Saturday, October 15, 2011

Chin Up

This is one of my favorite things from Clinomania. Boyland posted it the day after the 2004 election. To best appreciate it, you'll have to remember how mad you and everyone else was when GWB was re-elected to another term, and you were angrily watching the election results come in at Parker's parents' apartment, and then the next day your German coworker at the diabetes magazine gave you a hard time about how this was why everyone hated America. Then Obama got elected and everybody chilled out, but this is still fun.

Chin Up!

Chin up, folks! Where's that smile? Where is it? Oh, I think I found it! The problem is it fell over and turned into a little frown!

To the tin soldiers of Ohio, to the racists across our land, particularly those in rural Florida, to the corrupt election officials (not that this election was determined solely by Hayesian collusion), to everyone who did their part to bully and intimidate poor minorities into disenfranchisement, to those who use their Bible more for faith than good works, to the war-happy, to those distrustful of intellect, and most particularly of all to the diabolically wealthy, I extend the angry acrimonious hand of bitter horrified spite by way of congratulations. And to those who gave Bush a vote for well-considered, well-informed, and compassionate reasons, I apologize ever so humbly for categorizing you as an awful ignorant racist idiot who does not understand what terrorism is or how it works.

To those who did their earnest best to persuade the oft cited "Middle America" to consider change, the Bruce Springsteens, Dixie Chicks, Eminems, and Howard Sterns, to the people who are not entertainers and consequently less embedded in my heart but who labored with a Dixie Chick like devotion, offering kind and sensible pleas to America to consider another option, I thank you and ask that you not grow discouraged.

To those who alienated Middle America with self-serving systems of "protest," creating a roar of incestuous feedback reinforcing the well enough founded notion that big city types are a bunch of whining cell phone toting jackasses with far too much time on their hands, who lack moral fibre, who lead debauched decadent lifestyles, and who ought to lend a hand behind a plow some time to see what life is like, I say "thank you" in a sarcastic tone of voice and feel my stomach slowly fill with that city-dwelling substance known as vitriol. Yes, I'm talking to you, you on the streets of SoHo with those over-designed Ghostbusters/"No Smoking" pins with an Obey style shadow of the president's face. Dissent is a non-remarkable commodity when worn statement of the week style on the coke-dusted lapel of an $1800 peacoat. In the future, please do not commodify your dissent. Please use your dissent to generate useful rhetoric, at the very least, or if you're really full of energy, potentially nail-damaging labor towards some social improvement. Yes, I'm talking to you, as well, you who graciously allocate some measure of their trust fund to the wearing of humorous pun-oriented costumes indicating your dissatisfaction with the administration, costumes that say, "Hey, people who already agree with me! Is this not a truly way out costume?"

To myself, I politely offer the reminder that I really should not be content with the meager quantity of American history, world history, and civics already at my disposal, which is really not that impressive at all.

To the increasingly worried of our nation, those who may recall Matt Groening's "A History Of My Bad Mood,"* those who are near enough already to ulcers (for boys) or migraines (for girls) and did not need this to prompt them further along, I say, "Chin up!" To the young and angry, I humbly request that we not repatriate ourselves en masse just yet. Surely, I say, surely, things could get even worse. If people simply must leave early, though, please let me know where you will be going, I may like to stop in to visit and check out real estate. Personal preferences are for perennial fave Canada, Brazil, Ireland, the UK, the Netherlands, or suburban Japan, but I'm amenable to most anything with good wireless, access to American mail order, and potable tap water.

And to our President, George "W" Bush, I say, Mister President, I know that you have a hard job. I know that there is a lot of pressure. I know that it hurts to be the one Republican president who starts a spurious war on foreign soil only to have jobs mysteriously dis- rather than re- appear. I know that people are unkind, that God allowed you to be reborn into Him that you might curb the erosion of America's morals, that you do not like discussing politics in your free time but people keep insisting on it. I know that part of you would like to see schools improved even if you probably aren't really knocking yourself over arts funding but it's so hard to improve schools when you have to give fifty billion more dollars to the military this weekend. I know that the brutally effective and relatively bloodless way we executed not wholly justified military operations in places like Granada, Nicaragua, or, for example, back in the early nineties, Iraq, gave you a false sense of security in the infallibility of shock and its partner awe in getting Americans everything they want. I know that seeing all that juicy oil makes those dollar signs cha-ching right up into your eyeballs and it's like having the biggest boner of your life and you can't think of anything but all that oil. I know that it is difficult reconciling the fact that your family, the Bushes, and Osama bin Laden's family, the Ladens, used to socialize but now you're a-feuding. I know that your daughters must be fucking nightmares. I know things looked so simple for your daddy, just zipping around in his little cigarette boat, laughing and playing. I know it's hard. I know. But, please, because you love God, America, and your charming white-haired old mother, please stop fucking around, because you're going to get us all killed.

* Have I recalled this title inaccurately? It is the one in which he repeatedly entreats that the "right wing sleazeball" not win again, to periodic and minor relief.

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