Another Adventure Dream

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Abraham slept from 8:30 to 5:00 last night, so I ac­tu­al­ly man­aged to have a long, in­volved ad­ven­ture dream of the likes I’ve not had in quite some time.

The ear­li­est part I can re­mem­ber is that a friend of mine need­ed me to sell her a car. I wasn’t ac­tu­al­ly a car sales­man, al­though I had an of­fice at a used car deal­er­ship. I was sort of a PI/​answer-​man, so the own­er of the deal­er­ship let me have my space be­cause it brought peo­ple to the place to come see me.

All of this takes place in a Children of Men/​Half-​Life sort of near fu­ture. Eventually I wind up un­der gov­ern­ment in­ves­ti­ga­tion and they’ve cap­tured some of my “busi­ness as­so­ciates” so a game of cat and mouse en­sues where I have to fig­ure out how to free them with­out be­ing caught my­self. There is a mole among all of the peo­ple I’m around, which makes it dou­bly hard. We’re the good guys, of course, fight­ing again­st a cor­rupt gov­ern­ment. The di­vi­sion be­tween rich and poor is ex­treme­ly po­lar­ized. The rich are in­do­lent, ba­si­cal­ly spend­ing all of their time schmooz­ing, buy­ing ex­pen­sive stuff from flashy places and slum­ming. There was an in­teresing dy­nam­ic be­tween the shiny store­fronts and their dark back al­leys. Restaurants where peo­ple are served plates of pre­cious gems in high-rise tow­ers are steps away from guys play­ing Rube Goldberg-like re­lays races with kegs and cas­es of beer.

I’m weav­ing my way through all of this, keep­ing one step ahead of the pur­suit, and al­so try­ing to track down my love in­ter­est, who is avoid­ing me for some rea­son. I even­tu­al­ly run in­to her in a dingy out­skirt at sun­set, we fi­nal­ly ad­mit that we love each oth­er and then I fig­ure out she’s the mole, but too late. I try to es­cape back in­to the flashy places, but they’ve been arranged so that I can’t es­cape.

I want­ed to dream to con­tin­ue, but the baby cried.

Obama for President

Friday, 5 September 2008

I’ve been think­ing about writ­ing this post for a long time. The pow­er is out at work to­day, so I’m un­ex­pect­ed­ly home with some time on my hands.

My fam­i­ly, for the most part, and most vo­cal­ly my un­cles, are staunch Catholic Republicans, and have been for as long as I can re­mem­ber. I was dig­ging through my but­ton col­lec­tion the oth­er day and I came across a cou­ple of Bush I but­tons from back in the 80s [and an “I sup­port Desert Storm” one, too]. Despite all of this, I grew up rel­a­tive­ly obliv­i­ous to par­ti­san pol­i­tics. Sure, I ab­sorbed, and still be­lieve in much of what old-school small-c con­ser­v­a­tive folks be­lieve in, but I’ve nev­er iden­ti­fied with ei­ther par­ty ma­chine. I usu­al­ly tell peo­ple, if pressed, that I’m a fis­cal con­ser­v­a­tive and a so­cial lib­er­al.

Once I hit 18 and got my fran­chise, I start­ed pay­ing at­ten­tion. The first thing I no­ticed was that when­ev­er pol­i­tics came up at fam­i­ly gath­er­ings, the lib­er­al side was al­ways the one un­der at­tack. This con­fused me, be­cause as far as I could tell, lib­er­al pol­i­tics are the most in line with the teach­ings of Jesus. I couldn’t un­der­stand how my won­der­ful, Catholic fam­i­ly could de­ride pol­i­tics that seem to mesh to eas­i­ly with most of Catholicisms teach­ings.

I’ve nev­er been one to blind­ly fol­low a crowd; I spent 4 years at one of the most ra­bid­ly con­formist and tra­di­tion-lov­ing uni­ver­si­ties in the na­tion. I’d ini­tial­ly bought in to the Notre Dame dream, but the re­al­i­ty I found there was at odds with their mar­ket­ing. That’s the same thing I no­ticed with my fam­i­ly, they seemed to have bought what Republicans are mar­ket­ing, with­out pay­ing at­ten­tion to the pro­duct they ac­tu­al­ly got.

In the 2000 elec­tion, my grand­moth­er said she couldn’t vote for Gore/​Lieberman, be­cause she couldn’t bring her­self to vote for a Jew. I’m sure if she were still alive that she’d say that she couldn’t vote for Obama be­cause of a sim­i­lar rea­son. She would al­ways ve­he­ment­ly deny this racism when called on it, and I’m sure she wasn’t con­scious­ly racist, just a pro­duct of her time.

As the 2004 elec­tion rolled around, one of my un­cles said that he no longer bought Grey Goose vod­ka, be­cause France didn’t sup­port us in the war in Iraq, and that he didn’t buy Coors beer be­cause they sup­port­ed gay mar­riage. This sound­ed very ir­ra­tional to me.

Now that the 2008 elec­tion is here, I have one un­cle whose re­li­gious be­liefs keep him from vot­ing, yet who nev­er­the­less has noth­ing good to say about Democratic pol­i­cy, most specif­i­cal­ly health­care, and an­oth­er who thinks Sarah Palin is a great VP pick be­cause she’s con­ser­v­a­tive, young and a wom­an. The on­ly cri­te­ri­on that he said was miss­ing was that she be black. When pressed about why the VP pick need­ed to have those qual­i­fi­ca­tions he said so that the GOP could beat the Democrats. Moments lat­er he de­rid­ed ca­reer politi­cians for their will­ing­ness to do any­thing to get elect­ed.

This con­tin­u­ing pat­tern of cog­ni­tive dis­so­nance amazes me. I would kill for my fam­i­ly, they are the great­est peo­ple in my life, but when­ev­er pol­i­tics comes up, it is like I en­ter bizarro-world. I hold out hope for my mom. She said, with a note of “Is it okay to feel this way?” in her voice, that watch­ing the Democratic con­ven­tion in­spired her. Still, in­stead of bas­ing her choice on the is­sues, she turns off the sound and votes for whomever’s body lan­guage seems the most gen­uine.

I re­al­ly don’t care who any­body votes for. What I care about is the man­ner in which peo­ple make their choice. Blindly fol­low­ing a par­ty-line or mak­ing a choice based on some in­tan­gi­ble is quite fright­en­ing to me be­cause it shows a fun­da­men­tal dis­re­spect for the priv­i­lege of hav­ing a vote. Slightly bet­ter, but still fair­ly ir­re­spon­si­ble is bas­ing a vote on what a can­di­date will promise, but not ex­am­in­ing their abil­i­ty to ac­com­plish those promis­es, or, af­ter elect­ed if they ever ac­tu­al­ly de­liv­er on them.

So now we get to why I’m choos­ing to vote for whom. As a fis­cal con­ser­v­a­tive, I want the gov­ern­ment to be good stew­ards of my tax dol­lars. I want to trust them to spend this mon­ey in a rea­son­able and re­spon­si­ble way. I ex­pect them to not spend more mon­ey than they have and to use tax dol­lars to im­prove the qual­i­ty of life for Americans by fund­ing ed­u­ca­tion, health and hu­man ser­vices, job train­ing, etc. The Republicans have been con­sis­tent­ly fail­ing at this for as long as I’ve been alive. Reagan, Bush I and Bush II all cre­at­ed huge debts pour­ing mon­ey in­to the Department of Defense and stu­pid wars in the Middle East. That is not good stew­ard­ship of my tax dol­lars, de­spite the fact that the GOP claims to be fis­cal­ly con­ser­v­a­tive.

As a so­cial lib­er­al, I be­lieve that the gov­ern­ment should keep its nose out of my pri­vate life. More lib­er­tar­i­an than lib­er­al, pos­si­bly. I be­lieve the gov­ern­ment has no place ban­ning same-sex mar­riage or re­strict­ing ac­cess to health care op­tions [abor­tion, con­tra­cep­tives, sex ed­u­ca­tion, stem-cell re­search, etc.]. I am per­son­al­ly op­posed to abor­tions of con­ve­nience be­cause I feel that if you’re out there hav­ing sex, you should take re­spon­si­bil­i­ty for play­ing that lot­tery and know­ing what the out­comes could be, but I al­so know that my opin­ion on the mat­ter is ir­rel­e­vant, since I can’t have an abor­tion. That’s a choice the preg­nant wom­an has to make; a choice that I will sup­port even if I dis­agree with it. The GOP has its nose in all of those things.

So that’s why I’m not vot­ing for the GOP. Why am I vot­ing for Barack Obama? I am vot­ing for Barack Obama be­cause he ad­vo­cates for and en­cour­ages cit­i­zens take re­spon­si­bil­i­ty for their gov­er­nance. His stances on var­i­ous is­sues are mea­sured, nu­anced po­si­tions that in­di­cate a sin­cere ex­am­i­na­tion of what he thinks will be best for the coun­try. He re­fus­es to play the mar­ket­ing three-card mon­te game, and in­stead is play­ing pol­i­tics the way it should al­ways be played, with re­spect, can­dor and sin­cer­i­ty to all par­ties in­volved. This in turn shows that he re­spects the sta­tus of the Office for which he is run­ning. I’ve yet to see any of that from John McCain.

Now if on­ly I could get a yard sign.

TOADIES!

Thursday, 4 September 2008

So ap­par­ent­ly the Toadies are back to­geth­er sans Lisa Umbarger on bass. They had a new al­bum called No Deliverance come out on August 19, and they are go­ing to play the Grog Shop on on October 15. I am so there. The first and last time I saw them was right be­fore their breakup, I was in the front row of Bogart’s in Cincinnati with my best buds from high school and I sang along to every song. We wait­ed out back for them to show af­ter the set, and I got their au­to­graphs.

The on­ly ques­tion re­gard­ing this up­com­ing show is whether I fi­nal­ly suc­cumb and be That Guy™ in my orig­i­nal Toadies t-shirt, or I wear my tra­di­tion­al The Bosses You Lose and see if Reznicek re­mem­bers it from 8 years ago, when he asked me about it af­ter won­der­ing what the fuck it meant dur­ing their set.

Abraham now makes big frowny faces for about three sec­onds im­me­di­ate­ly af­ter I smooch him.