by James Killough
I’m kidding. Sheesh. Relax. I don’t vote, for two reasons: 1) the American political process bores me because it’s usually much the same of the same old shit, although the Obama/Hillary run-off did get my attention; 2) as long as the Electoral College is in place and disasters like the 2000 election can happen as a result, I don’t believe we live in a true democracy.
“But what about your civic duty, James?” you ask, wrapping your toga tightly around you in a snit. To which I reply, “My civic duty is my non-vote of protest.” And I feel I have more effect writing these words than ruining a perfectly crisp morning in November by standing in line for hours waiting to cast my drop in the bucket. As long as I live, I will never let America rest on its self-satisfied, jingoistic laurels, never let it get away with unjustified warmongering, or large-scale financial corruption. To do so would be un-American.
To me, democracy is straightforward: the majority of the people, i.e., the “popular vote,” selects whomever they want to lead them. Boom. Simple. Just because ignorant, gun-toting “folk” with obesity problems in the Flyover States feel they are inadequately represented doesn’t excuse institutionalizing a subversion of a true democratic process with the Electoral College. The more educated populations on the coasts should elect the president because we are more numerous and smarter. If it’s so important to you, then drop your weapons, adjust your diet and move to Philadelphia.
Yes, there are certain aspects of America that are laudable because of their representation of diversity, but many of those “diverse” aspects are also plain embarrassing, and I won’t enumerate them because they are as manifest to any thinking person as our destiny once was, a destiny we seem to have already fulfilled and are now losing grip on; our fat, entitled fingers can’t hold onto it any more.
And the two-party system? Indeed, it is a system, one which allows the plutocracy that really controls this nation to rig the elections in one direction while pretending there are two directions, without things getting too diverse in any real sense. Someone like me, for instance, is completely unrepresented, and I’m not uneducated, I’ve never fired a gun, and I’m not fat, despite the eight pounds I seem to have attracted like a stalker the past two months. So where’s my Electoral vote?
Indian politics, on the other hand, fascinate me. India is the world’s largest democracy, they have so many political parties they have to put letters in brackets after the names to distinguish one from the other, and they have wild names like All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. Take a quick look at the full list here. Just scroll down and gasp. There are so many, I can’t seem to get a clear answer from Our Lord Google, God of Everything and Everything Else, as to what the exact tally is.
Indian politics are an endless mud-wrestling match, a 24/7 WWE Smackdown confettied with multi-hued holi powders, which isn’t in the least bit faked. Forget democracy, this is true diversity in action, not some exercise in how we can make our culture even more homogenized than it already is, as if our political process needs to have the sameness of experience that all Great American Brands aim to deliver to their consumers.
On that note, one can never repeat too often the quotation by the late, great chain-smoking Bill Hicks:
“Go back to bed, America, your government has figured out how it all transpired. Go back to bed America, your government is in control.”
So that’s one of the reasons I’m voting for Palin, but by “voting” I mean I’m cheering her on in the Great Smackdown because she’s shakin’ it up and makin’ it real. She’s briskly whisking tangy diversity into the political meringue like Martha Stewart stiffening egg whites. Yeah, she’s going to hobble the Republican Party and in general be as much a nuisance as Ross Perot was during the 1992 presidential election, but she is already so much fun to watch. Like get a load of this really well-produced, very well-shot commercial for her tour:
Her shrill, bee-sting voice is just perfect over that pseudo-patriotic schmaltzy sound mix, isn’t it? She’s like an hysterically enthusiastic, OTT Japanese TV show presenter. And as a content creation company, we at PFC must comment on Palin’s own content: the buxom, boldfaced lies; those chic crosshairs on maps that inspire assassinations; the heady levels of delusional beliefs and hemline-raising dubious ethics. She’s a female Gary Busey with Ivana Trump’s hairdo. There’s so much reality TV insanity in the Sarah Palin Show it’s almost incestuous.
Indeed, the real reason I am voting for Sarah Palin is the quality entertainment: she’s a show that will run for a year and a half after she declares her candidacy.
For one can already hear the clang and joyous song of the Humor Dwarves as they shape their axes at anvils deep in the forges of NBC’s Moria, as they sharpen their swords to razor precision, and bind to their weapons magical words of wit in Elvish script, before which few will stand. Goaded forth by Lorne Michaels the Grey, they prepare for an upcoming mighty battle, in which the Forces of Good from all over the American Middle-Earth will be gathered and led by the High-Elven Queen, Tina the Fey, her beehive crown a-glimmer, her eyewear a-sparkle. There on the Fields of the Airwaves shall Queen Tina in her Saturday Night Chariot raise her hand and reveal the One True Ring of Satire, which shall lay waste the evil Tea Party Orcs once and for all. And perhaps America will rise again, and even the Republicans, hitherto banished to the undead world of shade and shame, shall be free once more.
I know, Sarah is low-hanging fruit, a soft, easy target in the crosshairs of the witty intellectualist. It would be far more challenging to extol her virtues, to dip one’s quill in scarlet ink and stretch a paean to her across the finest parchment, Ode to the Lady of the Moose. Regrettably, when I close my eyes and beg my muse for guidance, I still can’t imagine anything good about Sarah Palin herself; all I can see is Levi Johnston with his legs in the air moaning, “Fuck me harder, Daddy.”
I won’t transition here by saying, “speaking of insane people,” because that’s too “on the nose,” as a producer of mine sometimes calls my ideas. However, you will appreciate the leap from the subject of this article to my admission that I have been more than remiss about posting a Schizo of the Week. I have been downright delinquent. The problem has been the travel to India, and the fact that Schizos are like many male animals: they stake out their territories and other Schizos don’t trespass. I seem to have mined most of them in the Hollywood Entertainment District. I did, however, run into Jake, our Schizo of the Month a while back, today at my favorite coffee shop in Hollywood, Groundworks on Sunset and Cahuenga. You will remember that the last time we saw Jake, he had on white angel wings and was reciting Scripture outside the Chase Bank on Sunset and Vine. No doubt that is something Caribou Barbie would heartily approve of as a wholesome, true-blue American pastime.