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Tuesday, September 28, 2004


Angst for the Memories

It was my intention to sit down and write a scholarly treatise on Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket as viewed through the prism of post- September 11th America. I thought I'd discuss the morality of training men to kill in a country already overwhelmed with grief and maybe draw parallels between R. Lee Ermey's gunnery sergeant and Dick Cheney or something like that. I don't have it in me, though. At the risk of disappointing those of you who might have thought you'd found your free, downloadable doctoral thesis, I am forgoing that particular essay. Perhaps this is due to the wet dog smell hovering oppressively in the air--the remnants of Hurricane Jeanne are currently flooding New York streets and making sure my pit bull mix doesn't want to stay outside long enough to do his business--or perhaps I'm just despairing about the upcoming election.

I don't know how much more I can take. I'm carroming wildly around the pinball machine of the mind (a sentence which I've just copyrighted, so hands off, Phillip Roth). I don't know what's going to happen and I'm afraid I might implode while waiting. What's to think, here, honestly?

The polls that I've seen lately mostly show Bush in the lead. Michael Moore points out that polls are bullshit, that they don't poll people who use cell phones as their main form of communication and are therefore missing a large pool of young and mostly Democratic voters. On the other hand, Kerry has spent most of the campaign thus far answering one charge or another orchestrated by Karl "Satan's Love-child" Rove and has neither stood up enough for himself nor explained his vision to the public. On the other other hand, Bush is the guy who got us into an unpopular war in which more and more young American men are dying every week, and that will be taken into account when people step into the voting booth. On the final hand, though, we come to the fact that many, many, many people in this country are willfully ignorant and get what little tiny bit of news they take in from FOX or some other skewed source and still think that Sadaam Hussein was behind September 11th, the Challenger explosion and their Grandma's hemorrhoids.

A quick side-note to illustrate this: I had more than one student this week, when I brought up the election on class, which I unfortunately do a lot, say, "Hey, I read in the paper that John Kerry is a fag." Instead of taking the time to ask them what the hell a guy's preference for sticking his dick one place instead of another has to do with his ability to run the country, which would have gotten me absolutely nowhere except maybe to apoplexy, I just asked what the hell they were talking about. Apparently, there was something in a paper, something "humorous" about how huggy-touchy-feely Kerry was with Edward in the days after he'd chosen him as the Vice Presidential candidate. And my students wondered, earnestly, if he was a fag.

I believe that children are the future; teach them well and let them fuck the country right the hell up.

And that's the thing, see, as much as I want to be an optimist and believe what Michael Moore says about the people of this country understanding that Bush has to go; that the people of this country understand that the world community has had enough of Bush and will basically turn their backs on us like Michael to Fredo in Godfather II if we're stupid enough to send him to the fucking White House again; as much as I truly want to believe that, I can't help but think of the great George Carlin's appraisal of humanity, which goes something like: "Think how stupid the average person is. Then, realize that half of them are even dumber than that." I don't necessarily believe that America is stupid, despite the success of Paris Hilton. But Bush's team has been extremely effective at controlling the dialogue of this election. They've made a goddamn war hero out to be the jerk, while the draft-evading cokehead is the underdog victimized by vicious media attacks.

One would think, looking at the candidates, that an intelligent man like Kerry would wipe the intellectual floor with Bush in the upcoming debates. But Bush is good at getting those sound bites out there that play so well in the heartland. He's got that smug fucking grin that comes with the conviction that he's god's chosen one and we'd all better follow him. And there are too many people for my comfort who dig that. People who see him as "Maverick" from Top Gun; the cocky hotdog who plays by his own rules and then fucks Kelly McGillis. America needs to wake up here. 'Cause it's not Kelly McGillis who's gonna get fucked. It's us.

I'm seriously considering putting myself under anaesthesia to keep my ass knocked out until November 3rd. Somebody wake me when this nightmare is over.

Oh, please don't. Please go and vote and talk and stand in front of the lumbering tank of stupidity you're faced with. Canadians thank you for giving a shit.
only if you're an absentee voter will you be able to sleep until 11/3, while on my watch, bubbah. meanwhile, do yourself a favor and read for a left wing answer to mainstream media, dude. reading both will at least give you a clearer picture of the nation. for example, most polls have K and W in a deadlock.--tbo
Jose, trust me, I'm not getting my news from the networks or cable news or anything. I read Salon and Guardian UK and I've started checking out, and I'm still seeing enough evidence to shake my confidence.
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