Wednesday, January 20, 2010

You Will Jog For The Master Race

...And Justice For All was one of the first compact discs we owned. My sister's boyfriend at the time was a California transplant. Besides handing me down his "old" snowboard--which was possibly the east coast's first snowboard, not including "Snurfer"--he gifted my sister a bunch of little foreign discs that we had no way of playing. Slick Rick, the Pump Up the Volume Soundtrack, NWA...and Metallica's last underground hurrah, before Bob Rock told Lars to completely overdo those cymbal crashes and James to go ahead and let his "feelings" out, no gun-to-head necessary when you've got the lure of a pop star bank account.

For some reason, an odd thought I had at the time, two decades ago, stuck with me. "This song," I decided, referring to "Shortest Straw," "would be perfect to jog to." Now called "running," jogging was something I'd never do willingly at the time, only when a stubborn old gym teacher or baseball coach would force me to as he stood motionless with clipboard. But still, I knew that song would be perfect for methodically stomping pavement.

For Christmas, which we atheists like to call "More Stuff? Day," I got Kim a treadmill. I dabble in running these days, and while I don't mind doing it outside, Kim prefers a more controlled workout. So after surprising myself by successfully surprising her (have you ever tried to hide a treadmill?) on MS?D morning, I got that thing--and Kim and me--up and running. Twenty years after making my claim, I threw on Metallica's ...And Justice For All, set it to "Shortest Straw," and hit the artificial road.

And I was right.

After wearing out that cd--in these final days of cds, and yes, it's the same copy all these years later--I decided I needed new running music. I figured the Dead Kennedys a good choice, and I was right again. That album with their two biggest, well, their only two songs that your average Josephine would have any chance of knowing, "Holiday In Cambodia" and "California Uber Alles."

So for the last few runs, I've been listening to the great Jello Biafra singing about the horrors of what life would be like under a certain president named Brown.

Senator Brown isn't going to turn you into a drawstring lamp. He won't even send the suede-denim secret police to come for your uncool niece. In fact, today's election wasn't even about Brown or Coakley. But with the Republican taking the seat, this country is headed back in the wrong direction, and I think it's all about race. How do you get a bunch of racist yahoos to vote? You don't tell 'em a black guy's running, you tell 'em a black guy's already in.

Am I oversimplifying? Maybe, but you can't tell me it's not a factor. People can yell and scream about how much they'd prefer to have giant corporations in charge of their health care or how much they want the government to stop taking the money they don't have and the guns they do, but you don't have to read their signs too carefully to realize they mainly want "the opposite of what the black guy wants."

So what do we have here? First, a dead Kennedy. Then, a short straw. And in the end, hopefully justice for all. See what I did there?

Also, I'm not claiming Republicans didn't already have the views they have now long before Obama was Prez. I think my point there was that Obama could say anything and they'd have big protests if only to show that they're not like him. Because he's black. Whereas as we lefties would've loved it if W did anything right.

I'm sure I'll think of all this other stuff I meant to say while I'm sleeping, but I have to go to bed, so we'll talk about this tomorrow. Or I'll just bring up some random stuff about Rich Gedman or something.
What's so ironic is that Kennedy spent his entire life trying to reform healthcare, he reformed healthcare in Massachusetts, and the healthcare bill was modeled mostly for what Kennedy did in his home state. Now a republican got elected to take Kennedy's seat, and he's going to kill the healthcare bill that Obama worked so hard for.

I have to agree with you about race part, too. The racist undertones are there, Brown saying Obama was born out of wedlock is more direct because he can plant the seed of Obama being just like the black men they read about in the news.

It's all so fucked up.
I agree with you that race and Obama resentment may have been a factor, but only one of many. I think the biggest problem is that Coakley was a terrible campaigner who took the election for granted and did nothing to energize her Democratic base (you can also blame the State Democratic Party for that). And the "Schilling is a Yankee fan" gaffe was just phenomenally stupid; yeah, stuff like that shouldn't matter at all, but sadly it does, and she really blew that one.

A couple other things that I think happened:
1. Some sexism against Coakley; Mass doesn't have a great track record of electing female politicians.
2. The Dems really lost the PR battle big-time on healthcare. Given the woeful state of healthcare insurance in this country, meaningful reform should be a layup, but the Dems once again allowed the GOP to distort and demonize the plan (the bill itself is mediocre and doesn't go nearly far enough, but it's better than nothing). So, just like with Reagan and Dubya, a bunch of middle class workers have been conned into voting against their best economic interests.

The only good news is that Brown is a complete empty suit who'll get voted out in a couple of years.
That's exactly what it is, a con. People are brainwashed into thinking that their money is being taken from them, when in reality, they have no money because THEY keep voting to allow super-rich people to keep most of theirs, apparently because they're waiting on that one in a billion chance they "hit the lottery."

Or the equally slim chance that they can actually save any money (as things are now) by working a day job and trying to feed five kids at the same time. This is what I meant by "yahoos."

Oh and if the Schilling comment really affected it, that means D&C's manipulation tactics worked too, and that's really sad.
Hard to defend Coakley after the Schilling comment. Also, her comment about not wanting to stand outside and shake hands with voters was even more moronic.

It was her election to lose and she did just that, lose the election.
I held my nose and voted for her, but I've been thinking all day about what 1986 Red Sox Martha Coakley is most like. Bob Stanley? Calvin Schiraldi? Bill Buckner?

I'm going with Bob Stanley just because I get the feeling he'd say obnoxious stuff about not wanting to shake hands outside of Fenway Park.
... this country is headed back in the wrong direction

Back in the wrong direction? That's assuming it ever got going in the right direction. Which is a highly dubious assumption, at best.
I was gonna add something to that effect, but then I thought, At the very least people went against McCain--and actually voted a black man into office. It was certainly the right direction out of the two possible directions. Unfortunately the Dems have done a horrible job with their power.
Yeah, you're right, though I know you know I think there is really only one direction and it's more the speed (and obviousness of the journey) in which the US gets there.

The Man With The Dogs

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