Election Odyssey: 2008

October 25, 2008 at 11:49 pm (Politics) (, , )

I can’t believe I’ve been obsessing about the US presidential election for over a year – and it still isn’t over! If I compare to what has changed in my own life in this span of time, the stasis of US politics is even more dumbfounding.
Nevertheless, here we are. 10 days to go, and, as Puccini’s Calaf sang desperately, “alba vieni, quest’ incubo dissolvi!”Or will the nightmare go on? That is my fear, and no Cosmix will assuage my anxiety until the 5th. Remember, remember the 5th of November!
If the hype is to be believed, this election is as important as the one of 1972. Perhaps even more so, considering in November 1972 we only suspected the forces of darkness drooling close by.  (I use “we” in a very loose sense; I include my unborn self and those who did not give the culture wars their proper due.)
Let me begin by saying how amazed and confounded I am that there are still people who call themselves undecided. ?#$%^@#&*(*&^!%$!!!!
If you’re not in a coma, people, then I really don’t know what else you want. What more do you need? Do the candidates have come over and carve your jack o’ lantern for you? Do your kids’ homework for you? Go trick-or-treating and, apropos, talk credit crunch and national security? Please.
Yet even more worrying is the matter of those who have eyes, but refuse to see. My dear daddy has been nearing apoplexy every few nights or so, when he chats to one of his oldest friends on Skype, and who, although not a raving religious jingoist, plans to vote for McCain.
He says Obama scares him.
You scare me, dammit, when all you can bleat is socialism and taxes. Can’t you see what is going on? Can you really not care?

Hearing my libertarian daddy (or, obamacon/ obamican to be hip) one night sputtering “but! white trash! from wasilla!” (Incidentally, wasalla in arabic means washerwoman… ok, I found it amusing…) I took it upon myself to pen him a little note for his friend, who had picked up on the McCain camp’s latest rhetoric, and was protesting, “But he’s a socialist!”

He liked it, and decided to send it to all his friends.

Unfortunately, those who choose to be blind will not be swayed; but, just in case, here it is, for your forwarding pleasure.

p.s. Lucky for us Biden is no Eagleton, so we can get some sleep….And I’m lucky enough to live in Greece, where the political situation has become so amusing, that I check out New Democracy’s land buying/selling travails for comic relief. It really works, too… (The only boy who could ever reach me/ was the son of the postman, and so on…)

If you have a friend who likes McCain, you may wish to send him the note below.
Dear Friend,

  • “Socialism refers to a broad set of economic theories of social organization advocating state or collective ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods, and the creation of an egalitarian society.” (wikipedia)

This is a general definition of socialism. As with all theories, it is very nice and utopian. Unfortuantely, the human race is such – as all countries show – that, whether a communist government is in charge or a capitalist one, the end result is the same. Those in power protect themselves and their friends always – populace be damned. And they always try to cover their asses when something goes wrong.

Therefore, the more power a government concentrates, the more change and/or damage it can bring about. So, the logical thing for a person – who is lucky enough to be able to choose who to vote for – is to think, who can be trusted with this power that I will give them? No politician is pure, so how do I choose? How do I see through the campaign bullshit? What am I looking for?

I think the main thing to look for in the leader of any country is someone with integrity, intelligence, empathy, humility, ability to see many sides of a matter, ability to choose a good team, to be able to listen, to inspire, to be calm and far-seeing. The best thing you can say about a president is to say, “He was good for the country – as a whole.”

Not one of these characteristics can be matched to McCain’s don’t-question-me-I’m-a-war-hero personality. And they called Romney a flip-flopper? Truly, his choosing an agent of uneducated intolerance (if you remember, those were his words in 2000 regarding Falwell et al) with the ugliest, trashiest, most divisive political rhetoric I have heard in years, makes me sick.

It also proves that McCain is a man with no integrity – he just wants to win the prize of President (since he was too incompetent to make admiral) no matter what. That, to me, is extremely scary.

As to McCain’s last ditch effort – I am sorry that you do not see through their crying socialist wolf.

The amazing thing about the new GOP is that they fit in with this definition of socialism exactly – apart from its actual aim. An egalitarian society is really none of their concern.

They advocate state ownership and administration to further their own gains and oedipal interests – to boldly go where no Bush has gone before. And just like China, North Korea, the Soviet Union, and Joe McCarthy – if you dare criticize us, you are not a patriot. You are anti-country.

Actually, the antics of this party are more anti-American than Sarah Palin (who thinks that she has power over the Senate) can imagine in her wildest dreams. Where is the patriotism in suspending habeas corpus? Copying your hard drive if you bring your laptop to the airport? Allowing government to listen in on private phone conversations or read private email messages without court orders? Lying to the people in order to go off to to play 1-billion-$-a-day hide-and-seek in Iraq?

But that is not the fault of the Bush Administration – that is the people’s fault for believing that all this is done in the name of national security and safety, therefore no one opens their mouth to say “Hey, we are wandering over to the totalitarian side of the fence, y’all … We are turning into what we are ‘protecting’ ourselves from”. As to finance, then no honest capitalist government would not have lifted a finger to save any corporation – it would have just shrugged its shoulders and let heads roll.

To not excercise your right to vote – that is one thing. But to vote for John McCain? No, I cannot understand that.


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And now for something completely different: My mother, Vice President of the U.S. (and so can you)

September 8, 2008 at 5:26 pm (Politics) (, , , , , , )

OK, Dajieblack is royally pissed off.

I sent a letter to the New York Times, in regards to their 158th article regarding Sarah Palin.

I was extremely polite and non-abusive. I did not call her Charlton Heston in a skirt. I did not say that it’s kinda hypocritical to shoot, kill, skin & eat a live being, then call youself pro-life. I certainly didn’t say that religion has been an excuse for war & oppression since man invented the Gods, and therefore should be quarantined (preferably, in Alaska) until wars cease to exist.

Nor did I crow over the striking similarities of Jamie Lynn Spears – who was literally skewered and served with oregano – and Bristol Palin. (I was confident that all the rabid “morality” voters would disavow the lying, hypocritical, holier-than-thou Ma Palin without my 2 cents.)

They didn’t print it!!! Please, please, somebody explain to me where it is off-topic and abusive. Where??? I must be blind. They have 800 comments per article on Palin, and this is offensive?? How? Where? I didn’t even say the word abortion, dammit!

Please advise. Thanks. Here it is:

Dear Sirs:

My mom is a great person, extremely clever & personable, with a sterling & steely character. (My dad and I tease her that if she had lived in Nazi Germany she would have been a Hitler Youth leader.)

But I don’t think she should be vice president. I know we’re taught from kindergarten that the greatness of this country is that anyone can be president, but come on.

I also know America is going through an extremely anti-intellectual period where university degrees are anathema, and all politicians have to do are smile their fluorescent Colgate smile and drink beers and bowl.

But that is the fast track to permanent decadence, and the decline of this country into poverty and ridicule. It would be nice to identify with my president, but I would much rather he/she were smarter than me; I want to say, “Wow, you know so much, your conversation rocks!” And, “Wow, how do you handle yourself so well with all sorts of people? Your communication skills are magical!”

I want to proudly proclaim: How logical and practical my president is! My president doesn’t get all excited and sidetracked by morality issues, or tell us how to live.

Our president should inspire us to be better people, to achieve more, and to love our neighbor, whether he is Charlon Heston or Priscilla, queen of the desert.

So, I will not ever vote for someone like Sarah Palin for anything beyond Mayor. It is a vote for – I quote from “Amadeus” – “Mediocrity! I salute you!” She is not even an example of affirmative action; she is being used as a puppet of the worst kind.

She may be clever, personable, a fighter, and have many more admirable qualities. But, like it or not, our President, Vice President, and the Cabinet need to have a semblence of qualifications that Sarah Palin does not have. People in high-ranking positions are not supposed to be like your mom, or hapless Uncle Harry.

And, because important people become role models – well, Juno was a cute movie, but what kind of example would our Vice President be to girls? Get knocked up before you finish high school, and destroy the best years of your life? (at least Juno gave it up to continue her carefree existence) Or just have unprotected sex, and don’t worry, mommy will take care of it? Or, worse, mommy is a social conservative in politics, so will force you to get married to your babe-in-arms, or else?

I’m getting 12th century goosebumps all over.

Dajie Black

Athens, Greece

I also posted it on the Economist’s website – and they took it off! Which is even more insane, because the Economist (with its libertarian live-and-let-live philosophy) lets everybody abuse each other, no matter how gaily off-topic they are. In their March article All At Sea regarding Greece, Macedonia and their name troubles, the comments were about whether Methodius and Cyril were Greek, or spoke Greek, and “Tremble, snooty Greeks we’re a-coming!!” and so on. The Greeks, naturally gave as good as they got, turning the forum into – for the most part – an ugly, uninformed, macho brawl with awful spelling.

Where, pray tell, is the abuse in my letter? I specifically tried not to sound like a college-loving liberal – ok, maybe I failed at that. But I truly believe that the more knowledge you have about anything – first-hand, second-hand, accredited or not – the better you become as a person. Open-minded. Able to converse. To think in diverse ways.  To have empathy.

Even if Sarah Palin was Governor of Alaska for the last 20 years, she lacks everything needed in a diplomat. And that is what everyone who works at the White House is. They are go-betweens, smoothers-over, hand-shakers, and problem-solvers. The president serves as uber-diplomat #1, and sets the tone for the rest.

This is a woman who, having university qualifications for an internship at best, wanted to deny her fellow-Wasillans access to certain books that she deemed bad! I didn’t call her Hitler, either, but with that action alone, she is more like him than any other inexperienced politician I can think of.

I am just a human being who believes that any and all extremists (left or right) should never have more power than a toll booth on a highway. They are annoying, they slow you down, but you drive on and forget about them – until the next one comes along and asks for your money – no pennies, please.

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Pathetique? Obama gets a few tips from Dajieblack…

March 5, 2008 at 11:23 pm (Politics) (, , , , , , )

I admit it! I’m Obsessed. Capital O, with a capital P for get-a-fucking-life-Pathetic-much??

I can’t help it. This is better than the Sopranos. ZZZZZZZZZing!! Giuliani down. KAPUT!! Romney bites the dust.

What the fuck am I going to do until Pennsylvania??

I have never been so excited by a living political persona ever. I actually believe all the crap he says. I want to give him some acting lessons so that he can be even better. (He’s got the monologue thing down, but his dialogue skills could use a little honing.) Change, working together, transcending race, bigotry…..sigh! I think it’s because I have always wanted to be an 18-year-old in 1968, the last time this country felt the “sweeping inevitability of change” – I know, I know, only to be squashed by the existence of the Moral Majority. And 1972.

I think I would have committed suicide if I had been working for George McGovern back then. (By the way, there is no greater socio-politico-counterculturo-o-whatever book than Hunter S. Thompson’s On the Campaign Trail ’72.) And then the 1970s in general. Let’s not even talk about the 1980s. No, scratch that. Perhaps I’m being unfair. Reagan’s “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” was quite exciting. Ah, fuck it, I can only speak for my own experiences, and apart from a wide-eyed and ignorant excitement in fourth grade’s 1988 election, my adult life has been thoroughly disgusted and/or left indifferent by politicians. Even my admiration for the debating skills of the British Parliament (which put Americans to shame; where do they learn all those words?) did not translate into admiration for any particular politician.

But now?

Completely and utterly immersed Dajie is. So much so… that….um…. well…. I wrote to the official Obama headquarters!!!!! (at least, I think it was official.)

I’m so embarrassed. And excited! Stumbling, bleary-eyed into my father’s office this morning, before drinking coffee or even washing my face, I growled to him, “What happened in Ohio? Did we get Texas?” Slight hysteria ensued. My fever helped keep me from doing anything serious, so I read and watched everything I could find on the Hillary and Barack Show (with a foray into Afghanistan as seen by Bill O’Reilly).

I am taking this campaign personally for some reason. Shrugging her shoulders, her newspaper persusal left her with a sense of dread. She had the uneasy feeling that Barack was not doing enough to counter the amazing – welded with diamonds, pyrex and titanium – Mrs. Clinton. Not content with commenting on a NY Times article, I googled Barack headquarters and wrote the following.

I feel better now.

Dear Sirs:

It is patently obvious that being nice gets you nowhere. John McCain was lucky this year only because the Bush Dynasty Machine was on hiatus; otherwise he would have been as clobbered as in 2000. That year he should have been the GOP candidate, as well as possibly the president. Now, it’s a little too late for that.

He’s a sweet great-uncle (who secretly gave you your first taste of whiskey) to Hillary Clinton’s wicked stepmother (who can manage to send you crying into your closet with just a smile). Who, in their right minds, would not prefer to vote for him? (I can’t even imagine drinking a beer with Mrs. Clinton.)

Now, McCain was free to Straight Talk this year, but Mr. Obama is not. Niceness will get you nowhere when you are up against the Orwellian Mrs. Clinton, who, by gaining a last gasp of air in Ohio, thinks she has a mandate; she reminds me of Greece’s PASOK party, who lose an election and manage to convince us that they won it.

I believe Mr. Obama would be the finest president America has had in a long time. Someone fresh and new and untainted. What’s more, America is bleeding on all fronts; She doesn’t deserve any more incompetence and hypocrisy and jadedness.

But that is moot. Ideology is insignificant when the uneducated-i-believe-in-tv citizens can destroy a man’s campaign by believing that he has an illegitimate black child! To me, Clinton is the Antichrist of false feminism, the fakest (Romney come back, all is forgiven!) politician I have ever seen, the 5th grade teacher I managed to elude. But she seems to have an ability to tap into and exploit the inner masochist inside many ordinary Americans.

For Mr. Obama to win, he must play and beat Mrs. Clinton at her own game. Hold your nose and wade in the mud with her; else, be left on the pier wondering, where did it all go wrong?

And he must convince the people of his party of the truth:

There is no chance in Bible Belt Hell that Mrs. Clinton can beat Mr. McCain. None. She has won the very states that the GOP will carry with ease come November. If she wins the nomination, the entire GOP will feel like the second coming has arrived.

While incomprehensible to me, it is very possible that after the disaster of this Bush Administration we will have another Republican president. Mind-boggling, that the GOP can be so canny as to let the only untainted member of their party win the nomination, and the Democrats are whining about sexism, racism, media-ism. Wake up! It is not about that. Don’t get mired in the 1960s politics you bash.

Be practical. Flirt with Brutal Realism.

How can you be so silly as not to hit her with her “35 years of experience” from the very first moment it left her mouth? I was dying of laughter on the floor when she first said it; now it’s the main theme of her campaign!! The hypocrisy of her Florida/Michigan delegate comments? She “delivered” Florida and Michigan? Kind of hard not to, seeing as you’re the only name on the ballot?? The way she changes her positions (Poor Romney was but an amateur) in order to pander to the Democratic Party establishment, Bush, the working-class, feminists, her own “I’m not a stand by your man kind of woman” statement; how quickly the promise of a Senate seat dissipated those feelings! Her calling in of Hispanic favors, gamely squeezing out a dry tear, anything at all, in fact, is ok in order to fulfill her unfulfilled craving for power. Being ambitious is not the problem. Augustus knows, I have always admired Livia’s ruthlessness. But someone so power-hungry as the leader of such a broken country? Thanks, but no thanks.

Me? I’m voting for Nader, if Clinton get the nod. My Reagan-worshipping-Wall-Street-Journal-Economist-adoring Daddy? He’d love to vote for Barack Obama; otherwise, he won’t even bother to.



P.S. To fire you up, I propose boogie-ing to Edwin Starr’s “War” for your new campaign song… never fails!!

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