Comments: JOHN VENABLE: The Beatles never gave us Summer in Paradise, Still Cruisin' or Keepin' the Summer Alive. Has anyone ever synced Still Cruisin' up to Cruising, a la Dark Side of the Moon and The Wizard of Oz? I bet it would improve both immeasurably.
SAB GREY: The Beatles are utterly over rated however no one is more over rated than that complete pile of trite crap than the flipping beach boys...
NOLEN STRALS: The Beach Boys. Kokomo might be one of the worst songs of all time, but The Beatles are the most obnoxious, stupidly-lyric'ed, pretentious little twerps ever.
Also, the Beach Boys are more fun to listen to. Even The Beatles early fun stuff doesn't hold a candle to it. "Mature" (aka we discovered weed and continued British colonization of India, but in a weak rip-off kinda way this time) era Beatles is some of the most obnoxious, hard-to-listen to music ever. I'd rather be at a "noise" show at the Copy Cat, and I never want to be at that. And yeah I sorta lost my track and didn't make some sense in there... you can say my last post is inspired by The Beatles
KACY WIGGINS: The Beatles. I think, if it weren't for Pet Sounds pushing the Beatles to try to out do it, things might have been different. Also the Beatles were smart enough to break up before they became a joke with John Stamos on congas.
MELINDA BUSSARD: Beach Boys. I have gotten into many a heated discussion over my meh feelings about the Beatles.
BRENNEN JENSEN: I can't think of a single Beach Boys song I wouldn't turn off if it came on the radio.
CHRIS WILSON: Beach Boys. Although a bit of a nutter Brian Wilson was borderline musical genius. Beatles? Right place at the right time. Talent shone through more in their later work more so than the initial breakout. KATIE BRENNAN: Beatles. I could never vote for the Beach Boys after witnessing the aftermath of their 4th of July concerts in DC.
STACEY MINK: Ummmm... ummmm... I'm definitely more likely to listen to the Beach Boys -- almost never listen to the Beatles except Abbey Road. But there is so much schlocky, dreadful Beach Boys. And the Beatles have inspired so much dreadful schlock and the endless re-releases and the outsized, unwarranted devotion. Beach Boys. Gah. Damn you, Benn Ray.
SCOTT HUFFINES: The Beach Boys' Endless Summer album was the first album I ever bought after all the '70s Top 40 singles I used to buy... I ditched that piece of shit after three listens and bought Kiss Destroyer.
MITCHELL FELDSTEIN: I tend to not believe folks who say they don't like the Beatles (not in general mind you, but about not liking them).
EDDIE CHABOT: So many of the Beach Boys songs are 'advertisements' as well as when the Beatles are doing their pastiche 'Back in the USSR'. Possible exception-'Sun King'.
JOHNNY RIGGS: Easily the Beatles, although I love the Boys. I'm not going to read this thread because if I read one idiot saying they don't like either band, or can't understand why they're held in high regard, no matter whether or not the bands were before their time, I'll lose my shit. Seriously, if I read one quote about the Beatles being no good, or wimpy or overrated, or whatever some musical halfwits have probably already said, I'll probably unfriend them just for being an idiot.
JACK LIVINGSTON: I knew this was the logical final battle - and it is a fair one. Both were basically vocal driven bands and studio masters. Both had far reaching social implications beyond music. The Beatles grew with their generation, the Beach Boys became the sound of beatific California which was a seductive notion to people all over the world. Brian Wilson is unmatched in mastery of song craft, the McCartney and Lennon team produced songs that will stick around long after all are gone. Both groups had individuals with talents of their own. Both made some very silly songs and lovely transcendent songs. Neither could be what they became without the other)
Years ago I would have said the Beatles, no contest—but now..... I simply can't forgive McCartney for all his English dancehall buffoonery that sort of ruins big chunks of many of the Beatles records. Pet Sounds is a better album than anything the Beatles ever turned out (Revolver and Abby Road are close), Sgt. Pepper is simply silly in comparison to the shimmering Pet Sounds. Also, the Beach Boys could always reproduce their music live whereas the Beatles were frozen in their later career because they could not play their music live anymore due to massive studio trickery.
In the end it is the Beach Boys (when lead by Brian) by a hair. ***Assorted attachments/links shared in the converstation.***
by Jordan Jeffries
BENN RAY: Witness the undeniable genius.
Matthew Dahl: Has to be the Beatles, but it hurts to throw the Beach Boys under the bus like this, they just can't compare… Here's one reason the Beach Boys are a major contender (and this goes out to the BB haters above, who obviously don't know any better
So that means it's time for many of us to prepare ourselves to deal with our outraged conservative relatives. The trick can be trying to figure out what leftie-socialist affront they are going to feel the most agitated over.
The Keystone Pipeline?
Bowing for world leaders?
Climate change hoax?
This year, the topic most likely to have your conservative relatives apoplectic during Thanksgiving dinner is immigration reform.
So I've outlined below the best way to handle their ridiculous claims to help prepare getting through dinner.
First, watch what Obama actually said. I guarantee you your conservo-relatives haven't. They are being told what Obama said by Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the right wing noise machine.
It only takes about 15 minutes tops. I'll wait...
Alright. Now that you know what's actually been said, let's anticipate what your relatives might claim and look at how to handle such claims.
CLAIM 1. What Obama has done with this executive order is unprecedented. No, it's not. Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush all also issued executive orders regarding immigration reform.
CLAIM 2. It's amnesty. It's not. There is no offer to be natualized. No citizenship. He is simply offering a five year deal for families to come out of the shadows.
CLAIM 3. Republicans can't trust the President enough to pass any legislation moving forward. It's not like they've been passing any legislation for the past 4 years either. But... grow the fuck up. Republicans need to just do their fucking job - which is to pass laws. I know it's going to be tough. It's not really the forte of Republicans. They're much better at blocking any laws that may benefit citizens from getting passed.
CLAIM 4. Obama himself said what he is doing is tyranny. No, Obama said the executive branch unilaterally making laws is tyranny. With this executive order, he is directing the enforcement of such laws. This is part of his job description. Obama has made no law.
CLAIM 5. Democrats had the opportunity to pass immigration reform in 2008 when Obama was first elected and Democrats had control of the House and the Senate. True. And it was attempted. Republicans filibustered the law.
CLAIM 6. It is the role of the Legislative Branch to pass laws. Also true. And they still can. Again, Obama hasn't passed any laws. In 2012 when he was reelected, Obama said comprehensive immigration reform was a top priority. The Republican Party's own self-evaluation after the losses they suffered in that election mandated they needed to pass comprehensive immigration reform also.
Then Republicans came back and said, "Well, we can't pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill all at once, we need to do it in sections."
The Democrats, including Obama, said, "Well, that's not our preference, but we'll go along with it as long as all the parts are passed and reform is comprehensive."
Then Republicans came back and said "Yeah, we won't be doing that either." And then nothing happened.
CLAIM 7. The timing is simply political opportunism. I can see where you'd think that. And I would tend to agree if Democrats actually benefited from this delay, but they didn't. They've suffered from it. Obama should have done it this summer. It may have actually helped Democrats win or keep some seats by showing that they actually stood for something, but instead many ran as "not-Democrats" and lost seats.
CLAIM 8. It's an illegal and un-Constitional Executive overreach. By definition, this is incorrect. Also, I don't seem to remember you making such claims when George W. Bush issued any of his 291 executive orders.
CLAIM 9. Obama is ignoring the will of the American people. All the polling shows Americans want comprehensive immigration reform.
So... if Republicans are so upset about this, pass a law.
CLAIM 10. Yeah, well Benghazi! Break out the bourbon.
I haven’t written any game reviews in a while, and there are a few reasons for that, but chief among them is the giant steaming pile of bullshit that is Gamergate, which has been a profoundly demoralizing and depressing experience for many ladies and feminists involved with games, myself included. Benn asked me to write something about it for the Shank because he hadn’t heard about it. I am diving into this shitshow out of love for him, and also shock that someone so progressive and generally up on geek culture could somehow have missed this debacle.
Let me start by saying that this is going to continue to involve a lot of expletives. Sorry, kids. There is no way for me to talk about this in a calm and rational manner, because psychologically, I just can’t, and won’t. To me, responding with reasoned arguments almost implies that the Gamergaters have some kind of semi-justifiable opinion on which reasonable people can disagree, and that’s just not the case.
I get that for some fucking reason we still need to explain to a shockingly large proportion of Americans why it is wrong to harass women, and why threatening them with sexual violence and murder counts as harassment, which is why I will link to a lot of articles written by people who have much more patience than I do. But from my perspective, I don’t understand how this is happening in 2014 in the United States of America and it makes me want to crawl into a hole and never speak to anyone again.
Many others have recapped the key events and walked through the convoluted mess step-by-step (reddit even provides a bullet point version), and you really should take the time to read through everything I’ve linked here if you want to claim you have an opinion on the matter, but I’ll recap the key events.
Back in August, a vindictive ex-boyfriend of Zoe Quinn, an indie developer best known for Depression Quest, wrote a lengthy slut-shaming diatribe in which he claimed that Zoe had slept with a games journalist from Kotaku in exchange for favorable press on her game. This is patently false – the journalist didn’t even review her game – but a crusade was launched against Zoe, claiming that it was really about fighting corruption in games journalism.
Zoe was already hated among a certain subset of gamers who felt that Depression Quest was not a good game and only received awards and positive press because it was different and weird and about feelings, and that was wrong and not what games should be about, so they were already primed for the idea that maybe it only got good press because she was a dirty slut. Not long after, a bunch of folks on 4chan, the sewer of the internet, organized themselves on chat boards to launch a campaign of sustained harassment against Zoe during which, among other things, her accounts were hacked, she had to flee her home after her address was posted publicly along with death and rape threats, commenters gleefully discussed whether they could manage to drive her to the point of suicide and passed around naked photos of her, and people called her father and ranted at him about how his daughter was such a disgusting slut. Because, you know – ethics in game journalism.
Even if the original allegation was true – which it is not, not that it matters, since it still wouldn’t justify harassment of her and her family – (a) why wasn’t the journalist the one being attacked, if this is about ethics in game journalism, and (b) how can anyone seriously believe that one review on a fairly obscure game which could never in a million years make anyone rich is some kind of scandalous example of “corruption” (especially when compared to the cozy relationship between many major developers and games press?)
Gamergaters immediately claimed that Zoe had fabricated the idea of a campaign to harass her in order to get attention and distract from the “real issue” of ethics in games journalism; We Hunted the Mammoth went through a big chunk of the chat room logs and pulled out some of the gems that prove otherwise. If you want to be disgusted by humanity, read through what they found.
In the wake of these events, several outlets published pieces discussing the concept of the “gamer” identity, commenting that the audience of people who play games had expanded to something much broader than the straight white male nerds we might think of when we think of “gamers” – and that this is a good thing. All of these authors were also harassed in the comments of their articles, their twitter feeds, or anything the Gamergaters could get their hands on. A few even quit the industry, feeling afraid and betrayed and just disgusted with the community they had poured their professional efforts into up until that point. In fact, anyone who spoke out critically of Gamergate in a public forum was attacked. Use the hashtag #gamergate to say something not completely positive? You could expect several hours, if not days, of sustained abusive tweets. (For lolz, Clickhole published a satirical piece on the subject.) Because a great response to concerns over ethics in game journalism is to harass games journalists for publishing their opinions, and people for agreeing with them.
Now this is the point at which things really jump the shark.
Gamergate managed to attract a number of defenders who are convinced that it is not really about attacking women and these incidents just represent a radical minority of Gamergate and aren’t really a big deal, and we should get back to the important issues, which are corruption in games journalism and the secret cabal of “social justice warriors” who are in cahoots with journalists and developers to ruin games forever. Here is about when I crawled into my hole. Because it’s one thing to harass women – it happens all the fucking time – and it’s quite another to look at that harassment head on and try to claim that it isn’t the important issue.
In fact, Gamergaters made a concerted effort to make it appear as though they were repudiating those tactics as a way to give their misogynist campaign more legitimacy. Read the chat logs. They planned to harass these women, AND to have other posters publicly denounce those tactics, so that they could claim they weren’t really about harassing and marginalizing women and thus gain more supporters. They even created sock puppet accounts claiming to be women (or other minorities) in which they manufactured an idea that Gamergate was actually a diverse movement and demanded that the “social justice warriors” stop using these alleged females as a “shield” to shove their feminist agenda down everyone’s throats. They talk about “sleeper cells.” Sleeper cells! And the insane thing is they managed to actually convince a lot of people, and companies, that they had a legitimate concern – and many sided with them, or at least subscribed to the notion that both sides should be heard, as if this is some kind of rational debate about which reasonable people might disagree.
Gamergaters pressured Intel to pull its ads from Gamasutra after they published an opinion piece they didn’t like – and Intel actually did it. Because the best way to fight corruption in games journalism is… to get companies to financially pressure the gaming press to pull opinion pieces that they don’t agree with? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?
So here is my comment to those people who think this is “really” about ethics in game journalism, or anything other than a misogynist campaign against women:
IT IS COMPLETELY FUCKING RIDICULOUS THAT ANYONE SHOULD DEFEND ANYTHING THAT IS IN ANY WAY ASSOCIATED WITH THREATENING SEXUAL VIOLENCE AND DEATH. NO ONE’S FREEDOM OF SPEECH INCLUDES A SUSTAINED CAMPAIGN OF HARASSMENT INTENDED TO TERRIFY NOT JUST INDIVIDUALS AND THEIR LOVED ONES, OR ANYONE WHO WORKS WITH THEM OR TALKS ABOUT THEM, BUT ALL WOMEN.
If you choose to associate yourself with their name, and try to claim that misogyny isn’t the most important issue at hand, then you are deluded. You have missed the point. You can’t say that the KKK is really just an old boys’ club and that the racist violence is just a few radical outliers and not what defines the organization. You can’t say that ISIS makes some good points about American imperialism, even if their tactics are sometimes extreme. No. Just, no.
When something goes so far over the line, when it involves concerted efforts to ruin actual people’s lives and terrorize women or another other marginalized group, then you don’t get to say that isn’t the main issue. It becomes the main issue. And if you choose to continue to associate with them – if you don’t immediately abandon ship and organize under a different name – then you are just as guilty of perpetuating that culture of terror.
Chris Kluwe, aka every progressive gamer’s favorite football player, wrote a scathing piece describing his feelings about Gamergaters in which he describes them as, among other things, “slope-browed weaseldicks.” Gamergaters pretty much left him alone. Felicia Day, a geek icon and prominent lady gamer who one would expect has some feelings about the matter, said nothing on the topic for a couple of months out of fear for her own safety and sanity, but finally authored a blog post in which explores her fears (specifically, her fear of being doxxed given her history of stalkers) and implores Gamergaters to think about whether their actions are really changing games for the better; within minutes, her address was posted publicly. Chris Kluwe immediately responded with tweets pointing out how insane it was that he was NOT harassed for such an abrasive post when Felicia Day was targeted just for talking about her feelings. Anyone who thinks this is anything other than a misogynist campaign is, in fact, a slope-browed weaseldick.
Kirk Hamilton from the gaming site Kotaku sums up the situation eloquently from the perspective of someone whose job is to comment on games and game culture, saying that for anyone who is critical of Gamergate, “swift, terrifying reprisal has become an inevitability” and “we now exist under a perpetual fog of paranoia and fear.” If you talk about Gamergate, you will be harassed. If you are a woman, it will be a thousand times worse. “She [Felicia Day] said she wished things weren't the way they are, that she was afraid and didn't want to be. The attack that followed said it plain as day: You should be afraid. This is what happens now. This is what happens when you speak up. And it is. It really, really is.”
But here’s the thing: games are changing, and Gamergate isn’t going to stop that. Games are becoming something much broader and more inclusive than they used to be, and most people agree this is a good thing, even if the industry is scrambling a bit to figure out successful business models for this changing landscape and shifting demographics. Laura Hudson from Wired put it perfectly in the headline of her recent piece on the debacle: “Gamergate goons can scream all they want, but they can’t stop progress.”
And though some have been scared off, many more are not backing down. Anita Sarkeesian continues to speak on feminism in games publicly, with appropriate safety precautions. Game developer Brianna Wu was also forced to flee her home under circumstances similar to Zoe and Anita, and responded by posting the incredibly obscene and terrifying threats that were tweeted at her along with her home address, and says, basically, you all are fucking with the wrong bitch, and she isn’t going to stop making games that include strong female characters
Progress isn’t going to stop. But in the meantime, it really fucking sucks.
I love voting. Admittedly, I may not always be happy with the outcome, but goddam do I love the process. In fact, I enjoy it so much, I have a voting get-up I wear every election.
Well, it's been a week now since the Democrats gave up the ghost and Republicans took control of the legislative branch. But if we're being perfectly honest, while Republicans already had control of the House, they were also controlling the Senate from the minority for the past few years.
There's been much pundificating (tm) and the Beltway narrative has pretty much solidified, but it's not really accurate (most Beltway narratives aren't).
So as much for my own understanding as anything else, I'm writing out what I saw happening and why I think it happened.
NATIONAL LEVEL ELECTIONS Beltway perspective: this was a rejection of the Obama Administration. He is, after all, currently a very unpopular president.
The only truth to this is that Obama's job approval rating is low. It's not historically low, but it is low. Know whose job approval ratings are lower? If you said "Congress," you are correct.
To be fair, while this historic Do Nothing Congress frustrated the American public, Obama allowed some of that ineptitude to rub off on his administration through bad strategy and through legitimate errors.
This election took place as he was getting the blame for Ebola coming into the US even though it was Republican Rick Perry's Texas that allowed it to spread and where people actually died.
Obama got blamed for ISIS even though he, along with many of us, was warning that Bush's criminal invasion of Iraq would result in a destabilized Middle East. ISIS is what a destabilized Middle East looks like.
And of course a culture of ineptitude taking place at the Secret Service also reflected badly on Obama even though it's his life in jeopardy. He also botched the healthcare.gov rollout and while he inherited the scandal that is the Veteran's Administration from Bush, he hasn't fixed it.
This fulfills the ironic Republican narrative that Obama can't govern (Republicans always take the the last legitimate criticism of them and, one or two election cycles later, direct it at Democrats).
But there is also the reality of the state of things. Unemployment is down. People now (at least for the time being) have access to affordable healthcare. And the stock market is experiencing record highs. So if it really is "the economy stupid," that doesn't explain the losses the Democrats sustained.
The main problem is that Democrats ran as not-Democrats, which is to say they ran on nothing, allowing the Republicans to blame a staggeringly dysfunctional congress on them despite it being the result of Republican obstructionism. Democrats allowed Republicans to take the offensive, which left them in the bizarre position of playing defense even though they had nothing really to be defensive about.
Democrats running for office should have been saying, "You're welcome, America!" Instead, many of them, and specifically the losers, were saying "We're sorry, America!"
So they ran away from Obama, they ran away from their accomplishments and ran as Republicans and they lost. And on the Senate side, the Democrats who lost were Blue Dog Democrats anyway. They just couldn't out-Republican the Republicans.
And the challengers they offered were, in many cases, flawed - insulting their electorate, refusing to say they voted for Obama when we all know they did, etc.
Things are clearly bad for your party when your best hope to unseat an incumbent isn't even a Democrat at all, but an Independent. If you are looking for one race as an allegory for the everything that went wrong with the Democrats in 2014, it's the Greg Orman/Pat Roberts race in Kansas - a race that incumbent Republican Roberts won handily.
Clearly, the Democrats were hoping for a number of unforced errors from the Republicans - you know, the "legitimate rape" type comments that plagued them in 2012. But Republicans largely managed to reign in the Tea Party lunacy and field candidates they could at least present as reasonable human beings.
While I'd hope the Democrats learned their lesson and will run as Democrats in 2016, I fear their takeaway from this is that they're going to convince themselves the have to run harder away from Obama and run harder as conservatives in the next election.
What's the future hold? Well, the Beltway politicos have been echoing over and over that "Republicans will have to govern now." Don't count on it. Republicans will offer lots of repeal Obamacare legislation. There will be lots of hearings on Benghazi and the IRS. There will be lots of talk about impeachment. But there will be little else in the way of governing, lest they do something positive for the American public that Obama signs into law and therefore gets some amount of credit for. Republicans see no political upside to governing, so they won't. And they won't allow anyone else to either.
I'd like to think the Democrats will be just as obstructionist as the Republicans have been in the Senate, but they most likely won't be. And the reason has to do with a fundamental difference in philosophy for each party when they're out of power.
When Republicans are out of power, they believe their job is to muck up the works as much as possible, to create unrest and dissatisfaction in the states that they can then blame on the party in power - which they were tremendously successful in accomplishing this time through. They believe that when you are in the minority, good governing ensures you stay in the minority.
When the Democrats are out of power, they subscribe to the "give the idiots enough rope to hang themselves" strategy. You mean the Republicans want to have a vote on something Democrats find egregious? Sure. Let's have the vote. If it passes, let the American people be sorry they elected Republicans.
I'm not sure how good that strategy is as it seems to take much longer to work, it leaves us with a lot of terrible legislation that we seem to have trouble correcting or shaking off, and the American public has a very short memory. After all, they just gave control to the House and Senate to the same party that drove our economy into a ditch. They turned the legislative branch over the same party that engaged us in an illegitimate war in Iraq under false pretenses. And they voted in the party that has blocked any substantial economic recovery recognition because they want to get rid of the president.
STATEWIDE ELECTIONS (MARYLAND) Beltway perspective: Maryland electing a Republican governor is indicative of even a deep blue state being dissatisfied with Obama.
Like Obama, Anthony Brown fulfilled the image of ineptitude with his failed state healthcare rollout.
But at the same time, Maryland has been doing pretty well. Our unemployment rates are below the national average. We decriminalized marijuana. We raised the minimum age. And hey, we even voted to recognize same sex marriage. So what did Maryland voters have to be so pissed off about? Not much, which is why not many of us showed up to vote.
Yet some Marylanders seem almost comically stunned that we actually elected a Republican to governor. They seem to think that Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown would just automatically get the job. The problem is, so did Anthony Brown. He didn't campaign well, or at all.
Anthony Brown seemed like he just expected to be reelected. But what many national pundits fail to recognize is that Maryland isn't really all that blue of state. Actually, as a state, it can seem pretty damn red at times. Have you been out to the counties? They're batshit, crazy, right wing.
Baltimore is a blue city and Prince George's Co. is a blue county. But Brown didn't bother to campaign in Baltimore, so Baltimore didn't turn out to vote for him. He proved to be an historically horrible candidate (which makes sense since he wasn't that great of a Lt. Governor), worse than Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.
So meanwhile, Hogan was campaigning in the "I got mine, Jack" counties, promising tax cuts, which is all most of those types of voters needed to hear to turn out.
I didn't actually vote FOR Anthony Brown, I voted AGAINST a Republican candidate. And that's no way to win an election.
And for my friends who try to talk themselves down by saying, "Well the state legislature is solidly Democratic, we have nothing to worry about," you need to realize that a number of those so-called "Democratic" legislators are actually Republican, they just run as Democrats (because despite the number of conservatives in the state, Maryland still has a nearly 2-to-1 spread of registered Democratic voters over Republicans).
So what can Hogan do really? Well, if you live in Baltimore City and wish we had a better light rail, you can thank Ehrlich who failed to apply for federal funds to grow the lightrail to punish the city. The point? He can fuck shit up.
And what the hell, Green Party - no candidate? If you ever want to be taken seriously, you have to field candidates, which brings me to Baltimore City.
LOCAL ELECTIONS (BALTIMORE CITY) I'm not sure how or why Baltimore keeps electing Conaways to office. The only thing I can figure is that it's a combination of name franchise recognition and some kind of turn out the vote strategy that I admittedly don't understand.
But also, there are far too many city offices going to candidates who are running unopposed. Again, what the hell, Green Party?!
If we ever want city politics to actually represent residents instead of corporate interests, we need to start fielding candidates - not just in the primaries but in the general elections too. Give us options, not just more names and faces from the corrupt status quo.
So that's how I see last Tuesday. It wasn't so much a success from Republicans as much as a failure from the Democrats. At this point, they should be looking for new party leadership. I say bring back Howard Dean. I know Team Obama and Team Clinton aren't Dean fans, but his 50 State Strategy worked.
Elections are coming up, and barely half of eligible citizens will vote. Some have attempted to scare people from the polls. I'm thinking it should be the other way around. We should be scaring people into voting.
"Vote! or mutant ebola-laden sharks will eat you and your children."
I'm uncertain if mandatory voting (such as what's done in Australia and Brazil) should be done here. I mean, geez! Counting the primaries that would be an average of one election a year! That's like spending an average of one hour per year on democracy!
Enticements are needed, and not just that lousy sticker that says, "I Voted and You Suck!" (and I usually have to magic marker in the last few words or so).
Here's a few ideas I have to encourage people to vote: - Offer a free shot of tequilla. - Install a karaoke machine. - Get a sneak peek of a few minutes of the next Avengers movie, or maybe a sneak preview of the next prequel of the Hobbit, "Bilbo goes to Summer Camp." - Put a band up front. - Offer free popcorn/pretzels. - Tractor pull - Dunking booth, three shots per voter, your choice of which party representative to try to dunk. - Have a "My Electoral District's Got Talent!" event. - Hand out a free lottery ticket to random voters, "Vote Now! and you could have a chance to win, a chance to win!", or a set of steak knives. - Fib, and tell people it's the early Christmas shopping line for Best Buy or tell them it's really a secret auditioning for a new reality TV show.
Well that's my part to help the cause, remember: the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants, and probably booze and bullshit.
In case you haven't heard (and statistically speaking, it's possible you haven't) this Tuesday, November 4, is midterm election day. It's traditionally a day of low voter turnout - which essentially means the party that can most motivate the base stands a better chance of winning. This also typically means the party out of power, being the most disgruntled, gains seats as the party in power is complacent.
This year, the major motivator, instead of Republican obstructionism or the Republican War on Women, seems to be irrational Obama hate.
I can hear the spit and spite filled numbskullery now, "What are ya, some kinda Obama lover?!!!"
Compared to the previous president (a Republican), sure I am. In fact, when you juxtapose him to Bush, we should etch Obama's likeness up on Rushmore.
The economy is doing better. Unemployment is down. Theoretically speaking, health care is affordable and attainable (more on that below). Given that Republican opposition seems to only be interested in outlawing birth control, repealing Obamacare, investigating Benghazi and blocking ABSOFUCKINGLUTELY EVERYTHING ELSE from passing and holding up appointments, I'd say those accomplishments are pretty impressive (despite Guantanamo still being open, expanded government surveillance, expanded drone war, etc.).
What about it? Maybe I'll think your concern is legitimate when you suggest we seal off the border to Texas with the same intensity as you scream we gotta not let people coming from Africa back into the US. Because Texas is where the only US death and domestic infections took place. Otherwise, you sound like hysterical racists and really, those people don't get to be taken seriously.
"Yeah, well, ISIS!"
Right, the resulting chaos caused by George W. Bush's invasion and overthrow of Iraq - y'know that whole "destabilizing of the Middle East" many of us warned against. His supporters, the ones about to put his party back into control of both the House and Senate, were the ones who promised we were gonna be treated as liberators.
Anyway, let's put this threat into perspective. To date, Ebola has killed more people in America than ISIS has. So calm the fuck down. The Muslim Boogie Man ain't gonna getcha. At least not just yet.
On the national level, if you believe the polls, America seems ready to go insane again and return control to the legislative branch to the Republican Party. You know, the same people who drove our economy into a ditch. The ones who gave the rich tax cuts while engaging us in 2 wars (one under false pretenses). The ones who voted to shut down the US government. The ones who refuse to fund infrastructure so our bridges don't keep collapsing.
Republicans are the ones who regularly say "government is the problem." So what do you think is gonna happen this time when we turn control of it over to them again? Government WILL BE a problem.
I guess Americans have a short memory.
What's more annoying than the thought that America is willing to let buffoons take control of the Legislative Branch is that the Democrats have let this happen. They could have run on a better economy. They could have run on health care. But instead, they were too busy letting Republicans chase them away from running as Democrats that they really stand for nothing.
So the models I rely on as indicators all seem to suggest that while it's tight, there is an advantage to Republicans taking the Senate. And that leaves places like MSNBC and Huffington Post playing the role of "cheer up, anything is possible, so just please vote, m'kay" boosters.
And they're right. Anything is possible. A lot of key races are tight. So, we wait to see whether irrational hatred of Obama will outweigh the memory of the inability of Republicans to govern.
Unfortunately, in Maryland, we've not been given great choices for our general election.
In the Gubernatorial Race, the Maryland Democratic Party has given us the unappealing option of Anthony Brown - the Lt. Governor who is responsible for me still not having insurance. (Well, at least partially. I really should take some blame for that myself. And after trying unsuccessfully to get through Maryland's healthcare marketplace twice, I just gave up.) But let's be realistic, the Republicans have offered another party caricature in Larry Hogan.
So what's a progressive to do? Well, since there is no Green or Labor Party candidate for someone like me to throw his vote away on (which may be the sole thing that saves Brown), and a vote for a Libertarian is a vote for a comically even more right wing Republican, it looks like Anthony Brown will get my vote by default. And he's probably going to need it. This race is tighter than it should be in Maryland. But will a vote for "not Republican" be enough to energize other Democratic voters?
And really, what do Marylanders have to be disgruntled about? We raised minimum wage. Decriminalized pot. Achieved marriage equality. Oh right - a lot of the people turning out to the polls aren't happy about any of those achievements.
The other interesting thing to watch in the local elections is whether or not Shawn Tarrant's write-in campaign can overcome the Conaway political franchise name in the 40th District. Tarrant, along with a number of other candidates couldn't marshal enough votes to overcome the name recognition of Frank Conaway Jr. in the primary (despite Tarrant being the incumbent). He is, however, trying to win with a write-in campaign.
Comments: Kim Cee: Your mom. And also Neutral Milk Hotel.
Robert Sherwood: Since I've never heard of this Neutral Milk Hotel band, I have to go with Belle & Sebastian, which is another band I have gone out of my way to avoid.
Dean Cartwright: Belle and Sebastian all lovely spring day at the beach easing your feet in the sea long!
Mitchell W Feldstein: funny when there are the ones where i have never heard any of either bands music. Tex Ramone: If you don't like In The Aeroplane Over The Sea you are dead inside. NMH all day long
Jack Livingston: easy one NMH. For keeping experimental pop alive when it was gasping. One of the only bands I will still go see live. (and they are coming to Bmore soon!)
Nolen Strals: Belle & Sebastian. Better lyricism, less JESUS in their Jesus music
Howard Yang: because they actually have a sense of humor in their lyrics (breaking the America voting block)- Belle & Sebastian
Michelle Dwyer: Belle & Sebastian even though they are a little too fru fru sometimes
Colleen Pelser: you mean which one makes me puke more?
DOES EBOLA POSE A GREATER THREAT TO YOU THAN THE PROSPECT OF A REPUBLICAN-CONTROLLED SENATE ?
AQUARIUS: Ask again later. PISCES: My sources say no. ARIES: Yes. TAURUS: Better not tell you now. GEMINI: Outlook not so good. CANCER: Very doubtful. LEO: Outlook not so good. VIRGO: My sources say no. LIBRA: Don't count on it. SCORPIO: Ask again later. SAGITTARIUS: Most likely. CAPRICORN: Yes.