Mon Nov 3rd, 2008 at 05:05:21 AM EST
Ok, so I admit I haven't been writing much. Or... well, at all really. But I have really good excuses -- divorce! bankruptcy! physical problems! moving! -- also, I have some really bad excuses. I mean, if I could tell you guys all the bad excuses, you'd totally understand.
But this is a family blog, so let's just say I've been in avoidance behavior. Serious Avoidance Behavior (note the capital letters). There's been carousing, romance, music, shoes -- even Paris! -- and what's turned out to be a pancake binge of monumental proportions. In other words, everything but politics.
But reality has a way of rudely interrupting and this upcoming election is really quite insistent. No matter how I try to ignore it, it keeps bumping into me. Plus, years ago, I made the mistake of giving Jerome my IM information.
So I guess there's nothing for it but to write. I have no coherent narrative, or point really, but I was asked on this very blog how things were being viewed in my "circle" here's some random observations and incidents...
First, let me just acknowledge that I've moved from Seattle back to my hometown of Los Angeles which just about everyone, on both the left and right, assures me is not really America, so I don't know how helpful my observations will be. Still, I'm pretty sure that my 11 million or so immediate neighbors and I have a few electoral college votes, so I'll proceed.
Perhaps my out of state friends and family have more pull. My parents are still in Seattle (although I've heard dark hints that that's not America, either). My dad said last year he was voting for any Dem unless John McCain was the Republican nominee, in which case he'd vote for him because he thought he was an admirable, moderate man of integrity. My dad is now voting for Obama.
My mom is friends with a woman who belongs to one of those fundamentalist churches. She's really quite rabid. She and her husband devote almost all their free time to church activities and spreading 'the word.' They LOVE Sarah Palin. They're voting for Obama.
I'll admit that I don't know a single person who's voting for McCain. Even my crazy Republican cousins aren't. I was almost afraid to mention politics, but they volunteered the information that not only were they voting for Obama, but they'd already voted. I had one brief moment of relief before commencing with an hour long argument about the various propositions.
I argued with one cousin about California's Prop 8 in particular, which is the one that wants to amend California's constitution to explicitly deny same sex marriage. But it was sort of futile since he'd already voted. But I'm pretty sure I won the argument. I elicited a promise that if it passed, he'd "do whatever it takes" to fix it, up to and including volunteering as a signature gatherer for the next pro-gay marriage prop. Or maybe some legal work with the appeal. I don't know. He IS a lawyer, and a pretty good one, but he was drunk when he made the promise.
Speaking of which, I tried to volunteer to help defeat Prop 8, I really did. There's a gay church right up the street from my office and they were supposed to be doing phone banking there. The day before, I signed up with the website and was supposed to be called within 48 hours. The next day, I called the church itself and they said there was no more phone banking there. For the next 24 hours, I worried about them calling me about my volunteering, since I still don't have a car here, but they never called.
Prop 8 is causing a lot of heated emotion here. Everyone thinks California is so liberal, and it is in parts, but there's also a lot of conservatives and the polling doesn't look good. We had a friend come over a couple weeks ago and he arrived all riled up. He'd seen a "Yes on 8 protest" up the street from us and was infuriated. He'd yelled out his car window "go home you fucking freaks!" Mind you, this is a middle-aged man who runs a food pantry for the homeless, so this seemed quite... brave? ..or foolhardy or something. Then he admits the "protest" was 2 guys with a sign.
But still, "my circle" is pretty riled up in general. I'm not talking about long-time friends or family, the people who we actually see at holidays and visit in each others' homes, but the ones I know through music and art and, I admit it, MySpace. For one thing, most of them have actually registered to vote, a first so far as I can tell. And there's almost no talk of voting for Nader.
Myspace is full of outraged bulletins with youtube links of speeches and dire warnings about the Republicans. There's also youtubes of late-night talk show jokes as well as homemade Obama art. Also, one memorable Palin joke which I can't repeat. And a bunch of people changed their myspace and facebook middle names to Hussein in solidarity with Barack.
There's lots of political talk, in places where you'd least expect it. I was in the line at the post office a couple weeks ago to mail in my California voter registration card. The clerk was being all friendly but I guess she was tired, because instead of asking if I was going to vote, she asked if someone was voting for me. I laughed and assured her no one would ever vote for me. Some woman from the line yelled "hell, I'd vote for you if you could fix the economy!" to chuckles and agreement all around the post office. Sounds like change is in the air. That has to be good, right? Obama's much more respectable than I am.
One night we were at our favorite dive club where all the bands play free, and out of nowhere, The Seeds played. Remember The Seeds? They did that 60s song, Pushing Too Hard. It was a great song and they played it well. The singer, Sky Saxon, announced they had written a song about George Bush. It was really weird hearing The Seeds sing an anti-Bush song. It sounded a little like Pushing Too Hard.
Which brings me up to Halloween. Halloween is a big deal here in the states, and an especially big deal in Hollywood. We had a busy Halloween planned -- a costume party and seeing The Damned play, which is practically an LA Halloween tradition. At the party, there was a blonde girl dressed in a sequined red-white-and-blue Uncle Sam bathing suit (I know, I know -- just go with it). So she comes up to us and asks if we'll hold her bottle of vodka, then drunkenly unrolls an Obama poster and asks if we're voting.
After receiving confirmation, she then asked if we were a couple and how far away we lived, so I'm not quite sure where this line of questioning was going, but we gave her back the vodka and threw ourselves into mingling elsewhere.
But the highlight of the evening was The Damned. They did a great set and it was really fun. Right in the middle, again out of nowhere, they introduce none other than Sky Saxon of The Seeds!!! That guy is everywhere! And he tells us to make sure to vote for Obama on Tuesday, then sort of adds, "or McCain or whatever, but you should really vote, I'm not telling you what to do..." (he seemed a bit dazed, to tell the truth), but then they launched into a really kick-ass version of Pushing Too Hard with him singing (I don't know if The Damned were offered the Bush song or not).
The towards the end of the set, Captain Sensible re-reminded us that we had a job to do on Tuesday. He told us to go vote and that if "they" steal the election again to SMASH IT UP!
The crowd, of course, went wild. Gotta love the Captain.