Star Wars and cyber-poop

Chances are good that your great-grandparents worked very hard for incredibly meager wages. Life for them was likely tedious and grueling as they scrimped and saved and lived like schnauzers under a bridge in order to realize the dream that some day, their descendants would have a better life. It makes you wonder what those great-grandparents would think if they knew that your idea of hard work involves the daily pounding you put on that delete button to clear the junk out of your e-mail inbox.

Yeah, just another day clearing out the cyber-poop. I logged on, saw that there were 20 messages, and predicted to myself that maybe three of those would be from a human being who actually knows me. I erred, alas, on the side of optimism. When I was done deleting all of my opportunities to get debt free, to pick up 10 million really hot e-mail addresses for only $99, to win two free tickets to something, to re-finance my home loan for absolutely the lowest rates anywhere, to experience the herbal alternative to Viagra, to check out awesome Japanese schoolgirls and to make $1,500 a week provided I was really serious about making a financial breakthrough, there were two personal messages left to savor.

The only reason this daily onslaught of cyber-hucksterism takes place, of course, is because e-mail is free. And that’s fine. I hope it stays that way. As long as my delete button doesn’t malfunction.

Last week, we got a chance to hear President Dubya’s pitch for a renewed Star Wars missile defense system and Veep Cheney’s superbly retro, back-to-the-'50s energy rap. After letting the dust from each settle a bit, it was obvious that we now have two guys in the White House who embrace alternative energy sources and energy conservation in much the same way that Dracula would embrace a one-way ticket to Gilroy.

So all of you who voted for Ralph Nader because you’re Green and you liked the party platform and Ralph was really your guy, fine. No problem. But all of you who voted for Nader because quote “Bush and Gore are basically the same guy,” do me a favor. Next election, spend more than five minutes researching the candidates. Please?

Speaking of missiles, CBS and The New York Times conducted a hilarious yet ominous survey a couple of months ago. They found that 64 percent of the respondents were of the opinion that WE ALREADY HAVE A MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM IN OPERATION. The Lunkhead Movement appears to be prospering nicely here in the new millennium. Are we, as a nation, really watching that much wrestling?

That factoid does have an upside. It gets you thinkin’ that maybe the basic 22 percent voter turnout that is now pretty much standard for our elections isn’t really a bad thing. In fact, we may have now entered a political era where a new axiom applies: The lower the turnout, the higher the quality of the election.