Americans historically are fond of crowing about how they enjoy the finest political system in the world. We don’t even believe that ourselves. It is of course among the worst. I think about this subject once in awhile, and I have come to the conclusion that the best political system may actually be a benevolent dictatorship. When you leave things in the hands of a bunch of committees, and let people who are not especially bright vote on them, what you get is the lowest common denominator. Subtract a couple denominators from that, and what you have is American politics. This is not a political blog, this is a place to make fun of things that seem dopey to me. And what is dopier than American politics!
Anyone who knows me knows that I never pick up the phone at home, even if I am the one making the call. The only people who DON’T know this are Bill Clinton, Ed Koch and this Southern guy who talks so fast that I could hardly understand him. I decided to leave all the phone messages from political robots on my machine so I could dissect them later and find out what makes American politics tick. When I tried to find out what makes American politics tick, what I found out was that if American politics was an alarm clock, we would continue napping until we have that dream where we are falling off a cliff and wake up just before we hit the bedroom floor.
We have 15 messages on our answering machine as I write this, a day before the elections. The Democrats are poised to have a mid-term showing that ranks right below mine during my junior year of high school. But that is not deterring the robo-callers. Here is what they have been robo-talking about:
The fast-talking Southern guy cut right to the chase: “Cat-fried mice” is KILLING our economy! “Cat-fried mice” built 750 low-income housing units right in MY neighborhood! Just say NO to “cat-fried mice!” When I heard this I couldn’t believe it: I think I have had cat-fried mice at the Chinese restaurant and it was pretty damn good. On the menu it’s called “General Tso’s chicken," and I couldn’t believe that it was killing our economy so I asked my wife about it. She said, “The guy is saying ‘Tax-hike Mike,’ you dummy.” Just to be safe I will be voting against both of them tomorrow.
Then Ed Koch called and told me to vote for Nan Hayworth, since she signed a petition for New York Uprising, whatever that is. The guy is about 90 years old, and I give him credit for just finding my number, since phone books are heavy. So I listened to the whole message, and just when I thought he was going to explain what New York Uprising was, he lost his train of thought and started talking about “Dancing with the Stars.” Then it sounded like his teeth fell out and hit the microphone, and then he hung up. The petition that he is talking about, as I heard from a reliable source, has names on it like “Zorro,” “Morris the Cat,” “Ed Crotch,” so I don’t think I’ll be voting for Ed. I’m not even going to mention television political ads, I’m saving that one for when I run out of ammunition. But suffice it to say that on TV, Ed Koch is starting to look a lot like Grandpa Munster.
Sue called from the AFL-CIO. Apparently John Hall is completely anti-union, or might be totally for them- I couldn’t really tell since robo-callers rarely robo-enunciate. She went on and on for about 3 minutes, of which I understood about 2:53. She gave a website in case I needed more information, but what I really wanted was a website that would give me less. By the way she didn’t even mention Daryl Oates, so I guess they are no longer together.
Somebody called whose name I couldn’t make out, and went into great detail about something-or-other. It had to do with exposing outsourcing. And then in order to make things even clearer than that, he plays a clip from a recent Town Hall meeting (he doesn’t say which town), and through my answering machine sounds exactly like when parents talk to Charlie Brown.
Jim Bartkowski wanted to phone and tell me that he is running for Assembly. I remember that I spent most of my school years running FROM Assembly, so I’m not voting for him.
Greg Ball called to remind me of what a great guy he is. It sounded like something I always got picked last for in grade school, so I am not voting for him, although I may be thinking of dodge ball.
Greg Andrews assumed that I might like to be hooked up to a live teleconference so that I could ask questions, and so even though I wasn’t there, he hooked me up for a good four minutes. As it turns out I DO have a question: ARE YOU FUCKING NUTS???
One guy called and wanted me to “stop throwing shoes at my TV set” and show up to a “traffic jamming, pig throwing (or something like that) hoedown” at the Putnam County Courthouse and to “bring my pitchfork.” This sounds like something I made up, but it is not. At the end of the message he went, “WOOO HOOOO!”
Claire rang from the DNC. I don't think it was even a robo-call. She sounded a little lonely and I think she just wanted to shoot the shit.
Since the average American attention span is no longer than a Twitter post, the television spots are getting shorter, like this one: “Linda MacMahon’s a slut!” And many ads run right in a row, democrat following republican, and vice versa. One ad says, “Dick Blumenthal raised your taxes, so that he can upgrade his cable.” Then the next ad says, “He did NOT!” The next ad says, “Did TOO!”
They recently had a gubernatorial debate, so that we could get a load of the people who want to become our gubernor. There was Andrew Cuomo, Paladino, another guy, a woman, and a black guy who looked a lot like a walrus. Jerry Springer was the emcee, and there was a lot of name-calling and some hair-pulling, and accusing each other of cheating and having each others’ babies. The Democrats declared that they had set the bar very high, and the Republicans complained that it was making it harder for short people to get a drink.
I am so annoyed with these calls that I think I will just vote against anyone who called me, regardless of what their party affiliation might be. I’ll be really glad when the election is over so that I can delete all these messages, but I probably won’t be picking up my phone anytime soon just in case. I’m Rickster, and I approve this message.
Incidentally, The Revolutionary War ended with the signing of the Peace Treaty of 1783. It was signed by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay and British representative David Hartley, who used to host Good Morning America. After the signing George Washington rode a victory lap on his white horse from West Point through Westchester and into Manhattan. Now that they had won the war, his military officers wanted to install him as king, but he quashed the idea, "as every Man who regards liberty…undoubtedly must." When they went to raise the flag at Fort George (now Castle Clinton on the tip of lower Manhattan) they discovered that the British had greased the flagpole!