Omar Bonilla" />
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Wednesday, October 4, 2023


Ignorance is not bliss after all

This coming week will be a memorable one. Recent days have been filled with shocking and amazing news. But do we care? Or more accurately, what do we care most about?

The House of Representatives swiftly approved an economic incentives package that the Senate, almost as swiftly, threw into the classic unknown of Washington politics by passing their own version of legislation that, not surprisingly, was just enough to ignite the feud. The Florida primary claimed some presidential hopefuls while narrowing our choices for the next presidential candidate. On the other hand, Britney Spears returned to the hospital in another media frenzy that is keeping the paparazzi fat and happy. Even more shocking, Microsoft has moved rather aggressively into acquiring Yahoo! in a dubious gamble that has risen the stakes on the race against Google for the next big thing, the online services and advertisement business.

Most recently, we all in one way or another have lived through Super Sunday. We have bought televisions, threw big parties, ran the statistics, simply heard and talked about it or just followed the commercials. It is the prime entertainment we seem to be craving more than ever. And next, we will gear up for Super Tuesday, the big election day that is poised to bring us the next president where more than 20 states will be holding primaries.

However, how many of these issues are or have been in our agenda? Do we even care?

Sadly, we have learned to worry about things that don’t really matter or affect our lives. Not too long ago, a survey among high school and college students revealed that, while most could name the American Idol finalists, few could name the vice president of the United States, let alone the name of the speaker of the house.

The conclusion is that America is getting dumber by the minute. It is no wonder, that emerging nations are catching up to us in technology and productivity, or that militants with strong feelings and convictions consider us weak because we are now incapable of taking a stand in anything bigger than the best fertilizer for our yard.

The reasons for this puzzling trend of apathy escapes our understanding, and thus we leave it for the experts to discern. For now it would suffice us to know. On the bright side, we can draw some hope from the fact that you are reading the articles in your student paper, when you could be simply going about your business of homework, parties, cars, boys, girls or the latest gossip like so many other people.

It is well known that only a portion of high school students ever make it to college, and only a portion of those actually complete their education. The proportions get slimmer as we go up on the educational ladder. That leaves a big percentage of our population in the less-educated sector. Thus, we should recognize how privileged we are, not just of being here, but of also staying here.

Such a privilege carries its share of responsibilities. It is great and entertaining to go out, have some fun, go crazy, play dumb, talk about nothing really, and just be trivial every once in a while.

But is it also important to roll up our sleeves, get serious, and behave like the adults we are when the time comes to take a stand, adopt and defend a set of values, while not being afraid of getting our leaders thinking about and working on those issues that may seem too hard to tackle: If we try to ignore these issues, it will hit us sooner or later like a running train.

Bonilla, a computer-engineering technology senior, can be reached via [email protected].

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