Your choice, just be sarcastic about it. :)
"Let's make sure that only propertied men, men who have succeeded materially in this new world, get to participate and succeed in the political process."
"How can we do that, Thomas?"
"Why, we can create a system by which first, only they can vote, and second, they can only vote for people who are put forth by local political party bosses, who in turn select the President based more or less on an actual plebiscite but in fact, not at all."
"Sounds like a winner, Thomas. How's that electricity thing coming along?"
"You have me confused with Edison, by way of our friend Ben Franklin."
"Gee, and I thought I was talking to a famous inventor. Now I'm less convinced this will work. We were creating a republic, right? Doesn't that mean the elite rule outright?"
"No-o-o-o... they rule through what we call a democratic process, although the Democrats aren't very good at it."
"So what do you call this crazy system by which ordinary folks vote for someone they didn't pick who then decides if who they did pick gets to be President?"
"I was thinking of calling it the Bait and Switch, General, but Madison thinks "Electoral College" sounds better."
"Gee, I always wanted to go to college."
"That's the American Dream, General Washington. That and a pot to piss in."
"And ceramic incisors."
"And a separate pot for all the turkeys to boil in."
"Good thinking, sir."
It's an outdated system that prevents the rise of independent candidates for the office of president.
I laugh when people say we live in a democracy. We don't. What we live in is a Republic. Our "one vote" picks "representatives" who then go and vote for whatever the hell they want to, usually at the bidding of the corporations who have bought them.
Without this layer of protection, the only Man Date BushCo would have had in November would have been with Jeff Gannon.
Actually, the Electoral College is a very insulting concept. It tells me that the government doesn't trust my decision-making ability. It says that one voice/one vote isn't good enough, that people of stature and importance should get to pick who gets to lead, that "we the people" aren't really "E Pluribus Unum." Instead, we get "E Pluribus CCCCXXXVII," who then get to pick between the two official candidates, regardless of how many people actually voted for a third (or fourth or fifth) candidate.
< /rant >
The Electoral College
Was I sorry? Not really. I believed that the revolution was the right path to take. The monarchy was an antiquated system of gevernment, and we all agreed that a representative form of governemtn was in everyone's best interest.
But kings don't take kindly to armed rebels, and I suppose I am getting what was coming to me...
"Présente arms!" cries the sergeant-at-arms. My knees buckle a bit, and my skin grows cold.
Louis is mad, I think. Even though we oppose him, wherein lies the sense in killing the young and educated? Can we not find a place for those of us who disagree? Exile, perhaps? Or teaching letters and numbers to those who have committed non-capital crimes? There must be someplace we can go and live in peace...
"Visez!" cries the sergeant.
I feel a warmth in my belly. I think of my cat, the old stinker, poised tightly in the moonlight, ready to pounce on the unsuspecting mouse. Was I the cat, suddenly discovered by the mouse? No. I am the mouse, about to be pounced upon.
No. I am no mouse. I am a man, and I refuse to die for nothing. My death must mean something.
"Liberté" I scream as the the sergeant cries...
So, post, people, about your favorite topic:
UPDATE: I thought about adjusting the date to make it seem like I was posting this Tuesday but naah. What is of note though, is how even this anti-topic was hijacked by the topic of NOTHING.
Even the muppet Gonzo is essentially dead, having been absorbed into the Disney-borg.
RIP, Gonzo Man.
But I fucking loved Hunter Thompson. Irrespective of the people who followed in his wake, each a paler imitation of the last, Hunter was the incarnation of some lofty ideals: that the right of a free people to get all drugged up and have a good time should not be abridged, that it's always after 5:00 PM somewhere, that the visceral appeal of using flying lead to punch things full of holes should never be disparaged, and that the people in authority -- no matter who they are -- are insufferable twits. (The other stuff he stood for, like knee-jerk socialism and the ability to disguise baseless assertion as fact through vicious(ly hilarious) rhetoric, I'm willing to forgive; this is after all a eulogy.)
He never really mellowed, if his last column is any indication. He didn't leave behind a note, according to the papers, but I like to imagine that he wrote a scathing 50-page screed that dealt the dirt on everyone from Karl Rove to Noam Chomsky (the "man," you see, is covering it up because it's just too earth-shaking).
If I had any balls at all, Sunday night I would have chain-smoked unfiltered Camels while doing fat rails of Peruvian flake off a gymnast's ass to say goodbye to Hunter. I could have capped the night off with potshots at passing cars while munching peyote buttons. Instead, the best I can hope for is that the leftist burnouts who actually bought into Hunter's Marxist claptrap decide to follow his lead once more.
Those two books forever warped and shifted my idea of what political writing was. HST and Crouse both blended into a first-person-diatribical style using facts and real-world observations that my professors didn't understand at first, but grew to appreciate as my writing improved. I ended up working in the biz for the last 17 years, and have always held Hunter in the highest regard. I can never claim to be as great a writer, but I hope that I might make him proud to know that he is my mentor, despite the fact that I'm not a heavy drinkin' gun shootin' bar brawlin' one-man-wreckin' crew.
I'll add mine later today.
It's enough to anger a person. Of course without energy, anger turns to self-pity and spite (as a chemical byproduct at that low temperature reaction) and all you can do is whimper like my dog when her water dish is ten inches too far away.
By 3 p.m. on a Sunday, coffee is too late to amount to many good hours.
because I had to give it up.
My foolish impulses are stronger than my willpower.
My corner-cutting beats out the zen of completion
and my terribly hot glances burn where my hands will never touch.
I can count on one hand the number
of projects and diversions I complete.
My toes and fingers and cilia on my cells, dare I compare,
are the number of ideas I wish and start.
You may guess from all of this
My life so far is far from bliss.
Tis true, tis a fact
I think way more than I act.
I'm too lazy to finish this poem.
I also didn't bother stealing the topic today.
I'm still in, however, since I think this is a nice diversion, a bit of fun, and it's getting me back in the habit of writing every day, something I had sadly stopped doing for a while.
So, I vote yes.
Because we've had a lazy week and TGIF just doesn't cover it.
UPDATE: Nobody bit on this topic, not even me. I'm questioning the existence of this project. Jess, please take a poll. Who's still really in? Are we?
This morning I was full of pep. Tomorrow, ever thus. An endless glut of peppy tomorrows in the land of robots, all more or less charged with artificial hopes and electric urges.
For now, I remain content to lean in my cubicle, expressionless.
You see, we had Grapefruit Juice today with breakfast, my fiancé and I. We both really love that slightly sour yet ever so sweet tang that only Grapefruit Juice can provide, but we generally don't drink it on a regular basis, because we like to save it for special occasions. Sure, it was frozen concentrate, but we used the Braun "boatmotor" to whip it up real good, then we squeezed (squoze?) two ruby red grapefruits into the pitcher to add just a little zing.
We do that with Lemonade, too. Take a bottle of Tropicana Lemonade, and fill the small open space at the top of the 2 Liter Bottle with Lemon Juice, screw the cap back on, give it a good shake, then pour. It's really so much better that way.
That's the best I can do on this topic.
Are the rest of you going to keep playing along? I'm willing to keep trying if others are game...
Until the official topic comes up, I hereby declare the topic for VD to be "JUICE".
Hurt you if they hush it up
Til they are all dead.
Fap fap go the black chopper rotors,
New thoughts come from nano-brain-motors.
Our friend JFK
Resides in Bombay.
Doctored booths miscount all us voters.
What bothers me the most is that it looks more and more like this guy was slipped in by Press Secretary Scott McClelland, on the orders of Bush's Brain, Karl Rove, in order to throw softball questions at the president and help him turn the conversation towards conservative talking points, while slamming away at the democratic agenda from a particularly vicious and homophobic angle -- which makes the discovery that Gannon/Guckart/Daniels owns the domain names for a number of gay websites including Hotmilitarystud.com, Militaryescorts.com, and Militaryescortsm4m.com even more surprising.
It also turns out that Gannon/Guckart was a principle player in the Valerie Plame case, identified as one of the primary recipients of the CIA memo that Robert Novak et al used in outing Plame -- the wife of Ambassador Joseph Wilson -- as a CIA deep cover agent.
When you add this growing controversy to the recent relevations by Armstrong Williams that conservative commentators were paid by the government to shill for BushCo's policies, well, it makes me start to thing that there might be a Conspiracy or two going on here. What do you think?
Pimpin'. www.Gizoogle.com got n-to-the-izzle on me.
I'll tell you what I want, what I really really want:
A certain piker's head on a certain pike. Is that wrong?
It's sick. To the izzle.
...of my government paying right-wing commentators to shill the Administration's policies.
...of companies doubling (and sometimes tripling) the price when they learn that I'm planning a wedding.
...of the Internal Revenue Service. Everything about it. In its entirety. So much I refer to them as the Infernal Revenue Sadists. When I call them.
...of Winter. And snow. And sub-freezing temperatures. And a pronounced lack of sunlight.
...and tired of being sick and tired.
Today's topic is
Seriously, as I was getting ready to log in and write, we found the poor pooch with a redder tuchus than that of a flog fetishist. Off to the all-night vet, and it turned out she had a sensitively located benign tumor that had grown and burst open.
So, bottom line is that I'm back-dating this and posting late, and as for the topic, uh, ...
Let's put it this way. I'm sitting here. That chair over there's available. You can sit where she was sitting.
The chairs were wrought of iron trestles and old growth pines. One might think them rickety, made of such small stuff that humans nailed together, but when giants build a thing, nothing short of a rocket burst will sunder it. These thick bolls with the remnants of bridges wound around them would hold the giants and maybe even one sitting on anothers' lap. Which might have happened, if this were not a gaming affair.
The two musicians bowed to their neighbors and bade them to sit down, continuing to strum on the sides of their legs and hum in the oddest tongue. After a moment, they themselves entered the circle and requested the others to stand. The game was afoot.
the second violinist
broke the first chair's bow
As gazelles were stalked by roaming prides of Serengeti goats
And schools of spiders swam upstream to spawn in underwater webs
And flocks of trees soared south for winter, making northern treelines ebb
What could put sperm whales in caves, and poison dart frogs in the sky?
Some say God is angry, but we don't have time for hows and whys
We've got more pressing problems now than photosynthesizing vultures
Ebola's going global; it's developed wheels and agriculture
I hearken back to a little-known one-album Nebraska band named Roosevelt Franklin, which was kind of an early No Doubt clone but with rappin' instead of ska. White kiddos, of course, with an inevitably hot young lass in the lead vocals except on the raps. I remember seeing them live a few times, once with a now-former friend from Omaha. I wanted to sponsor them, I wanted to promote them, I wanted to watch them grow. Of course they broke up within six months of releasing their CD. Which as I recall was supposed to have a much cooler cover on it than they ended up using... someone I know was going to do the photos I think. This was back in the day of the Red & Black Cafe in Lincoln, with the Melp kids and the collectively-ran-into-the-dirt little band and pony show, with the users in the bathroom, and the 25 cent coffee and the pool table, and the funky art on the walls from the now-owner of the Noyes Gallery. This would have been before I bought a video camera, and sold it a couple years later, and after my film camera was stolen from the back of my brown Dodge van behind the Cafe and the strip club.
Five fingas and fourscore ago, I brought onto the earth a little doomed enterprise and loved a doomed band. Those days are long gone and doomed to funky memory, and I don't even remember the names of those band mates anymore. The title? It's a line from their self-titled song on that album. Five members of the band, you see.
Ball 'em up and you get pure memory.
Central to the theme of these books was the law of fives.
1. Five was the most magic of numbers, followed closely by two and three, which, when added, equaled five.
2. There are five corners on the Pentagon -- intentionally. because the Pentagon is actually the center of the world's largest pentagram, containing within a ravenous demon summoned by Adam Weishaupt, the founder of the Illuminati, back in 1776.
3. The letter W is important, because it has five points on it -- go ahead, count them -- and it's the 23rd letter of the alphabet, and, as wwe all know, 2 + 3 = 5...
4. John Dillinger would say 23 skiddoo when he did a heist -- and we know what 23 means -- which is why he never got caught actually performing a bank heist.
5. There were five shots fired in Dallas when Kennedy die: One by Oswald from the Book Depository (which missed), two by the mafia hitman on the grassy knoll and two by the CIA sharpshooter on the Triple-Overpass. From the 3 gunmen, 2 bullets found home...
There's more, but you should read the books...
The effect the show had was that I initially laughed and giggled like a child, then I got teary with love for these wonderfully cute animals, then I was soothed to sleepiness.
I'm gonna plunk down $10 for the DVD. See if I don't!
Did I see that coming? Did I call it?
A magician never tells his secrets.
But I hope a few of you made a couple bucks on that proposition.
Anyway, I decided to see if I could throw the guy off for a day. I stopped by my best friend's house the night before and I asked him to come to work with me for the day. He is the same height and almost weight as I am, and I had him wear matching pants and shoes. Once we got to work, I gave him my favorite hat and jacket to wear, and put on the outergear he was wearing, including these ridiculous sunglasses that made me look like Ah-nuld in Terminator. I then sent him off to the west towards the place I normally eat lunch on Thursdays, while I strolled to Eastbound towards the busstop next to the giant tree. I had with me the h the pair of mini-binoculars I bought the year I went to the Super Bowl and had nosebleed-next-to-last-row seats.
Sure enough, he came out of his building not a minute after my buddy left mine and headed in the direction of the diner. He walked about a block, then pulled out his PDA from his coat pocket, looked at the receding back of my friend, then turned and looked towards my building. I jumped onto the Loop bus as it pulled up, but not in time for me to miss the grin appear on my shadow's face as he turned and faced me while reaching for his cell phone.
I mean, just because I'm an outspoken critic of the government and a known -- no, acclaimed -- subversive artist/peace activist... that's no reason for the FBI to tail me, is it?
Heads... no, tails! Arrgh!
His two twin girls love to frolic
in every bar just like dear dad
(not to mention the greek houses that he had)...
Oh! He's the leader of the civilized world
(Or at least the part with the money)...
He's an ADD listener to his dear Cheney,
but an idea man? His head.. just... whirled... again!
His scars, his wars,
His bars, his oil-guzzling cars,
His trips... to... Mars!
Oh! He's the fearless leader of every Red State
He comes to visit us! Now isn't that great?
He keeps clear of all the dissenting votes
(He knows the Blue Staters are his antidotes)...
Oh! He'd love nothing more than to ban the poor
The gays, the liberals, but wait, there's more!
And if we carefully buy all his words
We'd be approved consumers, even if... they're... absurd!
His scars, his wars,
His bars, his oil-guzzling cars,
His trips... to... Mars!
Pottsylvania needs you!
Don't boot him from this party,
After all he wasn't absent,
Just 15 hours tardy.
"Scotty, Scotty," it clearly said! "Where have you dropped me, it looks like hell down here!"
Rumor had it that a bottle of wormwood had been absisted in the home of the chief constable, a veritable mansion on the edge of town, surrounded by a high wall. I abseiled down the interior of that wall, landing lightly on the lawn. As I levered open a window to the constable's ground-floor study, I found myself musing over the absurdity of the situation: a student with a public reputation for abstemiousness burgling the home of a keeper of the law who was himself breaking that law.
I slipped into the room and saw it, the bottle at the center of the room, an abscissa, the origin of all my thoughts and desires. The verdant liquid called out to me, an abstergent for my soul. I seized the bottle and absconded with it, back the way I came.
An absonant collection of shouts behind me indicated that the constable had discovered my theft, but it was no matter to me. I sat on a hillside above the manse and quaffed deeply, the bitter flood healing the deep abscess of guilt. Soon the hallucinations would begin, and the abstract would become concrete. In the meantime, I decide to lean back, absorb the moonlight, bask in my absence from the academy, and savor the absinthe in my belly.
I also want to encourage those of you who've been feeling apathetic about this to come back when your mood changes, and make a post or two. We miss you.
I know the situations of a few of the MIA members. After too long without a post, I'll begin removing people, I guess... but for now just keep hijacking topics when necessary, and hang in there.
I think that maybe
might make for an awfully appropriate topic.
Bill came in the door of the convenience store and asked the clerk where the Electrasol was, raising the corners of his mouth as he did so. It was most efficient to make a good impression on everyone, unless he had a reason for doing otherwise. He went to the third aisle from the door, lowering the corners of his mouth only when his back was fully turned from the clerk. The clerk had pointed to a spot halfway down the aisle, two feet from the bottom and had said "right over there," which meant that that was where the Electrasol was. Bill was very upset when the Electrasol was not there. He did not scream or move about, as this would provoke a negative reaction from the clerk. Screaming and moving about would provoke a negative reaction from almost anyone.
He needed Electrasol. The grocery store didn't have Electrasol. The man at the grocery store showed him where the Jet Dry was, and showed him where the Cascade was, but did not show him where the Electrasol was. He went home and called every store in order of increasing distance from his house. He had been told that there was Electrasol in this store. He had been told that it was in the third aisle from the door, halfway down, two feet from the bottom. It wasn't.
Sometimes when something wasn't there, he could make another person get it for him. Sometimes they lied about where something was, but would bring it to him themself* if he told them that it was not there. He would make the clerk bring him Electrasol.
Bill walked back to the front counter. "Hi," he said in the correct tone of voice, "I'm having a little trouble finding it..."
"No problem," said the friendly clerk. Bill didn't know the clerk was friendly, but he knew that that tone of voice meant that he would get the Electrasol for Bill.
The clerk was just coming out from behind the counter when a man came in the door fast and took a gun out of his pocket. "GimmethemoneygimmeTHEMONEY!" the man shouted at the clerk, who went back behind the counter and opened the cash register. Bill was very upset, and wanted to scream and move about. But people didn’t do what he wanted when he screamed and moved about.
"Hi," said bill to the man, in the correct tone of voice. He raised the corners of his mouth.
"Get on the floor, GET THE FUCK DOWN!" said the man. It was hard for Bill to read the man's face with the mask on. Bill wanted to scream and move about.
In the back of his mind, Bill made a calculation and went down on one knee. It was a submissive posture, but having one knee raised communicated activeness, and that made people listen more. People did not like having guns pointed at them. If Bill could get the man to stop pointing the gun at the clerk, then lots of people would react positively to him. Also, maybe Bill could make the man bring him Electrasol.
Bill had read lots of books about hostage negotiation. He should start by building rapport. "My name is Bill," Bill said calmly and firmly, "what's yours?"
The clerk handed the man a plastic bag filled with dollars. The man looked down at Bill and let out a little exhalation sound that Bill did not recognize as a laugh. "Huhh," said the man, "fuck you, crazy bitch!" He hit Bill with the gun and left.
Bill was on the floor. He needed Electrasol. He began to scream and move about.
*This usage deliberately made in support of transitioning "they" and its forms into common usage as singular neuter pronouns. Fight the power!
"While hijacking topics all week
the game it turned rough
when I tried to bluff --
it turns out my hand was quite weak.
Two frozen days on Mr. Everest did three in.
Another day making excuses to the Sherpas ate another.
I ate two myself when starving in base camp.
That leaves me with four.
I can't count anymore with one good eye and hypoxia, so it may be fewer.
That college joke comes back to haunt me:
"The more women I meet, the more I love my palm."
When that's all you got, it seems like a lot.
Show me which way I should go
Too many choices