Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Res publica: Santorum

Anyone who has spent more than five minutes with me (in a non-work setting, unless you're name is John Quaresma) knows that I'm a political junkie and Democratic partisan.  The next logical question might be: why don't I blog about it (anymore)?

One important reason: Other people do it better. Much better. With more snark (though no finesse, but one can't have everything).  I'm a fan of the The Great Orange Satan, where I occasionally post under the name "Vince CA" (lovely pseudonym, n'est-ce pas?).

Recently I put to the community whether a Romney or Santorum majority of delegates at the GOP convention would be a boon or bust for the Democrats. My thesis: Romney is better for Democrats in the general because he's so blah that he can't inspire the base to vote and would be a disaster to down-ticket races (where control of Congress lies). The counter-thesis was that Santorum is better because he's so incredibly despicable that he turns off all voters of all stripes so long as said voters are literate and have a pulse.

My contention is that there are voters who are basically zombies: they have a heartbeat, can read (or at least watch Faux News), but other than that, so far as civics are concerned, think that Cokie Roberts is representative of the heartland and that David Brook's Applebee's salad bar was a funny.

That's a problem.

But for all that, my echo-chamber compatriots have convinced me that Santorum is better afterall, if only because he'll make the blue states bluer.  The red states were a lost cause anyway, partially because of Nixon and the Southern Strategy, but mostly due to low information voters being unable to distinguish their own personal fortunes waxing and waning tied to the Republican plutocracy exploiting religion ZOMG BIRTH CONTROL!

And thus I don't write much about it. People I know and love dearly vote Republican anyway, despite their intrinsic abilities to know better, insisting that they vote for the fiscal conservatives, not the god-breathers. But mostly it's because what god, or Bill O'Reilly told them to, because, you know, they're like this (graphic: pinky of god and white male locked together is eternal friendship)

We have our own crazy coalition, we Democrats. It's full of Greens and Hippies, Unionists and Altruists. And until recently, our group was the disorganized one. Centrists would try to hold together the left--even though they agreed on 99% of everything that was important (birth control, anyone?)--while the right would laugh and keep the christianists onboard with the atheist bankers as though Jesus himself was a Wall Street banker.

My own politics, as I've said, are Democratic, though I have some right-leaning sensibilities that are no longer represented by the American conservative party.

The accusations against corporatists are true: there is no god. Bill Mayer is like an odd broken clock. He's right three times a day.

But... for some reason, the godless heathens of SOHO have joined forces with the anti-science, young-earth creationists of the "heartland" (where no one lives but are still given two votes in the Senate) so that they can promote the pro-capitalist Jesus who makes the poor poorer and the Caesars more caesarly?

Jesus, it's like only the atheists have read the Bible.

So, this night, as MI votes in the GOP primary to nominate either a disgusting vicious fluid or Rick Santorum to represent the GOP come this November, let us recall a few key myths that unite all Americans.

We are for religious plurality (unless you belong to a denomination that doesn't have Christ as interpretted by St. Paul has its godhead, or if your religion starts with an m and ends with an ormon.)

We are for free-market capitalism (unless you've already made it, then you may pass Go and collection $2 billion dollars)

We are free (unless your skin color is wrong or your name--even if you're ten years old--comes up on some watch list put together with glue stick, card stock, and fuck-you that's why!)

We are brave, even when led astray.

We are democratic, and we respect the majority rule (for the most part, unless you're a "judicial activist" who doesn't love Rick Santorum)

We are odd.

We are Americans.

And this is our democracy.

So vote. Vote with whatever information you've got.  But if it can at all be helped, vote for yourself, your own self-interest. Vote for your pocket book. Vote for your job. Vote for your livelihood. Vote as if the next generation depended on it.

Friday, February 17, 2012


In an effort to facilitate the size of our family (recently grown to four with the birth of our son) we're adding on a room to our house.  Several rooms actually, all rather small by national suburban comparison. While many (if not most) have endured having a commode-to-resident ratio less than 25%, the constant interruption while trying to read my Science News is just to much to bear. Thus, our decision to add another bathroom. While we're at it, another closet, a bedroom, and a study seemed in order, because as long as we're expanding, why not move the parents' bed out of the living room and into its own room? This doesn't mean that I'll be sleeping in the master bedroom any time while our son is young, but at least our daughter can have more space in the living room for her doll house and craft table, and I can set up a camp stove and sleeping bag for the long, lonely nights in the living room.

Alternatively, we could have moved to ANY PLACE OTHER THAN THE SILICON VALLEY, sold our house, and bought a McMansion, complete with tea boys and servant girls. But that would mean leaving Sunnyvale, leaving behind the best diversity of cuisine this side of the Mississippi--not that we dine out much anymore, but still--I can sense the presence if Indian, Thai, Mediterranean, and Mexican in my every pore (especially my nose pores).

We would abandon all hope of teaching our children a second language natively. We would have to learn to explain atheism and vegetarianism and love of arduous international travel. I would worry that the next home owner would poison Tree (the ginormous shamel ash in our front yard) and convert its timber to firewood. Somebody might convert my garage into long-term storage for conspicuous consumption. Worst of all, they might burn some of Tree's wood in the vestigial fireplace.

So I stay.

Annuit coeptis

A beginning is a very delicate time. Know then it is the year two-thousand-and-twelve, and the empire is ruled by President Barack Obama. In this time, the most precious substance in the empire is the Apple iPad. The iPad distends life, the iPad numbs consciousness, the iPad is the most vital substance to the flagging economy. The Apple Corporation and its Geeks, whom the iPad has mutated over several thousand hours, use the backlit iPad screen which gives them the ability to waste time and space. That is, travel to any part of the Internet without moving from their couch. The iPad exists in only one planet in the entire universe, a desolate, dry planet with vast deserts. Hidden away within the studio apartments and three-story flats of these deserts are a people known as the Hipsters, who have long held a prophecy, that a man would come, a messiah, who would lead them to true freedom. The planet is Santa Clara County, also known as The Silicon Valley.