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Willie's Off-Brand Web Journal

Thursday, October 16, 2008:

Good news, everyone! I discovered something new to be self-conscious about!

Restaurant servers who don't write down your order.

It's an impressive skill, but every time I encounter such a server from now on, I am going to worry that some mnemonic device requires her to unflatteringly picture my head as a cartoon veggie burger with eyes. Like Mayor McCheese. With Weird Al hair.

CURRENT MUSIC: Saturdays = Youth by M83.
[During Cocktail Time] "Try saying that five times fast after you've had a corrrrcghktail!"
1:28 p.m.

Doot? | |

Thursday, October 9, 2008:

Cora's Corner (feat. Bubba):

Cora and Bubba are big fans of the Pet Shop Boys.

CURRENT MUSIC: Tusk by Camper Van Beethoven.
I just stubbed my toe, so full of swears.
The Non-Adventures of Wonderella. (Which, er, I learned about through Dinosaur Comics.)
3:03 p.m.

Doot? | |

Tuesday, October 7, 2008:

Last night, I dreamt I was living in a 12 Monkeys-style dystopia in which the virus that was wiping out humanity wasn't an act of one terrorist, but of all the multibillionaire corporate plutocrats having engineered a disease to infect and kill anyone whose income was below a certain level, so they could reconstruct the Earth as their private playland for silver luxury cars and fancypants iPhone apps and bottle service lounges, with none of us proles annoyingly trying to revive their consciences. The Globochem Planet would resemble the postapocalyptic Earth of the Twilight Zone episode "Time Enough At Last," only instead of getting to read all the books they pleased, the survivors would simply be able to wander into bank vaults and smell all the money. I woke up as I died in the dream, having become ill with the virus, and I remember my last slumbering thought being, "Well, at least that's over," followed by, "Rats!" (in the voice of Mr. Garrison--yes, that's how my inner monologue sounds) upon waking.

This most likely was a result of the fact that I've been volunteering at my local Democratic Party outpost for the past couple of weeks, putting in two-hour shifts of data entry because that's the sort of thing I am good at. (I don't think I'll be returning, since yesterday's shift involved putting up with a shrieking crotchloaf named Parker, who, whenever I got out of my chair to ask a question, would hop onto my computer to play Minesweeper.) Specifically, I'd been barcoding and tallying responses to phone surveys about which presidential and congressional candidates our county's voters are leaning towards. The majority of those polled who said they were likely to vote claimed to be undecided. Less than a month before the election, they're undecided. Between Barack Obama and John McCain.

Now, Mainers do play their cards annoyingly close to the vest on lots of things. The survey response "refused to answer" probably earned more hash marks than Obama, McCain, and "undecided" combined, so it may well be that a great deal of the "undecided"s were simply polite versions of "refused to answer." I understand that some older generations--which is all we have in Maine--were raised to believe that your ballot is private in the sense that discussing it is unseemly, so that might play into these results. Fine. But suppose they're genuine. What could either candidate say at this point to change their minds? And what happens if neither candidate says those magic words? Do they still plan to vote? I'm honestly asking. Because it's not like we're choosing between two basically identical people like Justin Long and Zachary Levi. Either you're a fan of hatred and bloodshed, in which case you vote McCain, or you like humanity, in which case you vote Obama and cross your fingers and say a rosary if you're into that. If you're undecided at this point, as far as I'm concerned, you're not paying attention and you make me sad.

(And this is saying nothing of the survey respondent who evidently started shouting at the poor volunteer that Barack and Michelle Obama "need to go back to Africa," while I was there.)

I just feel entirely disillusioned by this process. Beyond my lack of trust in the electorate itself, I don't trust any elected official higher than maybe the municipal level to actually take action that is in my best interest or that of my fellow citizens. I realize I'm not saying anything particularly trenchant by being all, "Politicians are untrustworthy!" but I've only recently realized how deep my cynicism on the subject goes. I can't think of a single issue I care about, whether real or hypothetical, on which I feel confident that a single person in a position to effect change for the betterment of humanity could be counted on to do so. Following politics is a lot like watching Survivor and realizing that there's a brilliant-yet-obvious strategic move that should be made to overthrow whichever guy is Probst's favorite power player of the season, only to see the fourth woman in a row get voted out on the flimsy rationale of "keeping the tribe strong."

I'll still vote. I'm not sure why. I guess just because it was branded upon my brain at such a young age that voting is something you do no matter what. But I don't believe my vote matters at all. The only real difference I believe my act of voting will make would require some sort of butterfly effect in which my driving to the polls somehow keeps someone on the other side of the world from becoming grievously injured (or, more likely given the history of my effect on humanity, causes someone on the other side of the world to become grievously injured/get waterboarded/get cockblocked/etc.).

A couple months ago, I was out shopping with Mom, and she stopped at an ATM. I noted that the ATM was manufactured by sketchy voting machine conglomerate Diebold, and made some hacky "Har har, it won't work right" joke before we noticed that the only thing that appeared on its screen, regardless of whether her card was inserted, was the message, "Do you want more time? Y/N." Finally, Mom exasperatedly sighed, "Who doesn't?" pushed "Yes," and drove away. You see my point.

*     *     *

Just so this entry doesn't end on a total downer note, I serendipitously discovered the best method for chasing the blues away that I've found in some time, while driving to pick up our weekly veggie share: Say you're cruising along, listening to some trashy European house music--in this case, "One More Time" by Daft Punk--and you turn onto a road lined with a high school boys' cross-country team, shirtlessly jogging along as part of their afternoon training. The best thing you can possibly do in this situation? Roll down your windows, turn that music up loud, and slow your car down to the runners' pace, so all they can do is jog alongside you to the tune of your disposable club music. For about 20 seconds. Then you speed off, and laugh for the rest of the day. (Even funnier, by the way, if they're jogging next to a cow pasture.)

CURRENT MUSIC: The Cactus Album by 3rd Bass.
I haven't got it in me anymore.
Referring to a fork as a "flork."
9:34 p.m.

Doot? | |

Monday, October 6, 2008:
Bev's birthday

I usually don't bother posting lyrics to new songs I've written, but I'm pretty proud of these and they may in fact be my favorite that I've assembled. So I thought I'd share, not to fish for compliments but just because I like them and thought it would be satisfying to see them typed. And because who isn't aching for another damn political song?

"Priority Retcon (Previous Statements Embargoed)"

Jimmy the hood, stick a split-shot sinker on the accelerator cable.
Fast wins the race. Fast has always won the race.
You'd better re-read your fable.
Shriek as loud as you can in the anechoic chamber until your throat is raw.
Hope you like yanking the pendulum over and over from the same stupid lion's paw.

Careful what you aspirate when a slogan cuts the smoke:
"Fuck those felled by friendly fire if they can't take a joke!"
We've said that all along.
Priority Retcon.

All the ladybugs are melted onto streetlights
And the orange glow's dismissed as deception
While dispatch is deluged with calls about spiders ballooning mistaken for weapons.

Tears erode your eyes to the point you can't see anything at all.

Careful with the aspartame when the press room cuts the Coke.
Contort to leap your rising gorge if you don't want to choke.
You must have heard us wrong.
Priority Retcon.

Previous statements are embargoed under intellectual property law.
These uncorrected proofs have been superseded.
Quotations must be withdrawn.
They'll methodically smash your piggybanks--the ones you named--
And then gesture at the mess, saying, "You should be ashamed."

CURRENT MOOD: Proud-ish.
CURRENT FAVORITE BLOG: Intimidating Uncle. Some guy makes fun of kids' photos like the most disinterested, impatient jerk of an uncle they could possibly have. You will laugh.
TIME: 1:41 p.m.

Doot? | |

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