C-SPAN ruined my life

By Othman O'Malley

I am an addict. They say that acceptance is the first step to recovery. I want to let those for whom I care the most, my dear and loyal readers, to be the first to know of my problem in the hopes that you will not make the same imprudent mistakes. It has taken control of my life, weaving day after day into one long, dusty discarded rag, hiding under the sink, shunning friends and family. My day is an addled haze. I feel nothing save for the desperation that comes with searching for my next fix.

This is a typical morning. I wake up and anxiously look for the key to my fix. Where is it?! It’s not where I left it. Cursing the gods, I crawl about the room, looking under tables and flinging couch pillows. My cat Myka (short for Mykonos), whom I suspect had something to do with this mystery, looks at me with great curiosity. Aha! There it is! Finally! I snatch it from under the couch (thanks, cat), wild eyed and disheveled, I fumble around for the power button. No! I dropped it! I let out a savage cry, think of a Neanderthal who lost his bone. I lunge and desperately claw at it, hoping I might hit the right button. Then it happens.

The sound of the static hits my ears. Oh! Glory of glories! It’s on! My hands stop shaking, my white knuckle grip on the remote loosens, my breathing subsides and my dilated pupils take in the sweet nectar that is “Washington Journal,” C-SPAN’s live morning show. I sit down for a few more minutes and gather my senses. I am ready to start my day.

C-SPAN aims to create an army of informed junkies. Its method of indoctrination is subtle but like most conspiracies that aim to destroy civilization as we know it, all of the signs are right in front of you. Consider their slogan “Created by cable, offered as a Public Service.” Just “offered,” eh? “The first taste is free. C’mon just try it. Don’t you want to be just like the other cool kids who know the latest on tort reform?” Sound familiar? What? Not at all? Well, that’s how I got hooked anyway.

Not all of the network’s techniques are that subtle. Take the C-SPAN series “Close Up at the Newseum” where it takes high school students, innocent young minds, and has them discuss politics at a media museum in D.C. called the Newseum. Sure, it sounds like a good thing. Engaging our dispassionate and cynical youth in our political process is the hill upon which this shining city was built. That’s what C-SPAN wants you to think it’s doing. What actually is going on is that the network is taking these kids and quite literally creating news junkies. C-SPAN wants armies of kids who lie awake at 3 a.m. and watch Rep. Henry Waxman’s shiny head chair the House Government and Oversight Committee’s hearing on CEO compensation.

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    C-SPAN is getting its way. Droves of informed high school- and college-aged news junkies have lined up behind the ballot box. Is the head of C-SPAN Dr. Evil’s eviler twin? Can you imagine what engaged youth will do to our country? More grants for college students, comprehensive student health care, increased funding for university research, free iPods. That would be, to use common college parlance, pretty sweet for students but a disaster for these United States.

    This has to end. Coming clean was not an easy decision but a necessary one. What will I say when my future daughter looks at me with her big eyes and asks me what I did to fight “The C-SPAN”? My friends, I know about the sleepless nights. I know about the ruined relationships. I have been there. This is about taking back our country from these info-pushers at C-SPAN.

    There is help out there for those of you who are like me. Go see a counselor or join my C-SPAN Anonymous group. But whatever you do, don’t quit outright. C-SPAN is raw, high-grade information and just stopping might be deadly. You have to move to networks that offer less actual news and more BS. My friend is totally recovered. He watches Fox all the time. I pray all of us will turn out like him.

    Othman is a senior in political science and C-SPAN Anonymous meets every other Monday at the Blind Pig.