What started as an innocent way to while away a late Friday hour turned into a mini-obsession that kept me from more productive pursuits like laundry, paying bills, walking the dog, cleaning house, and writing letters to my congressman.
How easy it was to ignore the world around me and plunge into a fantasy world of seven kingdoms, medieval intrigue, visceral sword fights, and brothels of "Game of Thrones." I woke up Monday morning with a TV hangover and vowed to get a grip on reality.
For me, those were 13 hours poorly spent. Not because the TV show wasn't good; it was very good indeed. But because there are so many, many things I should have been watching other than TV. That message was driven home to me later that Monday.
Recently I've dipped my toe in local politics by helping a dear friend Steve Vasilion who is running for 5th ward alderman (my ward.) It has been an eye-opening experience, and actually kind of like courtly intrigue the closer we get to election day. What has been most surprising to me is the arrogance of our elected officials. How like the kings of a fantasy world they are.
|Proposed $120,000 River Walk Arch|
Like a good serf, I have been working hard to pay my taxes — which have doubled since I moved to Batavia nine years ago — and pursuing my own creative interests, the lords of the manor have been ripping me and my neighbors off.
While our utility bills crept skyward, like peasants we adjusted our thermostat, bought energy saver appliances and tried to cut down on our electric use. Meanwhile, our elected masters of coin obligated me and my neighbors to a $250 million coal-fired energy plant deal that has been increasing my utility bill and will continue to do so indefinitely.
While I attended openings and events at the town's local gallery, wishing I had the money to purchase one of the works of a talented local artist, my city council has been planning on spending more than $120,000 on their own art: a decorative arch, not designed by a local artisan, over a congested and confused street.
While I was at my full-time job, or volunteering at my church, at our town's United Way chapter, my city council was organizing committees to figure out how to spend my money. Committee meetings and hearings I knew little about and don't recall ever being invited to attend.
Monday night, the city council told a few concerned residents that they were too late in their comments and questions about the council's recent folly. We should have been at the committee meetings and public hearings they said.
Apparently now they want our time AND our money. It's not enough to elect a council to serve the best interest of it's citizens, we now have to watch their every move.
Like a game of thrones.