Consider this my contribution to whatever GOTV efforts with which you may be involved.
I am sick and fucking tired of the keening mewl that is rising from substantial portions of this country that goes something like this: "Oh, I am so sick of this election. I just hate politics. I will be sooo glad when all this is oooover." The Squidbag has two words for these people - SHUT THE FUCK UP. And yes, the Squidbag is aware that's four words, but the Squidbag will not be lectured on grammar and indeed, math, by the likes of you. Be quiet, the lot of you. I have absolutely had it with this shit, this idiotic whining in the streets of an apparently fatigued electorate who just cannot take another minute of being deluged by election coverage. Take a day off. Don't watch TV, listen to the radio, or read anything for a day. Give it a shot. It means pulling your greedy little mouth off of the media teat for 24 hours, though. Think you can do it, you pathetic gripe in people clothes? For fuck's sweet sake, we can follow an NFL season, or a season of Lost, we can talk endlessly in the workplace about American fucking Idol or Dancing with the loser has-been Stars, but we can't seem to summon up the wherewithal within our void little souls to continue to care about this election until it is over? What an ADD fucking country this is. You know the only reason we don't get daily Afghanistan or Iraq reports highlighted in the news is because you moron doorknobs got tired of it, right?
The saddest, most digustingly vomitous part of this whole shitty bitching and complaining bullshit is, many of these people will not even vote, because "they're so tired of it all," or because they just don't think it makes any difference. These are the same people who have to have dinner with Uncle One-Toothed John before they can remember to brush a couple of times a day. These people will be fucked and not know why - but you can bet they'll know how to fucking bitch about it. "Hey, loudmouth, your Aunt Kvetch is on the phone, and she wants her nametag back, you whining, small-minded jerkoff." Democracy is wasted on these fucking people.
Suck it up, tired America. Stiff upper lip and all that. Wait, that's the English. Well, who gives a fuck; stiffen your lips anyway. No one gives a shit that you're tired, right? No one wants to hear that shit. you add to the noise by saying it, and then you make me add to the noise to put you in your fucking place. You're part of the problem, there, mouthy. Go vote, be quiet, and don't let me hear any more of your puking whine noises, or I will go door to door on a Squidbag Shuts Your Big Yap tour, carrying a hammer, a stapler and a crooked stick festooned with broken glass, red ants and habanero.
Over the weekend, I was talking by Internet phone (meaning it cuts off every 15 minutes and makes weird echoes in the conversation when it is working) to Jesse, whose blog can be found here. Jesse is a teacher, husband and about-to-be-dad (like, this week) in the cloud forest of Costa Rica, so there's a lot of weird mutant jungle biology on his blog, along with his creative writing and observations about his unique experiences living in the developing world.
We were discussing what American news had filtered into Costa Rica over the weekend, and I thought I would pass this along because it's a marvelous gift of perspective. Jesse was telling me that pretty much all Costa Ricans had heard about America was stuff about our election and the World Series. The World Series coverage is apparently hilarious, because not only are CR sports commentators unfamiliar with the principals, ("The PHY-Lees?") but they lack a basic understanding of the game of baseball, which leads to a lot of dead air punctuated by statements of the completely obvious. "The player hits the ball, and now he runs." I can only imagine what their reaction was to postponing a game because of what they probably regard as "a little bit of rain."
In terms of our election, were they hearing stump speeches, promises, allegations, revelations or talking points? Nope. They got the one highlighted story about the Sarah Palin Stripper Look-A-Like contest out in Vegas. So that's what they think about us, folks. Democracy is afoot, but strippers and baseball grab the headlines. That might be for the best, really. The economy's for shit, but that naked chick who sort of kind of resembles Sarah Palin clone got ten grand.
To set this up a little bit, we were in the midst of multiple chores on Sunday. You see towels on the floor in the video, soaking up a stain. We were doing some laundry, making a lasagna, cleaning rooms - chores. While stuff like that happens, a 2-year-old keeps entertained by wandering from place to place looking for something to get into. This is what happens when you hand Abby a guitar - an instrument she thinks is a violin, by the way, which explains the positioning a little. There's more to this clip, on both sides, but for now you get this.
A guitar must sound really cool vibrating through your skull like that.
The current President of the United States is a douchebag.
This week, the White House has requested that the Department of Justice get involved in checking out what the hell is going down with voting irregularities. In Ohio. Shit, fellas - that feels about four years late to me. Didn't we have some pretty serious irregularities there back in the big battle of '04? Yeah, I seem to remember some guy named Conkers or something, a lot of complaining about disenfranchisement, inadequate equipment, and having a Supervisor or two in your hip pockets. Yeah, there was this big report-type thingy, and even some loose talk about not counting Ohio's electoral votes, due to them being - what was it? Oh, yeah - HIGHLY FUCKING SUSPICIOUS. Yeah, that was it. But you see, the Monkeyface administration never thought to order the DOJ in on that one. Wonder why? Do we think it's because they're opportunistic greedhead pusbags collected around the sagging prolapsed ass of the chained-to-the-slab GOP elephant? Looks like a pretty clear-cut example of "I'll look into potential malpractice and possible vote-rigging in our supposedly free and fair elections when it suits me, and not otherwise." Which just makes the President of the United States a small-minded, petty little piece of chickenshit in the rain.
Wow. Meet Tracy Kerlee. The worst part is, I'm probably related to like, five of this woman. YouTube's calling her Crazy Tracy, and I ran across this clip from NOW on Warren Ellis' blog with the title "Why My American Readers Should Vote This Time." Where do you start with someone like this? First off, I am always a little confused by people with oppositional worldviews who fall in love. They must do love a little differently than I do. Shawn Kerlee's an undecided voter, (there's another video) and this late in the election, they creep me out, too. They're really weird. i picture them being undecided about all kinds of things, like whether or not to have sex, where to park, what clothes to wear. And a buffet must be truly perplexing. How the fuck do you become undecided when the choices are polar opposites? "Would you like your hand amputated, or not?" "Well, let me think about it..."
Then there's his maniac of a wife, who embodies everything that is wrong with America. An unshakable faith that has hardened into a carapace of self-righteous fury, and a solid belief that being like Tracy is the only acceptable way for Americans to be. You can hear the xenophobia when she speaks, see the hollowness behind her faith. There's nothing in those eyes. You believe and you pray and you know what right and wrong is because you're either too fucking stupid to question and think about things, or because you have no real personality at the core of your being, and you're happier being a series of responses to stimuli. It's a gross, disgusting waste of a brain. I am ashamed to share a country with this woman - she's the downside of tolerance.
McCain insists that he's not more of the same packaged differently, even copping to voting with Bush "90 % of the time." (How much of a maverick can you be when you toe the party line all but ten percent of the time?) McCain's been pushing to show us how different things will be on his watch, and then he goes and picks Sarah Palin as a running mate. Hmmm.
But you know, Sarah's supposed to be really different, a maverick, a fresh-faced reformer, someone you could get to know, someone who could live on your block so long it's a block of ice in goddamn remote Alaska. But who is she really? She seems to think it's really important that we meet the real Barack Obama, so let's us put on our bullshit hip-waders and meet the real Sarah Palin.
Crazy Religion? Check: There's a couple ofYouTubevideos floating around that show her talking about Alaska being the refuge during the Last Days & showing her having prayers said over her to make her a better spiritual warrior. She also gets "protection from witchcraft" from a guy who once ran a witch out of a Kenyan village, which probably means he beat up a midwife or something. She's an Assembly of God Pentacostal. Think people who wave their hands around and fall out while they worship are a bit strange? Ha. Just when you thought Jeremiah Wright was as crazy as holy men would get during this campaign.
Cronyism? Check, Check!The Associated Press released the results of their own digging into Sarah's pipeline she's so damn proud of. What did they find? That Sarah's team created a bidding contract that only one bidder, TransCanada, could possibly win, that she ignored the companies who actually have a right to the gas, that she mismanaged the project so that it may never be finished, and charged the multi-hundred of millions of dollars to the State of Alaska, when the company had originally talked about doing the whole thing for free! And why? To do a favor for a friend of a friend.
Of course she did. 'Cause that's how Sarah rolls. She's got the full package, the one we're used to on our executive model Republicans these days: Arrogance, self-righteouness, a superiority complex, and an absolute conviction of her lock on capital "T" truth.
Don't believe a fucking word they say. They will absolutely take four more years of this shit if they can get it.
The truth is, I never used to remember Evan's birthday. Some number combinations resonate with me and others don't - they usually have very little to do with any person they may or may not be attached to - I simply remember them easily, or I must take notes. Take this to heart the next time I forget your birthday - the numbers got all squodgy in my head.
So yeah, I used to forget Evan's birthday every year, (ten-twenty-four? what the hell is that?) then something would happen to make me remember it, like Jimbo reminding me, or a calendar becoming evident, or maybe just a "holy shit" moment. I would then get or send Ev some belated thing - some music, perhaps, or comics, food or booze. I never knew him not to appreciate a gift - there was always feedback. There would be an email or a long-ass phone call or a too-short visit, and then the matter would be forgotten until next year, when I would proceed to forget Evan's birthday all over again.
Now, I can't forget it. Like something etched into my forebrain, there it is, mildly bumming me out all day. And my special gift, too - seriously conflicting emotions about Evan not being here anymore. Sadness and mild depression, assuredly, but still the underlying anger, "fuck Evan for taking Evan away" crap that I guess I had better get used to. So I decided to confront my melancholy with port wine and the Demons promotional DVD Vini sent me back in the Spring of them performing live at Eddie C's in Gainesville. Just fucking wade right in there. I did not enjoy the wine (which is whatever happens whenever I pick out my own wine, which is why I typically stick to beer and whisky), but the DVD made me feel...more. Instead of skating over the surface of being angry and sad, I just waded in there with the Demons and Robert Johnson and Elmore James, and then they blackjacked me with "It Hurts Me Too." Because it does. And it did, and now it always will. I didn't cry this time, but it still hurts a fuck of a lot.
So - I raise a glass of my unsatisfying wine to Evan's memory, wishing he were still around. I'm thinking about C and Jimbo and Vini and Eric P. and Melissa and Joe and Guy. And Pam and Barrie, and Zach and other family and friends, a vast array of people who all miss him.
Seems to me the argument on abortion should mirror the argument on guns: No one likes the thing itself, and in a perfect world, it / they wouldn't be necessary. We don't live in a perfect world, and it's this way because we make it this way. No one likes shooting people in the face (unless you're Dick Cheney), but the need to shoot someone (yes, even in the face) may come up, so it'd be nice if guns were legal and regulated when and if that happens. People aren't perfect, they enjoy exploiting each other, and violence often reigns. Sucks, but that's the way it is. Until the dawn of Utopia, I'll hold on to my .357 and hollowpoints.
No reasonable person wants to go around killing people, but if the need for killing people with a gun should arise, you'd want to have a gun handy. You wouldn't want them to be illegal, knocked off the books by the Supreme Court, available only as a black market commodity so you'd be forced to buy a cheap & shitty one in a back alley somewhere, one that might not work, or worse, kill you. That would suck, right? That's all us "pro-abortion" people are about, guys. There's no one walking around with a "Have More Abortions, Ladies" sign at rallies. It's a simple question of rights and availability - if they were completely illegal, that would be bad for everyone, in the final analysis. Women need to fully govern what happens in their own bodies.
And so now you're dwelling on the potential life, the bun in the oven, the supposed "rights of the unborn." Well, the way I read the Constitution, until you can survive not attached to another human being, literally living off the sustenance they provide, you are not, by definition, an individual, and thus, have no rights. It's only when holy books get brought into the equation that these definitions become fluid (those of the "individual" and the "rights" thereof), and I thought Christians at least were supposed to live by laws of the land in which they reside - "render unto Caesar" and all that. The sanctity of life argument doesn't work for most people, and so what it seems we're really fighting about is potential. The huge quantity of potential that is erased when an abortion happens. And that is a sadness, possibly a tragedy, and should not be entered into lightly. And yet, I maintain that it should be available as an option. There are greater injustices - raising an unwanted child, or one that's a product of dysfunction, drugs, violence, incest, rape, or simple ignorant carelessness. And even if that is the case, who speaks for the lives terminated in other legal, available ways, and the potential that they might have represented?
Man kills. It is a part of our evolution that we hold power over life and death. There are consequences for creating life, and there should be consequences for taking it. And they are, for the most part, inherent - no need for punitive laws and legislation. It is a subject that spawns literally endless debate, and I imagine it always will. But maybe I have a shined a light on a different facet of it for you.
William Ayers was active with the Weather Underground, making bombs and setting them off, from 1968 or '69, to when he started ducking the law in 1970. Rightly or not, federal charges against Ayers were dropped due to prosecutorial misconduct and the machinations of COINTELPRO. If this controversy has a silver lining, it's that it has given me an excuse to mention COINTELPRO on my blog. In 1980, Ayers turned himself into the authorities for his crimes, and about fifteen years later, he hosted a coffee at his house for Obama, during the latter's first run for office. They've also been on two boards together, the Woods Fund, and the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. Since then, he's made some anti-American statements, most unfortunately on September 10th, 2001, the day before which it would become illegal to make anti-American statements.
And that's pretty much it. So are they associated? Yes. Are they buddies, cohorts, brothers-in-arms, and planning behind the scenes to reduce all of America to terrorist destruction; great piles of smoking rubble with tattered flags protruding from them in an effort to teach us all which way the wind blows? No. They are about as associated as I am to everyone in every political campaign in which I have worked, and that includes a person who eschewed the regular wearing of pants, a lady who painted Jesus on the backs of anything flat, three dead people, several potheads, and several dozen committed and probably decent people with some skeletons in their closets I never bothered to ask about while we were shaking hands, tabling, handing out GOTV lit, or sealing envelopes together.
Well, what about John McCain's associations? Seems only fair, yeah? I got a couple:
We've got Charles Keating, Jr. a convicted felon. McCain's direct association with him earned him a rebuke of "poor judgment" from Congress while absolving him from any actual unlawfulness. Chuck was not so lucky, and got an orange jumpsuit for his troubles.
There's G. Gordon Liddy, another convicted felon, insane person, radio commentator, and Watergate plumber. That's plumber in the "burglar who hides shit for the President, who in this case is Nixon" sense, and not plumber in the "Joe" sense. Liddy killed and cooked a rat as a child, and is inspired by the power of Hitler's speeches.
These men are contemporaries of McCain, people who supported him, or acted with him in instances that led to bad things. Maybe they never smashed windshields or made pipe bombs. That might have been because they were in prison, though.