Saturday, September 27, 2008

Ubermenschian Stemcell Baby Army. Also Jetpacks. Plus Democracy.

I refuse to dignify debates with anything longer than two sentences worth of attention, one for each candidate, because anything more would suggest that I think they are actually a reflection of intention or integrity rather than a big red white and blue puppet show for big kids. So... did you notice Obama wore a flag pin while McCain wore a Palpatine, Dark Lord of the Sith mask? 

Talk is cheap. Especially in wake of the past 8 years, in which the value of talk has been so badly bludgeoned that it makes pieces of dog shit look like British Pound Sterling while talk is devalued into pieces of... I was going to say worm shit but that's actually a key natural fertilizer so perhaps pieces of garbage. Unrecyclable biohazardous smelly ugly garbage. 

This is of great concern to me, someone who is attempting to make a living by putting words together. So you can understand how it's hard to watch people with zero accountability saying whatever the heck they want for two hours on primetime. Let's lower taxes! Torture is bad! Look at my friendship bracelet from some dead army kid. No look at MY friendship bracelet from some dead army kid! Freedom!!!

I don't understand how a country so awesome at sensationalistic reality television can put up with this. Where are the tears? The alcoholic rages? I want to see how McCain discusses foreign policy after he finds out his wife has been giving head to Flava Flav in the whitehouse grotto.

Seriously, there should be a reality show where we lock both candidates in a house, deprive them of sleep, and then have fake national disasters of all different shapes and sizes to see how they really deal under pressure- then they're acting instead of just waxing poetic about freedom. They do it in Model UN and I don't see why we can't do it here. It would be like campaign bootcamp. Wake up McCain! Iran has obtained weapons of mass destruction and is threatening to obliterate Israel and you have 12 minutes to come up with a negotiation strategy....

...underwater! Maybe not the underwater part, but how else are we going to keep the ratings up?

I'm sick and tired of all this bullshit political sweettalk lies. And it's contagious- I told you I was only going to spend two sentences discussing this nonsense and I lied straight to your face because here I am still ranting about this whole absurd charade.  So what do we do when we're up to our neck in lies? Do we leave?

This possibility sounds more and more compelling, especially after seeing things like this, which is actually what I originally intended to write my entire post about:

This Swiss guy flew across the English Channel via Jetpack. 


Holy Shit.

This is my childhood Jetson fantasy come true- they have self opening doors and self cleaning litterboxes and even a magical network of boxes which can magically teleport your thoughts to anywhere in the world, and yet jerky Seagulls are still laughing their winged asses off at us.
Us and penguins. We're both flightless rejects.

Until now. Swiss guy gives flight to the dreams of kids who suck hardcore at every sport and yet still hold out absurd hope that in some alternate reality, they are totally Quiddich masters... the dreams of everyone who's sure they could be Iron Man if only they were a little more genius suave and a billionaire... and the dreams of people like me who are too lazy to walk six blocks to the grocery store and carry their own groceries back. 

Jetpack Flight. The stuff dreams are made of. So if the debate bummed you out like me, take solace in the knowledge that weird and whimsical wonders are all around and above us. 

Or, if you, like me, can't drive past a McDonalds without having a nightmarish fantasy about McCain stealing the election a la 2000, for a giggle that's still politically themed, check out some of the things which are younger than John McCain:

Chocolate Chip Cookies, the lubricated condom, Scrabble, the PB&J sandwich, Zip Codes, and the Minimum Wage. tadaa!


PS... if you are a regular reader of this blog and you haven't entered my Writinghannah Writing Challenge,  you kind of  Writinghannah Writing Suck. We can only become a world-altering establishment-shattering creative community if we create stuff. As a community. So here's the deal: if you're enjoying the blog, it would make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside if you sent it to a few pals who might also enjoy it, and if you've put in your two cents in comments already, I thank you kindly. As for R. Matt- he is not only gentleman and scholar, but also sire-er of my future Postmodern ubermenschian stem cell baby army. (If that's okay with you R. Matt.) 

1 comment:

  1. I think the Model UN approach to political campaigning is the best idea I've heard in a while. Political debates are worthless because, like so many other staples of modern life, they have no external validity (e.g., job interviews, the SATs, first dates). Good performance in a political debate demonstrates proficiency with a skill set that, for the most part, is completely unrelated to the skill set required by the actual job the candidate is running for.

    Think about it: how often does the president appear on national TV at all? And how many of these appearances are sound bites? And of the few that are left over, in how many does he actually engage in honest-to-god debate? (Further, the relationship between honest-to-god debate and the events of last night is the same as that between real gold and a gold crayon. Neither candidate ever truly engaged the other.)

    If we really wanted to see how a candidate would perform in office, we should subject him to tests similar to those that he would actually face in office. (First question: Your campaign manager is telling you that he broke into your opponent's headquarters. Do you tape record the conversation?)

    This only solves half the problem, however. The other half of the problem lies with the voters. Part of the reason that the current campaign process, pseudo-debates and all, exists as it does is because more voters base their decisions on which candidate looked better on TV than on whose policies they agreed with more. JFK was reported to have won the first televised presidential debate--but only by the television audience. Those who listened on the radio (and therefore could judge the candidates only on what they said and not on how they looked as they said it) thought that Nixon had won. In the words of esteemed political reporter Dave Barry, "Voters...go to the polls and elect the candidate who is, in their opinion, taller."

    Supposing the campaign process was regulated so as to produce more substantive debates: would voters even notice the difference? The majority of people only attend to peripheral characteristics anyway. There would need to be further regulation to ensure that the populace actually knew something about the candidates they claim to prefer.

    Some countries actually award two votes to college graduates, reasoning that college graduates are better able to comprehend the complexities of national politics. Better preparation, however, is not a reliable indicator of increased attention to political affairs, only of having actually been to college. This method is also somewhat elitist, disadvantaging the lower socioeconomic classes.

    We could institute some kind of test that voters had to pass before they could vote, thereby ensuring that they were reasonably well informed. I, for one, have often felt that I don't deserve the vote, as I'm not sure that I know enough about politics for my opinion to matter. However, literacy tests have a not-so-glamorous history in American politics, and reintroducing them is bound to meet with some resistance for the ease with which the test can be subverted to exclude certain groups.

    We could also eliminate the test component while instituting any number of measures to verify that voters are paying some attention to the campaigns. But how many ways are there to get out of doing homework?

    I don't have a good answer to this problem. Unfortunately, until there is one I believe that voter apathy will consign us to more of the same in political campaigns.