January 21, 2002

mpirg rantings

Steven den Beste wrote a nice blurb on the weblog revolution. Don’t expect Cromlech to become this nice and thoughtful for a few years, yet. I’m still hacking through the unimportant ‘web diary’ quagmire, which will really only interest people who a. know me or b. think I’m funny for some reason. As of yet I do not have very distinct political views, beyond some nice conversation we had on the Colorado trip. I’m not quick to have opinions about worldy goings-on, because I do not want to be wrong… or say I believe something that really I have no grounds in believing. With so many people flying off the handle with unjustified and unreflected thoughts, I hold off until I have seen enough to have a good feel for the matter.

With that being said, I will recount a spat we had in Colorado. We got on the topic of MPIRG, a group which Ryan despises and I am ever-suspicious of. According to MPIRG, they are “a student funded, student directed, nonprofit student advocacy organization on the UMD campus. MPIRG seeks to bring students together to create social change at the state level and to serve as a training ground for students to become active citizens.”

Student funded means that every semester, students are automatically charged a $4 MPIRG fee unless they choose not to pay. This gives MPIRG a wonderful budget to work with; imagine if Wooch! could skim a few bucks off every students’ tuition.

In MPIRG’s defense, they claim to be a non-partisan organisation, and only further the interests that students see important. In practice however, MPIRG seems to lean a bit heavily on the liberal side, and cites raising $1,000 for local homeless shelters as one of their noble causes. Now, it’s quite hard to argue against helping the homeless…

Unless you’re a heartless cretin like me. Non-partisan, eh? If they’re so non-partisan, where’s the Get a Fucking Job campaign? Crikey, a thousand bucks could have been poured into improving the roads in Duluth, and everyone uses roads. I use roads, I don’t use the homeless shelter, and I think that goes for the majority of people living in Duluth.

Oh, but we must help the homeless. They are filthy, have no job, cannot get a job, have a job but don’t earn enough money to have a home, only earn enough money to support their drug habit, many of them are mentally inept… we owe it to ourselves as fair and just creatures to help these pathetic beings out.

Hmm. I find it hard to believe that someone could dig so deep a hole without consciously making decisions to ruin his life. To have absolutely no support system, that your only source for the dire necessities of life come from shelters, is really quite a feat. It would take great effort to end up with no family, no friends, no education and no showering facilities to help you on your way to unhomelessness.

And this is where I think MPIRG fails in its non-partisanship. I want to shove a thumb in the eye of the homeless, I want nuclear breeder reactors as far as the eye can see, I want coal-fueled automobiles and dammit, I want to shove some fargin’ oil derricks deep in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge.

Where’s my representation? You better recognise, fool!