Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Saving us from Private Ryan

The Bush administration lost the wrong Powell.

Questions... Is today a day in November of 2004, or 1904? Is this the United States of America, purported home and champion of freedom?

Then why are media companies, and their frightened leaders, deciding what we watch?

Why are we catering to such a small section of our population when it comes to what we can and cannot watch? Didn't their TV's come with remotes? Turn it off, and read the Bible? Sorry, I was overcome by a fit of rationality. If you don't want your children to be exposed to violence, sex or profanity on TV, why aren't you actually parenting them? That is parenthood. It's up to YOU to protect their innocent eyes from lessons they're not ready to learn, like how war is hell, and sometimes, late at night, people are naked.

Why are you limiting everyone else's choice just because you can't control your children? Adults have a right to enjoy adult entertainment now and again. It's up to an adult to make his own choice, and not support material they might find objectionable. Handy tool in this endeavor: the remote!

Please, the trend away from freedom is antithetical to America...

Friday, November 12, 2004

Gold + Silver = Red State Blues

Or, the tyranny of the lonely.

What the FUCK happened?

It's like, no matter how many Democrats turned out, the Republicans would have won. Maybe I am seeing things through blue-state-tainted lenses-es.

I would liked to have addressed the election earlier, but I was waylaid by a post-election cold. I'm sure the end of the election cycle had me at a nexus of nadirs; physical, emotional, political, etc. So, here is my epic account of 28 hours in the desert of Nevada, trying to change who is running things.

I went to Nevada for Election day, in order to get out the vote. I was supposed to go into Las Vegas on Friday or Saturday, but America Coming Together flat-out forgot my fat ass. So, I didn't leave for Sin City until early Monday afternoon. We got in around 7 pm, Nov. 1st. I drove in with some very nice people, a couple of women who were a few years older than me, and 2 men, both younger than me. Kara, Joyce, Monk, Gary and me! The trip was what you'd expect from a Kerry-van. Lots of political discussion. I missed out on some travel discussion due to semi-consciousness. I had a spirited discussion with Kara about Nader's influence on the election of 2000 and Nader's role in it.

Okay, it was closer to a fight.

Once at the tent that the people of ACT set up, we met Andy, a 26 year-old rabbinical student. In the dirty Days Inn we stayed at on Fremont, downtown Las Vegas, I shared a 2 bed-place with Andy, Monk & Gary. They were all in their mid-twenties, and that makes me feel hopeful, that it isn't only people over 40 that are politically active. I have to add that the work they did was gruelling, walking all day, starting at 8 am, and not ending until after 8 pm because of how long the lines were to vote. I will also admit that I got a sense out of some of the younger volunteers that they were along for the ride. AWESOME! Thanks very much for helping us.

While Andy studied, Monk, Gary and I hit the Fremont Experience, ate prime rib for six bucks (at some place with a San Francisco theme and a very nice waitress named "crystal" but she spelled it differently). I dropped a dollar-fitty in slot machines that returned nothing. Monk dropped a quarter, and won $1.25. We tried to hit a strip place, but they had a 2-drink minimum, and we ALL balked at it! I was carded, which absolutely astonished me. We went home, we were all comatose by 11.

I had what they called "Leader-training," which meant that I was supposed to lead a group of canvassers in the field, but they were aware that I cannot be on my feet all day. I got up too early election day, because they asked "leaders" to be there early. I felt very much an afterthought. I didn't get somewhere where I could do something constructive until about 9 am, when I got to ACT's phone bank. I was there until about 6 pm, when I tried to get back to the big tent to find a way home. I wish I could have contributed more; I ended up talking to (either directly or by message) 200 Nevadans about voting. ACT did great, important work. Unfortunately, the group's inexperience showed through by missing opportunities that tighter organization would have exploited. I know that me being there for 4 days instead of 1 and a half wouldn't have swayed Nevada to become a blue state; but I wasn't the only one standing around.

There was a kind of rally in the tent after everyone gathered together; when we separated, Kerry was ahead in Nevada, and Pennsylvania had been called for him. Also, the main organizer, said something to the effect of "Tonight for the first time in history gold plus silver will equal BLUE!!!" That drove everyone into a frenzy that I didn't share. My mood had been dark all day, and I knew it was too early to celebrate so wildly...

Andy was driving a rental van back to California that night, so I rode in with him. My heart sank when I heard that NPR was calling Florida for Bush; that was when I realized how things would go that night, although I continued to hope against hope.

I hit my own bed at 3 am Wednesday morning, November 3rd. Kerry conceeded defeat 5 hours later.

He may have repeated Gore's biggest mistake of 2000.