What does the Fawkes say?


Jeff Gonzales and Jeff Gonzales

I feel like I should wear my tinfoil hat before I start this column. It is, after all, one of my favorite hats to wear. My love of a good conspiracy is what first brought the “hacktivist” group Anonymous to my attention.

Anonymous loves its “V for Vendetta”-inspired Guy Fawkes mask and, in line with such, wants the revolution to be inspired by comic book quote and historical reference, “remember, remember, the fifth of November.”

So why is Gonzo talking about a hacker group when he usually focuses on politics? Well, it goes back to my love of the tinfoil hat and America’s frustration with Washington. It goes back to what feels like a futile mission: To get people interested in what is going on in the world. I want people to think about why they are frustrated and to do something about it.

Students that I talk to at American River College don’t care much about politics and have little or no respect for our leaders on Capitol Hill. They express frustration with how things work, but aside from a select few, they seem not to care about how to fix it.

This frustration is why groups like Anonymous exist. It also explains the vague nature of hacktivists and things like the Occupy movement. This frustration is also what made the tea party movement so influential.

As much as I love my tinfoil hat, the skeptic in me doesn’t really think there will be “a million mask march.” The same reason I love a conspiracy is the same reason I laugh at most, but there is truth to people’s frustration.

Republicans and democrats have special interests in mind. World problems like Syria or domestic problems, including healthcare and political mishaps like the government shut down, may seem to be far away. But if you pay attention, you can see that these things affect our classmates here at ARC, from veterans and students on financial aid, to the money our school spends for our education.

I don’t know when I took off the tinfoil and stepped on a soapbox, but what I’m really saying is simple: Whether you sport a Guy Fawkes mask and want the government out of your life or you think the Feds aren’t doing enough, you’ll still be complaining until you realize why these things matter to you and take action to change them.