Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Help Me Help You, Or, Show Me The Money

Dear Suddenly Impassioned Political Neophyte Blowhard Who Keeps Interrupting My Lunch With Breathless Tirades Of Lunacy,

I appreciate your recent concern for our country and the state of the world in general. However, after much consideration, I've concluded your daily bouts of crap mongering are not unintentionally funny attempts at saving my political soul, so much as they are desperate pleas for validating yours. While I must regretfully decline participation in such endeavors, by no means am I requesting you discontinue your idiotic rants, as they are extremely entertaining. Especially when you and that other guy, the one who supports the other candidate, engage in a lunchtime huffy puffy spittle-slinging battle royal. Like, you’ll misquote something Keith Olbermann told you to say, and then he’ll retaliate with an inaccurate compilation of what Bill O'Reilly told him to say. Oh, ho ho! Good times.

Unfortunately, despite your protestations to the contrary, you and your counterpart are not making a difference. You’re making a sum. Huge sums. For the FoxNewses, for the MSNBCs, and for all the other political ESPNs out there that grow richer and more powerful by telling you which team to root for, and by filling your head with bullshit. You get enough of that already from your respective candidates.

I’m truly going to miss the quasi-intellectual lunchtime debates once the election’s over. However, I sleep well knowing that, should the other candidate win, you will immediately declare him the Antichrist. You will spend the next four years ignoring the few things he gets right, and instead focus on, embellish, or completely fabricate the colossal fuckups that are sure to dominate his administration. Conversely, should YOUR candidate win, you will spend the next four years making highly suspect arguments for why the country should excuse, forget, or forgive his equally colossal—possibly monumental—fuckups, which he will have perpetrated on the American public solely because he is, some will say, the Antichrist.

The good news is your political nemesis from Accounting is going to do exactly the same thing! This means unending lunchtime entertainment for me! For the next four years! Or at least until you lose interest, so… maybe January. But I’m sure you’ll be ready for the 2012 election. And with that three and a half year rest, you’ll be even more amped about the same hot button issues you don’t fully understand. The same irresolvable issues upon which the President has no constitutional authority to act. In fact, the only real change four years from now will be your hair style and the capabilities of your cell phone.

In the meantime:

The Federal government will continue to grow;

Members of Congress will continue to fail in their duties, while continuing to convince their constituents that term limits are a bad idea, all the while chuckling to themselves because as long as they bring home the pork and refrain from making unseemly foot gestures in airport bathrooms, they’ll be reelected;

The Federal Reserve will continue to fiddle with a house-of-cards monetary system while discreetly wondering if sneezing is a valid option;

And human beings will continue to fight wars, because that’s what human beings do.

All of this will continue because real change—no matter the ideological flavor—is never as politically or financially lucrative as the appearance of change.

And I’m sorry to say that the ills of this country are not George Bush’s fault. They’re not Bill Clinton’s fault, and they won’t be John McCain’s or Barack Obama’s fault. They’re your fault, for being continually fooled by deceptive language. And they’re my fault, for not giving a shit anymore. They should probably put that on our tombstone: They were fooled by deceptive language, but they didn't give a shit.

But hey, don’t let my cynicism spoil your fun. Go ahead. Don your blue “Obama’s #1” foam hand, or your red McCain version, swill your beverage of choice, and shout your hackneyed insults from the cheap seats. The Super Bowl of politics is underway, complete with expensive-much-hyped-yet-meaningless commercials. I hope, for all our sake, that your guy doesn’t experience a full-scale wardrobe malfunction during the halftime show. But if he did, would you tell him he has no clothes?

All the best,

Your Mildly Amused Co-worker

P.S. If you use my stapler again without asking, I’m gonna kick your ass.

Okay, my original plan was to just let that post fly and see what happened. It was meant to break the ice and possibly make you angry, though it pretty accurately conveys my current thinking. I know a lot of people avoid talking politics on their blogs for the sake of not offending anyone, but I think that's a mistake. All these smart people around, surely we can learn something from each other.

I've been down the rabid partisan political junkie path, and as odd as it sounds, that's actually much easier than calling bullshit on everything and everyone. I would like nothing more than to concede the wrong-headedness of my thinking, but every time I try, I run up against the immovable wall of insidious, deceptive bullshit language. From the politicians, from the talking heads, from news articles, from candidates' websites, from uninformed co-workers… and I get pissed off all over again. So please, convince me there’s more to it than that. Doesn’t matter if you have no stake in American politics. Bullshit affects us all®. Help me help you help me.

If you're interested, here's what we'll do. I won't insult or personally attack you in the comments, but if the need to lash out overcomes you, feel free to direct your venom at me. I only ask that you be creative in your name calling, otherwise what's the point? However, you cannot take pot shots at other participants expressing their political views. I have no way to enforce that, and I won't delete anyone's comments, but the confrontational neener-neenering—while great for TV ratings—is boring and trite, and if you try it we’ll all know you’re a lame unthinking stupidhead and you probably still suck your thumb and wet your bed crib. Neener neener.

If you're not interested, that's cool too. I won't take you off my Christmas card list or anything. Unless you don't celebrate Christmas. Or you're offended by the mere mention of the word Christmas. Or you—okay, I don't have a Christmas card list. It was just an expression.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Oops, Forgot To Post This Yesterday

If you're reading this, odds are you already know about Agents and Editors Week over at Book Roast, so what are you doing here? If you're not reading this then you--

OK, wrote myself into another logical corner.

Just go.