“What shutdown?” she said.
Encased in a sheltered bubble of t-squares and Prismacolor markers, students are oblivious to the gravity political and world events hold.
How is it possible to live in what is called the “greatest nation” of the world and not know why, or how, that title is at stake?
Events concerning Libya, Medicaid and Medicare, Iraq and Afghanistan, a “historic” budget cut, a president’s proposal to save America 20 years down the road, an earthquake that shifted the worlds axis are happening, and few students know this is even going on. Having mounds of work and assignments isn’t an excuse for ignorance when everyone still has time to talk about the latest episode of “Jersey Shore.”
As aspiring artists, it’s important to understand and relay what truly matters: The $38 billion, or so, in budget cuts will matter to our futures; the radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant affects what kind of food we’ll import and eat; the GOP’s “Path to Prosperity” and other proposals will affect the amount of taxes we pay and the expanse or decrease in financial aid we can apply for.
These are things that are essential to our daily lives, granted sometimes in an indirect way.
How do you decide for whom to vote? How will you know if your grant will be available next quarter? How do you expect to influence people through art without understanding the dynamics of the world and community within which you live?
Maybe it’s about a paycheck, or that piece of paper your receive the day you graduate that is your focus. Either way, if we, you, us, I, fail to appreciate the severely damaged state, financially and otherwise, our country is in, that Bachelors or Masters degree won’t do much in a country with a collapsed economy.
Make your voice heard, understand these issues that affect us so that instead of reverting back to “make art, not war,” you can come up with something unique, something different—something that will influence and impact this nation in a way that will secure our futures.