Friday, October 10, 2008

we hold these truths to be self evident i cannot stop thinking about our next president

I can't seem to talk or think about anything besides Election 2008. If you've recently dared to speak at length to me about anything besides the election, I was probs jonesing for a little talk about health care the whole time.

You: "I had a bad day at work."

Me: "OMG! Mr. Palin wants Alaska to secede from the union! Can you believe it?"

You: "I feel like my boss never listens to me."

Me: "SECEDE!! From the United States! Sarah Palin's HUSBAND!"

How can you think of anything else besides. Election. 2008. at this pivotal! moment. in our country's history! I've prepared a graph for you of some of the things I've ever obsessively thought about over the years. I didn't include "myself" 'cause obvs I think about myself all the time, that's a given.

"The new electronic interdependence recreates the world in the image of a global village."
(Marshall McLuhan)
Maybe it's 'cause I've been living in Haviland's apartment, where it seems only natural for MSNBC to be on all the time. 'Cause my roomie's out of town so I've got the place to myself. I sit in the living room facing the television, eyes peeled open like the potatoes I'd like to throw at Sarah Palin's hair.

Or maybe it's just 'cause this is a pivotal TIME! IN ! OUR! NATION'S HISTORY!

Maybe it's 'cause I'm doing customer service work for a political advocacy group that sells/distributes campaign buttons and there's been a massive issue with a post office in the midwest who hasn't been shipping stuff on time -- and just today three people have threatened to vote McCain if they don't get their buttons STAT.

I prefer the slighted button-orderers who present conspiracy theories: Our first black candidate and things aren't going through the mail. COINCIDENCE? I think not.

I'm like, Hey, I think you're onto something there.
"In fact it was a better time then [when President Kennedy got shot], and people knew what they were supposed to do and how to make the world better. Now nobody knows anything. We know who's popular, or that social studies is boring."
(Angela Chase, My So-Called Life, 1994)

This is the kind of political obsession that I always imagined people had in other countries. You know -- countries with problems. Like they were starving or being bombed all the time.

But I passed through adolescence -- that crucial period where the heroes of Greek mythology often experience a loss of innocence -- during the Clinton years. Furthermore -- born in '81, I'd been raised to believe Republicans were evil and Regan was ruining everything, and I campaigned for Dukakis until my second grade teacher told me buttons weren't allowed in public school.

2000 was a huge blow to how I thought the world worked. I passed through denial to outrage to complete self-centrism, which is more productive.

Honestly -- I wasn't this worried in '04 'cause I didn't believe there was any possible way Bush could win -- polls be damned, I just didn't think such a thing was possible. He was really bad at that job, I've been fired for much less. I've been fired for giving out tequilla shots, but he can be responsible for the deaths of actual Mexicans and keep his job.

Now, it all feels so real. THIS IS A PIVOTAL! time! in our nation's. HISTORY!.
"you can keep the pentagon. keep the propaganda
keep each and every teevee that's been trying to convince me
to participate / in some prep school punk's plan to perpetuate retribution."
-ani difranco

Have you read the Rolling Stone article about the duplicitous lying not-even-a-war-hero John McCain? If you haven't read that article I can't talk to you.

And meanwhile, let's say they "prove" that Obama and Ayers are friends -- then what? What's the point? It's like an essay that "explores" a topic without a thesis. Certainly their thesis can't be "Obama is a terrorist," 'cause that's absurd. But then again, so is the concept that any grown man would actually take action to ensure kindergartners learn to put condoms on those bananas before they eat them. I mean REALLY MCCAIN REALLY? No wonder you graduated second-to-last in your class.

But man it's hard to keep up on all this 'cause although Sarah Palin claims to be reading "all the magazines" -- I actually AM READING ALL OF THE MAGAZINES.

The New Yorker, The Nation, Rolling Stone, Newsweek, Time, The New York Times, Washington Post, The Huffington Post, The L.A. Times, the blogs and the blogs and Vanity Fair and Esquire and Good and the other fine monthlies of this fine country but it's the weeklies that really have the juicy stuff! Like current, but thorough.

When Palin said that, I thought firstly: "Man, she's never even read Ranger Rick."

Then: "Wait. But I AM reading all those magazines! All those newspapers! I mean I really am! And I barely have time to sleep and work, let alone vice-govern the country!"

During the debtates there's liveblogs on cnn, wonkette, jezebel and gawker all at the same time. I mean, that takes a LOT of time right there.

I keep up on these things in the 24/7 news cycle and here's how. Let's pie chart:
"it's nice that you listen / it'd be nicer if you joined in
as long as you play their game girl / you're never going to win."
(ani difranco)

I've been trying to put together something about Obama's campaign for this blog -- a top ten covering the issues -- that I made Krista and Natalie and Haviland help me write -- a "form letter" for you to send to your Republican or Undecided friends & family to try to change their minds. I've written half of it in rhyme, half of it in plain non-partisan speak and another random percentage of it in quotes & links. It is not done. Will it ever be done?

Haviland and I have completed several Palin vlogs, I twittered every possible minute of every debate on my twitter feed and using the Election 2008 twitter feed.

It's about right and wrong and the betterment of the world. But it's also for the first time, totally about memememe. And I'm not even talking about gay marriage.

Here's the thing: I'll lose my health insurance, and I'll lose the hope of getting any should I ever earn out of what I've got now, which I hope I will eventually. So if I lose my health insurance then I'll have to move to the Yukon, and I'll stop writing this blog, and then you'll have to talk to each other's faces, except you better be careful, 'cause no one would have health insurance, so you would all have cooties, and you'd all get colds, and be at home in your bed sneezing and then, then, who's a Maverick? Hey-o!

"We must be the change we wish to see."

Sarah Palin is not smart, not ready, not prepared. She doesn't realize feminism still has a fight, she's a religious extremist who doesn't believe in the separation of church and state. Just health care and state, education and state, and social services and state.

John McCain is a duplicitous liar who can't handle the idea that he can't just get this, like how he crashed planes and blew out the electricity in a country 'cause of bad flying and picked his outpost based on what kinds of strippers he could pick up there. His heroic act was not even heroic, you should read the Rolling Stone article. Besides even if it was I don't get what it has to do with anything.

Obama is a revolution.

I thought Biden ROCKED the debate. Not just in comparison to Palin, I think he got good policy points across, especially the Maverick monologue at the end.

So anyhow anyone who's worked for a corporate restaurant chain can tell you that no matter how regulated and constricted the position, a new manager will bring some kind of change. Of course John McCain will bring some new policies and strategies to the white house. But his intent is the same as Bush's, and intent is a significant portion of the law. He's not straight talk, unless you're the one in the room writing the check.


"Night-life. Letters, journals, bourbon
sloshed in the glass. Poems crucified on the wall,
dissected, their bird-wings severed
like trophies. No one lives in this room
without living through some kind of crisis."
-Adrienne Rich
ihate sarahpalin
i hate ann coulter
i hate elisabeth hassleback
and everyone
but mostly cindymccain evil eye
waawaa witchcraft.

Hey, p.s.:

-The United States is the only wealthy, industrialized nation that does not have a universal health care system.

-In one of the wealthiest districts on New York's Long Island, the per pupil spending amounts to $11,265 annually. Meanwhile, impoverished sectors of New York City see only $5,590 per student--approximately half the amount funneled into the rich school districts.

-A recent study cited 80% of inmates in an Oakland jail could be linked back to the same three high schools -- all underfunded, low-performing schools in bad neighborhoods. Prison is far more expensive than even implying that their education matters to the country they live in by giving them books and fixing the walls.

-Our nation has become a self-fulfilling prophecy, with everyone dashing before their turn to pay comes up. I don't know.

I could go on and so I won't. I wanted to give you my mind, but in writing. Maybe you feel similarly.

These attack ads -- it's like that thing they do at the end of a basketball game where they start fouling to get foul shots and then maybe the rebound? but that never works.

I just wanted to share my feelings with you because
I love America!


Mercury said...

I am so not obsessed with the election, I tried to register to vote the day after the last day! and I suck as a human being, obviously! Alaska's gonna be red though, forever always always red and now with Palin

but I really want Obama to win and I believe he will because I believe that sometimes good things happen because otherwise life would truly honestly be too much to bear like that would be the final straw the last line that would be it.

and I actually knew most of those facts and yes shit is fucked up in this country and yes the only hope for it to be really any better at all is obama.

but I don't think about it very much really like maybe 3 thoughts a day or 15, out of my maybe 250 total thoughts a day, and maybe 150 of them being completely centered on petty relationship whatever and 50 of htem at least concerning hair depending on if that is a day at work or a day not at work.

Anyways I dunno what my point was. The point was that I feel futile and small and irresponsible as a member of society but at least I'm aware even if I don't think about it much.

You on the other hand rock. go riese! if obama wins he may have to thank you personally.

Haviland Stillwell said...

Rage on, sister sledge.

It's possible/probable that I out-obsess you on the amount of thinking I do w/r/t the election.

My next birthday will be the eve of Bush 43's last day in office. This is cause for a huge celebration, obvs. My birthday/the end of the Bush Regime/President Obamaaaaa pretty please?

Vashti said...

Because I don't have a teevee here in my dorm [not that I"m ever in here to begin with] I don't really watch the news BUT I'm ALWAYS reading The New Republic, Time, Salon, Newsweek, LA Times, CSMonitor, MSNBC, NYTimes, BBC, etc. during my free time [and, well, during class too]. Roughly 95% of my reading is Election 2008 related. The other 5% is about the economy, pop culture, and William Faulkner's The Sound and The Fury.

JUST FYI, I am registered and I will be voting for Obama.

Love from the land of rain and granola.

Vashti said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
supr said...

in canada we vote in 4 days. if i mention "the election" to anyone i know they all have something new and idiotic palin has said or some mccain attack add they havent had the chance to gossip about yet. we care. my thought percentage is nowhere close to yours, but i care. i can handle stupid politicians and their equally stupid mates, its the angry mob following them around, showing up in the background during palins ridiculous speeches that drive me nuts. no wonder its so rare to hear a politician speak anything other than gibberish when theyre rewarded so completely for it. and palins whole deal is just.. fodder. absolutely ridiculous. hilarious/infuriating. i cant help but laugh/throw things.

good job trying to get the word out. i havent read the rolling stones article yet, but im on my way there now.

Oo Lynnie oO said...

Thank you for the rolling stone article. I'll probz make it my facebook status.

But this post is fabulous and you are fabulous and your passion is fabulous.

I'm involved with the Obama campaign on my campus, and even getting people to just THINK about the election is probably one of the most rewarding things i could ever do

cao said...

just mailed my ballot yes.... one vote for Obama and one vote to keep gay marriage in CA.

Anonymous said...

I keep waiting to turn on the TV and see that people have actually talked to Ayers since the mid-70s at which point they learn that he's a really cool guy who is really invested in education and helping the future of this country. Yeah, I get it, he did some shit back in the day. Oh, it just makes me so angry.

autumn m said...

im drunk and thats probably not a good thing since i have to work in the morning. got into a drunken argument with my republican friend. i sent her a copy of the rolling stones article and asked if she read it. of course she didnt! again Alex was right! republicans dont read. my friend says she doesnt care what mccain has done, shes voting for him cause obama is a terrorist! WTF! pick up a paper or watch the news! pisses me off

Adam said...

I suggest adding 538 to your daily obsession. The discussion is a little empty (lots of trolls), but the content is great. It's all about intelligent digestion and synthesis of polling data. If you're obsessing over MSNBC (yay for our team's wackjobs!) you've probably seen Nate Silver give a couple of really awkward interviews on Countdown.

Basically he's a baseball statistician who had the radical idea to apply actual statistics to the project of predicting the outcome of the election. Turns out the math is on our side. His model has us at better than 90% chance of winning!

He also has occasional articles on the ground game in various regions (which doesn't enter into his regressions, but he feels gives us good reason to think Obama will outperform his model), as well as on campaign strategy.

Worth a few clicks a day, imo.

Anonymous said...

Go to bed angry, and Slate will answer your frustration:

In defense of a present-day Ayers.

shannon said...

I was just saying yesterday that I can't get anything important done (ie the things my job pays me to do) because all I want to do is read about the election. What is Obama doing? What kind of shit is McCain smearing? I need to know, and now!
Point being, election is in 4 weeks and I cannot wait. I'm going to canvass tomorrow. Gobama!

a;ex said...

ahh I've been waiting 4 years for Nov. 4th to come! When is it going to get here?! I'm going CRAZY

Thank you for feeding my election needs.
This is why I'm on Twitter constantly - I need constant information. Thank god for the NPR Politics feed.
(Wait isn't it funny how they call it a 'feed'? Cause I'm so hungry! Hungry for liberal politics! OM NOM NOMNOMMNMM)

Lexi said...

Yay for Obama and liberalism.

I am canvassing tomorrow in my homemade Obama Cheerleading outfit.

autumn m said...

i like graphs and charts =)

autumn m said...

how can McCain run an ad that speculates Obama and Ayers were friends, when everyone knows McCain was one of the Keating 5.

Jezzica said...

a) Merely 109 thoughts a day? How long do your thoughts last? Haven't you had one of those free-associative days where like EVERY SINGLE THING you think about leads you back to the obsession? In that way, you could have 109 obsessive thoughts in an hour. I tend to gauge obsessions by Percentage of Waking and Percentage of Sleeping Hours consumed largely with obsession.

riese said...

mercury: um. first!

Yeah i Have a feeling that your people are going to vote for Palin and there's nothing you can do about it. I mean, every vote conts! What's wrong with you?

I agree with this, like more than any run-on sentence could ever really say: but I really want Obama to win and I believe he will because I believe that sometimes good things happen because otherwise life would truly honestly be too much to bear like that would be the final straw the last line that would be it.

Maybe what I need is an unstable relationship to stop thinking so much about the elections.

I would like obama to touch my hair.

haviland: Yes and can we all dress as our favorite presidents? You can be Jackie O. First ladies count. I want to be the gay one, Buchanan? Was that it? I don't know. I just don't have a lot of outfits. Or I could be Obama, but I'm not ethinic, but babypop is, she could win.

vashti: I know, but when I'm reading that other 5%, the whole time I'm thinking, "are you going to find a way to tie this back to the election? I sure as fuck hope so, asshat." Speaking of, I wonder if I should check the l word online or something. I dunno, I feel out of touch.

supr:That's amazing that you vote in four days and I had no idea. This election is supposed to improve the world's impression of americans, but maybe it's made us even more hopelessly self-centered than we've ever been before, now that we're determined to stay here and not have to emigrate which for me means getting a passport whihc is like $300 and who can afford that in today's economy.

cao: yay! where's my ballot. is what i want to know dear michigan. i sent my ballot and etc.

burningsteady; You know what's so amazing about the 24/7 news propaganda machine? that possbility hadn't even occurred to me really, i was just like "dead on sight." but that's possible and now i know it is also real.

autumn m; i'd have to say in this economy being drunk but actually having a job to go to in the morning is a better state to be in than being drunk but not having a job to go to in the morning so therefore i am goping this argument with yoru friend came to blows.

what i find most amazing about obama being a terrorist as a theory is that for chrissake, i'd imagine if he had terrorist ties, they would've come up with something a lot better -- and a lot earlier -- than ayers? I would like to symbolically punch your friend in the gullet.

adam: omg
are you trying to ruin me?
read this, read that
put on a yankees hat
what's that you lost your hat,
what's with that?
here's another website to read
more media on which to feed
why isn't your opinion humble?
basball tumble bumble
i'm not good at writing back to comments anymore
omg, wtf, lmao, holy new website, i'm a bore

burningsteady: holler, and HOLLER.

shannon: Omg, gobama is like not even an abrev, but it is still brilliant in its own special way, like this town where I went to jewish labour camp, it was three rivers, but we called it "thrivers." also we called grand rapids "grapids," which sounded like a virus, but like one that just went around, and what could you even like do about that you know?

a;ex: hay! remember when i told you what npr is? it's okay grasshopper. i think everything should be called a feed so that everyone is hungry. tinkerbell misses littelfoot. i just made myself throw up a little bit in my hands. i'm listening to the indigo girls. la di da. there is a lot of peppermint up in hurr.

lexi: hey lexi! your name rhymes with "rexy," as in "oh rexy you;re so sexy" from empire records. let me read your comment .

one sec.

oh! cheerleaders! save them! save the cheerleader, vote obama. gobama!

autumn: so did my geomoetry teacher! i spelled that wrong. oh well she never tought me how to spell, just about proofs, which i then forgot.

autumn: i don't know. i just don't know. i mean, and also what about the jackson five. you know. like "i want you back"? great song. danceable.

jezzica: first of all, your name should be slapped on the side of a high top sneaker and sold to foot locker for ten jillion dollars. secondly, you're right. you totally called me out. i think about it like 109 times an hour too. okay. 108. no 110! omg. i need to lie down.

autumn m said...

so now that sarah palin has been found guilty of abusing her power as governor, whats gonna happen??? is she going to be fired?? or is she going to be fed to sharks??? or is she going to be subject to (insert heinous inhuman act of violence) until she dies?? i mean, just curious.

NEP said...

in dc people only talk about 2 things: the election and how much money you're losing in the market. with the election almost here, shit is gettin' wild. you can't be anywhere for more than 5 mins. before someone starts talking the election, then some eavesdropping repub asshat will feel the need to come over and defend mccain/palin. i wish all the dems and repubs would just brawl already. it can be like a wwf cagematch and whoever wins gets to live on pennsylvania ave.

as a sidenote i drank at a bar tonight called the palace of wonders where they had a taxidermied unicorn in a glass case. only in NE...

eric mathew said...

omg. brits video is AFUCKINGMAZING. it has nothing to do with obama but i can imagine you and tink doing shots and dancing.

dani said...

good to see how passionate you guys are about THE election....and that's really necessary.
we (we = young, german, superintelligent, political so correct) could not believe what happenend in 2004 when bush was re-elected. it seemed so clear that bush's time was up!
vote obama!

cookies said...

the rolling stone article was interesting.
and FYI, Roger & Me was made before I was born. Just thought you'd like to know that.

carlytron said...

my entire office is obsessed with the election. all i do right now is work, talk/read about the election, and cough.

your pie chart looks a lot like mine would.

Anonymous said...

Be very afraid!

autumn m said...

im way drunk! 1st i was rereading the zine and its missing #5 poem. it goes 3 4 6. is that normal? 2nd, stuff i did tonight that im proud of: rode a mechanical bull, and tried every drink at the bar. stuff im not proud of: paying people large sums of money to vote obama. stuff im not sure of: i found a chick attractive and spent all night flirting with her! whats that mean?! whats happening to me? is something wrong with me?

A. said...

You all must watch this...

It combines two feelings:

1) Deep down fear of Palin

2) Dancing

Soooo sick of elections.
Try working in a newsroom every single day and trying not to lean pro-Obama. (HEAD EXPLODES)

riese said...

autumn: I feel like the mccain campaign is gonna say she didn't do anything wrong, and then there's just gonna be a lot of hub-bub, and then they're gonna say obama did something wrong and try to attack him about something. is my guess. she also did a lot of shady shit while she was in office, so I hope the investigation continues.

nep: Oh man, I can imagine, being in DC right now is like the eye of the hurricaine. I like your idea about the wwf cagematch, I think that the second place prize should be that unicorn in a glass case.

eric mathew: you and your non sequitors, you never cease to amaze me.

dani: I know right, the economist did a worldwide poll about who would win if peopel all around the world could vote. Clearly it's a biased target group, but McCain is getting DEMOLISHED.

cookies: I think it was made while I was a youth, I caught it on video. but thank you for my daily dose of so old.

carlytron: all i do right now is work, talk/read about the election, and play with my hair, so I feel like we're on the same page here.

anonymous: ok i saw that, and I AM!

autumn m: I think the gay agenda is having it's effect on you. Maybe you're just opening up your eyes to new experiences of all kinds and it doesn't have to mean anything, unless it does, in which case there's nothing wrong with you. Also, yeah there is no 5. We were wondering when someone might notice that. ANd congratulations for riding the bull!

a. I think that song will be in my head for the rest of my life.

nicoleantoinette said...

Your blog is absolutely glorious. GLORIOUS! This post- ah, this post. Yes, yes, yes.