The Rambler: Congress – Red vs. Blue

Ed. Note: This piece features what some may consider ‘swear’ words. You have been warned, but we at Chwomp would like to state that just because a piece features ‘swear’ words does not discredit the piece whatsoever. It is important to keep everything in context, and the below ‘swear’ words are kept in context. Please feel free to voice your opinion(s) in our comments section.

Please watch the below video of ‘Red v. Blue‘ before you read this. (Hell, you may not even have to read this after watching the video because it personifies my thoughts about Congress pretty damn well.)


For those who have never seen Red vs. Blue, it was a YouTube series created around 2003. It centered on the video game ‘Halo: Combat Evolved’ as a fictional, comedic series involving many characters and stories. The general attitude of the videos is described effectively in the video I have provided for you.

Almost a week after the government has re-opened, I felt it was the right time to throw my two cents into this whole ordeal. I am not going to talk about certain issues or agendas that Congress has but simply this: it is literally the Red Republicans versus the Blue Democrats. George Washington warned us in his farewell address that a rise in political parties would be detrimental to our government and society. Well, I think, wherever good old Georgie is, that he is laughing his ass off and saying, “I told you so.”

"I told you so." - George Washington (Source)

“I told you so.” – George Washington (Source)

Now, let me come to the defense of the parties just to keep things fair. The original concept of Congressional representatives, Senators and House members alike, was simple: take an ordinary citizen, a farmer, merchant, etc., that was deemed a viable voice by his community and send him to Washington to discuss and fight for the needs of his community; then after the talking and voting were over they would return home and continue their lives. That worked for a country the size of the original thirteen colonies. However, as our country grew ever larger, the edges of the map began being filled in, and more people began popping up every day – a problem began to arise. It became increasingly difficult for people to travel long distances for Congressional hearings, but also with there being more people it became hard to speak for all of the people. Here we begin to see that political parties are inevitable. Parties are incredibly efficient because they allow for individuals with common beliefs to come together and create legislation. So, in a world like today, political parties, in a reality, make sense.

HOWEVER (Caps mean this is serious business, people), the parties have strayed far from their intended purpose. They run rampant with our taxes, gerrymander, sling mud, and basically drive our country into the filth that whence came from my bowels. The scary part, folks, is that they make up 99% of Congress, the Reds and the Blues. Every bill that comes through seemingly plays out like the video at the beginning of this piece. Reds and Blues all fight over some meaningless issue that they hold to a Deity like level.

This latest shutdown was exactly that: petty fighting just because one is Blue and the other Red. This pettiness seeps out into the regular population and the fighting continues there. House Speaker John Boehner is quoted in saying “We fought the good fight…” in regards to the shutdown.

WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?! Seriously? You think this is a game? The Reds and Blues do realize that they displaced hundreds of thousands of people for two weeks (could have been much longer) because of the endless bickering; finger pointing, nit-picking, lobbying for changes, additions, cancellations of the most random, pointless items. They almost brought our country to its first default and China was calling for a “De-Americanized” world. The worst part of it all is that during the shutdown when all of those people stopped getting paid, ALL of Congress still received full pay – millions of dollars still being paid to the very people that caused the whole incident. Then, they have the audacity to pat themselves on the back for saving the country from ultimate crisis. Unbelievable. Washington was right, these parties, the Reds and the Blues, will be the inevitable downfall of our country.

Congress has never had the greatest approval ratings, but the approval ratings are currently at a historic low.

Congress has never had the greatest approval ratings, but the approval ratings are currently at a historic low. (Source)

There is still blame to be put on the citizens, though. We keep re-electing these jag-offs. We keep complaining about Congress, and polls every year show a record low in approval ratings across the board. So, we are partly to blame for all of this. If we really want to make a difference, vote out the current members. Completely overhaul the whole damn thing; that is our Constitutional right, you know. All I know is that when voting season comes back around I will make an effort to raise awareness and encourage citizens to vote out current members. We need to be careful though, not to replace one scumball with another.

I was once proud by the fact that I am an American. But now, my current feelings to being so are expressed pretty well by Macklemore in his song ‘American.’ I’m embarrassed, disgusted even, that I live here. What do I have to be proud of right now? Someone enlighten me.

-The Rambler

(If you would like to contact your representative, but do not know who your representative is, please click this link!)

Source Material:

“American” –Macklemore, Album: Unplanned Mixtape

“Boehner: ‘We fought the good fight. We just didn’t win.’” –Bryan Koenig, October 16, 2013

“Red vs Blue” (Until 6:50)

Red vs. Blue Wiki

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The Rambler: We Stopped Dreaming

Ed. Note: I would like you all to welcome a new contributor, Eric, and his first piece. This will become a weekly piece called ‘The Rambler‘ in which Eric dissects certain popular topics/themes/issues and connects it with music in some way, shape, or form. It’s really the antithesis of rambling and is substantiated with sources and facts. It’s great, and we would love to hear any feedback that you may have for this weekly piece.

We are a nation asleep. A nation that has been sedentary for decades just laying about waiting to be woken from our empty slumber. We have become a dreamless country and there seems to be no hope for our dreams to return.

Neil deGrasse Tyson with several of his instruments. Photo by David Gamble (2008)

Neil deGrasse Tyson with several of his instruments. Photo by David Gamble (2008)

Neil got it right. For those who may not know, or heard of, Neil deGrasse Tyson, he is an Astrophysicist that works at the Hayden Planetarium in New York. I personally believe he is also a philosopher, but that is just my opinion. Nonetheless, he makes a truly compelling argument in the short video. It is hard to disagree with him when you look at the current state of our government. A government living quarter-to-quarter, spreading itself inconceivably thin, making a mockery of our nation. Our Congress fighting meaningless battles and portioning funds to unnecessary sectors and their ridiculous salaries; instead of funding more for NASA, and not just for space exploration but technological improvement.

However, to me, Neil’s point is more than argument for resurgence in space activities but a comment on our nation as a whole. The only dreams the young generations have (including mine) is to find a stable job and make money. We have no fundamental reveries pushing us to challenge human capability. Sure we have our “dream jobs” or “dream lives” but those are intrinsically selfish. Our personal dreams do nothing for our society. We need another moon landing, so to speak, we need another space race, and we need a global challenge that brings our creative minds together. What made the space race so spectacular is that it created Heroes. People like Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong (shout out Wapakoneta, Ohio), and the lesser known Michael Collins were national heroes with children around the nation looking up to them. They created a nation of children who dreamt of being scientist or astronauts who would later push the innovations of mankind. Yet today we have no heroes. No national figure to guide us to prosperity. Why? Because we have stopped testing our limits, we no longer seek, we no longer hunger for the unknown. We have a strong need for men that have the resolve to change, to seek, and not for men who sit idly atop propaganda and rhetoric. (Cough, cough, Congress, cough, cough)

I would argue that another Cold War would revitalize our nation. In fact, I once wrote a research paper arguing that very fact. The Cold War brought panic and paranoia sure, but without it our world wouldn’t be where it is today in terms of technology.

Fun fact: the modern kitchen today was first conceptualized during the Cold War as the United States and Russia competed to prove that they had a higher standard of living.

Imagine the possibilities today, with our technology, what we could accomplish if faced with another Cold War like that of the ‘70’s and 80’s. Well, minus the constant fear of nuclear Armageddon, but you get my point.

Buzz Aldrin stands next to the American flag during the Apollo 11 mission. What will be this generation's moon landing? (Photo Credit)

Buzz Aldrin stands next to the American flag during the Apollo 11 mission. What will be this generation’s moon landing? (Photo Credit)

But where do we begin? Another Cold War is highly unlikely and the progress of human capability often seems stagnant. To me, the answer is this: education reform. Now this is a whole other topic in and of itself so I will be brief. First, we need to make the qualifications to becoming an educator immensely more difficult to achieve. My point: I know plenty of people that I graduated with from college with degrees in education who should not be allowed anywhere near young minds in a classroom. Second, get rid of standardize testing; it proves nothing and takes away from the quality of our education. Teachers spend more time teaching for the standardized tests than they actually do teaching. Third, put more emphasis on Math and Science, help those subjects become more desirable for children. Fourth, allow for education to be seen as a reward and not a punishment. What I mean, for example, when a child acts out don’t punish them with word problems, essays, or reading, it only reinforces that learning can be associated “bad.” I will be writing about education reform in the future so stay tuned for that.

I have ‘Explosions In The Sky’ coupled with this post because it draws emotion out of me. I often sit alone with this song on repeat letting my imagine wander. It fills me with inspiration and desire and helps me confront my troubles. It also helps me see the bigger picture and realize that even the desires of one man can change the world. I want you to listen to it. Go sit somewhere alone, turn the lights down low, put your headphones on, and close your eyes as you listen to the melody. Let it consume you. Embrace the feelings and thoughts that come flooding. They might terrify you but they could change your life.

Share your thoughts with us. We would love to hear them.

-The Rambler

 

Source Material: “We stopped dreaming…” video of Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil DeGrasse Tyson Bio found on the Hayden Planetarium website

Explosions In The Sky – Your Hand in Mine