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Super Strung Out Theory of our U.S. “2” Party System

July 23, 2019

 

Sometime back in the 1970s, the Democratic party made the decision that to win seats they had to stop being the party of the working class (working class=middle class, don’t let the establishment deceive you) and start courting big business.

Now of course this meant moving to the Right which in turn forced the Republican party to pivot further Right (this is just basic physics).

The greatest and most successful right-wing push in the Dem party was by our favorite serial rapist Bill Clinton.  Clinton passed NAFTA which was, at the time, the biggest anti-labor pro-giant corporate interest bill ever. NAFTA is the primary reason why Detroit looks like a Sci-Fi Dystopia today. In fact, NAFTA was written by Republicans but just needed that Bubba finesse to get it passed.

Even the Clinton/Gore campaign ad ran on Right wing polices- war on drugs, pro death penalty, etc. All polices that inordinately target lower income POC.

Fun fact-Clinton and Gingrich were about 24 hrs. away from doing away with Social Security until the Monica Lewinsky scandal killed it (another reason why Monica is the real American hero).

So again, with the Democratic party moving further right, the Republican party kept inching more and more far Right (I mean, it’s simple branding. You must distinguish yourself from the competition).

What happens when you go as far Right as you can? That’s correct, you enter BatShit country. You become the party of oligarchs and the 1%, which is cool when you need donors and campaign funding but doesn’t work out when you’re looking for votes in a (sort of) democratic Republic.

1% < 99%. It’s basic maths.

Now to find new voters, the GOP had to start looking for fringe subcultures to court since selling yourself as the party of the super wealthy isn’t going to inspire any regular folks to vote for you.

The 1st was the evangelical voter. Up until the late 60s/early 70s, the Republican party was pro-choice. It makes sense since freedom from the tyranny of the State is what Conservatism is all about at its philosophic core.  And what is more tyrannical than the State telling a woman what she can and cannot do with her body?

But to court this new voter they had to pivot to an anti-abortion stance.

After evangelicals, the next fringe group were gun nuts. And I don’t mean people that just enjoy hunting and shooting at pumpkins in their backyards  but those gals and dudes whose first sexual experience was rubbing one out to Soldier of Fortune magazine. The ones who equate guns with some mystical American experience. Basically, the gun nerds.

Fast forward to the present and the new fringe groups now are Neo-Nazis and White supremacists.

So, what I’m saying is, it’s all connected.

And oh yeah, there is no real Left in this country

 

 

 

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ABCs of Elections in USA: a children’s story

July 4, 2019

 

Voting season is here and I am a rando voter. Out of all the candidates running, after some research, I decide that candidate X is my choice. So, I go to her website and contribute the default $27 and go on with my life.

Now candidate X realizes that if she is going to be able to compete with the other candidates in the marketplace, that’s going to be very expensive since elections in the US are privately funded (there is some public funding but it is so small it might as well not exist), so she has to go hat in hand to the people with money. That’s just the way it works in a US capitalist system.

Luckily, a company, Widgets Inc, has taken an interest in her and decides to contribute $1 million to her candidacy.

Fast forward a few months when thanks in large part to contributions from companies like Widgets Inc, our girl is now the presidential nominee of her party. Come election day, the people vote and choose her over the guy from the opposition party.

Now that candidate X is in office ready to make policy, Widgets Inc is going to ask her for their ROI. Companies don’t just throw away $1 million for no reason. It’s bad business. They’ve invested in this candidate and expect some return.

On the other hand, one could say I’ve also invested my $27 and vote in candidate X , but compared to Widgets Inc’s investment, who is candidate X going to listen to when making policy?

It can be safe to say that Widgets Inc’s interests are not the same as my interests. In fact, many of Widget’s Inc’s interests run COUNTER to my interests. That’s not because the people who run Widgets Inc are bad people or greedy, they just have to compete in the market place against other companies and cut as many costs as possible to make as large a profit as possible.

As a worker, I am a drain on profits. Widgets will always try to figure out how to pay me as little as possible while getting as much work out of me as possible and I will always try to get as much money out of Widgets as possible while keeping as much free time to myself as I can. No one is at fault here or a bad person, that’s just how capitalism works.

Also being a person of her word and wanting to continue working in politics, candidate X will do what she can to make the Widgets Inc of this country as happy as possible. That is how capitalism and elections work.

In the end my voice will never be as loud as Widgets Inc.

In fact, in the end I will probably have no influence at all on policy that will affect my life.

Goodnight moon.

The End

 

Alternate Ending- and this is how you get wages that have been stagnant for 30 years though the economy is “booming”, this is how you get NAFTA and TPP, this is how you get the Iraq war pts. 1 and 2, this is how you get increasing income inequality, this is how you get a decimated climate and dying planet….

Good night neoliberal moon

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DFW at 55, Infinite Jest, and some stuff about empathy

February 22, 2017

David Foster Wallace would’ve been 55 today and you all should read Infinite Jest.
It’s the gateway drug to postmodernism and postmodernism is pretty much life as we know it today- meta everything, hyper self-aware and the failure of language wrapped in some IP packets.
but that’s all academic crap you can figure out in your local community college in about 60 min.
the main genius of Dave was he could take that dry stuff and make it real by applying it to life.
Dave’s main theme was empathy and it’s seeming impossibility for us to achieve since we are all prisoners of our own egos and conveying our thoughts/feelings thru language is at best like knowing what is inside a room by only looking thru the keyhole (actual metaphor in DFW short story Good Old Neon. you should read that as well).
but despite all that you still had to try to make that connection. and fiction/art at it’s best can get you there.
cos as Dave said, “Fiction’s about what it is to be a fucking human being.”
one of the reasons, if not the main reason, we are in this shit state we are in today is because of a failure at even attempting empathy.
so lose yourself so you can find yourself in someone other than yourself.
and read a book. a big fat long one with end-notes you have to keep turning to that make you aware you’re a human sitting there reading a book alone.
that will help too.
DFW 2/21/62- 9/12/08
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The next time I vote.

November 12, 2016

 

 

The next person I vote for president will be a woman.

The next person I vote for president will be African American.

She will also be Muslim.

And gay.

The next person I vote for president will be HIV positive.

She will struggle to make insurance payments on her meds.

The next person I vote for president was raped when she was 16 and had an abortion.

She was called a slut all through high school.

The next person I vote for president was always stopped at airports.

Her classmates called her “terrorist” and her hijab felt like a cross-hair.

The next person I vote for president once spent 2 days in a crappy hospital after drinking tap water with iron in it.

The parents of next person I vote for president were told their daughter was going to go to hell by their church members in the small southern town she was raised.

The best friend of the next person I vote for president once had a cross burned on her lawn.

The next person I vote for president sometimes feels like she’s being undressed when riding the bus home  from her minimum wage job and her skin feels like its burning and her body feels like its someone else.

Then next time I vote it will be for someone like me and you.

The next time I vote it will be for America.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Haters Gonna Hate

September 24, 2015

there’s something truly poignant about a middle aged guy using the perfect pop of the world’s highest selling record to work through his heartache.
or I’m just old.
but what I’m certain of is in the 21st century terms like indie and pop or authentic and artifice mean absolutely nothing and sales or lack thereof are no indicator of artistic merit.
we as music fans should celebrate.
and Taylor Swift will get the recognition she deserves as a song writer and Ryan Adams will get some mainstream notice from people who mistake him for Bryan Adams.
Oh yeah, and this cover of Out of the Woods is good enough to be on Heartbreaker.

plus changing “you’ve got that James Dean day dream look in your eye” to “you’ve got that Daydream Nation look in your eye”  in Style is pretty slick and one of the many small pleasure of this album.

for reals.

and I’m just probably old.

I Want to Believe

August 3, 2015

I want to believe Dean didn’t abandon Sal to a Mexican sick bed;
I want to believe I can still feel the green ecstasy of a leaf;
I want to know people aren’t bad or good;
They are just waiting to be understood.

Roger Wilco

July 20, 2015

if each time you came out with a new record people expected a masterpiece, what would you do?
well, you’d drop your next record for free with no fanfare, put a silly cat pic on the cover and give it a ridiculous title tossing it out like so much digital ephemera in our brand new disposable age.
are you lowering expectations or just allowing listeners to hear your music without prejudice?
or are you an album oriented band that is working out how to present your work to an audience that now consumes music in a very fractured way; sampling one tune here on youtube, another torrented down, a couple here on Spotify, etc. And never really listening to an album all the way through?
maybe what you ended up creating, something that sounds tossed off and lacking any unifying theme, is really the fragmented masterpiece (whatever that word means anymore) for our ADHD times?