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It's My Party, and I'll Laugh If I Want To

2004-07-30 - 1:11 p.m.

I apologize for not having written an entry in a while, but you have to understand that I have spent most of this week trapped inside a cardboard U-Haul box that had been sealed with packing tape, duct tape, hot glue, and rivets. My mother felt it was the cheapest way to get me to California, and truth be told, she was right.

Actually, I'm still in Texas for 6 more days, but I have spent the last few days doing nothing but packing up my entire life and attending parties for my mother, neither of which have been a lot of fun. I actually can't talk about all that right now, because it's too present. I need time before I can describe the homicidal exhaustion I felt as I was chugging watered-down mango juice in a tight suit while being mauled by my mother's well-wishing colleagues after having spent a morning hauling 240 pounds of books to the post office. If I do it now, I may have to pummel the next person I see.

I can, however, talk a bit about the Democratic National Convention.

I've actually been to one of those. I can't remember much of anything except for the fact that there were tons of people there all of whom seemed ot be crushing me from all sides. It's one of those few memories that actually has a cinematic quality: I remember seeing everyone around me as a forest of ugly pants and skirts, just like you would imagine a kid would. I was looking for my mother with my grandmother and finally found her at what I assume was the Texas delegation. She was, I believe, Vice-Chair of the party at the time. It was the year Mondale was nominated and summarily trounced. Suffice to say, it's not a terribly pleasant memory.

My mother wants me to go to a convention again, but I don't know about that. I already hate schmoozing enough when it's in an academic setting. I can't imagine how I would handle all that political posturing and ass-kissing.

I was content to watch from home, though, as I hauled books from a shelf in one room to a box in another and spent 6 hours trying to unite my CDs with their proper jewel cases. I missed the first night with Clinton, and I'm glad I did, because I would have either gotten angry or nostalgic, if not both. I would have gotten nostalgic for the days when I didn't want to spit every time I saw the president, and angry that I was so complacent at the time that I would accept someone who waffled enough in the face of Republican opposition to have a dish dedicated to him at IHOP. In my defense, I was in junior high and high school for most of that time, so I was far more concerned if Jenni/Jane/Beth/Enrique/Clint thought I was cute than I was about the effect of the economy on the working class. This meant that the first speaker I got to see was Barack Obama.

Okay, so. My mom liked Barack Obama. My dad liked Barack Obama. Bob Dole even liked Barack Obama. I myself was not terribly thrilled. Granted, he's tall and handsome, in the kinda dorky way that I like, and he's a good speaker in terms of stage presence and clarity. However, he didn't say anything that got me excited, that got me passionate. It was pretty much the same old political rhetoric wrapped up in a nicer package. I mean, you may be an Iron Chef, but if the theme ingredient is Velveeta, well . . .

Having said that, I would be happy if he became president sometime in the next 20 years, because I would love to see a President of the United States with the last name "Obama." The thought of all those slave-owners and segregationists and plain ol' racists getting told by the demons currently torturing them that the son of a Kenyan immigrant is running they're little experiment in democracy just gives me the warm fuzzies. Hell, if his politics are better than they sound, I might even work for his campaign.

I didn't get to see much of Teresa Heinz Kerry, but I did see enough to notice that her reputed penchant for ketchup-colored clothing is well deserved. I wasn't too sure about that outfit. However, I did like the fact that she greeted Latinos at the convention in Spanish (and the francophones in French, and the Italians in Italian, and the Portuguese and Brazilians in Portuguese). I like little nods of respect like that.

Getting back to the topic of fashion, though, I have to say that Joan Rivers, of all people, summed up my feelings, and the feelings of many of my friends, with a statement she made on The Graham Norton Effect. When asked about the presidential race, she said, "Oh, I hate them all. It's like trying to pick your favorite Menendez brother." She also described an attractive queer woman as "Cutesypussy," which I am officially incorporating into my vernacular. Who knew that Joan Rivers would prove to be ready and able with le mot juste twice in a one-hour talk show?

I definitely feel like I'm going to go to the polls in November and vote for someone I probably shouldn't be voting for, but I will say that I feel a bit better after hearing his speech. It was good to hear him say that the US Constitution should not be played with for the sake of politics, but it would have been nice if he had actually said the word "gay" or "homosexual" once. It's rough to realize that even those people who want to help you, or at least want to keep you from getting hurt, won't mention your name.

But he had some good lines, and some good slogans. I appreciate good marketing in a candidate, because it's good marketing that has enabled Republicans to take control of America, and we need to fight fire with fire. Politics is like The Weakest Link: it doesn't matter whether you're the worst player or not, just whether other people vote you off or not. I think that, on balance, I'd rather have a guy who agrees with 50% of what I think and who can convince the majority of the people in this country that he's right than someone who agrees with 100% of what I think who couldn't convince a penguin to eat fish.

See, a lot of my friends want a revolution. I'd like one too, but I want one that doesn't have the same costs as the French Revolution or the Russian Revolution or any of the other revolutions that have happened over the years. I don't want a Reign of Terror or totalitarianism and empire within a couple of decades, because then a bunch of people have died for nothing. I seriously feel that the human race is a good few centuries if not millenia away from a revolution that actually works, so I refuse to advocate in favor of one. After all, millions of people in this country still vote Republican, and I for one don't intend to hold a gun to their heads to tell them to do what I say. I intend to Smite-the-Unbeliever-with-Cunning-Arguments, to steal from Terry Pratchett.

All this means that I have squared voting for John Kerry with myself. This doesn't mean I won't protest him and yell and scream at him on this diary whenever he fucks up, mind you. In fact, if Kerry wins, I'll go after him harder than I ever went after Bush.

You see, I'm always fighting against Bush, but there will be times, however few and far between they are, when Kerry and I are on the same side, and I'd much rather fight someone I know I can fight alongside later on. It makes me feel like I might have a shot at winning.

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previous - next

The End - 2005-02-11
Let's Go on With the Show - 2005-01-30
The Curse, and This Bee's a Keeper - 2005-02-01
Sisters Lolita and Matronic Explain It All for You - 2005-01-31
Cowboys and Medievalists - 2005-01-30

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