Every Blog Needs a Purpose, Right?

This blog will be read by few and certainly enjoyed by even fewer. I am fine with that, I am creating this blog out of some sort of desperate need to re-organize my thoughts in a way that can be easily archived. I would write a diary but my uncle once told me "Diaries are for fruits"

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Rick Santorum Conundrum

So here we are...a short four months from the Republican Convention in Tampa. The race has essentially been whittled down to two candidates Mitt Romney & Rick Santorum. This isn't to say that the large laundry bag shaped Newt Gingrich & the Woody Allenesque Ron Paul aren't still showing up to states that don't want them and taking money from people who could better utilize it for other worldly purposes. However they are truly the walking dead at this point as delegates steadily fall towards the other two candidates.
That leaves us (those of us who have decided to vote again for Barack Obama) the Rick Santorum Conundrum, and I am not referring to his "Google Problem". I am referring to the possibility of a Santorum nomination, and what that really means to the general election. There is a hypothesis that states a Santorum election leads to the the increased probability of an easy Obama re-election.

Rick Santorum...for all the love he gets in states like Alabama & Mississippi...quite frankly scares the shit out of most people of a moderate political view...in other words independents. And therein lies the Conundrum...it isn't myself or other right wing voters who really decide elections...we only really decide nominations. Our general election votes are really just an exercise in civic duty, nothing more. General elections are decided by the roughly 20-25% of the electorate that claim not to vote along party lines, win the independent vote and you win the Nation's vote.

In 2008 Senator Obama actually barely won the independent vote with Sen. John McCain, the enthusiasm of college age white males & females, combined with a rare increase in older white male voters & a 2-1 advantage with Hispanic voters offset this need to hammer his opponent with the independent vote. This won't be the case in 2012.

Obama's dramatic fall from grace with white male voters has almost eliminated the need for campaign stops in a few states this time around (Indiana, North Carolina & Virginia come to mind). This means he will need to court more independent voters, and negativity is a very powerful thing in national politics. As of 03/12/12 Mitt Romney is 5-7% behind Obama in his appeal to independent voters, contrast this with Santorum...who is 8-10% behind Obama with independents were the election to happen today.

Santorum's continual doubling down on overtly religious topics has hurt him and will continue to hurt him with independent voters. He has used antiquated rhetoric to rail against gay marriage, abortion, pornography, and even contraception (that's right, it is 2012 and we are debating the fucking pill again, thank you Jesus) in an "all-in" strategy to rile the right wing evangelicals to swing his way and it has had some results, especially the deep south (surprise).

The thing that scares the shit out of me is that unlike so many before him...I think Santorum really believes all his religious bull shit. I think he does want to see internet pornography outlawed for your own good. I believe he does want your raped daughter to see the brighter Jesus flavored side of her rape or father/brother fucking resultant offspring by letting that awful pregnancy come full term...whether she wants to or not. He DOES care about what consenting gay adults do in the privacy of their own homes, he knows it is destroying the fabric of our suburbs and clean (white) communities when a man blows another man somewhere in America. In other words...he believes that if a gay tree falls in the woods and nobody is around...it DOES make a sound and it DOES require Jesus as a remedy. these things would be laughable and easy to dismiss if Rick Santorum wasn't a former United States Senator and possible Presidential nominee for 1 of only 2 parties running realistically.

And that is the conundrum summed up, do I want a Santorum nomination because it makes the probability of an Obama re-election more feasible? Is that worth the risk? To have a man with such vile and old world views so close to being the most powerful man in the world. I can deal with a Romney victory. This despite his pledge to repeal Obamacare (via the very same evil executive orders he now lambastes the sitting President for utilizing) and increase the military budget in preparation for a cold war that doesn't exist all while cutting the very entitlements that have kept our nation from plunging into a horrendous depression due to flat lined demand for goods and services. I can handle a Romney presidency because the man appears to have all of his marbles in regards to his need to fix a mythical moral decay in this country. I believe he will leave the gay sex alone (hooray!) and let women make decisions for themselves when it comes to their own reproductive organs. As much as I would love to see Santorum get a shellacking at the polls this November, the stakes are simply too high and the risk to our freedoms too grave. Romney 2012 it is.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Willful Ignorance Will Destroy Us

     A fantastic video by Tim Minchin that I found thanks to a Facebook pal and fellow blogger Scott.  If you can stand... please help us...beat poetry...than I suggest you give it a view.

     I feel his pain and I know how it feels to hold your tongue when pure willful ignorance is being spat forth from the mouth of a dinner guest, or host for that matter.  Willful ignorance is a poisonous force in America, it stems in my opinion from a mass of what can only be described as low self esteem.  Willful ignorance or pride in lack of knowledge of a topic of debate is a shoot from the hip reaction to another person making you feel intellectually inferior or confused.  I will never understand this type of reaction.

     I revel in the finding of new information or discussion of previously unheard of points of view.  These are the things life and more importantly humanity is all about.  What other creature on earth has the capability to not only communicate feelings or ideas with other members of it's species, but change the world they live in through the exchange of such ideas?  It's breathtaking the exponential advancements in not just the technology in the last few centuries that we have created, but also in the way we treat each other.

    I cringe when I hear a person say, "Things are worse than ever, people are killing each other everyday!"

     Although it is true that atrocities occur everywhere all the time, it is clear that things are better than ever before in history in regards to how we treat our fellow man.  There isn't a semi-civilized culture on earth who wouldn't consider slavery a gross injustice deserving of the highest criminal penalties.  Could you imagine President Obama presiding over a man vs. lion gladiator fight at the Kennedy Center, it would be absurd.  Caesars in ancient Rome were expected to finance and attend these very bouts and the people loved them for it.

     Our ability to reason and teach the application of rational thought to our children has led to society where people are educated in basic literature and math fro an early age as a right of passage, not a right of class or wealth.  If we continue to listen to each other and yes, get schooled in certain things, it can only help us as a species.

Monday, November 14, 2011

This is What We Have to Choose From?

     I will fairly preface this post/rant by stating a fact, I voted for Barack Obama in 2008.  I cast that vote with quite a bit of zeal also, it felt fucking good.  It felt like it was our candidate we were voting for.  I even saw him speak at Highland, IN's very own wicker park.  It'd be a lie to say that we all don't vote with a bit of sentimental regard for our candidate of choice, particularly in such high profile offices as the President of the United States.  So there you have it I admit that part of my vote in 2008 was based on squishy admiration for the cool as shit young hip Senator Obama.  I will also admit (without checking polls because I am fairly certain this is the case) that a lot of Democratic voters voted 90% because of these emotional feelings.

     I prefaced with my admittance of having an emotional connection with a presidential candidate because it is important to also point out just how SMALL this factor is in my decision walking into the booth. Maybe 5% for me, I would vote for a piece of toast if it was in line with my ideas of sound policy.  I agreed with Obama on a lot of major points: health care reform that although not single payer still a sound start, an admittance that America is not a Toby Kieth song when it came to foreign policy, and that a strong middle class was in the best interest of everybody in this nation.  I should have been a bit more realistic with my expectations of the opposition, Obama didn't let me down nearly as much as the other 59 million people who voted in that election for John McCain and his creepy Stepford wife jerk off fantasy Sarah Palin.

     I have never seen such vitriol for a winning candidate in any election.  It became a policy deciding factor (not simply campaign fodder) to oppose with indiscriminate negativity ANYTHING that came from the White House after that.  How is that in the best interest of the nation?  How does that solve one problem?  The voting bloc of this country is largely uninformed on both sides, politics aren't sexy, campaigns are.  So, people gear up in their red, white, and blue every four years and head to the polls to vote for the less creepy candidate in most elections.  Except this wasn't most elections, it felt more important than '04 or even 2000, it felt like we were at a precipice as a nation both security wise and financially.  How did Americans respond, just awful in my opinion, embarrassing really.

'08 McCain Campaign Stop

angry and scared morons who have zero grasp of reality

08' Obama Speech

way overzealous and hopeful idiots who have zero grasp of reality

The previous 2 videos remind me very much of this video...

     So there you have it, both sides of a shit smeared coin.  The problem is, one side went on with their lives after that election, the other side has drifted further into the abyss.  I truly thought we would see an election in 2012 that consisted of Obama-Biden against.... oh I don't know...a Mitch Daniels-Jindal ticket.  Mitch Daniels is a good man, he is concerned with governing, not political hyperbole.  That is why a man like Mitch Daniels would never be nominated by today's tea party besieged GOP.  He won't question Obama's birth certificate, label him a socialist, or question his loyalty to the United States.  Back to the 3rd video above, that is what politics in America is becoming, a bunch of drunk crying NFL fans.  Pick a side so you know what to write on your stupid little sign.

    The GOP has as of today Mitt Romeny (the whitest and sanest of the field), Hermain Cain (a willfully ignorant business man with no concern for how serious foreign policy is in the nuclear age), and Newt Gingrich  a complete Washington insider who claims for some reason...not to be a Washington insider.  This is what independents have to choose from, and let's not fool ourselves, it is that 4-6% voting bloc that determines every presidential election.  I would like to consider myself an independent, or at least I used to be.

    I am disappointed in Obama, I thought I voted for a progressive...a fighter for the middle class.  I think he still is in his heart of hearts, but the man was for far too long after that election completely naive in his grasp for bi-partisanship.  He continually reached out to Speaker Boehner as the man treated him like a bleeding AIDS patient.  Why would he work with Obama on ANYTHING, the single most important factor in his constituent's reason for re-electing him was that he fight Obama on everything and anything.

     SO, I will vote for Obama again, even though I am mad as hell that he didn't fight for his positions.  What else do I have to choose from?


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Finally My Vision Is Realized

Don't look again...that is exactly what you think it is, a horse sticking it's head up it's own ass.  This is an illustration that has been mulled over by the artist for almost two years now.  It is my brainchild come to life through the talented hand of my friend Rick's brother Brian Brantley, I haven't the slightest idea why he wouldn't want to sign it.  I asked him a few years back before he left for the California Institute of the Arts if he was so damn good at drawing to "draw me a horse sticking it's head up it's own ass".  I knew I picked the wrong Brantley to swear my allegiance to when he suddenly indulged my brilliant dream work with this sketch.  

 Congrats You're Taller Than the Guy Who Almost Killed Keanu Reeves in Speed

Brian is a great kid who will probably go on to impregnate Suri Cruise when she is old enough to be impressed by his future success.  While we all tread snow and mediocre football here in Chicago, Brian is working his ass off in California sharpening his creative tools.  After seeing this drawing I beamed with pride for Rick's little bro.

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro"- godspeed young Cubicle Gooding Junior.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Why I Must Shove This Down Your Throat Pt. 1

Because I love you, that's why.  I only strongly recommend media that I find to be unique or just plain quality to the people in my life I know are capable of dissecting and appreciating quality in anything.

Everyday we are bombarded with shitty TV, shitty radio, shitty music, shitty books, and shitty journalism.  It's not cynical to say this, it's just an inevitability. The amount of entertainment we have access to is so voluminous that quality ultimately suffers.  We laugh at comedic entities that are witless and obvious (2 And A Half Men/Larry the Cable Guy), music that is emotionless and non-expressive (Little Wayne/Nickleback), and political commentary that is unsubstantiated and without research (Rush Limbaugh/Janeane Garafalo).

Don't get me wrong I understand fully the concept of objectivity in regards to art, "to each his own" is absolutely essential if we are to have endless variety.  That doesn't mean that you can deny the basic laws of quality in art or entertainment, unique ideas/thoughts/images, vivid expression of those ideas/thoughts/images, and ability to reach or touch people of different age/race/gender groups in some meaningful way.  Would it be pretentious to say that I just made those rules up and  I am quite fucking proud of how much sense they make?

That is why for the next few blog posts I must now show you ----- things that are just plain QUALITY.  So that, form this point on...we (I mean you three subscribers) can understand each other and stop wasting each other's time recommending obvious bullshit.

The Wire

The Wire is one of the greatest television dramas ever created and will forever (in my opinion) be the GREATEST take on our modern civilization's methods of self-government, human frailty, and ability to completely forget who we are & how we treat each other as human beings in our search for power. 

The Wire is such an eclectic mix of young actors ranging from elderly black women that warm your heart in their earnest demeanor to 4th graders that make you tremble with fear for the hopelessness of today's inner city youth.  The scene below is one of the most disturbing scenes I have ever seen.  It shows how fucking ugly we can be as humans and yet continue to wear, for 99% of our time awake smiles for one another.

Warning: Spoiler Alert
Also, if you are a child....I don't really care if you see this.  Seriously why would a child be reading this half ass blog?

This show will force you to sit in stunned silence numerous times throughout it's six season run.  I can't applaud the shows creator David Simon enough for his adherence to strict topic research and willingness to let the chips fall where they may in regards to character development.  If you are worried about your favorite characters dying or disappearing from sight, The Wire isn't for you, real life isn't for you.  In real life sometimes the people we adore the most aren't around forever just because we love to see them, The Wire embraces this reality and it really adds to the unpredictability of the story lines.

Another brilliant aspect of The Wire, is the down right hilarious jokes and satire that is so brilliantly woven into the fabric of what turns out to ultimately be a very dark show.  I found myself laughing at least half of the time at the characters as they live their daily lives, but not in a cheesy sitcom kind of way.  The people in the Wire truly remind me of real people I have met over my 27 years in various industries and social settings.  these characters are fucking funny as hell.  From the drunk, womanizing, fuck up, idiot savant Jimmy McNulty, to the murderous homosexual homeless hit-man Omar.  Examples you say?

In all The Wire is absolute quality as far as television entertainment.  I can guarantee that you will rent/buy season 1 and watch it in a 48hr period.  Especially if you're like me and you love hiding from your friends and family.

If you are an HBO subscriber you can find every episode of The Wire at www.hbogo.com

P.S. I was originally going to make today's post about the Sopranos, but I figured if you don't realize that is the greatest TV show of all time, you probably died in 1998.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The First Post is the Deepest

This is the first post of what I hope is many.  I have always enjoyed the blogs of others so this is a natural step for me.  I will try my best to make you laugh and if possible I will make you cry or shit your pants while dry heaving.