Editorials and Opinions

Give me apathy or give me death!

By Gabe Glissen-Brown
Published: April 2009

My friends, I am writing to you today because I have been commanded to write about an opinion I have’€“any opinion at all, according to my editors. So over the past week I’ve brainstormed, made lists, consulted the stars, and attempted to run with any opinion that came to my mind.

Now, as I feverishly write this column at the last minute, I have come to realize that, like much of modern society, I really don’t have an opinion on anything. At this point and time there is literally NOTHING that I care about.

You’re free to label me as a liar, a narcissist, or if not either of those, then you’ve most likely just stopped reading altogether. But I assure you, I am neither of those things. I have no opinions because I don’t feel the need to defend one side of any issue, and that’s because the world is going to end either way.

Take a second to look around you at the natural world (or type the word “forest into Google image search). You’ll see that we’re continually losing acres of irreplaceable woodlands that drain carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, provide us with oxygen, and give homes to all the little woodland creatures.

Now consult some reliable sources (i.e. use Google again) to compare today’s temperature to that of the same day last year; I’m willing to bet a tidy sum that today is hotter. Al Gore knows the truth, and it’s an inconvenient one. Polar bears are losing their homes!

All right, maybe I’m being a tad cynical here. Maybe the world isn’t heading towards destruction as fast as I’m making it sound. My less-than-positive attitude can be explained by the simple fact that I, like countless others before me, find life a lot less vibrant than it’s made out to be.

The simple explanation for why I refuse to have an opinion this month is this: the cold, impersonal materialism of modern society. I respond to it in turn with as much apathy and cynicism as I can muster.
America has twisted the goal of life from the pursuit of happiness to the pursuit of wealth. The population has become so absorbed in materialism and greed that it’s forgotten some pretty important concepts’€for instance, that the point of spending the first quarter of your life in school is to find an occupation that makes you happy, not one that makes you rich.

The way I see it, there’s really no point in making the effort to defend a specific subject, or caring at all for that matter, when the standard of happiness has been thus corrupted. What’s that? You don’t believe me? Well, here’s a personal anecdote that’ll sway you.

The other day I was walking home through Newton Centre when, to my surprise, I saw a poster advertising tickets to hear the Dalai Lama speak at Gillette Stadium. I later learned that these tickets cost about two hundred dollars apiece.

Life in America’€and in the world as a whole’€has become so twisted that it now costs hundreds of dollars to listen to one of the most prominent spiritual figures in the world. People consider it acceptable to wring money out of the wisdom of a Tibetan Buddhist religious leader. I find that abhorrently materialistic.
In my personal opinion, it would be preferable to drown under a massive pollution-driven wave rather than crumble under the inevitable consequences of our obsession with money and goods. All that aside, for now I’m satisfied with not caring at all about anything. Out of protest, I refuse to have an opinion.

Yes, for this month’s “Gabe’s Gab, there’s no way my editors can force me to give an opinion on anything. Sorry, not happening. Not a chance¦ don’t even try.

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