Wednesday, December 2, 2009
I lost a good friend to politics. I almost died from politics. Politics suck. And I love it.
The title is a paraphrase of the distinguished line from ex-Sex Pistol Steve Jones in a commercial for the ironic 1980's campaign "Rock Against Drugs" (as the late Sam Kinison once said, "Isn't that sort of like 'Christians Against Christ?'). There is no better way to sum up my feelings about the game of politics, the dichomatic game that despite it's vast entertainment value unfortunately causes the most massive casualties among those who don't play.
The minutiae of the political game is more compelling than the oeuvre of "24." Granted I don't watch "24", but I hear it's pretty good. Politics is funnier than every episode of "Top Gear" and "Monty Python", of which I have seen most. Okay, maybe not Python, but it's pretty close. It is even makes for better viewing than the 1989 Ric Flair/Ricky Steamboat match at WrestleWar in Nashville (where Flair regained the gold!). But politics also infuriates as much as a Flair/Steamboat 2009 rematch, brought to you by Depends and Cialis, would.
After I discovered Rush Limbaugh in the Fall of 1990, I became a committed conservative and actively sought to help Republicans beat the snot out of Democrats. Some friends and I were in the extreme minority when wore mournful black armbands on the campus of Jacksonville State University (Jacksonville, Alabama in case you are wondering) the day after Bill Clinton beat H.W. Bush in '92. Then sometime between '92 and 2000, it occurred to me that most Republicans weren't actually conservatives, and on some issues neither was I.
There was no single 'Road To Damascus' conversion moment. Perhaps it was the lame excuses made by Republican Members of Congress (henceforth known only as Members) for spending my tax money on things that would be named after them, manicures, research on rabbit dung, or whatever else tickled their fancy. Their favorite reason seemed to be "if we don't give out pork, these 'worthwhile projects' will never get money via the federal bureaucracy." Translation, "recipients of pork money are the hookers and we, the Members, are the pimp daddies, and it feels goooooooood." Prostitution minus the farking* (or in some cases with the farking.) In their rare moment of honesty, many Democrat Members were at least up front in saying they wanted to bring home the bacon for their constituents. Deficit? What deficit?
Perhaps it was hearing for the 8,745th time that our public schools would be fantastic if only Jesus (or Juh-EEE-sus depending on where you live) were allowed in the schoolhouse door. To paraphrase my friend, diehard conservative and devout Catholic Michael Graham, do you really want a government employee telling your kids how to pray? It could have been the country's ridiculous war on drugs where the purveyors of the illegal stuff are always three steps ahead of those trying to stop them while, simultaneously, some believe that my enjoyment of a perfectly legal cigar puts me in the same class as the Roman soldiers who led Juh-EEE-sus up Golgotha.
When my right-wing passions cooled, however, that did not mean I became a liberal. Anyone who is willing to trust the government to take care of them in any way, especially their health care, might be in need of a lobotomy. (You better hurry up and get that Starbucks brain stir stick quick, as there might be a Webster's Dictionary-sized waiting list this time next year.) I tried to relax and watch both sides drone on and on about how much the other party was making the Founding Fathers drink even harder in their afterlife than they did on earth (yes, they consumed. A lot.). But now, though I want to continue to enjoy the Washington cock and hen fights, it is getting ever more difficult to do so.
Every time I log on to Facebook, someone's ridiculous status is yet another uncreative effort to tell me how much President Obama sucks. This is usually followed up by the worn out comments that Obama is a socialist, that he is really a Muslim, that he was actually born on the planet Felspoon where the mountains sway in the breeze (hat tip: Doctor Who), that he raises his pinky when he drinks his tea, or worst of all, is a secret Tennessee Vols fan. If you disagree with this line of inanity, The Pope immediately reserves a place in Hell for you.
Then there is the other side, the Olbermanns we will call them, named after the man who is simultaneously one of the most gifted writers and one of the worst TV hosts in the country. You think Obama sucks? It is the fault of George W. Bush. Don't like the health care plan? Bush's fault. Have painful gas because you ate too much chili last night? Hang that one on W as well. In the world of the Olbermanns, everything wrong with the world can be six-degreed back to the previous president, and judging by most of his speeches so far, Obama is a dedicated Olbermann. One more diatribe about the "mess" he "inherited", as if he accidently became president through no fault of his own, will cause a major upchuck of my morning PB&J. And then I will blame Bush.
So, sadly, politics is usually a taboo subject, lest I lose the ability to converse with most of the people I know. It is sometimes difficult watching from the sidelines as the Dems, who are concurrently terrified of ticking off Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and people making decisions for themselves, take on the GOP, who are concurrently terrified of ticking off Glenn Beck or the producers of "Meet The Press" and people making decisions for themselves. But living a life of talking and writing about baseball, old movies, beer, college football, beer, cigars, and beer is a pretty good one. "But you aren't making a difference in the world" the lefty and righty nut jobs would say. Sure I am. I hope to help cure the aneurysms you nut jobs cause. But if I don't, you could always see if a politician will get you a "grant", then you should blame Bush, then see a doctor. Well, hurry and see a doctor while you still can.
*God Bless Drew Curtis, founder of FARK, the greatest web site.....in THE WORLD!