Thursday, February 9, 2012

Never Free

When I was in college, I was rather more political. I had few interests that weren't tied into politics and current events. Much of my time was devoted to absorbing news and opinion, spouting out in turn a lot of strident stuff that hadn't been tempered much by the world or experience. These days, my views aren't terribly different, but my enthusiasm for what was then a game has waned, and my stomach for a lot of nasty infighting is gone.

Also gone is any urge to contribute time or money. A vote is about all anyone can hope for from me, but the ACLU doesn't understand that. They know that I became a member some six or seven years ago, and have inferred nothing from my decision to let my membership lapse not terribly long after that. Ever since then, I have received vain attempts to reignite my passion for the protection of civil liberties. Nothing can stop them.

Somehow each one is a final statement or offer to renew, as if we were frozen in time, forever living in that moment sometime in 2005 (though I can't be sure of just when). It's enough to make me question just when it is, to tear me from my moorings in reality and send me adrift in time and space. Perhaps then, when there are no reference points left I will be left with no objections to donating money that no longer has any meaning.

I do admire their persistence in a way. Sometimes I want to do anything to end the mailings. I should have known better, anyway. My grandmother used to have a stool upholstered with stickers from various charities to which she'd contributed at one time or another. I loved that stool, but didn't take the lesson. Once you show up on a charities radar, they just will not stop ever. They've got nothing but stamp and envelope money. Don't let them get their hooks in you.

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