Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Haiku News, November 5, 2010

I don’t miss much about Indianapolis, but I do remember the days of sitting at the Qdoba near IUPUI, chowing down on a giant plate of nachos (chicken, with pinto beans, hot salsa, sour cream, cheese, and a little bit of rice, please) and reading a NUVO Newsweekly (think the Indy version of the Chicago Reader).  To my memory, it is the only prominent news outlet for local artists and musicians, while incorporating investigative reporting from a left-leaning perspective–something otherwise tough to find in a blue-collar, NASCAR-lovin’, beer-swillin’ hotbed of ‘Publicanism†.

As a tribute to NUVO, here is my take on a staple of theirs:  haiku news.

Cranky electors/Vote out the incumbents but/Can’t remember why

Olbermann donates/MSNBC makes clear/”We are not Fox News!”

LBJ debuts/Fans watch games, then normalcy/NBA ignored

Colbert and Stewart/Rally thousands to fight fear/And earn blame from Dems

Mark earns victory/Alexi salutes with beer/Barack licks his wounds

Fifteen scores, two picks/Peyton shows that Father Time/Is a deadbeat dad

“Saw 7” premieres/Whose fate is worse:  slaughtered cast/Or tasteful film fan

Cans of Four Loko/Next scare on college campus/Red Bull still legal

†Update:  My friend Neil (hi Neil) asked me an excellent question on facebook:  “wuts rong with beer swillin’?”  While I’m assuming a tongue-in-cheekness with the spelling and all, I must clarify:  there is nothing wrong with beer swillin’.  I love swillin’ beer.  I swilled a beer tonight.  (If High Life counts.)  I mean no disrespect to those who swill beer–nay, I invite everyone to swill a beer.  To beer swillin’!

On a (barely) more serious note, I don’t want to come across as one of those jerks that moves off to The Big City™ and suddenly washes himself of the people and place from whence he came.  My family still lives in Indy, as do many of my closest friends.  I value a lot of relationships I made there to this day, and am proud of the work I did with former students and my old high school.  And, of course, the pride of the city, the Colts.  I think most of my readers understand the balance of affection and immense frustration with the city/state and share my views.

So go beer, go Horse, go…Pacers?  Do we still have the Pacers?

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It’s Just One of Those Days…

Well folks, it looks like we’ve come full circle.  Rage and shame stemming from disasterous Bush II era leadership and policy led to the Obama election a couple of years ago.  Our first black president, the first step to a post-racial America.  The promise of “change” and progression in society.  We’d repair our diplomatic image and regain international respect.  We would reverse course on our economic philosophy by no longer favoring the rich or the massively incorporated.  We cast our gaze on the horizon and saw imminent “hope.”  Yes we can!

Turns out all we can do is be angry.  It’s America’s new pastime.  Fred Durst is our poet laureate:  “Everything is fucked/Everybody sucks.”  Remember the inauguration?  Throngs of people across the country, taking to the streets under an umbrella of unity and positivity, crying and hugging total strangers because a certain spirit had been recaptured–the metaphorical light at the end of the tunnel.  Well, swap that now with pure vitriol.  White, middle- to upper-middle-class Christians seething with manufactured anger at the nebulous and ever-lasting right-wing gripe “big government” and “wasteful spending,” which apparently Obama managed to put together in 22 months.  Certainly none of this anger is inspired by racism!  (Would it kill one of these motherfuckers to use some block lettering or stencils or something other than their inbred chicken scratch?  Me write pretty one day!)

I am stunned daily at the extent to which large groups of American citizens have developed an unbridled rage at the exact problems George W. Bush created over eight years.  I can’t help but scoff anytime I hear a rationalization of this anger.  Bush slashed government revenue, spent insane amounts of money in an unjustified war (although don’t tell that to the untold numbers who still believe, even when it requires some self-delusion, that Saddam Hussein orchestrated the World Trade Center attacks), and stalked his citizenry with illegal wiretapping and even library monitoring.  Where was the outrage then?  If this fringe movement really has any semblance of principle, they should have formed a good 8 years ago.  But why, when you got a white-as-hell good ole boy in office, a guy you wanna drink beer with?  I hereby nominate my alcoholic Uncle Lenny for President.

Somehow a sqaudron of the least intellectual political leaders in history–Sarah Palin and her Pied Pipettes Mama Grizzlies, paternally coddled hangers-on like Rand Paul and Ben Quayle (thanks, Dad!), and weepy no-mongers like John Boehner (who has already conveniently set his party up for two more years of “No”)–have instructed a brainless, insecure populace to reload and unleash waves of ignorant white noise over a non-plussed voting population.  Even when it’s difficult to determine which specific policy initiative set everyone off, they’re MAD AS HELL and can’t take it anymore, and now the House is in their hands.  Meanwhile, weakling Democrats are left shrugging their shoulders and agreeing that, well, Obama isn’t that great.  If the Obama election was one giant liberal orgasm, we’re smack in the middle of a four-year refractory period.  Half the country is still lazing in bed smoking a cigarette–aw, c’mon baby, I’m tired, that was sooooo good–and the other half is raving around the bedroom, furious that they paid for dinner and the movie tickets.

As a liberal myself (didja figure that out yet), I’m left asking, “What the hell happened?  What exactly did he do?”  Well, you can look for yourself here (link courtesy of Jason Mikula–hi Jason–so check out his blog).  Ending predatory lending practices, increasing funding to fight violence against women, expanding insurance for children and the poor, removing restrictions to student financial aid.  What an asshole!  These are the policies the Ignorami (our modern version of the Illuminati) reject and abhor–but do they warrant comparisons to Hitler (not to mention Karl Marx, Satan, and that creepy child molester-looking guy on the third floor–oh, no, wait, that’s just Brad Childress)?  Are we in the fucking Twilight Zone?  And when will these people realize you cannot be a facsist and a socialist at the same time?

From my perspective, Obama had a mandate (as much as any national election represents any sort of right to make sweeping change–that itself is debatable) after November 2008 for more liberal politices.  He should have immediately closed Gitmo, repealed DADT, rescinded the tax cuts for the wealthy, and demanded a public option.  But our political spectrum is so skewed–liberals are really toward the center here, and conservatives are damn near Puritan–that any slip away from the fictional middle sparks the hyperbole.  He’s tyrannical, he’s a Marxist, etc.  (This little gem might be the most laughable piece of absurdity yet.  As much as I wish I lived in Arizona, holy hell, am I glad I don’t live in Arizona.  Ever heard of Richard Nixon, you idiot fuck?  Or YOUR DAD?  I guess that’s how he has a keen sense of what is the worst; the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.  And yes, I AM GOING TO CALL YOU A CLOSET HOMO, HOMO!  Here’s the second part of that ad.)

Where is the liberal rage?  I’m furious about the direction in which MY country is going.  I for one love things like desegregation, affordable health care, reproductive rights for women (I love it when old white men tell women what to do with their uteri).  When will a chunk of the population stand, with legible, grammatically correct picket signs, and express their fury?  It sure as hell didn’t happen in this election.  Maybe we have to wait until 2012, when Vladmir Putin Sarah Palin rears her ugly head, and we’re faced with a serious decision about leaving the country.  I don’t know what else could mobilize the left.

It will be a few months before we feel the full effect of these elections.  I expect the next few legislative months to be lame (duck) as hell.  We live in a 24-hour campaign cycle, and even though a good chunk of House Dems have lost their seats, surely they’re already thinking about 2012.  So we’ll see more bland, unimpactful and superfluous legislation that, while in essence accomplishes nothing, will somehow piss some sect of the political spectrum off.  Then the new GOPers will take their seats, and Congress will accomplish absolutely nothing.  Good luck with all that, Barry.

Sigh.  Politics.  It’s all about the he-said she-said bullshit.