Saturday, September 16, 2006

Can this kitten teach you people the importance of participatory governance?

As you can plainly see, above this text is a photograph of an adorable kitten. His name is Lionel. Isn’t he cute? What a frolicky, insouciant, cuddly being he is! Please, gaze at him to your heart’s content: I’m sure you’ll find that his image will soothe your soul and calm your nerves. I must admit that his soft fur and his frisky antics sure have filled my day with joy.

This joy is especially necessary, since I’ve been pretty depressed over the low voter turnout for my country song title contest. Of course, in a democracy such as this blog, no one can force anyone else to partake in the civic process. That’s just not how it’s done. The only option available to responsible leaders is to point out to the people that, often, apathy and inactivity come with consequences of their own. There is, for instance, the fact that by shirking your electoral duties, you give up your franchise to those who actually bother to make an effort, thus causing your personal voice to be excluded from the public discourse. There is also, I feel, an incremental effect that “snowballs”, if you will, whenever one avoids their democratic responsibilities: little by little the standards and values and responsibilities that hold our community together are frayed until they become unable to support our dreams and aspirations.

Finally, and it pains me to say it, there is some concern over what might happen to sweet Lionel if people don’t start voting for which country song they like the best.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not threatening this innocent, gentle kitten. Far from it. Such behavior would be savage, and I am not a savage man. No, no: I am merely a man who cannot sit idly by and watch as the beautiful system of governance bequeathed to us by the Greeks is corrupted into uselessness by my audience’s unwillingness to vote on which bad country song they think I ought to compose. These are desperate times for us simple humanists, I’m afraid, and it would weigh greatly on my soul if poor Lionel was to become a victim of our societal malaise. He deserves better than that, don’t you think?

It’s funny, isn’t it, how such a simple thing as voting in a silly contest could spare such a winsome creature a disgraceful fate? Because—and this is something I shudder just to think of, I assure you all—my biggest fear is that Lionel may find himself the victim of an experimental weapon that fires gamma rays at such a high intensity that his appealing form would become mutated beyond recognition. And what a hard road he would have if that came to pass. What an injustice that would be. There is a silent tear in the corner of my left eye, and it is quivering gently as I ponder what fate has in store for dear, dear Lionel.

But hush! For our delightful kitten is scampering across the floor as we speak, batting about a piece of string! It is a glory to behold, the wonders of youth and the magnificence of the animal kingdom all wrapped up in such a carefree package. Lionel is certainly a gift from the heavens, and gazing upon his hearty play, I imagine that his tiny mind considers life to be an endless adventure, an endless and blissful battle with bits of string, an eternity of simple happiness and profound peace.

May it ever be so, darling Lionel, may it ever be so...