly admit to all this has sparked many a discussion, and I hope I managed to make a few people take a step back and reconsider. I’ve been called “passive” for this behavior, but I managed to point out that this active protest is far less passive than voting for a party you know too little about.
Things are decided behind our backs. Economical decisions are made without the presence of independent press. Top secret meetings with multinationals are held, deciding the fate of many without their knowing. People are kicked out of their houses by the very government they elected. Do you think they would still vote for those people if they knew? Wouldn’t that be a slightly more honest agenda? “We’ll kick you out of the home you built in favor of a Volvo factory that will be expanding this way rather than the fields on the other side. I suppose you shouldn’t have gotten in the way of them and the freeway. Cheerio. Thanks for your vote.”
An honest, see-through way of ruling our country, is that so much to ask? Isn’t that the core principle of democracy, or is it really still a characteristic of anarchy? Economic, judicial, principal matters agendas should be made perfectly clear. No lies should be told, mingled with truths to make the difference impossible to make out. Voting is the declaration that you are willing to believe everything a party swears to, including the promises they have already broken in the past and the details that every single elected government immediately forgot about as soon as they were given the power.
I tried to explain this to that woman, and she immediately went, “Not with GROEN! of course!”
She was lucky to be my friend’s mother or my immediate response would have been about how misguided she was. She couldn’t even properly lecture me about the principle of voting, let alone the agenda of her party that she obviously never seriously reconsidered. So I stuck to the fact that in today’s economical environment, taking it as an example, it’s simply not possible to alter the fundamental principles of Belgium’s politics by stepping into them. I didn’t know what the fuck I was talking about, but she bought every single word. Flawed reasoning 101: Fight fire with fire.
Until a black flag party steps forward with the promise to rebuild our ruling system from the ground up, and show themselves crystal clear in their intentions, I am not voting. I rather cast my vote than give it to a party, any party, that bases itself on the web of lies over our heads.
I am dancing through life. There is a Kylie Minogue tune drifting between my ears and I’m walking on, sporting the most fucked up, careless two-step dance moves.
I wouldn’t be me if that didn’t worry me to no end. Don’t get me wrong though, I am enjoying every moment, every step. Every time I walk the city with friends or family, I catch myself thinking, “This is the life.” No worries on my mind, company I enjoy, and the freedom to choose otherwise on almost every subject.
This in itself is only positive, but what strikes me most is the black and white contrast between me, about a month ago. I remember that night vividly, where I couldn’t sleep and the walls came down on me. I could have screamed in frustration after I failed to compose my thoughts for the hundredth time in mere seconds, my cell phone in hand with my ex’ number on it.
I didn’t call. I calmed down on my own and eventually fell asleep. And I remember the words very clearly, the only solid thought to hang on to: “Let’s just get to Scotland, and see from there.” At the time, I was far from certain that I would ever even make it there.
And then the Americans came, and the world blossomed like a flower. What happened there? Did I lose my mind? Circumstances were hardly different, but my view on them couldn’t have been less so. And now things are physically changing for the better, I’m running out of pockets to stuff my happiness in. I wish I could save some for later, because inevitably times will come when I’ll need to fall back on it again. But I can’t, so… despite my concerns, I go with the flow.
I didn’t want to admit it before, but I suppose it’s official now. Maarten has a girlfriend, and satan is investing in fleece. My sister hit the nail on the head when she remarked, "She’s beautiful. You’re lucky, you know that. Someone with an ugly face like yours usually doesn’t get this lucky.” Yeah, we get along quite well.
My sister is honest to a fault, and in this particular case I just nodded and mumbled, “I couldn’t have put it better, myself.” Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate or even dislike myself. I have my moments and looking in the mirror, I don’t think my face is that ugly at all.
But she likes me. How cute is that? And once again, I have to shut down that constant nagging feeling and shrug it off, so I can concentrate on enjoying her presence and finding openings in her defense to pin her. I still owe her a bruise or two.
In other words, this is the last you’ll hear of these doubts. After 24 years, I am above that kind of thought. As much as I consider everything to have a positive and negative side, I can ignore either and focus on the other. Everyone can, but I do it consciously, which makes it much easier to ban several kinds of destructive thought patterns (self hate, hate towards mankind, failure to accept reality as we perceive it and so on) and willingly enjoy life.
Of course I have my dark moments, like everyone does. But I can usually reason my way out of them and now…
I have someone to share them with.
Rebirth never goes without death. Depending on how much you want to live, you have to kill things you rather wouldn’t. It doesn’t mean you give up on them, it just means you want them redefined.
You were a dear friend and tutor, I will miss you in ways I have never missed anyone else.
We’ll talk, but not soon. I wish you would follow my advice, for once.
I went back and thoroughly edited an earlier post. At the time, I considered the second half not only inappropriate, but too honest for my own good. In short, I chickened out.
If you are concerned at all, you may like the change.