Don’t vote, don’t bitch.
I think radio shows – any political radio show – should ask every caller.
Host: Hi, did you vote?
Host: Then you don’t get to complain! If you don’t vote you have no place to complain! Next!
Today was election day here in Illinois. I did my usual weekend read of the
newspaper where they show who
believes in what and tried to keep in my head who I was going to vote for.
Something about Barrack Obama
I really admire though I wonder if he’s too bleeding-heart to capture a democratic
win. For races I didn’t know the candidates I took my buddy Beth’s approach:
vote for any obviously non-Anglo last names – especially if they’re women. Seems
a great approach for a Democrat ticket. Though the roll call did reveal to me
Chicago’s Irish saturation: O’Donnel, Flanigan, McKenna, McGovern, Ryan… hell
even Obama could become O’Bama (and not Osama like the asshole dickface Republicans
are doing in Southern Illinois – hello freakshows: ‘Barrack’ is Swahili).
It also exposes to me how much I don’t know about local politics. I’m so engrossed
in things at a international, geo-political level that I’m not sure what the
hell is going on in my own backyard. That was part of my new year’s resolutions.
Plus, I still don’t really consider myself a Chicago-an – plus, I don’t read
local news. Probably some things that need to change. I did think of being on
the School Council as a way to get my feet wet (they’re 4,000
But I do still picture my last name emblazoned on all of those blue signs out
in people’s yards. And then wondering if I’d change my last name to the real
last name of my dad’s family… maybe I’d be better as an advocate than a candidate
(maybe I should put up or shut up and get involved…).
Ron can’t vote yet – I think he’ll officially be an American next year by this
time. He’s so funny to talk to about politics. He knows how angry he gets so
he prefers not to talk about it (especially on long flights with his crew) but
we did discuss the effects of the Madrid bombing on the Spanish elections and
how the Spanish electorate was making a clear connection between Spain’s role
in the Iraq occupation and considering the bombing as blowback. (Dear George
Bush: how will you over-throw Spain? What – are we going to go from Freedom
Fries to Freedom Gazpacho?) Anyway, he got really hot under the collar real
fast – luckily we weren’t in public. Wow – rage – though I think part of it
connects to his witnessing the effects of the Reagan support-ed Marcos regime
when he was growing up.
Luck of the Irish
I’ve never been a huge St. Patrick’s Day person. Dancing around like a drunk
asshole because you have Irish ancestry makes as much sense as black people
eating fried chicken, Jewish people saving money or asian people playing violins.
(The evil leprechaun from The Simpsons not withstanding yar-tar-tar
tee-tah-tah tar-tar-tee-tar! as well as Bernie Mac’s riff to the Irish
Mafia in the second Charlie’s Angels movie)
I have always found it fascinating the treatment of Irish immigrants upon first
arriving to the United States – the race riots and et cetera – and then the
of that prejudice to black Americans with Irish-Americans leading riots,
lynchings… the classic bullied-become-bullies to gain power. This is totally
ignoring the conflict in U.K. and all of that mess.
I think that my socio-economic background, my hometown and parent’s background
had much more effect on me growing up with any notion of The Green Island. The
mythical part was as my dad went on his own Odyssey do get in touch with the
father he’d never met – talk about an Oprah episode! “Oh we’re depressed
because we’re Irish.” Puh-leeze. Every ethnic group has the same party
line: “Nobody worked harder when they came to this country than the (Us).
We believe in hard work and family and religion and sticking together and hard
work and did I mention hard work?” And I do tire of the drunk-poor-Irish
motif in plays and such (not counting that descent into madness known as Long
Day’s Journey Into Night). But I am turning to the ancient Celtic and
Irish side as I do research on a new tattoo – because every culture has mystics
and warriors and shamans and heroes – you can turn to other cultures for designs
and symbols – but every ancient people have covered the same tracks before.
The rites and rights of eternal living. I’m still liking a nice Celtic knot
on the right shoulder to compliment the solar icon on the left… can’t find
an armband design that I like yet – I keep seeing how they age on other people’s
arms and it looks likes a curved, irregular pattern ages the best… dragon
designs either too ‘Oriental/intricate’ or ‘basic tribal’.
Men’s Fitness Re-designs Again
Got the newest issue of Men’s Fitness. I’d previously gone off about
their redesign a couple months ago – that they were obviously trying to get
way to heterosexual with the magazine and the guys on the covers were always
super-touch/macho guys – totally dumping their readership that finds arousal/inspiration
in the phsyiques of the well-developed male form. Plus, it was such an obvious
Maxim-ization. Got the new issue yesterday and was pleased to find
a return back to hunks-on-the-front (not to be confused with pumps-in-the-bumps
or put-em-on-the-glass). Men’s Fitness seemed like the magazine least
ate up about the whole ass-and-titties movement and used to have a lot more
research-y articles. And did admire their (closeted, non-descript) coverage
of developments in HIV research and treatment. Though their front typeface looks
a lot like Men’s Journal.
I have found I have become like my dad: I’ll go through a magazine and tear
out all the subscription cards. I just hate how the thickness of the cards screws
up flipping through the magazine. I’ll even rip out multi-page ads (“This
is an advertising supplement”). Of course, this drives Ron batty.
(from Mar 13th)
At the coffeeshop – in a generally annoyed state – I think because I have had
too much tea to drink. Didn’t want to buy groceries just yet so I went to lunch
at Leon’as. Ron called while I was there. He’s in San Fran now – he could tell
I was eating at Leona’s:
Ron: I can hear all the straight people…
Me: Yeah – there’s no screeching.
Went to gym this morning and did my shoulder and ankle exercises. I seem to
fall into a sense of hopelesness every week and then come out of it on Friday
afternoon. It’s like by Wednesday I am too tired or too desolateto think clearly.
I don’t know. It is werid. I keep waffling on what kind of tattoo to get next.
I see straight line armbands and I just don’t think that they look very good.
Then I realize I want one just like Nick Lachey and I feel like I’m being a
total tool. I really want a dragon like that hot latino guy that alwasy swims
in the pool at Bally’s. Am I just trying to be something that I am not? Maybe
I just need a well placed nap. I do find that I keep taking these long naps
after work. I really do like it though. Sometimes I feel like I am nestled into
that comfortable do-nothing mode. I don’t want to live like that. I don’t want
to be like that. I am hoping I can go see Hans Blix downtown next Thursday.
That would be too damned cool. To get to see him in person after hearing about
him for so long. Wouldn’t it rock if I could invite myself to dinner with him.
That would be the bomb.
I find myself missing Grandpa K (mom’s side) today. I’d really like to see him today.
I don’t much recall anything he ever said to us besides teasing or exclaiming
‘hot daggity’ – I can’t remember any words of wisdom or famous quotes from him.
Just his presence. Always dressed to the nines, always working, always smiling.
I’ll never forget the night I hugged Grandma as she cried in the hallway of
the hospital while in the room I heard Grandpa crying ‘I don’t want another
needle!” I had never seen either of them in such a vulnerable state. I’ll
never forget that.
What would you die for?
What would you die for? I know what we all say we’d ideally die for. But what
would you run through gunfire to get, to have, to keep, to save? My parents
and sister definitely. I’d become a drug dealer if that’s what it took to keep
them in good health. Would you really stand up and declare your religion, your
creed, your sexuality and risk your life for it? What do you really believe
in enough to risk harm to your body, your reputation, your spirit?
Would you risk starvation if it meant someone you knew would get to eat? Would
you give a kidney… blood… bone marrow. How far would you go to give someone
else improved health and life? What would you sacrifice for someone you don’t
even know? Someone you might not agree with? Someone very diferent from yourself?
Is there anything that is that important to you? How do you know – is it just
an important feeling? Do you just know that you’d do something like that? What
would you prostitute yourself for – and not just whoring your body… under
what circumstances woudl you use your intellect, you reputation, your heritage
as currency? Where do you personally draw the line?