Thursday, April 14, 2005

Fake Passion 

Here in Wisconsin, the big story of the moment, which happens to be the same type of story that always makes us look like blathering idiots to the rest of the nation, is we're killin' cats! Now, I know you are all wondering what side I come down on with regards to this compelling issue. And I regret to say that my position is the same as it usually is: I don't care.

But Jane cared. I'm going to have to be careful here, but let's just say I see "Jane", as I'll call her, on a regular basis. First, some background. Last December, Jane saw an advertisement about the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. She decided we would all respond to this ad and send all sorts of supplies, food, and gifts to the folks fighting. Fine. A list was made. People were contacted. Debates were held. Tears were shed. And promises were made.

Nothing was ever sent to the troops.

Now, the cats. The day before the vote to kill the cats came up, she passed around a petition. When it came to me, I told her -- politely, I might add -- that as a dues-paying member of People Against Ridiculous Protests, I would not be signing my name to any such petition. So be it. The vote failed. And Jane's face was practically on the floor as she broke the news:

"It lost. By one vote. Now they're all gonna die. All the kitty-cats."

I tried to add some sense to the discussion. "Jane, I don't think every redneck from South Milwaukee to Superior is going to be running outside with a machine gun to whack the nearest stray kitty."

Utter dismay and annoyance: "That's what you think, Will. Like you always do. This is gonna turn out just like deer hunting! A slaughter!"

There's no reaching people like this. Jane didn't care about the cats a month ago. She didn't care about them a week ago. She's someone who wants to care about something so deeply, but when it comes right down to it, that's not so convenient, is it?

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