Friday, November 14, 2008

Surviving the Current Economic Unpleasantness

The best advice on what to do with the economy collapsing around us comes to Everybody courtesy of Wonkette commentator Serolf Divad: 

"If I lived in Australia I’d be welding massive gas tanks onto the back of my black 1973 XB GT Ford Falcon Coupe right now. I’d get a dog and learn to enjoy eating dog food out of the can. I’d dress in black leather and carry a sawed off shotgun and lots of shells."

So, there you have it.

In a totally unrelated note, the best line Everybody heard following the recent Electoral Good News comes to us from the hallways of one of the local high schools where one of the youngsters was overheard wailing on the morning after the vote, "I don't even want to live in a country where Barack Obama is president!  Do you know what his middle name is?  It's Al Queda!"

So, there you have it again. 

My teenage daughter is a Democrat, big time.  Just like her parents.  Her classmate, the girl who apparently thinks Hopey is a terrorist, is a Republican, big time.  Just like her parents.  The affirmative case for the efficacy of political indoctrination is therefore made, no? 

How then to explain that I was raised by a Republican?  In fact, during a recent visit I teased my mom about how she had voted for Nixon.  Twice.  (Upon further reflection I realized that I had misstated the case.  She probably voted for Tricky Dick 5 times: in 1952,'56,'60,'68 and '72!)

But having spent her 14 years as an inmate, I mean student in my political re-education camp, our daughter was really quite concerned, worried sick is more like it, about the impact a win by the other side would have on the future of our nation and on the future of our household.  Having previously mentioned indoctrination as I did, you can see why I would blame myself for her feeling the way she felt, but what could I do?  With the exception of the lies all fathers tell their children, (i.e., "There is too a Santa Claus"; "There is too an Easter Bunny"; and, of course, "You do too have a really, really great dad!") I am unerringly truthful with my child.  My defense for scaring my kid is therefore the virtual impossibility of overstating to her or anyone else the dire consequences of a victory by a ticket which presents on it the name "Sarah Palin".

Laura, like the rest of us, feels much better now.

Meanwhile, I see the middle-aged men gather after church or before choir practice and I overhear snippets of their conversations.  They are auto guys, middle management, mostly.  They work for Ford or GM or a company whose business and existence depend on Ford or GM.  "What have you heard?"  "Are you taking the buyout?", etc.  They are worried.  They are scared for their economic lives.  I wonder how the Republicans among them, a majority I am sure, have taken the news that Senate Republicans are poised to filibuster the $25 billion in loan guarantees for the Big Three.

Finally, an excellent thesis on how the mind of Sarah Palin works in the wake of her presser this week at the Republican Governors Association meeting from the superb Matt Taibbi of the Rolling Stone magazineEnjoy! 






Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yes We Did.

It's Election Night:

A few minutes after Barack Obama became the president-elect, I called my black friend and said, "A Brother in the White House.  What's that all about?"  We had a great laugh but I think maybe he'd been crying a little bit.  What's that all about?  I haven't been able to wipe this smile off my face since California went to Obama and put him over the top at a second after eleven and that was about an hour-and-a-half ago. 

It was the cracking-voiced reaction of the blacks I saw on TV tonight, Eugene Robinson on MSNBC and Juan Williams on FOX that affected me most.  (And wasn't best part of the night watching those Fox News Channel creeps with the looks on their faces that said, "We are SO screwed"?) 

I'd never realized how much the election of Obama would mean to black people.  How could I?  I'm a white dude.  I just wanted to get a good man in there.  Which we did.  But, to be honest, I hadn't really thought about how blacks would take it before tonight.  it touched me to see how much it meant to them.   

I looked at that crowd of several hundred thousand gathered in Grant Park and I told my wife Jeannie, "I just hope this means we can all get along better now, you know?"  It's what I want more than anything from this new day.

The thing I will remember most about the presidential campaign of 2008 was the Labor Day trip my family made to downtown Detroit for an Obama rally.  I was born in Detroit and I've lived here pretty much my whole life and I've never seen the place so happy.  I've seen it on fire, literally, but I've never seen it happy.  We were walking back to the car and passed a parked school bus filled with kids from Southfield Lathrup High School.  Black kids.  A whole bus full of them.  One of the kids stuck his head out the window and asked, "You for McCain?"  "Oh, hell no," I said.  "Obama!  Obama! Obama!"

The bus went completely nuts.  It was rocking as the kids cheered along with me.  What a great time we were having together.  I'll never forget it.  I'll never forget this night.

I watched McCain giving his little concession speech in front of his little crowd of rich people with their cocktails glasses clinking at a resort for rich people in Scottsdale and then I saw We the People gathered in a city park in Chicago waiting to hear the winner speak.  It was the perfect metaphor for what this whole campaign was about.  Not to mention the perfect ending to it.

Yes we can?  Yes, we did!