Sometimes, the smallest stupid things get me worked up for no good reason whatsoever…
John Scalzi gets his “stimulus package” check from the US Government. It’s for a stupid amount of money. Not stupid as in “stupendous”. Stupid as in “what’s-the-point-of-even-getting-this”. $6.10, to be precise.
He rationalizes that there is very little useful he can do with this kind of money. Logically, he decides that it is worth donating instead. So, he picks a cause to donate to. He donates to Bob Barr presidential campaign. Not because he believes in the candidate. Because he is so dismayed with the current presidential administration, and he calculates that Barr will take enough votes away from McCain to prevent GOP from retaining the White House, that he figures it a perfect jest to use a laughable government handout to fund a political cause tangentially against said government.
I’m reading that, thinking, Wow! You find money on the street. You deem the amount to be insignificant to benefit you or your family in any way. You give the money away. Not to the homeless guy on the corner. Not to help victims of famine or a natural disaster. Not to fund search for a cure for a deadly disease. No, the best you can come up with is a political cause which you don’t believe in yourself, but which could be beneficial to your preferred candidate.
At midnight after a fairly long day, I get stupid myself. I actually type up a comment on Scalzi’s blog, expressing my incredulity that this is how he chose to spend the little bit of money that fell from the sky on him. Predictably, Scalzi curtly advised me to “cram it” (I get the gist of the term, but I never associated the word “cram” with what I think it meant in Scalzi’s context). Someone from his ever-present stable of sycophants then promptly chewed me out for being self-righteous (which I admit I was). And that’s the end of the story, pretty much.
I am not as worked up about it this morning. I realize that, in absolute sense, six freaking bucks do not make a difference for any cause, just as my various charitable donations – more often than not, in the form of sponsoring my friends for various marathons and walks, – do not add up to a contribution of significant impact (aside from making me feel good). I also recognize that if I were a fervent Obama supporter, I might have had an inkling to help his cause in any possible way…
But I just can’t help thinking that spending money in jest is stupid.
And reacting to that stupidity the way I reacted is no less stupid.
Will I ever learn that lesson?…