Wednesday, October 08, 2003

This is Gonna Suck
Last night, while watching the Cubs and Marlins trying to rain on each others’ parades, I got a flustered message from one Shan-bear; she was talking about giving up, moving to Mexico, was completely incredulous that "we" have turned over control of our economy, educational system, law enforcement, and most other public institutions we hold dear to a man whose most memorable quality is the ability to appear as if he’s crushing things, kicking people in the groin, and delivering facile one-liners while other things are appearing to explode around him. She called me back a few minutes later. "Considah dat a divoahce," I answered.

She asked whether I’d be joining her in fleeing the country ("I just can’t accept that my governor is going to be Schwarzenegger and my president is Bush"), but I asked her who would stay and fight the good fight if we left. "How can people be so stupid?" was the gist of her point of view—I countered that I didn’t view this election as being so much about Ah-nold vs. Gray, but more Republican vs. Democrat, and that traditionally Republicans prefer their leaders to be charismatic figureheads (such as Reagan and our current Action Figure in chief) who surround themselves with knowledgeable advisors who the voters trust will agree with them—so this was no exception. And I didn’t believe that the Ah-nold camp was necessarily stupid, they just had a vastly different world-view than Shan-bear or I (believing that the Bible is true, that poor people are poor because they’re lazy, that immigrants are stealing our jobs, that taxes are evil, etc.). In fact, the people who organized the recall were obviously intelligent, resourceful, and much more organized than the Democrats’ feeble efforts at resistance. Not to mention that a "throw the bums out" mentality will almost always work when people are fearing for their jobs.

"So you’re gonna insist on being the voice of reason, is that it?" she asked. I told her I wasn’t happy about it, but I wasn’t at all surprised, either, and that I’d rather focus my attention on something where the outcome holds at least a little suspense, like the Cubs/Marlins game. "Well, call me if you think of something that’ll cheer me up," she sighed.

"You mean that doesn’t start with a 'Jack' and end with a 'Daniels'?" I asked.

Later, as I was watching a few of the man-on-the-street interviews at the polls, I almost called Shan-bear to correct myself—"Yeah, I voted for Arnold 'cause he’s really gonna shake things up," said one guy; "Our state’s a mess, and we need somebody to get in there and clean house," said another; and I remembered C-Baby telling me about the suburban mom in the Chronicle who wasn't worried about the groping charges because she thought Arnold was "pretty neat"—these people were stupid. I couldn’t believe I had wasted my breath defending them as concerned yet misguided everymen (and everywomen). They really were a bunch of freakin’ idiots. You win, Shan-bear; I’ll see you at the airport.

As a side note, I did think Arnold’s victory speech to his supporters was a little strange—I’ve included a transcript here so you can judge for yourselves:

Howdy, Strangers; this is Arnold. If things have gone wrong, I'm talking to myself—and you've got a wet towel wrapped around your head. Now whatever your name is, get ready for the big surprise—You're not you. You're me. All my life I worked for Mars Intelligence. I did Cohaagen's dirty work. Then a few weeks ago, I met somebody—a woman. And I learned a few things; like I've been playing for the wrong team. [Sighs.] All I can do now is try to make up for it.

[Taps on his forehead.] There's enough shit in here to fuck Cohaagen good. Unfortunately, if you're listening to this, that means he got to me first. And here comes the hard part, old buddy: now it's all up to you. Sorry to drag you into it, but you're the only one I can trust. First, let's get rid of that bug in your head. [Holds up plastic bag.] Take this thing out of the case and stick it up your nose. Don't worry; it's self guiding. Just shove real hard... When you hear the crunch, you're there. Just pull it out. And be careful. It's my head, too.

Now this is the plan. Get your ass to Mars. Then go the Hilton and flash the Brubaker I.D. at the desk. That's all there is to it. Just do what I tell you, and we can nail that sonovabitch who fucked you and me and millions of other poor bastards here on Mars… I mean California. I'm counting on you, buddy. Don't let me down. [Crowd erupts into thunderous applause.]