November 02, 2006

The Obligatory Pre-Election Political Rant

Did you know...

...that it takes approximately 7 pounds of sorghum to make an fifth of vodka?
...that there are 92 separate species of sparrows in North America alone?
...that Mick Jagger was originally a drummer for a little-known band called The Wobblies?
...that Daryl Hannah's dad was Colonel Sanders?
...that the working title for CSI in preproduction was Follow The Evidence?

Of course you didn't! Why? Because it's all bullshit!

Have you ever stopped to think about how much stuff you encounter everyday is just that - bullshit? Have you ever felt like the world is just playing a very elaborate game of telephone? You know, the game you played as a kid where you tell one person something, they pass it along and by the time you've gone through a dozen people whatever you said to begin with is completely different? "Fred Rogers wore a cardigan sweater" becomes "Fred Rogers is a notorious sweater" becomes "Mister Rogers is a sexual predator" becomes "Mister Rogers was busted with a couple ounces of blow inappropriately clutching his King Friday puppet" and so on.

I'm pretty much convinced that this is the way the world works. Half the stuff we see on the news, read in the papers, hear on the radio and pick up at the water cooler is crap. This means that the world is either much better or much worse than we're being led to believe or perhaps all the bullshit balances out somehow.

All this ranting is, of course, caused by my nervousness and disgust over the impending elections. I'm tired of all the fear mongering and name-calling. Fear is shamelessly funneled into our homes via the television, radio, fliers, newspapers and telephone calls. We have a race in Virginia that's actually going to come down to racy sex scenes one candidate wrote in a novel. Forget education, social welfare, the war in Iraq. Forget the fact that the candidate he's opposing is a racist idiot who couldn't spell penis much less find his own when he had to take a leak. I guess what's really important is fiction. I want it to stop. Bastards need to shut the hell up, stop lying, tell the damn truth and get some governing done.

Maybe I'm just cranky because I'm tired and can't think of a decent post and I was at work yesterday morning before the sun came up and left after it went down and here I am again looking out my window into darkness with a full day of meetings. But, no, actually I think I'm just annoyed because politicians, for the most part, are stupid. And time after time, we vote for the lesser of two evils...or evil of two lessers.

Am I totally off-base?

Posted by Chris at November 2, 2006 07:13 AM

Totally not... I went on a tirade yesterday when I saw one of the "Vote Yes for Marriage" signs... (which piss me off in the first place) It said, "Protect the children... Protect Marriage" Now, I don't know about you, but I've never felt that my child was threatned by two gay people wanting to get married. It's total hogwash. What amazes me is that people ACTUALLY believe that voting to define marriage will "cure" the "problem" of homosexuality. If anything, it strengthens their resolve. Grr... that whole idea pisses me off.

As to the Allen/Webb race... I loathe, hate, and despise George Allen. He's a coniving little snake, who's only hope at winning is delving into LONG AGO books that Webb wrote. Nevermind that Dick Cheney's wife wrote a book once that had lesbian love scenes in it (again, irronic that a REPUBLICAN would write something seeming to support the lifestyle). ANyways... I'll get off my high horse, but I say... you are TOTALLY not off base at all...

Posted by: Corinne at November 2, 2006 07:24 AM

Don't you also find it a little off-putting that the President has been gallivanting all over the country campaigning for Republicans and will continue to do so up until next Tuesday when, I don't know, he could be doing something more important like GOVERNING THE NATION and getting our asses out of Iraq and all the other shit going on? Christ, he's not even running! It just seems wrong for him to spend all this time on senatorial and gubernatorial campaigns.

(I know, I know, he's not the first president to do this, but still, it ticks me off when any of them do it.)

Posted by: Nicole at November 2, 2006 07:33 AM

No, you're not off base. The races here are getting really dirty, too, and quite unenjoyable. I actually got an automated phone call last night that was basically a diatribe about how evil and immoral the democratic candidate was. You can't vote the issues if you don't know them, and it's gotten so bad that they don't even list what they stand for any more--just what the other candidates don't stand for. And everyone complains about it--why can't they see what they're doig wrong?

Posted by: Alissa at November 2, 2006 07:46 AM

Nope. Hell, I live in Kansas - we've got an attorney general using his position to raise money in churches and shut down abortion clinics. So now he's in a tight race and is seeking any dirt he can get on the other guy. Sickening. God I hope we get just a little bit more blue in this state somehow.

Posted by: Heather at November 2, 2006 07:48 AM

Heck no--not off base a bit!

When I think how much I spend in tv advertising for my company and then watch my commercials be pre-empted for campaign commercials, I wanna hurl. So mine run at 4 a.m. and the main stream, prime time viewers have no choice but to watch campaign ads. How about catering to your loyal, long-lasting customers rather than bowing to the campaign manager's short term money supply?

Sorry. Hate this season and all that it represents.

Posted by: kristen at November 2, 2006 07:55 AM

I'm with you. I don't know which candidates to vote for at this point. I despise our governor and what a mess he's made of the State Police and our social service systems but Lynn Swann is my alternative? WTF? I think that either I'll have to go with the "Clean Sweep" technique or just flip a coin. There is not one candidate running that I like, admire or feel confident in.

We need a "None of the Above" choice!

Posted by: Lisa at November 2, 2006 07:58 AM

I completely agree! Elections are around the corner, and honestly, I can't pick a candidate to vote for. I think that candidates spend so much of their time telling you why the other guy shouldn't win that they forget to tell you why they'd rock the suburbs, you know? And unfortunately - every election is like this. It's like - they all play nice until someone doesn't feel like thier nice-guy campaign is getting enough attention, so they attack the other dude, and the name-calling war begins.

Posted by: Emily at November 2, 2006 08:02 AM

Yay for Chris. I am with you on this one too. I have become so irritated with it all that I am now collecting all their fliers. As we are in a small area I will be waiting for these candidates to show up at the polling place where I will be returning their literature. I love how they spend thousands of dollars on these things and then either lie or only tell part of the story on them. They should be held accountable for spreading false and/or misleading information!

Posted by: Jeff A at November 2, 2006 08:31 AM

Most people will agree with you, which is why for the life of me I can't figure out why they (the politicians and their advisers) keep running negative ads. Don't they know that it pisses people off? But they figure that We the People are morons and won't get it. It is the one problem I had with John Kerry. He thought he was Smarter than everyone else and he did not know how to hide that Ego. Which totaly turned me off in regards to voting for him.

And one of my all time favorites

"Prisoner: "Johnny and the mothers are playin' stompit at the savoy in Vermont tonight."

Johnny: "Vermon's going to kill my brother at the savoy theater tonight."

Prisoner: "I didn't say that."

Johnny: "No, but I know this grapevine

Posted by: William at November 2, 2006 08:41 AM

Can someone tell me what are the topics we're supposed to be voting on? I think all I've gotten out of this is that gays can get married, but God forbid we call it MARRIAGE, but then what gets me is we have people out there that are "life partners" or "common law" married, yet they get the benefits that "MARRIED" people get. That's a load of BULLSHIT. Last time I checked there wasn't a spot in the Bible that said "NO GAYS ALLOWED". I thought God wanted us to be happy. And if you want to get all political on this, lets talk about obstruction of civil liberties - THE PURSUIT OF LIFE, LIBERTY AND HAPPINESS!! Oh, and now I'm not allowed to have birth control. I love how a MAN makes a decision over what a woman's body can and cannot do. Well when men can pop a baby out of their penis, then come talk to me, otherwise I'm going to continue to get my shot and root on the gay families that would actually want my baby if I can't have birth control and get pregnant. Makes sense to me.
Sorry about that rambling. Had to get it off my chest. Not sure if it made a lot of sense, but I'm still trying to figure out what political issues these guys are campaigning about other than birth control/abortion and gay marriage rights. I guess it's no big deal that over 2800 US troops have died in Iraq. But remember..."MISSION ACCOMPLISHED".

Posted by: Michelle at November 2, 2006 08:44 AM

I cast my first Presidential vote in 1960 (for JFK) and I've missed very few elections, local or national, since. The last 10 years or so may be the worst I've seen. Even our campaigns for state office are ugly. You'd think our Republican candidates for State Attorney General and Controller (and even Insurance Commissioner) were running for President.

Our candidate for State Assembly is being smeared because she's a career woman with no kids. She can't possibly know anything about "family values" of course.

I've been watching VA with great interest of course. What a bunch of crap. Jim Webb wrote a book? So what? George Allen is a racist.

Until we fix our broken system, it's not going to change and I'll continue to go with the lesser of the evils here in California and I'll continue to vote absentee where there's at least a chance my vote will be counted.

Please don't stop voting. The racists and the family values crowd always vote. The only chance we have of ever making a difference is to keep talking and keep voting.

Posted by: ann adams at November 2, 2006 08:48 AM

not at all! I am actually glad to see you say it, gives me hope.

Speaking of stupid election issues, we have a candidate that is in his 20's and is running for a seat in the state legislature. His opponent is running an ad that says he doesnt pay his property taxes. Now, nowhere in there does it say he doesnt have to pay property taxes because he doesnt own a house, it just states that he is a dead beat guy that doesnt pay his property taxes. I am SO ready for this election to be over. I think the candidates got together and devised this evil scheme to beat us down and pound us with so much media, print and stupid recorded phone calls we will either not vote or subconsciously vote for the most annoying candidate. Not much longer....until we are free.

Posted by: linda at November 2, 2006 08:56 AM

SO happy not to have to vote soon.

Posted by: s@bd at November 2, 2006 09:09 AM

No, you're not. Story for you that will initially seem off-topic but is not: I'm taking a hospitality law class right now (as part of my culinary degree). Our teacher is a practicing lawyer. He talks about cases and current events and the media, often as tangents. Remember the McDonald's coffee incident? Where the old woman spilled the coffee on her lap and was awarded like, millions of dollars in punitive damages? I always, always thought that that was a case of litigation gone mad. Turns out, though, that the old woman actually had third degree burns *on her lap* that required extensive skin grafts. It also turns out that McDonald's had been serving it's coffee, in TO GO CUPS, at temperatures above 165 degrees Farenheit, as company-wide policy. McDonald's had received upwards of 700 complaints about the coffee and had done nothing. AND, initially, the woman only wanted an apology, medical damages, and a promise that they'd stop serving it so hot. They offered her $800 (her expenses were over $20,000), no apology, and they kept serving the coffee at those temps. So she sued and she was awarded, I think, $3M in mostly punitive damages because McDonald's willfully served something dangerous. Oh, and she was found 20% negligent as well.

But do the majority of people know all that stuff? No, because the media pounced on the "woman spills coffee on self and sues," thereby perpetuating the feeling that we're too litigious a society.

Bottom line: I agree with everything you've said.

Posted by: candace at November 2, 2006 09:19 AM

Oh, correction: home coffee makers make coffee at temps of around 170. The McDonald's coffee was around 190-200. Ouch.

Posted by: candace at November 2, 2006 09:22 AM

I'm sick of it, too, and ready for this election to be OVER already. I have very little respect for most politicians these days.

Posted by: Liz at November 2, 2006 09:35 AM

Nah, you're spot on the money. Just don't beat up all journalists - some of us actually do get things right. ;)

Posted by: Traci at November 2, 2006 09:43 AM

I would totally vote for the dude that wrote the risqué novel! Especially if King Friday was in it. Mmmmmm, puppet love. That's hot.

Have you ever had one of those moments where you're spouting off a "fact" and someone corrects you and goes "Where the hell did you hear that?" and you have to think about it and honestly you can't remember anything except that you've believed it to be true since you were like thirteen? Happens to me ALL. THE. TIME. My parents must have been feeding me bullshit from the moment I was born.

You'll notice my comment is uncharacteristically non-political. I am sick of it all too. I am actually considering basing my votes off who is the most attractive or has the best sign designs.

Posted by: krystyn at November 2, 2006 09:47 AM

I'm so over the god damn elections. If I see one more commercial for Prop 87 (pro or con) I'm going to pry my ears off with a fork. At this rate, I'm going to vote against everything, just because I can.

Posted by: statia at November 2, 2006 09:49 AM

I could not agree with this statement more: Bastards need to shut the hell up, stop lying, tell the damn truth and get some governing done.

So much energy goes into the campaigning and the nasty ads and the accusations and counter accusations, and it seems like so little energy goes into actually running the country. No wonder this place is such a mess right now.

Posted by: bad penguin at November 2, 2006 09:53 AM

Amen, brother.

Posted by: Kate the Shrew at November 2, 2006 10:18 AM

Goodness did you open a can a worms with this one? I, too, am sick and tired of all the muckraking going on. Stop telling me how bad the other candidate is and start telling me why I should vote for you. I wish we had some real people running for office (like you) and not the ones who just want our vote so they can keep collecting their pay.

Posted by: Pat (Trish) at November 2, 2006 10:28 AM

I like the fact that people can't talk about sex. I'm sure the one running the smear ads has had sex. He probably regularly has sex. Who knows if it's even with his wife. But talking about sex, even if it's fictional? Absolute evil.

Now that is bullshit.

Posted by: Jessie at November 2, 2006 10:28 AM

Lets not forget that too many registered voters fall into the stupid category - as in too stupid to vote. I realize that in a "free" country, we can't actually do this but what if: There was a national holiday where EVERYTHING was shutdown (except maybe hospitals and other absolutely necesary functions) and it was mandatory to vote. If you didn't, you were slapped with a hefty dose of public service duty.
Think about it - what would our government look like if we all voted?

Posted by: JMo at November 2, 2006 11:06 AM

I can get behind you on this. It seems like campaigns are getting nastier and nastier every time election season. It makes me not want to vote for any of them because they're all a bunch of ginormous assholes who don't really give a shit about what WE think and feel and believe. They're only in it for themselves. This hasn't been a representative government in a long ass time.

I'm going to stop before I get really pissed off :D

Posted by: Sparkle Pants at November 2, 2006 11:48 AM

Of course you're not off-base. It's pretty sad, like you said, that one candidate is being judged for something like that -- especially when you look at what the alternative is (aka "The Other Candidate").

Posted by: Zandria at November 2, 2006 12:09 PM

I'm with you. My sense of civic duty will drive me to the polls on Tuesday, but I still don't know who the hell I'm voting for. They're all crooks and liars. Where are all the honest, upstanding leaders who will stand up for average citizens and the good of the country? In either party?

Posted by: Kelly at November 2, 2006 12:16 PM

I'm feeling pretty crappy about this election too.

Obviously, Allen would have to be running against Hitler or Regis for him to get my vote, but I hate voting against people. Someday I'd like to vote FOR someone again.

Posted by: Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah at November 2, 2006 12:31 PM

I've not been voting that long (I'm only 24) but I can honestly say I've never voted for someone because I wanted him to be my leader... it's always the case that I'm voting for whomever is running against the person I most fear becomming my leader.

It is a sad world (actually... mostly just the U.S.), indeed.

Posted by: Adam at November 2, 2006 12:32 PM

it's stressing me out as well. not to mention the countless bulk mailings and phone calls!!

Posted by: jodi at November 2, 2006 12:44 PM

You are totally ON target.

Posted by: sue at November 2, 2006 02:16 PM

I'll murder the mail man if I get another mailing in the box. This is why I don't watch much news and I take everything I hear with a grain of salt; it's mostly crap or propaganda, it tells me nothing other than all politicians are spoiled bratty children. But they say all this negative campaigning works with the public...

Posted by: Kyle I at November 2, 2006 02:30 PM

Our system is nowhere close to perfect, and I really don't know how it will be fixed. Political races are now media events, and popularity contests. Sometimes you win by saying bad things behind your opponent's back, sometimes you lie... but the game is clear and we citizens are just pawns in the game. I wish I could say that people can see through the TV commercials and talk show hype, but I know better.

The only thing I can think of is to heavily restrict the type and amount of advertising and TV appearances. I want two things: 1) a list of how they've voted and will vote on issues 2) past accomplishments and future goals. That's it. You all can shut up now! I don't wanna hear another fucking word from your mouths! I have my information and I will make my decision!

Posted by: Brad at November 2, 2006 02:59 PM

I'm with you, Chris. Here in Missouri the much-watched Senate race is really starting to get nasty - not that it hasn't already been with the whole Michael J. Fox controversy. What kills me about this race, though, is that the nastiest ads seem to not be coming from the candidates themselves but from the Republican and Democratic National Committees. Thank goodness there is less than a week to go.

Posted by: Beth in StL at November 2, 2006 03:08 PM

oh yeah, i'm totally with you. i HATE election time because of all the bullshit that gets thrown around. i do my own research on the candidates and really hate being bombarded with all the smear campaign ads on TV (not to metion all the he said / she said stuff between the parties). for example, last night while watching Bones, the station ran SIX campaign ads in a row. SIX. i was so annoyed.

Posted by: Judy at November 2, 2006 03:15 PM

We've been out of the country for the last few election seasons. I had forgotten how ugly they can be. It's enough to make you wish for overseas duty...

Posted by: Annie at November 2, 2006 03:20 PM

Do I think you're off base? I live in Maryland. 'nuff said.

Posted by: Karen at November 2, 2006 04:02 PM

No, you're not off base. I'm so glad I'm out of the country right now. But I'll be back in time to vote!

Re: Pat (Trish)'s comment, what we need is MORE muckraking, not less. By that I mean we need more journalists like Upton Sinclair and Ida M. Tarbell to expose what's *wrong* (in general, not a propos of the election). I do agree that mudslinging amongst candidates is tiresome.

Sorry. Rambling tangent.

Posted by: Alison at November 2, 2006 04:25 PM

You know what's so sad? I was actually going to use that working title CSI thing as trivia. (Good thing I read the rest of the post, because sooner or later someone would've called me on it, and I would've been like, "Well, I know it's true, because I read it on THE INTERNET!")

I used to hate those political ads. Now I almost look forward to them-- one ad actually had a picture of his opponent and the words BAD MAN written next to it. It's entertaining in the way people who can't work their gadgets in infomercials is entertaining.

I have no desire to vote, though. Sigh.

Posted by: becca at November 2, 2006 05:07 PM

Politicains are all stupid. I just can't wait for it to be over. If I have to watch those commercials to much longer, I might just injure my TV.

Posted by: Melissa at November 2, 2006 05:43 PM

No, you're right on base. I feel the same - the candidates don't ever really talk about the important issues because they're spending all thier time bashing thier opponent. It's ridiculous. I pretty much dread voting because like you said, it's voting for the lesser of two evils.

Posted by: Sijbrich at November 2, 2006 06:47 PM

I agree. Sick of the television ads in particular. One that Marilyn Musgrave put out a few days ago sent me through the roof. I even blogged about the damn thing. The ad was all about a Marine veteran who lost an eye in Iraq. I was appalled.

My mailbox has been bombarded with crap trying to get us to vote for whomever. I resent this shit coming into our domain and it's hard to escape it all unless we avoid the radio, television, mail and just about everything until election day.

To add to all of this we have the John Kerry distraction.

A special is on HBO tonight concerning voting machines and how easy to tamper with the damn things. I would watch, but we don't have HBO.

I'm tired of hoping that everyone's vote will count as it never seems to work that way.

Posted by: Diane at November 2, 2006 08:49 PM

...and when you stop to think about how much "moralizing" and high-handed attitude goes into judging how other countries with corrupt voting practices...and then you read about crap in our own country. It just makes me sick. The good news on the voter fraud front is that Uber-Bitch Ann Coulter might be guilty of a voter fraud felony. Oh...justice is sweet!

Posted by: wordgirl at November 2, 2006 11:13 PM

It often feels like there are no right answers when it comes to politicians. The game precludes those people who are best fit to lead, allowing only the ones most devious and underhanded to get into the race. So we feel like we cannot make a good choice when faced with the ballot. Propositions are mired in double talk, misleading propaganda, cloudy intentions... it's a freaking mess.

And you know what? This election seems even more disheartening, like nothing we chose could ever be right. Makes me want to move to New Zealand and hang out with sheep.

Posted by: Elaine at November 2, 2006 11:24 PM

Couldn't agree more.

Posted by: Dee at November 2, 2006 11:35 PM

I was in Disneyland yesterday and some guy in a loud shirt with a louder mouth was talking to one of the ladies working the store about all things Disney. Soon he turned to ABC and the fact that everything they did was a commercial for Democrats. I told him everything George Bush did was a commercial for Democrats. He shut his mouth, but not his shirt.

Posted by: whit at November 3, 2006 12:46 AM

Hmmm...I always thought Colonel Sanders was gay...thanks for the info! People will believe anything....this fires me Utah these stupid fucks vote straight republican just because 'the church' tells them to....wake up and get a fucking mind, they'd elect Bozo the Clown if they had a chance...oh wait, they already did! /end rant, sorry chris :)

Posted by: Nanette at November 3, 2006 05:47 AM

No! Thank you for this post... I've been trying to say this exact thing to my boyfriend (who also lives in VA). I'm disappointed all around with the candidates and I'm cranky too because I've lost faith in politics.

Posted by: Snidget at November 3, 2006 11:26 AM

I know what you mean. Elections (and politicans for that matter) have become a circus, and one I'm not too happy about attending.

Did someone mention hell in a handbasket?

Posted by: Evil Genius at November 3, 2006 04:13 PM

I totally agree that we're fed mostly bullshit. Totally agree. Not sure if what's real is better or worse than the bullshit. I'd say: either worse, or less sensational than they appear....

Posted by: haley-o at November 3, 2006 05:43 PM

One of the benefits of religion is the ability to console myself with the belief that there is a special level of hell reserved for politicians. And bad media. And people who text message during movies.

Posted by: Amy at November 3, 2006 11:31 PM

you are so on-base, its not funny. i, too, am over the political bs we have to endure. you rarely get to vote for a guy (or gal) you actually really like, just the one you dont hate most. Its sucks.

Posted by: kristied at November 5, 2006 09:21 PM

You hit the bullseye, sir, and have said exactly what I've wanted to say. It's been 10 months since I moved to a red state, and it's been quite a learning experience.

But we're spoonfed regurgitated crap nowadays. People will find a spin on news that appeals to them. Who cares about the actual facts anymore?

Which is why I record & watch BBC News and have not been seduced by the wiles of Katie Couric (and don't get me started on the non-wiles of Ann Coulter)...

Posted by: O at November 6, 2006 02:37 PM