29 August 2009

State of Bliss

For those of you that frequent my blog I should provide an explanation as to my extended absence. There are several reasons for this: 1) My trip to Haiti in late April; 2) my journey along the path of Ignorance to find that elusive sanctuary of Bliss; and 3) I have been swamped at work. The first two reasons are intimately tied to each other, although maybe not in the way you might think.

When I returned from a week long Engineers without Borders implementation trip in Haiti I was in a good mode, relaxed, and oddly stress free. We had installed perhaps the largest solar array in Haiti. The solar array is able to provide all the electricity needs for a health and birthing clinic in rural Haiti with the sun. We are potentially saving the NGO thousands of dollars per month in diesel fuel costs.

I had not listened to any news in more than a week and did not know the crap our politicians were up to in my absence. I decided that I would continue to ignore the news, stop watching TV, and stop listening to NPR and the all news channel on the radio. I had decided that ignorance was truly bliss after all. I read books and listened to music stations. I was happy and my wife were not getting into political arguments.

My experiment at closing myself to the realities of today thereby saving my sanity, not to mention my health, lasted for a couple of months. Occasionally, a colleague or friend would impart some of the insanity Washington, D.C. was cooking up. I would go off the deep end for about an hour or two and then slowly come back to my senses. I reasoned with myself that it did not do any good to get upset with the morons running the country. I reminded myself that they would do whatever they were going to do no matter how stupid or irrational it was. I was ignorant about cash for clunkers and the health care debate did not seem to upset me. I got a little upset when I was looking at a newspaper in Nebraska and there was nothing but bright red budget deficits projected every year for the next ten years. I firmly reminded myself that it was not my problem. It was helpful that I was working overtime every week and had no time to surf the interweb or watch inane television programming.

Alas, my blissful existence did not last long. While I was staining my deck and thinking deep thoughts I came to the conclusion that, while ignorance is indeed bliss, I cannot remain silent while the ridiculous self-importants in Washington, D.C. decide that a national debt of $12 trillion is not enough and they are willing to allow that to grow to $21 trillion over the next 10 years. I cannot remain silent while they take this once great country and through ignorance, arrogance, and ambivalence slowly run it into the ground. I cannot stand idly by while our so called elected representatives lay the groundwork for my children to be quasi sold into debt bondage because they are weak and stupid. I decided that I needed to get back into the game.

I mostly maintained one aspect of those blissful months; I hardly watch any television anymore. This more than anything has perhaps helped me as I continue to struggle with the addiction of futilely fighting the stupidity of the democrats and republicans. Television is one tool in their arsenal to make us complacent robots. For your sake, as well as your children’s, turn off the drug – you will feel better after about a week. You may go through some withdrawal, but in the end you will never know you missed it.

Photo of Phase I MN Solar Array Installation Team "Caption Ron and the Kissing Gourami"

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