Tuesday, November 20, 2007

American I Dull

"Sitting on the sofa on a Sunday afternoon,
Going to the candidate's debate.
Laugh about it, Shout about it, when you've got to choose,
Anyway you look at it you lose."

Paul Simon "Mrs. Robinson," 1968

These travelling road shows called debates have increasingly taken on the air of a TV reality program, complete with scripted and planted questions. I watched one Republican debate, but after seeing a majority of the candidates admit, en masse, that they questioned the validity of evolution, I didn't need to watch another. The Republican debates are only the equivalent of the summer replacement, "America's Got Talent," to the Democrats', "American Idol." The contestants are carefully scrutinized on appearance and confidence, and expectations run high each week over who will stumble and who will rise to the challenge. They even have judges posing as questioners, who critique the candidates' answers and attempt to build rivalries within the group. The role of the intemperate asshole judge is played by Wolf Blitzer. The single flaw is that we can't phone in each week and get somebody bounced, in order to thin this herd and maybe hear something of substance.

I took an online poll where you are asked your opinion on a variety of topics and then you are matched with the candidate who most closely holds your views. Mine came out Dennis Kucinich, which is good and bad. I admire the Congressman's courage to call for impeachment openly and often, (he nearly got a vote to the floor last week). I agree with him on ending the war in Iraq and holding the planners accountable, and he has been the single most consistent liberal voice in all these dark Bush years. But I also know he hasn't got a chance to win the nomination. I'll happily vote for him in the Tennessee Primary to make a statement. Hell, I once voted for Prince Mongo for County Mayor. I also voted for LaToya London. But once again, machine politics and corporate cash rule over the procedure, and even though Kucinich's rousing debate performances rival Bo Bice, he's going to lose to the blond lady who was mistreated when she was younger. Yes, I'm speaking of Kelly Pickler.

Hill & Bill are all but Lords and Ladies in Waiting according to the geek news channels, and just waiting for the coronation. But before Hillary gets measured for crown and scepter, it would be well to remember that not a single vote has yet been cast, and the American voter is a famously fickle animal who will turn on you in an instant. How else can you explain Taylor Hicks winning American Idol, or George Bush winning anything, for that matter? Let's get through the first couple of rounds before we declare a winner. I'm sure Kucinich will get a record deal, even though he deserves at least as much attention as Clay Aiken. But if I had to review Hillary's debate performances thus far, I would say, "It was just aw'ite for me, Dog. You're a little pitchy."

While this lite operetta continues, President Zero is neglecting some serious issues. The Chinese are trying to date-rape our children; Wal-Mart has been discovered taking out life insurance policies on their aged workers and collecting benefits when they die; Lacy Peterson has morphed into Stacy Peterson; a statement from the still deceased Saddam Hussein said his flim-flammery about WMD was not to threaten the US, but to fool Iran; and deluded Dick Cheney was forced to fill in for the absent drug store cowboy, and lay a wreath at the cracking Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers, while the blood dripped from his gloved hands as surely as O.J. Simpson's. But stay tuned, Barack has promised to take off the gloves this week. And did I fail to mention our troops are in the middle of a foreign civil war with no end in sight? Too bad we can't just vote the troops off the island.

Al Gore may have won his Grammy, his Oscar, and his Nobel Prize, whatever that is, but Carrie Underwood and Daughtry kicked major ass at the AMA's, and Fantasia was up for an award too. With the current television writers' strike in effect, the mid-January start of the new season of American Idol might have to be moved up, just like those nervy states and their Primaries. Then we could have five nights of nothing but Idol, Countdown, and Debates. But if the Debates are going to compete with Idol, they have to really want it, dog. This is, after all, a singing competition. And there is one lonely voice singing in the corner, crying, "Impeach Now. Impeach Now." Can you hear him? It's Dennis, "the Dark Horse" Kucinich, and his spouse is better looking than Hillary's any day. Hey, no one believed Ruben Studdard could win either. Seacrest out.


davethedog said...

The American Idol metaphor breaks down when applied to politics. Fantasia has a decent career but nothing like Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood. This is because she is ugly and looks, as my granmaw used to say, "like a haint walking backwards"

Politics, however, is show business for ugly people and different rules apply.

bow-wow, bow-wow, arf-arf


Anonymous said...

The role of Paula Abdul is played by Campbell "Diamonds or Pearls" Brown, for tossing such softball questions at Hillary. It was reminiscent of Bill's boxers or briefs.

Anonymous said...

First, American pop culture is more bogus than it was in the 50's. At least in the 50's we didn't know better. After the roaring 60's, 70's, and even the 80's it has been all downhill. We are currently stuck in the turd of hip-hop culture and even worse. American Idol is just Ted Mack's Amateur Hour in color rather than black and white.
As far as politics go, I don't understand the fascination with something that is so fundamentally flawed. I read a book around 1970 the premise of which was that life was a smorgasbord of games and that each of us has to make a choice of the game to which we must commit ourselves in this life. Our very sanity depends upon our choice of life-game and the way we choose to play it. Of course, the basic game division was between the spiritual vs. materialism games. The author's bias was for the spiritual game. An underlying theme was leaving drugs behind for the natural high of the spiritual life. It was written for the hippie culture of the day. Getting to the point, he said that the political game was inferior even to that of the bicycle seat sniffer and the coprophiliac. I have always agreed with his position and have never been sucked into politics. I view it from afar and avoid any serious involvement in it the same way that I avoid dog shit when I go walking. Another related comment and this is no joke... I read an article by a British psychologist once that said that the psychological profile of the typical politician and that of the criminal psychopath have much in common. It's just that politicians are more subdued, and more clever. These observtions are offered as a counter-point to some of you who are so rabidly political. After all, in the estimate of some people bicycle seat sniffers and coprophiliacs have more dignity.

Anonymous said...

Well spoken. Amongst those who dwell in the realm of higher consciousness, those who are consumed with politics are somewhere close to the consciousness of shit-eating dogs. I had to lower my consciousness in order to say that. Forgive me.

randy said...

There's a flaw in your reasoning. Your indifference to participatory democracy has led directly to George Bush. Your disdain for politics is unforgivable when you consider that a few more interested voters might have spared us this odious administration and the war they so desperately wanted in Iraq. We are wading in muck because of apathetic and self-involved citizens like you who hate politics as a general principal. The Republican Party awaits you with open arms. They don't believe in government. Because you can't be bothered by politics, our nation is teetering on the brink of bankruptsy and our soldiers are dying in the desert. Turn away if you like and continue to believe that you are above the fray. To a realist, your brand of "higher consciousness" is selfish and short-sighted. No one gets out of here alive. Do what you can while you're here.

Alan Jay Perlman said...

Why do you think the nomination process started so early? The Media outlets on both sides make a fortune off the election cycle and it now two thirds as long as the office. Politics is corrupt whether local or national. I was at the City Council meeting yesterday. The last time I was in the council committee room was 11 years ago. These are the sessions held before the actual meeting in the council chamber. 11 years ago the longest discussion was on the moratorium on new billboards and sign ordinances. Janet Hooks was about to leave the council and was lobbying to get the moratorium lifted. Yesterday the main topic was postponing a vote on new ordinances for signs and billboards. The fight was between members leaving the council and those that are staying. ( grab the cash before it is too late).

Anonymous said...

Those who do not have any interest in politics should try to shut the fuck up. Either get a grip or shut up. If you don't want to participate thats fine but don't make like those of us who want to are anything less than you. Politics are not for everyone and thats the way it should be but for gods sake don't act like your smarter or better off then someone who is. Actually what you are is lazier then those who care about our world. Oh, by the way do you believe that global warming is a joke too?

Anonymous said...

Relax, I was just pulling your chain. I realize that there are those who have to be involved in politics. There are classes of people who are called to sustain the various aspects of the life of society. There is the teaching class, the warrior class, the priestly class, the healing class, etc. I'm just glad that I am not called to participate in the political class, just like I am happy that I don't have to be a proctologist (they are necessary, too). Actually, I find you people interesting specimens and am rather fond of you. I am just unable to share your excitement over the shabby world of politics. To sensitive natures it is revolting. I find the participants in both parties equally repulsive. But that is just one person's opinion. Oh, and I do vote. The challenge is to determine who the lesser evil is in a cesspool of iniquity.

Anonymous said...

whatever happened to Justin Guarini?

Anonymous said...

I want to ask all of you to forgive my perverse sense of humor. I tend to use hyperbole to make points. I really don't mean to be offensive. I reverence your reverence, but not necessarily what you reverence. I appreciate your passion and your sincerity. Randy made some good points with his scolding. The issues that politics and government deal with are weighty and are of ultimate importance. But, after years of observation of the political process I am very put off by it. I have worked with adolescents all of my life and I have to say that much of what I see in the political arena is quintessential adolescent behavior. I have said before that the bickering between the parties has the dignity of a middle school food fight. The bottom line is that I just don't respect what I see there. There is very little honorable behavior. I have read of more honor and integrity of character from quotes by Native American leaders. They seem to have more of a penchant for the truth. Most politicians have a very tenuous relationship with truth. As for government...I have worked in government all of my adult life. The vast majority of those who work in government do so because they either can't make it in the private sector, or don't want to put forth the effort to do so. Not one in ten-thousand government workers could take an idea and parlay it into a profitable money-making enterprise where a weekly payroll has to be met. Government jobs generally don't take a lot of ability and they afford a high level of security with a minimum of accountability. So, do the math. Why do you think that government is so inefficient and so costly? It is because most government employees are drones...slack-jawed, dimwitted mouth-breathers (this may be hyperbolic, but it is not much of an exaggeration). There is not enough space here to tell you about what I have observed after nearly 36 years of up close and personal observations. I can extrapolate from my own experience, so I am never surprised at the mind-blowing incompetence of government at every level. If I have to call myself anything, it would be libertarian. I want as few buffoons governing me as possible. And I sure don't want to give them any more money than is absolutely necessary. The waste is staggering, but what do you expect from people who do nothing but spend other people's money, and when they run out they just take more through taxation. The citizens either have to pay up or go to jail. The bottom line is that it is impossible for me to respect either politicians or the government that they impose, because of my own life experience. I really don't mean to be mean spirited about it, but it is impossible for me to feel otherwise. I have spent a long time in the belly of the beast, and it stinks in there. The only solution that I can see is to have less government, thereby requiring fewer politicians. Some government is necessary, but let's reduce the size of the tumor.

Anonymous said...

Parenthetically, why should the local government (a.k.a buffoons)have so much say over where private citizens choose to spend their time and their money? If a free man chooses to go to a topless club (a private enterprise) to watch semi-nude women dance behind closed doors, what gives the government the right to interfere with the free choices of private citizens? Who put them in charge of coercing others to make what they feel are the right moral choices? And, it is legal for women to give sex away for free, but if they ask for money, it is illegal. What if the guy says he was just tipping the girl out of the kindness of his heart because she was so nice to him? Lots of guys buy girls dinner and drinks before having sex with them...is that prostitution? Alcohol is the culture's legal drug of choice, but the government walks all over a man who may choose to smoke a joint, because he feels that it is better for his health (which it is...in moderation). Why should the government have so much power to intrude upon our personal lives? And believe you me, it is only going to get worse as government power expands. So you folks that think that government is so wonderful and that we need more of it, ask yourself how much you value freedom. Freedom used to be worth fighting for and standing up for, but somewhere along the way lots of folks seem to think that we need a nanny government tending to us like we are perpetual children. And some of you want the citizens to be stripped of their weapons to make totalitarianism even easier for the fascists.

Anonymous said...

Government must grow or die (shrink). Therefore ever increasing taxes are a certainty (I can here the song 'Taxman' as I type). In an editorial in today's CA, a fellow relates a current gov. horror story. In order to avoid Tn.'s excessive tobacco tax, folks who live on the border cross over to other states to by their cigarettes. Tn. revenue agents (at taxpayer expense) watch tobacco outlets in neighboring states and follow Tn. buyers back into Tn. where their cigarettes are confiscated and they are fined. Someday state agents will be monitering how many times we breathe so that an oxygen-depletion tax can be levied. The beast must feed or die. And the beast is going to grow, and grow, and grow ad nauseum. Our freedoms (and bank accounts) are going to shrink and shrink till there is only a vast, poor proletariat and a small dictatorial ruling class which will prevail till there is a revolution. Apparently, this is one of the eternally recurring cycles. Pro- government folks are helping us toward the totalitarian phase of the cycle. I guess all of this cannot be helped...some sort of deeply ingrained death wish.