While feeding my wood stove I discovered something about the recent elections. I ignored virtually all media horseshit during the run up to the 2014 mid term elections. I discovered physical proof I’d made the correct choice. Let’s begin with a summary of pre-election “coverage”:
The dead tree press is dead. They finally self-immolated with Obama’s 2008 run. Tired hacks like the New York Times had been cavorting on the edge of biased irrelevancy for years anyway. Turn out the lights on the way out losers! They still exist but even dogs won’t even shit on the pages. Aside from blindered sycophants inside the Beltway, nobody has taken a newspaper seriously for years.
As for the internet, kool aid drinkers on the evil party side went on a binge of pre-emptive self affirmation while the other side cringed. Would their stupid party once again form a circular shooting squad. How many times can they snatch defeat from the hands of victory? Would they implode in a frenzy of nation building in desert shitholes, foam at the mouth over gay marriage, do something even dumber than that? Would RHINOs manage to smother the TEA Party, the only spark of life the dinosaurs had seen in decades. Lets never forget that the Republicans fondly remember Reagan as a hero despite the fact they desperately tried to cut him off at the knees before he got to the presidency. I skipped it. Just because there’s a train wreck doesn’t mean I have to look.
As for TV, if I want to spend my time in an unresponsive stupor I’ll get drunk while ice fishing. I never saw a single one. The only thing I noticed on the idiot box was that two year old episodes of Walking Dead on Netflix bore a striking resemblance to the new episodes of Trailer Park Boys. (Although the Walking Dead protagonists showed less initiative than the Canadian pot zombies of Trailer Park Boys.)
Radio? Are you kidding? First of all there’s hardly any reception where I live. Except, of course, NPR (America’s Pravda), which secrets itself over the airwaves like the spore of a particularly clueless mycelium. NPR pushes Robert Reich’s unicorn economics so forcefully that I’m afraid it could interact with Terry Gross interviews to create a standing wave of wishful thinking. I might have to deliberately drive my truck into a ditch to escape it.
I’ve taken to listening to MP3 lectures about Medieval history. No, I’m not making that up. (How bad does NPR have to suck before a lecture about Eleanor of Aquitaine’s application of consanguinity rules in 1152 France is riveting by comparison?)
Direct calls? Please! Those ignorant jackoffs called at a rate of four or five a day but who cares? What kind of hamster is going to be fooled by a push poll? It became a game to me. Did you know you can easily make a perfect stranger cry in a matter of seconds? I do. I can. I did. When someone calls with a political agenda you instantly know precisely what pushes their buttons. A couple malicious barbs aimed precisely at what they hold most dear and a few of them got weepy. If that didn’t work I’d just swear like a sailor for thirty seconds and hang up. I’m sure swearing didn’t make anyone cry but maybe it did some good. Because I care about my fellow man, it’s my duty to motivate folks to find a more honorable career… like muling crack. I implore you all to join me inflicting countervailing psychic damage on any nimrod who’s trying to read at you. Bullet points from a screen? Oh it’s on bitch!
You know why youths are dropping out of political activity? Because some of them push polled me.
Direct mailing? Not even a chance in hell that would matter. I received something like four dozen in a three week period. They kept coming and eventually I lost count. They look expensive. Flashy print. Nice cardstock. Real high quality output. Of course I never read a single one. Who would?
Well the election passed. I voted. Little will change.
The stupid party celebrated its miraculous victory over a group that screwed up in an almost awe inspiring example of “getting what you asked for, good and hard”. Talk about setting the bar low. They won against people who’ve been giving America a chainsaw enema for a decade. Whoopidy do. Also, stay tuned for the stupid party’s inevitable overreach and collapse.
Meanwhile the evil party whimpers about “reaching across the aisle”. No! When folks “reach across the aisle” I’d prefer they do it with a sledge hammer. A well run bicameral system encourages good ideas to win in open debate. So have at it. Stand up proud and state your case and whale on the opposition. Let them get in a couple shots to see if you can take it. Man up and hone policy. Discus it, debate it, hash out the details, hell for all I care turn to duels and jousting. But whatever either side does they should be in competition to be the best. Lose that and all you’ve got is a city full of bootlicking power groupies. (An example: party line votes on Christmas Eve. Really? Who wants to put that on their resume? “I got what I wanted by fucking the system. Yay me.” If you’re the kind of gutless swamp beast that wins by jacking around in the shadows then your idea sucks and you know it.)
Also, gridlock, which is mentioned in tones akin to a cancer diagnosis, is just fine! Gridlock means both sides are so completely pathetic that the best that can be done is to keep them from hurting themselves and the nation.
Today I was starting a fire in the wood stove. Lo and behold I’ve stuffed a couple dozen of those insipid mass mailers in my kindling box. How handy! Back when there was such a thing as “journalism” I had old newspapers to light with a match. Since no living human has bought a printed newspaper for years, political mass mailers take their place. Progress?
I crunched one up and tossed it in. Then another. Wait? Were they identical? Why yes they were. One addressed to me. One addressed to Mrs. Curmudgeon. Two identical glossy mailings sent to the same address. Apparently by someone couldn’t properly manage an address database? Really?
I crunched up another. By gosh it was yet another identical mailing. This time the same thing but sent on a different date. Sure enough I found its twin in the pile; dutifully addressed to Mrs. Curmudgeon.
Four identical mailers sent to the same mailbox. None read.
Curiosity won me over. I read one. How else to discover what had been worthy of this expense?
The talking points started with “Eliminate Wasteful Duplication”. Let that sink in. Roll it around in your mind. Ponder it. Let it seep into the pores of your being.
Someone spent their precious campaign funds to wastefully send my household four unread identical duplicates where they explained their intention to eliminate wasteful duplication. In a way, I’m impressed. It’s like demonstrating you love animals by tearing the head off a kitten. I had a good laugh and then set their shit on fire, because that’s all it’s really good for.
Later, as I was sitting by the fire, warmed by burned campaign flyers, aspen logs, and oak bridge mats… something else occurred to me. I never bothered to read the idiot’s name. It’s gone now. Burned to ash. I’ll never even know if this asshat won or lost.
This has become a new yardstick by which I shall henceforth measure “irrelevancy”.