Friday, October 31, 2008

Feeling Check: Happy Halloween edition

Okay you guys, feeling check: today I am feeling pretty amped. I am gearing up for my Halloween, and in order to do so reacquainting myself with the wisdom of the Log Lady, a character from Twin Peaks that I will dress as. Over the course of doing so, I have come across what sounds like exact quotes from David Lynch's recent book, "Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness and Creativity."

For instance, (from Episode 2):
Sometime ideas, like men, jump up and say "hello." They introduce themselves, these ideas, with words. Are they words? These ideas speak so strangely.

All that we see in this world is based on someone's ideas. Some ideas are destructive, some are constructive. Some ideas can arrive in the form of a dream. I can say it again: some ideas arrive in the form of a dream.

For those not familiar with the LL, here's an intro, I believe from the TP pilot:

For those at home who also wish to have a costume that is not Sarah Palin and would actually like to dress like a lady with glasses and a brain, here are some pictures to help:

I actually found these when I was Googling "Log Lady"! And of all the LL's in the world (which included pics of hot chicks in bikinis sitting on logs), my friends Kasey, Yellie, Gabe and Mike popped up in a search. I know these people! The world is so very small. And sad. To quote the LL:
There is a sadness in this world, for we are ignorant of many things. Yes, we are ignorant of many beautiful things - things like the truth. So sadness, in our ignorance, is very real.

The tears are real. What is this thing called a tear? There are even tiny ducts - tear ducts - to produce these tears should the sadness occur. Then the day when the sadness comes..then we ask: Will this sadness which makes me cry; will this sadness that makes my heart cry out...will it ever end?'

The answer, of course, is yes. One day the sadness will end."

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Way to go, San Francisco Examiner!

So the daily newspaper, a city rag once serving my fair city with shining brilliance from such luminaries as Hunter S. Thompson, Mark Twain and Jack London, has actually come out with it's endorsement of presidential candidate John McCain.

Why on earth would a paper that reflects and reports upon one of the most progressive major cities in the known universe do such a thing? Two words: Phillip Anschutz. The Examiner's owner, who ranks as Forbes' 31st richest person in the U.S., is also a known crusader of Christian causes. Instead of reflecting the city's best interest, the paper has chosen to reflect the values of its non-resident owner. This act definitively represents everything that is wrong and unethical about media ownership deregulation in this country. Here's a link to the endorsement, which I'm afraid is too disgustingly asinine to copy into my blog.

But I will, however, copy some of my favorite comments:
Ana: "That's a pretty ballsy stance in the age of decreasing readership. Was this suicide? Indeed. I'm also deeply embarassed for your newspaper. What a shame."

cmhockeygirl: "so much for the examiner being the "local" paper - no pulse on the city..while they are free to endorse anyone they wish the "in our face" endorsement is a bit much..they obviously could care less about their readers but about this city as well"

City Native: "Guess who owns the newspaper? A conservative Christian named Philip Anschutz, who lives out of state. My question is why would the newspaper want to alienate itself? People, if this offends you then do not pick up another copy. They will get the picture when their news stands go untouched. Examiner, why don’t you go be a painfully simple tabloid somewhere else….like Alaska. The Anchorage Examiner…."

m@: "April Fools!! Wait, what? This is for real? You're supposed to represent San Francisco! WOW... did you see McCain on the View? How about Palin with Katie Couric? How can neither of those two things worry you?!"

Chloe N.: "this is the WORST endorsement I've ever read. Is the Examiner trying to be controversial so that their circulation will go up to, like, five for once? McCain and Palin hate The Examiner, and all things San Francisco related. What a disgusting pathetic gossip-rag this once reliable publication has turned into. I feel sick."

rxday: "This endorsement represent view of it's 'conservative christian' owner. His other papers are now also endorsing the republican ticket. So why doesn't he just write an opinion and have it published under his name. That way everyone will know who's opinion they are reading."

The same dudes from the beer commercial, now reprising their roles and using their acting chops for forces of good.

The Undercurrent

Today I read this passage from a book by William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac called And The Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks. Co-authored by the pair in 1945, the two young aspiring novelists switched off, writing every other chapter. Apparently it wasn't a staggering work of genius for the budding beats, who hadn't yet written respective novels at the time. It was never published, but will be, next month. The following selection was written by Burroughs:

I walked over to Seventh Avenue, then up to Christopher Street to buy the morning papers. On my way back I saw there was an argument in front of George's, so I crossed over to see what was going on.

The proprietor was standing in the doorway arguing with three people he had just thrown out of the joint. One of the men kept saying, "I write stories for The Saturday Evening Post."

The proprietor said, "I don't care what you do, Jack, I don't want you in my place. Now beat it," and he advanced on the group. They shrank away, but when the proprietor turned to go back in, the man who wrote for The Saturday Evening Post came forward again and the whole process was repeated.

As I walked away the proprietor was saying, "Why don't you go somewhere else? There are plenty of other places in New York."

I had the feeling that all over America such stupid arguments were taking place on street corners and in bars and restaurants. All over America, people were pulling credentials out of their pockets and sticking them under someone else's nose to prove they had been somewhere or done something. And I thought someday everyone in America will suddenly jump up and say, "I don't take any shit!" and start pushing and cursing and clawing at the man next to him.

I think this passage speaks volumes to the spirit of anti-establishment that has died or been rendered counterproductive by younger generations over the decades. The legacy of the class-defying, bohemian free thinker has never seemed more ineffectual. Today, "bohemians" and "hipsters" are labels that people can buy into by listening to the right music, reading the right books, watching the right films and then wearing the proper apparel to prove one's allegiance.

After reflecting upon this a bit more, I'm starting to come to the conclusion that this spirit never died, it's just morphed into something perverse and frightening. People will always crave social upheaval. Classes of individuals, when threatened, will react. In some cases, in the good old-fashioned American way--violently.

I was talking to Dr. Morgenstern this morning, and I said, "I can't wait for this election. He's gonna win, and it's going to be so satisfying." Morgenstern then said, "It's not about the election anymore. It's about the aftermath. There's going to be some major change, and there is such an undercurrent of violence in this's frightening...who knows what could happen."

I'm getting a little scared about some of the recent anti-Obama sentiment. For example, the report today about the McCain campaign mental patient that carved a "B" on her face and told the police that someone had seen her McCain bumper sticker and carved her up like an evil Zorro:

(Ashley) Todd, who is white, initially told police she was attacked by a 6-foot-4 black man Wednesday night.

She told investigators she was attempting to use a bank branch ATM when the man approached her from behind, put a knife with a 4- to 5-inch blade to her throat and demanded money. She said she handed the assailant $60 and walked away.

Todd claimed that she suspected the man then noticed a McCain sticker on her car, became angry and punched her in the back of the head, knocking her to the ground and telling her "you are going to be a Barack supporter," police said.

She said he continued to punch and kick her while threatening "to teach her a lesson for being a McCain supporter," police said. She said he then sat on her chest, pinned her hands down with his knees and scratched a backward letter "B" into her face with a dull knife.

Todd also told police she didn't seek medical attention, but instead went to a friend's apartment nearby and called police about 45 minutes later.

On Friday, when she admitted the story was fabricated, Todd told police she believes she cut the backward "B" onto her own cheek, but she didn't explain how or why, Bryant said.

I don't know if people will rise above their racism and xenophobia and realize that it is possible to have a president acting on their behalf to create social justice. I think this country has been lied to for so long that it's too hard to comprehend. Or perhaps if they do eventually believe he is a trustworthy politician, I'm not sure they would be able to drop their egos and race-based fear. I can see an underground movement to challenge the New Guard already in the works and it makes me afraid--and greatly ashamed--of this nation.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Obama endorsements like a warm blanket

With just two weeks to go until a new president is (s)elected, it's oh-so-comforting to hear sane, rational pronouncements of why Barack Obama could be such a gift to this country. I've been getting strange chain emails lately from people who are giving me positive thinking and visualization exercises; urging me to repeat to myself stuff like, "I am so grateful for President Obama," like, 15 times. Some even asking me to then stand on one leg and flap my arms and do a chicken dance while imagining a voodoo doll of McCain burning in flames (actually, nobody said to do that, still waiting on that one).

But in an effort to tap into the power of positive thinking, I will call attention to some of the amazing endorsements Obama's been getting lately. Like the one that came out today by Colin Powell. His story about the Muslim soldier's grave in Arlington was so fitting; I really hope it really resonates with all the xenophobic Islamophobes in the country:

And The New Yorker's official endorsement was so beautiful, got me a bit choked up. Key exerpts:

It is perfectly legitimate to call attention, as McCain has done, to Obama’s lack of conventional national and international policymaking experience. We, too, wish he had more of it. But office-holding is not the only kind of experience relevant to the task of leading a wildly variegated nation. Obama’s immersion in diverse human environments (Hawaii’s racial rainbow, Chicago’s racial cauldron, countercultural New York, middle-class Kansas, predominantly Muslim Indonesia), his years of organizing among the poor, his taste of corporate law and his grounding in public-interest and constitutional law—these, too, are experiences. And his books show that he has wrung from them every drop of insight and breadth of perspective they contained.
*spoiler alert* Here's the very last paragraph. I do declare, this brought out the waterworks out for me:

We cannot expect one man to heal every wound, to solve every major crisis of policy. So much of the Presidency, as they say, is a matter of waking up in the morning and trying to drink from a fire hydrant. In the quiet of the Oval Office, the noise of immediate demands can be deafening. And yet Obama has precisely the temperament to shut out the noise when necessary and concentrate on the essential. The election of Obama—a man of mixed ethnicity, at once comfortable in the world and utterly representative of twenty-first-century America—would, at a stroke, reverse our country’s image abroad and refresh its spirit at home. His ascendance to the Presidency would be a symbolic culmination of the civil- and voting-rights acts of the nineteen-sixties and the century-long struggles for equality that preceded them. It could not help but say something encouraging, even exhilarating, about the country, about its dedication to tolerance and inclusiveness, about its fidelity, after all, to the values it proclaims in its textbooks. At a moment of economic calamity, international perplexity, political failure, and battered morale, America needs both uplift and realism, both change and steadiness. It needs a leader temperamentally, intellectually, and emotionally attuned to the complexities of our troubled globe. That leader’s name is Barack Obama.
The Racist Tendencies of Wikipedia

Most San Francisco natives are aware that the Bayview/Hunters Point neighborhood, located far out along the outskirts of the southeastern region of the city, is a ghetto. They also know that it is the only predominantly black neighborhood in the city, impoverished and rife with gang violence and toxic waste sites. And perhaps they are even somewhat familiar with the history of the place: how thousands of blacks migrated there for job opportunities with the city's naval shipyard during the Second World War. (For an award-winning investigative piece on daily life in Bayview/Hunters Point along with a brief history, read the article "What happened to black San Francisco" from San Francisco Magazine.)

When I recently took a look at the Wikipedia entry for Bayview, I found this map of San Francisco:

Notice the blood red shaded districts in the lower right-hand side. The red is meant to represent the concentration of African Americans. Now I can understand why, from an anthropological perspective, highlighting the presence of blacks in this particular area is key in defining the character and cultural landscape of the area--it's true that there is a stark concentration of this demographic in comparison to the surrounding areas. But my gut reaction was one of shock; I felt that it was included as a means of warning to those interested in the area that "Hey look out! Lots of colored folks in the neighborhood!" I mean, if this map is such a key component to the description of the area, then why wouldn't other San Francisco neighborhoods have similar maps? The presence of Italians in North Beach has, by all outward appearances, diffused over the years. To me that's pretty interesting--why is there no map in the North Beach wiki entry on their whereabouts? And what if I want to know just how Chinese Chinatown really is? There's no map for that either.

I just can't help but to look at this map and question the motives behind such a thing. I feel like its inclusion implies a sense of "otherness" that the creators of the entry must have thought the average reader would feel towards the black community. I'm boycotting Wikipedia...until I get lazy again and need to feign knowledge of an obscure topic in a half-ass fashion.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Quote of the Week:

(I'd like to rescind the "quote of the week" I posted a few days ago and replace it with this one. I feel that some readers not familiar with my father may have misinterpreted and thought he was wishing that my plane would crash and that he is a total a-hole).

Me (to housemate chopping onions and tearing up): You don't need to get so emotional over vegetables. It's just not worth it, man.

Housemate: I'm just taking a moment to think about what Jesus did for us. How he suffered for our sins. But you wouldn't know anything about that, now would you Amity?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Alec Baldwin Impersonator King

I offer as evidence the following clip from the Tina Fey sitcom, "30 Rock", which must not only establish Alec Baldwin as one of the best comedic performers on television EVER, but must also establish this show to be one of the best things I've ever seen:

Friday, October 10, 2008

Banksy's "Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill"

In a tiny, inconspicuous West Village storefront in NYC, British guerrilla street artist Banksy last week installed a series of window displays involving animatronic exotic animals alongside his own hybrid creatures. An art installation that aims to, in his words, to explore "our relationship with animals and the ethics and sustainability of factory farming," Banksy set the stage for what appears to be real, exotic animals, and some...decidedly not so real. Fish sticks appear to swim in a fish bowl, chicken nuggets peck at a tub of BBQ sauce, and some hot dogs give erotic exchanges. The artist told the BBC he has already heard complaints from New Yorkers "unhappy about seeing two hot-dogs performing a sex act."

Thursday, October 09, 2008

A Funny Thing Happened on The Way to Downtown...

I came across a road warrior completely off the road and in fact riding the MUNI. From the front (I couldn't possibly shoot him from the front for fear that he would aim a gun at me, I mean, he looked like that mean dude from Raising Arizona, the vigilante that shoots a bunny rabbit from a Harley-Davidson), he looked like a dungeon master or medieval times misfit that likes to hang with the Hell's Angels. Freaky.

Also, another astute observation: the Scientologists must not be winning the hearts and minds of commuters with their personality tests at the Powell BART Station these days...I saw this book of Dianetics left on a bench at the MUNI platform. Desperate times you guys, desperate times.

Slime for Grown-Ups

Did you know that it is the 30th anniversary of slime? According to Japan Trend Shop, which offers $19 tubs of "Adult Slime with relaxing aroma" it is. And what better way to celebrate than with four exciting flavors: hot, relax, elegant, and love? I can't think of a better way to set the mood for an evening of good old-fashioned adult fun than to pour scented ooze all over myself. Ah yes, slime certainly does bring me back. Makes me want to relive my youth, living vicariously through various castmembers of "You Can't Do That on Television":

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Paglia on Palin

I've been really fascinated lately by the trend of some members of the female intelligentsia--especially popular feminist thinkers like Camille Paglia--to come out in defense of Sarah Palin as a positive female role model. I hear the point, loud and clear: on a subjective level, all Couric gaffes and mindless mudslinging aside, there is something to be admired about the rise of a woman who came from abject humble beginnings and could soon find herself leading the highest office in the land. I'm not buying the argument, though.

You can't separate Palin from the quizzically inane statements she makes, the corruption plaguing her resume, not to mention the lack of fundamental knowledge and intelligence that it takes to steer a nation through dire, near-apocalyptic conditions. Her success not only sets the bar low for women in office, it sets the bar low for all politicians. She is a complete and holistic icon of incompetence, not empowerment.

From a Paglia post on

The mountain of rubbish poured out about Palin over the past month would rival Everest. What a disgrace for our jabbering army of liberal journalists and commentators, too many of whom behaved like snippy jackasses. The bourgeois conventionalism and rank snobbery of these alleged humanitarians stank up the place. As for Palin's brutally edited interviews with Charlie Gibson and that viper, Katie Couric, don't we all know that the best bits ended up on the cutting-room floor? Something has gone seriously wrong with Democratic ideology, which seems to have become a candied set of holier-than-thou bromides attached like tutti-frutti to a quivering green Jell-O mold of adolescent sentimentality.

Oh I'm sure there was some real genius material on that cutting room floor. And I'm sorry, but anyone who uses the terms "bourgeois conventionalism and rank snobbery" is guilty of both. BTW proud to consider myself one such snippy jackass!!!

She goes on:

One of the most idiotic allegations batting around out there among urban media insiders is that Palin is "dumb." Are they kidding? What level of stupidity is now par for the course in those musty circles? (The value of Ivy League degrees, like sub-prime mortgages, has certainly been plummeting. As a Yale Ph.D., I have a perfect right to my scorn.) People who can't see how smart Palin is are trapped in their own narrow parochialism -- the tedious, hackneyed forms of their upper-middle-class syntax and vocabulary.

Where does the "urban" come from in "urban media insiders"? Is she insinuating that only the "urban elites" are savvy or learned enough to question Palin? Ivy League bitterness got ya down, Paglia? Having a tough time paying off them pesky student loans with your meager salary?

She concludes:

The hysterical emotionalism and eruptions of amoral malice at the arrival of Sarah Palin exposed the weaknesses and limitations of current feminism. But I am convinced that Palin's bracing mix of male and female voices, as well as her grounding in frontier grit and audacity, will prove to be a galvanizing influence on aspiring Democratic women politicians too, from the municipal level on up. Palin has shown a brand-new way of defining female ambition -- without losing femininity, spontaneity or humor. She's no pre-programmed wonk of the backstage Hillary Clinton school; she's pugnacious and self-created, the product of no educational or political elite -- which is why her outsider style has been so hard for media lemmings to comprehend. And by the way, I think Tina Fey's witty impersonations of Palin have been fabulous. But while Fey has nailed Palin's cadences and charm, she can't capture the energy, which is a force of nature.

I must say, I do agree that some of the emotion-tinged malice people have been feeling towards Palin is in need of strong feminist analysis, but apparently Paglia was too smitten with her performance at the debates to provide it:

...I was admiring not only her always shapely and syncopated syllables but the innate structures of her discourse -- which did seem to fly by in fragments at times but are plainly ready to be filled with deeper policy knowledge, as she gains it...

From this passage I'm not sure that Camile Paglia was watching the same debate as the rest of the nation. I think it takes a latent, idiosyncratic level of misogyny, a "soft bigotry of low expectations" to look at this incompetent politician as a symbol of female empowerment. Sure she is making firsts for women: she is the first woman to be used to blatantly pander to a female electorate dispirited by another female politician's loss. The first VP candidate used by a conservative party as an empty token of values advancing equal rights, yet promising none.

I do not disagree that, on a purely visceral level, the image of this tough-talkin', unapologetic, unqualified politician is somehow inspiring to American women out there unaccustomed to seeing this image: this fierce and assertive woman poised to become so powerful. But giving her credit for Palin's own insistence that she is somehow "breaking the glass ceiling" is a notion that only looks good on paper. Yes, like I said she is establishing some firsts for women, but I find it incredibly ignorant on the part of Paglia, Christian Amanpour and others to give so much credit to Palin in this arena. How long ago, really, was it that America was given a glimpse of the possibility of a strong, capable (I cannot emphasize this word enough) woman becoming a major head of state? Are we forgetting how far Hillary Clinton came? Geraldine Ferraro?

From what I gleaned from Paglia, the reason Clinton cannot be lumped into the same category as that "force of nature" that is Sarah Palin, is that Clinton didn't come from a politically-unenlightened, "Joe Sixpack" kind of background. And Clinton perhaps forfeited the feminine aesthetic that only a former beauty queen that likes to wink and flirt with the camera can procure.

Sarah Palin has done as much for the women's movement as Britney Spears--although, I don't know, Paglia may also have a warped argument just as unconvincing, that disputes this.

BTW nice touch, Paglia, calling Katie Couric a viper! The first time Couric has actually come out to expose her proverbial lady cojones since drilling George H.W. Bush about the Iran-Contra Scandal before live television in 1992, and you dismiss her as a snake! For shame!

--Don't miss out on reading this Paglia rant in its entirety, where she contemplates Palin's possible Native American ancestry as a means of explaining why she's so gosh-darn spunky.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

And now: a thought-provoking discussion on the etymology of the name "Barack Hussein Obama" as provided by a fair representation of the American voting public...ladies and gentleman, the enlightened citizens of Appalachia:

At least they know that Spain is our ally.

Monday, October 06, 2008


I need to post this and then stop, no more . I'm overwhelmed with disgust for these shameless, fraudulent politicians. I feel like even conjuring up the evil elephants by name will bring toxicity to my humble little electronic diary. After today, I think it's safe to say that the GOP machine is officially set to death spiral mode. Bringing up Jeremiah Wright is an obvious act of desperation...blah blah blah. Just look at these hatefests. This is not presidential behavior, this is the behavior of hatemongerers and hooligans. This is a major embarrassment to our country:

(listen for the "terrorist" shriek in the audience)

In Fla., Palin Goes for the Rough Stuff as Audience Boos Obama

By Dana Milbank
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- "Okay, so Florida, you know that you're going to have to hang onto your hats," Sarah Palin told a rally of a few thousand here this morning, "because from now until Election Day it may get kind of rough."

You betcha. And the person dishing out the roughest stuff at the moment is Sarah Palin.

"I was reading my copy of the New York Times the other day," she said.

"Booooo!" replied the crowd.

"I knew you guys would react that way, okay," she continued. "So I was reading the New York Times and I was really interested to read about Barack's friends from Chicago."

It was time to revive the allegation, made over the weekend, that Obama "pals around" with terrorists, in this case Bill Ayers, late of the Weather Underground. Many independent observers say Palin's allegations are a stretch; Obama served on a Chicago charitable board with Ayers, now an education professor, and has condemned his past activities.

"Now it turns out, one of his earliest supporters is a man named Bill Ayers," Palin said.

"Boooo!" said the crowd.

"And, according to the New York Times, he was a domestic terrorist and part of a group that, quote, 'launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol,'" she continued.

"Boooo!" the crowd repeated.

"Kill him!" proposed one man in the audience.

Palin went on to
say that "Obama held one of the first meetings of his political career in Bill Ayers's living room, and they've worked together on various projects in Chicago." Here, Palin began to connect the dots. "These are the same guys who think that patriotism is paying higher taxes -- remember that's what Joe Biden had said. "And" -- she paused and sighed -- "I am just so fearful that this is not a man who sees America the way you and I see America, as the greatest force for good in the world. I'm afraid this is someone who sees America as 'imperfect enough' to work with a former domestic terrorist who had targeted his own country."

"Boooo!" said the audience.

And, last but not least, this one goes back about a year, when Hilary Clinton was the larger threat for the McCain camp:

I don't know, but I'm pretty sure this kind of hatemongering is what spurs social movements that can lead to labor camps and the gassing of Jews.

Sci-Fi Recommendations for the Undecided Voter

Found this list of Science Fiction tales to help voters decide the next president from some geek site called io9. Apparently they solicited pundits to name off some politically-relevant stories and, although admittedly SciFi has never been my genre of choice (save Atwood or Orwell), I think this list has much to be desired.

However Markos Moulitsas' pick, Isaac Asimov's Franchise, seems almost apropos. Set in the year 2008 (good so far), the U.S. President is chosen completely at random through a computer system that picks one citizen to choose on behalf of the entire electorate. Moulitsas mentions, but does not fully explore, an analogy here with the way in which we rely on poll indicators.

But shouldn't there be a Vonnegut tale in there somewhere? What about the Watchmen? I don't know enough good SciFi to truly weigh-in here. But c'mon! Really Jonah Goldberg of National Review fame? (Btw he's crap. Case in point). All that comes to mind, Mr. Goldberg, is a minor character on "Angel" for you to compare Barack Obama to--from a spin-off show of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"? I mean, this entry is truly stretching, Senior Dorado-berg, you take the only black character you can find in the entire SciFi canon and compare it to Obama? Racist.
Feeling Check: today, web magazines making me depressed

So today I decide to check in with the, only to find that the site's content and ads are a bit on the macabre side. First, there was a picture of a life jacket with the headline: "Life Jacket Capitalism" (a fairly good article for the economic layman which posits potential new names for our sudden, new model of capitalism). Then there was a smaller article about children and suicide. Then this ad:

Now I don't know where this life insurance company was going with this image: perhaps the target consumer is a gold digging wife who marries a man twice her age, or a mafia family. Either way, I am feeling depressed. Thank you web magazine.

Friday, October 03, 2008

'Lil Bill O

I love it when children are exploited and used...all for the funny.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

McCain/Palin Debate: Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to you

I knew from the moment her royal folksiness walked up to Senator Biden and squawked at a volume even background microphones in the audience could pick up: "Can I call ya Joe?" that I would have to hold back the bile slowly inching its way up my esophagus.

For the eternity that was the 2008 Vice Presidential debate, I spent nearly 80% of it unable to pick my jaw up off the floor. I probably looked like Ralphie from that Christmas movie. But instead of Santa Claus telling me I wouldn't get that Red Ryder BB Gun, the television was saying, "Sorry Amity, no winner for you tonight! This televised event is rigged rigged rigged!"

It was rigged, straight up. Who rigged it? The conservative spin machine that put the fear in Gwen Ifill and the mainstream media in general who, for the mere act of pointing out the inanities and absurdity of having this sham politician rise to the ranks to become a viable VP candidate, are whined about ad nauseam by Rove-ites. The fact that this hockey mom has been propped up, brainwashed and that her recitations of mindless talking points crammed down her throat over a period of a few weeks are being considered worthy of the national and world stage is not a victory for the everyman "Joe Sixpack" (or as one pundit put it, "more like Joe Threepack--he can't really afford that much beer anymore"). It's a victory for anti-intellectualism, pessimism about the sensibilities of the general electorate, and above all else, it is a victory for that fundamental tenet of American neoconservativism: "That government is best which governs least." --and to clarify what neocons believe when they use that statement, here they are not referring to the political theories of Thomas Paine or Thomas Jefferson, they are referring to incompetence reigning supreme. A do-nothing, know-nothing government that allows young men to die for oil profits, levies to break, tens of thousands to become homeless instantaneously as a direct result of corporate greed in the housing market, and people to die within its borders with a healthcare system that is nearly as negligent as many third-world countries.

But getting back to the debates, Gwen Ifill is one joke of a journalist, and I do believe I can say that in all nonpartisan sobriety. She caved. She caved to all the buzz about her being too liberal for the moderator post and, in a lame attempt to prove what a "fair, balanced" journalist she was, went above and beyond what was necessary to accommodate Palin. Since McCain and co. flipped out and decided to make news of a book of hers that she's been promoting for months now, one about black politics in America that was characterized as a pro-Obama rallying pamphlet by those on the Right, it appears that Ifill conscientiously threw hard balls at Biden, while ever-so-gently pushing inquiries into Palin's general direction. I thought her questions for Biden were amateurish and pathetic, and meant to throw him off guard. What kind of a question is: "Which is more dangerous: a nuclear Iran or an unstable Pakistan"? Good thing I wasn't running against Palin. It would be nearly impossible to shroud my contempt for a question like that. "Well, Gwen, I'm glad you asked! I think that, if I could, I would rank Iran as a 6.7 on a terrorism richter scale of sorts, with Pakistan ranking just under at 5.9!" (Ooh ooh! I know! Maybe Biden could invent a color code system for levels of terrorism WHEN HE BECOMES VICE PRESIDENT, and these levels could be announced to the public as the Pres and VP see fit! No no, that would never work, that's stupid. Just stupid).

Beyond the crap moderation, I found myself at levels of disgust well beyond those that I had felt last time around, as I sat in DC and watched the Bush and Kerry debates with a crew of Hill interns: half of them staunch conservatives, half passionate liberals. But it was far worse watching the debates this time, because there was a politician up there shaming her own gender as a representative of women in American politics. Whether anyone likes it or not, this woman is making history and she will forever be remembered whether or not she actually becomes VP. She will serve as a representative for many women struggling to balance work and family. That this moron is making it into history books saddens me beyond words.

If this debate was not a complete joke, some dude would come out from back stage with a cane and yank Sarah Palin off the stage mid-sentence, right after announcing the following:

When she gave a (in her words) "shout out" to some third graders and named some goofy elementary school and told them they would get extra credit for watching the debates, I was all like, "THIS IS NOT A F**KING BEAUTY PAGEANT!" I believe this startled my fellow viewers, who seemed shaken by my vociferous statement of the obvious. But this, of course, came from a gargantuan build-up of sitting idly for too long and watching that silly woman blink at the camera, and repeatedly using the words "heck," "doggone it," and even bringing back the term that did not serve her well with Katie Couric: "rear that head" (in this case not Putin's head, but here referring to corrupt mortgage-lenders).

I counted her as saying "maverick" six times, and twice referring to her "diverse family." What this means I do not know. Perhaps she is referring to some in her family that are alabaster, some that are butt-a**, some that look olive-toned in special lighting, and some that used her tanning beds in the governor's mansion and tan easy.

But what's more insulting than her negative representation of women (i.e. stupid, and dependent upon their looks to get them places), is what she supposedly stands for, policy-wise. She stood there next to Joe Biden and, on giving civil union rights to homosexuals, she said that she agrees and preaches tolerance (then again if a woman is raped by her father and gets pregnant and doesn't want to have the child, this "tolerance" she speaks of is of course thrown out entirely). But if you actually suspended your disbelief for a moment, you would strangely fall under the momentary assumption that this woman is espousing a few liberal values. Which, if in fact true, honestly doesn't mean a damn thing. What anyone voting for McCain solely based upon their support of Palin should asked themself is, once that war hawk "maverick" worms his way into the White House, do you really think Palin's input is going to mean anything? Do you really think that all the boot camping and prompting is going to give her the confidence to stand up to McCain when their personal views are at odds with one another? The lady's being spoon-fed information by crazed puppet masters that want her to be their charismatic mouthpiece and nothing more.

It's true, I don't think that either candidate truly won this debate. But I think that it was rigged anyways, so the concept of "winning" the debate for either candidate is synonymous with anyone "winning" an occupation. I am mad that the little trained monkey was actually able to memorize some random factoids and read her little cards with what appeared to be a level of poise and confidence. But in the end it doesn't matter, because I firmly believe that Barack Obama is going to shame McCain into early retirement. And that's that.