Issue #138 – “Ruminations on Electoral College Life” – October 20th, 2008

-We are in the midst of one of the most divisive elections in history.  Democrats hate Republicans.  Conservatives hate liberals.  Everyone hates the debate moderators.  But there is really one group that we can blame for all the negativity and vitriol that has enveloped this campaign: “undecided” voters.  Obama and McCain don’t care about those of us who have already made up our minds, and with good reason.  All their speeches and ads are now targeted to those people who claim, that after a year-and-a-half-long media blitz, they still don’t have enough information to make a decision.  I don’t call these people “undecided” – I call them fucking idiots.  Forget about hockey moms and Reagan democrats; what the candidates are really courting… is the moron vote.

-First of all, I don’t quite understand Sarah Palin’s strategy of constantly referring to herself as a “hockey mom.”  Isn’t she alienating all the parents whose kids are awkward, ungainly, and don’t play sports?  There’s got to be fewer hockey moms than there are Dungeons & Dragons moms.

-Many voters compare the candidates’ lives with their own to see if they can relate.  This isn’t the best yardstick of who will make a great president, but I’ll admit, I’ve done it.  For instance, it’s odd to consider that Obama and I are alike in that we’ve both written two books, but different in that he’s tried cocaine and I haven’t.

-John McCain and I both delivered speeches at my graduation from Penn in 2001.  I spoke at the business school ceremony in the morning, and he spoke at commencement for the entire university.  An excerpt from my speech: “After all the 9am classes that we had to sit through, did graduation really have to be this early?  All kidding aside though, I am confident that each and every one of you sitting before me today will become a great success by meeting any challenge that comes your way.”  An excerpt from McCain’s speech: “Will you specifically, with all the confidence and vitality that you claim today, assume the obligations of community, national, or world leaders?  I’ll be damned if I know.  I’m not clairvoyant, and I don’t know you personally.”  Way to inspire, Senator.

-During the vice-presidential debate, Joe Biden said he spends “a lot of time” at Home Depot.  Is that really something he should be touting?  Generally the guys loitering in Home Depot either hate their wives or are clinically insane and just like talking to people.

-Think about how old your dad is.  Now think about how many years you’d have to add for him to be 72.  Now think of your dad at 72.  Now think about your dad at 72 running for president.  Even if you love your dad as much as I do mine, your conclusion will invariably be the same: no fucking way.

-One last message to all the moronic, er, sorry, “undecided” voters out there: did you notice that the jokes I just made really have nothing substantial to do with who is better able to lead our country?  That’s because all of the important facts are already out there.  Us decided voters are bored.  This is what we’ve been reduced to while you’ve got the candidates pandering around in circles.  So put us all out of our misery and make up your minds already.  But come November 4th, if you’re still wavering, don’t stop the car at your local polling station.  Just keep on driving.  I hear Canada is lovely this time of year.

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-Your perfume or cologne should not linger in the elevator any longer than you do.

-I propose a pact: celebrities are not allowed to give their babies stupid names if the National Weather Service is not allowed to give hurricanes even dumber ones.

-My buddy started a new job a few weeks ago and just found out that, due to a glitch, his 401k was never set up and deductions were not automatically taken from his paycheck and invested.  Given the current Wall Street shit storm, he figures he accidentally saved enough money to retire.

-I will never be hospitalized for “exhaustion.”

-I’m going to Vegas for Halloween next weekend.  While I’m stoked for the trip, I’m starting to think that getting hammered in Vegas while wearing a costume might be a bit overkill, and that maybe I’m overcompensating because it’s the last Halloween of my twenties.  Well, at least I don’t gamble, so the most I can lose is my dignity.

-To me, relationships are like cell phone service.  Everyone’s got that one person who, when you call their cell phone from your cell phone, the connection is always staticky.  Just like there’s that one person out there you’ve always wanted to connect with romantically, but it never quite works out.  However, if you commit to a cell phone service you only have to wait out the two-year contract.  But if you commit to your significant other, the cancellation fee is a messy divorce.

-I have a worse chance of getting copies of the pictures taken of me now, when I have to wait for my friends to download them off their digital cameras and email them to me, than I did back in the day when everyone just had disposables and calling “doubles” was sacred.

-And, finally, I’m a big fan of the shows “Terminator” and “Heroes.”  The only problem is that both series rely heavily on time travel.  As a loyal viewer, I am willing to suspend disbelief somewhat, but after a while I find myself wishing the characters would just go back in time to when their mortal enemy was a newborn and punch the defenseless baby in the face.  No muss, no fuss.  And that got me thinking about what the presidential candidates would do if they could go back in time.  Would they sever any past associations that could possibly be construed as controversial today?  Would they stop themselves from uttering gaffes on the campaign trail that their opponents could later use against them?  And if so, what would there be left to talk about?  The issues?  That would be pretty boring.  So I guess, in a way, the tangential fluff that has consumed so much of the media’s attention during this campaign actually serves a greater purpose: it keeps us paying attention.  I have no doubt that Americans will be engrossed in this election until November 4th.  But after that, it’s right back to Dungeons & Dragons and Home Depot.  Fuck me.