Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Well, it’s official. The price of home heating oil has reached $4 per gallon. It now costs more to heat my measly little 1,100 square foot cape than it does to pay the mortgage (sans the taxes).

For years I’ve kept the oil price griping at a minimum, reserving it only for tirades at the gas pump while personally filling the tank of my Hyundai. I hate pumping gas. It’s right up there with pap smears and the Human League. But yesterday that little pink carbon copy waiting for me in the mailbox was the last straw.

It’s a horrible feeling to know that there is absolutely nothing you can do about getting fucked over by the invisible powers that be. The options are: freeze, switch to the electric grid which in the end will probably cost more, sell the goddamned house and take that road trip - do the Kerouac thing I’ve always wanted to (oh wait, can’t really afford that either), move south (but I can't stand the religious goonery), drink myself into a stupor. Ding, ding, ding - we have a winner.

I think I’m feeling like so many Americans right now with nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. No one gives a shit about the struggles of the working class. The never have and they never will. I question why I’ve always tried to walk the straight and narrow when it comes to personal responsibility. Why I pay my way, never impose, never ask for favors, conserve and shut up. I’m one of the millions living in quiet desperation hoping I don’t get cancer or fall prey to a violent crime. Life is fast becoming a stew of constant fear tempered with a semi-stable job and a penchant for the sauce. My intellectual pursuits merely a hobby, a means of breaking up the monotony of this sick and mind numbingly boring routine that I’ve let myself fall into.

Maybe I’m just a sucker for comfort and stability. I like sleeping in a nice bed in a relatively warm house. I like my good coffee and my Black Label scotch. Jesus Christ, haven’t I earned these few comforts? Things could always be worse, right? That seems to have become my motto as of late. $4 a gallon. 4,000 American soldiers dead. Four more years of Republican bullshit (likely on the way). Maybe I should start playing the lottery or the violin.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Why Barack Obama Needs To Win the Presidency

Over the past several weeks the Democratic presidential nominating process has become a hodge-podge of bullshit political ploys and pundit sound bites that are serving no purpose other than to confuse the already stupefied American public and fill dead air time on the 24 hour news networks that can’t think of anything better to talk about than the “Ballot Bowl.” Even the comedy shows, whose job it is to present a satirical picture of the absurdity of the political process, seem to be running out of ideas (see the latest Hill-Shill on SNL over the past couple of weeks to get an idea of the vacuous quagmire the show has sunk into).

The ludicrous racially-tinged remarks of Geraldine Ferraro about Obama’s only making it this far because he is black (his brilliant mind, extraordinary speaking ability and the fact that he is indeed a Constitutional lawyer and Senator all taking a back seat to his “blackness”) send the same tired ignorant old-white-America pseudo-philosophical message that the country has tolerated, either secretly or openly, for decades. Maybe it’s because mine was the first generation in American history to actually be taught that we are all created equal, on no uncertain terms and with unequivocal certainty, that I find her comments both insulting and pitiable.

But worse than the comments is the ineffectiveness of the Clinton campaign to step up to the plate and let the American public know, once and for all, where she stands on the issue of so called campaign advisors sounding off their misinformed, asinine opinions in her name. It is indeed “regrettable” that Mrs. Clinton can’t seem to put two and two together and realize that she is alienating a huge portion of her potential electorate (i.e. Generation Xers and younger) with her calculating, middle of the road response to this type of foolishness.
Obama’s campaign hasn’t been totally innocent when it comes to smear either, although it is hardly in the same league as the Clinton kitchen sink machine. Samantha Power’s remarks about Hillary Clinton being a monster were not appropriate. We expect, and even sometimes find the humor in these types of remarks, coming from say someone like Matt Taibbi. But for an Obama advisor, and so called intellectual, to be speaking in such a childish manner is unacceptable. She should have known better, and I’m glad she’s no longer a voice for the campaign. The very last thing Barack Obama needs right now is to go negative. A huge part of his appeal is his optimism and the way he tries to stick to the issues without getting personal.

It must be difficult to be constantly under the scrutiny of a carnivorous press and an apathetic brain dead public. Both candidates are unbelievably resilient and tough. Both candidates are brilliant and qualified. And both candidates have what it takes to run the show. Would I want the press and my opponent to continually clamor for copies of my tax returns? No, and I wish Obama would cut it out. Who fucking cares what the Clinton’s tax returns say?
Perhaps the most absurd argument coming from the Clinton campaign is that because Obama hasn’t won the “big states” that he couldn’t possibly carry them in the general election. Please. Do you really think that New York or California is going to go for McCain in the general if Obama is the candidate? Never. And we all know that Texas will almost certainly go to McCain no matter who is on the Democratic ticket. That’s just the way things works. Everyone knows it, so stop trying to scare people into thinking that a vote for Obama is somehow a vote for McCain. The holes in your logic dwarf the Grand Canyon.
However, here is an argument that holds enough water to get us through the desert. Obama appeals not only to vast numbers of Democrats, but to Independents and some Republicans as well. My theory is that there are many Republicans in congress right now who would like nothing more than to stop goose-stepping the party line, but they need a face saving way to begin to think rationally again. A Clinton presidency will never, under any circumstances, convince these people to regain their sanity. On the contrary, it will only embolden them to become even more defiant in their legislation efforts and votes because of their seemingly never ending hatred for Mrs. Clinton and her sexually deviant husband.
The same goes for way too many regular Americans who have already decided that they will never vote for Clinton even if the Republican ticket were Hitler/Mussolini. It’s a completely irrational way to approach a presidential election, but we’re not dealing with a nation of rational thinking politically savvy citizens. We’re dealing with the American Idol set, the ones who care more about sex scandals and celebrity train wrecks than they do about the fate of the free world. Cicero said it best when he summed up why people make the decisions they do. “Men decide far more problems by hate, love, lust, rage, sorrow, joy, hope, fear, illusion or some other inward emotion, than by reality, authority, any legal standard, judicial precedent or statute.”

Barack Obama in the Whitehouse would be the best thing to happen to America since JFK took the oath of office. We need this. Desperately. I don’t want to have to move to Canada.

Friday, March 07, 2008