Saturday, November 8


I am taking a hiatus from blogging and may return early next year. Thanks, Steve Bates, the Yellow Doggerel Democrat, Charles2 of The Fulcrum, and others for stopping by through a tumultuous but victorious election season. For the time being, I am going to focus on my non-virtual existence--teaching, writing, living a life.

Frank Rich has penned a masterful summation of the Obama election that I'd rather tip my hat to than try to rival ("It Still Felt Good the Morning After," November 9, 2008). And should anyone care to see a good movie, I recommend The Visitor. This modern Bildungsroman takes place within a very Bushy post-9-11 New York City, a once-vibrant community now splintered by paranoid security overreaches and strangled with xenophobic immigration nets, and we can only hope that the film will begin to appear dated in some respects by early next year. The human element of the film, buoyed by superb acting, will surely not fade, but it's hard to watch this film and not feel bitter about the cruel turn given to American society under Bush and Cheney.

Wednesday, November 5

The grand democratic hand

Tonight's victory of Barack Obama and Joe Biden signals a defeat for many very bad things. I have no political enthusiasts around me; so, to celebrate, I am going list a few of the horrible people and things that have been smacked upside the head tonight by the grand democratic hand of American voters.
The Republican Party, Karl Rove, Rupert Murdoch, John McCain, George Bush Jr., Sarah Palin, Dick Cheney, racism, hate, ignorance, corporate fundamentalism, election theft, dirty politics, the Religious Right, and that woman with a big mouth in the video posted below.
These pestiferous people and things will surely not go away any time soon, but it is very comforting to know that, tonight, they have been solidly rejected by a majority of Americans. Do you know how long I have waited for this day? It feels like a lifetime. And it is exactly what I have been asking for ever since I started blogging.

Tuesday, November 4

Palin is beyond help

If the thought of Sarah Palin wielding executive power has not yet stunned you, you should listen to her take a completely wacko prank call completely seriously for nearly 6 minutes. After provoking her repeatedly with nonsense claims and irreverent comments, the prankster has to come out and tell her "you have been pranked" before she realizes what she has been rolling in giddily. This comes after the prankster, for instance, refers to Johnny Holliday as his "special American advisor" (in fact, he's a miserable French pop star) and praises "Nailin' Palin," a porno flick that derides Palin which the prankster calls "a documentary they made on your life." Palin, ever the shrewd one, thanks him joyfully for complimenting her on the "documentary." Throughout the entire conversation, Palin keeps pushing out the memorized "good energy" phrases, flatters "Nicolas" (who sounds nothing like Sarkozy), and generally acts like she's about 9 years old and in the midst of her first sleep-over with friends.

Executive material, you think?

It is no wonder that many prominent conservative commentators have abandoned the Republican ticket for the first time in modern history.

Saturday, November 1

A plea for Barack Obama

I do not have the time before November 4th to present a fully reasoned endorsement for Barack Obama. This is partly because I have many other responsibilities before me and partly because the reasons for the choice are too numerous to be explained in a few words. However, it seems to me that the vicious tenor of the McCain-Palin campaign -- both its strategy to bury its main opponent with tireless mud-slinging (an example?) and the concomitant rage and ignorance that flared up among McCain-Palin supporters -- is a very pregnant sign about not only what sort of leadership those two would provide, but also of what sort of country the United States would become with them in power. In short, McCain-Palin promise more years of divisiveness, hate, aggression, government-fed falsifications and bald-faced denials of substantiated wrongdoing, increased social stratification and increased wealth distribution to those few at the top who least need it.

There are those toward whom I would be silent if they gave their votes to McCain and Palin: for instance, the super wealthy, who clearly have it in their interests to see Bush's tax cuts for the super wealthy become "permanent" in accordance with McCain's will. Or, again, those for whom anti-abortion rights legislation is the only issue that matters. I do not fathom that such people will ever be persuaded to see the world differently; they shall forever be led by the rigors of their single ideological pursuit: making all abortions illegal. However, there is apparently a stunningly large number of people who are ready to vote, or who have already voted for, McCain-Palin simply out of a spirit of partisanship or on the basis of an erroneous and misguided sense of what that ticket may offer them. For these masses -- many of them fans of Fox News, the Drudge Report, or Rush Limbaugh -- I think the best response might be something like the full-page advertisements taken out over the past few years by the religious right in an attempt to persuade homosexuals to "convert" to heterosexuality. That advertisement campaign was offensive for its erroneous assumption about the nature of homosexuality; but the strategy might well fit if applied to those who apparently cannot learn from the eight-year example of failure upon failure that the Republicans have put on display for them in virtually every domain of government. After all, no one is born Republican. And certainly no one without special issues is born incorrigibly stupid.

Of course, time is tight, and the resources for such an advertisement campaign are lacking. Nonetheless, should any Republican supporter read these words and feel moved, by courage or other human sentiment, to testify that they are determined not to be duped any longer, and not to be brought once again to vote against their own economic and political interests on the basis of bogus fears, kindly leave a few comments below.

Is it just me, or are 95 percent of the reasons given for opposing or fearing Obama truly just cooked up somewhere?

I close this post with lines sent to me from a friend who works in Cleveland, Ohio. A sign of the times, for sure:
I volunteered one afternoon for the Obama campaign to knock on doors to encourage voters to vote early. One registered voter told me he wouldn't vote for Obama because he said Obama was a Muslim and would use weapons of mass destruction against America. I started chuckling because I thought he was joking and tried to continue my conversation with him. When he continued to stare at me without saying anything, I realized he was serious. These people are out there.

I've always hated college football coaches who run up the score against weak opponents. That being said, I have a lust for running up the score in this election.