I rarely keep up with the news anymore. So-called "human interest" stories which clutter the headlines make me nauseous, and listening to any news organization's slant on news is akin to following windshield wiper manufactures recommended wiper replacement schedule. I can't even read online news, because most of what I want to read is in video format only, and that just slows me down. I simply cannot afford to do news these days.
That being said, I did catch some of the Wisconsin demonstrations yesterday, which was oddly reminiscent of the Cairo revolution, and on the heels of that in my old stomping grounds, Bahrain! But it was Wisconsin that tore me in half.
Why I'm torn is I was sympathetic to the demonstrators until I saw the IBEW union jackets. My previous experience with unions has left me unabashedly polarized against them. But teachers and firefighters? This is another reason I no longer watch the news - I don't recall now whether it was the current Governor of NJ, Chris Christie or NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg who said, "We cannot afford to lose any teachers, but I'll cut 6000 of them if I need to." What the hell is that supposed to mean?
I'm torn because while making unions pay more for benefits (essentially creating a 7% cut in pay, the news said) isn't any different than us non-union types. We haven't been given raises in three years, our benefits package cost has gone up, and we've just been subjected to a "temporary" 10% pay cut. For those of you weak in math, that's more than 7% on top of the other.
You know what I did when I heard the news of our pay cut? I fucking rioted! Oh wait, no I didn't. I kept my mouth shut and maintained my exemplary attitude and work ethic. I promised myself I wouldn't lament over something I had no control over. I'm thankful right now just to be employed and I don't need to give anyone any reason to consider otherwise.
I'm not perfect, but if the government isn't going to cut services to get themselves out of a deficit they should've seen coming, and I'm not going to storm our nation's capitol to oust the president as part of the "youth of the revolution proudly lifting the head of this country" as a Muslim cleric might say, I might as well keep doing what it is I do. Other's may disagree - I'll let them fight their own battles. After all, not everyone is strong enough to shoulder personal responsibility.