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Sweat, frustration, criticism and politics

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Posted: Sunday, September 21, 2003 10:00 pm

As the election circus of 2003 nears the final leg of its statewide tour, one can't help but be amused.

Surely a time of serious financial crisis such as this is hardly a laughing matter. Indeed, it's probably not. Nevertheless, I'm stuck here in my college lifestyle where elections mean democratically deciding among friends which bar to go to on a Friday (or Tuesday, perhaps?) night and recalling is what's rather hard to do when the morning comes and you're left wondering about the night before.

David HarrisAnd, well, politically, cinematically, or otherwise, Arnold is just a funny guy, for oh so many reasons. Who would have thought that I live in Caleefohneeya? I kid, Arnie. Much luck to you this fall, if and when the election actually happens.

But I digress, as if I haven't digressed enough with all the bar talk. Is the recall truly right for California? Honestly, I'm not really sure.

Why am I so unsure?

Because I don't have time to know all the ins, outs, and roundabouts of election. The classes I take don't involve politics, save for a few discussions about music censorship. My friends, who despite being awesome guys and girls, aren't too hip to the political scene, either. They do know that Arnold is running for office, along with a couple porn stars and that short kid from '70s TV, though, so they've got a start in the right direction.

To make a short story long, it's fairly safe to say I'm fairly uneducated on the matter. I know enough facts to make my decision, and I'm OK with that.

After all, people tend to be more educated in some areas and less educated in others. That's life. If I asked you to tell me the significant differences between a natural minor scale and a harmonic minor scale in the music world, most of you not only would not have an answer, you also could care less.

However, I do realize that an election is a matter of utmost importance to all of California's citizens, and music theory is not. But this article is a response to the few e-mails and comments I have receieved asking why I had not chosen to comment on the elections thus far. After all, it's been the biggest news in California all year.

My reason for not commenting on this election, along with many other topics, is as follows:

I feel, as a columnist, I have the ability to exert a great deal of freedom when choosing what to write about. Sometimes, I'll write about something that I feel I must comment on and attempt to inspire an emotion or action in my readers. Interestingly, though, these articles are few and far between.

I comment on many different things, but rarely do I wildly advocate one belief over another or relentlessly rip apart any contradictory evidence to my claims. Often times, I'll write about a subject, include both sides of the picture, and leave it up to my readers to make their educated decision on the matter.

And of course, there are the times where my mind wanders into the Twilight Zone and I end up getting phone calls from friends asking, in a vocal tone full of disbelief, "You get PAID to do this?!"

Indeed, I do, and I enjoy it.

I am not Peter Jennings, Charles Kuralt, or Dan Rather, nor do I have any desire to be. I am not a political analyst from CNN or the Gallup Organization. I am also not a film critic, sports commentator, relationship counselor, or newsroom reporter. I'm a kid who is lucky enough to get to share a couple thoughts here and there with a few thousand people every week.

Sometimes I'm even fortunate enough to have made an impact on a reader's life in some way, and for that, whether I'm talking about the election, "real issues," or whatnot, that single satisfaction alone makes this job worth every minute of sweat, frustration, and criticism.

David Harris, of Lodi, is a student at California State University, Chico. He can be contacted at



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