Archive for December, 2004

Guess Whom I Blame

December 20th, 2004 Comments off

Guess Whom I Blame

Ah, hell, never mind with the guessing. I’ll just come right on out and tell you: I blame all the so-called “progressives” who voted for John Kerry in November because it was just soooooo important to get George Bush out of office. All the pseudo-progressives who decided it was important to embrace a candidate who didn’t represent, or even pretend to give a shit about, their values, because, you know, by compromising a little bit now, we’d get more of what we want over the long term. All the well-meaning but hideously unrealistic folks who dismiss my warnings about the ongoing rightward creep of American government as unwarranted fretting from a lefty ideologue.

I blame you for what I read about in the Boston Sunday Globe yesterday. Reporter Susan Milligan wrote about how the Democratic Party is moving to soften its stance on abortion rights, which is a nice way of saying that the chickenshit Dems, having failed to nominate a candidate who could beat George Bush, the worst president in U.S. history, are, precisely as I (and others) predicted, getting ready sell out their core constituency on one of the most important issues of our time. Why? Because they’ve got their fat little fingers in the wind and they figure it’s blowing in from the right. So rightward (once again) is where they’re headed. Wow. What a fucking shock.

Get it through your skulls, kids: The Democrats were never concerned with progressive values. They’re not concerned with anything except power. They think they know what they need to do to win some elections going forward, and that’s precisely what they’re going to do. And if abortion rights don’t survive, they can live with that (no matter what some of them may be saying at the moment). Indeed, you’d better believe me now even if you haven’t in the past, the Dems can be trusted to safeguard nothing of what progressives value if they believe there are votes to be got by going the other way. They’ll work their asses off to spin their moves, to claim they’re not actually betraying what were supposedly deeply held beliefs, but they’ll be betraying progressive causes everywhere you look just the same.

So why do I blame Kerry voters for that? Surely, those progressives who settled for Kerry, who bought into the lesser-of-two-evils bullshit the Dems were laying down during the campaign, did so out of a sincere belief that the best choice for president was Anyone But Bush. Yup. They did. And they were wrong. They were wrong then, and they’re being proven wrong now. And, as I said then, they fucked the lot of us by going along with the Dems. Dig what Milligan wrote (and didn’t write):

Offering a warmer welcome for antiabortion voices would give Democrats a chance at bringing back voters who might agree with the party on economic and foreign policy issues, but balk at what they perceive is an uncompromising stance on abortion, Democrats said.

She doesn’t go on to write about the voters this move will force out at the other end — i.e. “progressives” — because she doesn’t need to. You folks proved to the Dems this time around that you’ll readily swallow whatever steaming pile of shit they offer you, because you’re so fucking scared of Bush and the GOP. (And why’s that? Well, if I’m to believe what a lot of you told me earlier this year, one reason is that those guys wanna take away a woman’s right to choose. Oops.) The Dems aren’t worried that they’ll lose you by moving rightward because they won’t. You’ll vote for whatever candidate they nominate in 2008 and you’ll buy into whatever moves they make to weaken the pro-choice planks in their platform, because you think they’re better than the other guys. Once again, you’re wrong. They’re the same as the other guys.

If you’d stood by your beliefs. If you’d cast a vote for a progressive candidate this time around (as many of you did in 2000), we’d have the same guy in the White House as we do right now, but the Dems would be talking about what they need to do to bring progressives back into the party rather than how they can more effectively court regressives (not conservatives; the Dems are conservatives; abortion foes are as regressive as the ignorant religious nuts who want to teach creationism as science in public schools and the homophobes who want to write discrimination into the Constitution). They’d be talking about firming up their fight against Republicans who want to eliminate choice rather than trying to find a quiet way to join them. They’d be preparing to do battle to keep right-wing ideologue Nino Scalia from becoming Chief Justice, rather than hinting that they’ll support his nomination.

So, yeah, like I said, I blame you. I also trust most of you to make the same mistake again in 2008. So let me say this for now and for then: Fuck you. Fuck you all.

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December 6th, 2004 Comments off

At The Mall
or Hickory Vin

You’re not gonna get anything meaningful out of this, so if you’re looking for something meaningful, go on ahead and look somewhere else. Or, you know, stop surfing fucking blogs and go volunteer to help the needy somewhere or something. And my god, man, stop complaining to me about how your life has no meaning. Did I tell you to sit around reading this stuff? No. No, I most assuredly did not. Quite the opposite, in fact.

If you’re not looking for something meaningful, then good. I’m glad we’ve found each other. Keep reading. I’ll try to kill as much of your time as possible.

So this is a story — actually it isn’t a story at all; it’s mostly just a bunch of random bullshit — that starts with a trip to Target. But that’s only because I had to go to Target this afternoon. Not for anything important. Just stuff. But the stuff I needed was a Target, so there I went. And I needed a good bit of stuff, too, so the getting it and the standing in line with it and the paying for it part of my trip took a good while, which meant I had to pick up lunch at the Hampshire Mall (which is where the Target where all my stuff was at was at), because there simply wasn’t time left for going anywhere else. And, you know, because sometimes horrible mall Chinese has a pretty strong appeal (though don’t ask me what that is; I ate chicken wings today that were so poorly an incompletely plucked it left me to wonder whether the poor bird had actually been slaughtered properly or simply rent wing from wing on its way into the deep fryer).

All of this crap you’ve now waded through, by the way, is just a hideously overextended mechanism for explaining what it was that set me walking through the Hampshire Mall (which, I suppose I should explain, on the off chance you’re not a resident of the beautiful Pioneer Valley, is one of these lame little malls that should have died a quiet little death 10 years ago but is still going, and, except for Target and the movie theaters — and maybe Ground Round if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t know Ground Round stopped mattering when they stopped giving you peanut shells to throw on the floor — is just getting sadder and sadder all the time), which is when I had the following two utterly meaningless thoughts.

Pointless thought for the day, number one: Is a Hickory Farms gift basket anything more than a way to say, “Not only can I not begin to give half a shit about you, but I’m fairly resentful of the fact that, for whatever reason, I’ve found myself in a situation in which I’m obliged to buy you a gift”? Hickory fucking Farms? There’s still such a thing as Hickory Farms? I’m quite certain that I know no one who has ever either given or received a Hickory Farms gift basket — or if I do, they’re not saying anything about it, most likely because, a) it’s enough to have been forced to deliver that message, and they can see no need to relive the experience; or b) it’s enough to have felt the heartache of receiving such a message, and there’s no need to relive the experience. How on earth does Hickory Farms stay in business? Who’s eating all that summer sausage?

Pointless thought for the day, number two: So you know how every year you walk past the booth at some mall or another where they’re selling the poorly painted, framed portraits of various celebrities, pseudo-celebrities and assorted fictional characters (the one that caught my eye as I walked past today was a portrait of Vin Diesel) and you think (or say to whomever you’re shopping with), “Who buys that shit?” And you never know the answer because you never see anyone buying that shit and you’ve never walked into anybody’s home and seen a portrait of Vin Diesel or the cast of The Sopranos hanging above the mantel. And you don’t really even think about the answer because it’s really just a rhetorical question, because you’re really just thinking (or saying to whomever) that clearly no one would ever buy that shit. But you know what occurred to me today? There’s an actual answer to that question. There has to be. Know how I know? Because I’ve been asking that question every year at this time for probably 20 years, and no business keeps running for 20 years if no one ever buys the shit it’s trying to sell (just ask Adam Smith). And the thing that really baffles me is that this means there’s someone out there other than Vin Diesel’s mother (who, I’m gonna go ahead and assume, already has all the poorly painted portraits of her son holding some impossible pistol that she could ever want — I mean, Mrs. Diesel must be proud of her boy, but at some point it just becomes ridiculous) who wants, who believes he or she has some use for, a poorly painted, framed portrait of Vin Diesel. And so the very real questions now become, a) who is this person? b) how many of this person are there? (because, you know, once you’ve got your Vin Diesel portrait, you’re probably all set and I’m guessing these guys have done a nice business in portraits of the Rock — should I capitalize the T in the? — and C. Thomas Howell — I don’t know why I picked C. Thomas Howell just then, but you’re in this deep already, so you might as well stick it out with me, right?) and c) Is this person (are these people) familiar with Mr. Diesel’s work? Because … I don’t know … I saw Pitch Black when it came out and that was pretty much all I needed. I mean, the fact that Pitch Black is an absolutely awful fucking movie isn’t entirely (or even disproportionately) Vin Diesel’s fault — this film wouldn’t have been good with Marlon Brando in the role of Riddick (though it would have been pretty fucking funny), but that doesn’t really let Vin off the hook, does it? Or to the extent that it does, OK, I gave Vin a second chance. I did. Not on purpose or anything (though maybe it should have been on purpose because you really can’t tell from one role whether someone’s bad — look at Jim Varney, for example; he stunk as Virgil Simms on Fernwood 2Night but then turned it all around with his masterful portrayal of … ah, shit, never mind), but really just because of cable television, which is evil for a good number of reasons, the biggest of which is that it forces me (and when I say forces I mean … well, forces, which I would think would be fairly plain) to watch really bad movies, like, say xXs, a, yes, Vin Diesel vehicle which is something to do with spying and such (it’s not that I didn’t get it, just that it was late and the movie was mercifully forgettable). The point, anyway, is that I know Vin Diesel isn’t at all good at what he does. Not even a little bit. So say you liked Vin Diesel for some reason (maybe you just like the cut of his jib, which would be odd, but, you know, to each his own), but then you went out and saw one or two of his movies, wouldn’t you then stop liking him? Or at least come to some understanding of the fact that its a bit embarrassing to have poorly painted, framed portrait of him hanging up somewhere? You might think so, as I did, but as it turns out, for some reason, for someone, somewhere, you’d be wrong. Just wrong.

Of course, I suppose there’s one other explanation: Maybe all the Vin Diesel portraits (except for the ones Vin’s mom buys) are purchased as gifts. Maybe it’s the thing you give to the person who gave you the Hickory Farms gift basket.

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