Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Ticking Grows Louder

I'm lifting weights at my gym this week getting into better shape while counting down the days to this weekend's Friends of Otis Library Book Sale, which begins Friday and goes through Sunday afternoon with a somewhat heavy heart and a not entirely clear conscience. I must confess as an enthused patron of past sales, my eyes have too often been bigger than my bookshelves.

By that I mean, I have bargains and treasures I was delighted to scoop up and pop into a bag and carry home where, all this time on, they have remained, unread. I think it might help me feel better if you stopped by the house and helped me catch up on some of this overdue reading; you'll want to check with my wife on that first, though.

Our house is pretty easy to find; I'm the guy living on the porch surrounded by books. Approach with caution. And remember if you can't take advantage of the Library's sale, don't blame a Literacy Volunteer.

Without meaning to sound like NASA, there's another countdown going on as well. There are only twenty-one shopping days left until Govmas 2014 which is what I am somewhat snarkily calling this year's gubernatorial election. During the initial weeks of the campaign, after the summer's nominating conventions, I admit it was nice to get mail that wasn't just a sales flier promising 20% off those size 44 Triple-E jump boots at Mercs R Us but then the rate and pace of campaign mailings picked up so much that I feared our postman would collapse under the burden.

I don't mean to single out just the candidates at the top of the ticket, there's more at stake this November than who rearranges the dining room furniture in the Governor's Mansion. Both houses of the State Legislature also have contracted moving vans that are circling the block. Just how many crews get to load and unload desks and file cabinets is an open question that you and I get to answer soon though not soon enough in my opinion.

This election cycle I'm seeing a lot more on-line advocacy for those seeking office-not necessarily a lot for more factual information, but a lot more chatter and boosterism.

Considering how rarely (at least in my lifetime) voter turnout is fifty, or forty or even thirty percent of the registered electorate, I welcome that kind of engagement and enthusiasm especially if it results in lines at the polls on Election Day. But slogans are not solutions and if your candidate's programs and proposals fit on a bumper sticker, my mama told me, you better shop around.

Tolkien once wrote, "not all who wander are lost." And despite the noise in this election season, a circle is not a direction (new or otherwise) and if you think I'm talking about your candidate, I probably am.

We have under three weeks to stop posturing and to begin making reasoned and reasonable choices like the Top of the Food Chain species we purport to be. Tomorrow is far too important to allow less than informed voters to decide it for us.
-bil kenny

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