Saturday, March 10, 2012

Mitt ‘n Grits

GritsIt has been with a high state of hilarity that I’ve watched video of Mittens Romney campaigning in Mississippi over the past few days. You really can’t make this shit up.

Mister I’m Worth $200 Meeeellion Dollars is working hard to convince average working folks that he’s just like them, and he seems to be trying especially hard to do this in the South by learning their lingo and having “strange things happen to him.”

It was bad enough when he was campaigning in Michigan and uttered that perplexing thing about liking the trees in Michigan because they’re the right height. What? But this week in Mississippi, he cranked up the Awkwardometer and started saying things like “Mornin’ y’all!” and “I like grits!” (Grits One and Grits Two)

You know, I don’t hate the guy. I completely disagree with him on most of his policies, I think supply-side economics has been proven to not work, I think he’s spineless and kisses Rush Limbaugh’s fat ass, I think his criticisms of President Obama’s foreign policy is disingenuous at best and a deliberate, pandering lie at worst, and I think his religion’s practice of baptizing people into the Mormon faith—even Holocaust victims, who are, you know, JEWISH—after their death is obscene. But he seems like a decent kind of guy for the most part.

But I have never seen anyone so completely unable to connect with people. I often feel socially awkward, but this guy makes me feel great about my social skills. It’s almost painful to watch at times, and sometimes I almost feel sorry for him. Then I remember that it’s all deliberate, he has people telling him what to do, how to act, what to say...and instead of coming across as a regular guy, he keeps hammering home the fact that he’s richer than the vast majority of us will ever be. (And he also wants to lower taxes on himself and those on his level...don’t forget that part!) It’s really just embarrassing now. He’s not a regular guy, and he never has been.

As we begin to see the return of Candidate Obama, the contrast between the two is astounding. Obviously, much of what President Obama does is calculated; I’m not naive. But I also think he has a genuine understanding of and a concern for most Americans. Mittens may feel that way (but I doubt it), but is simply unable to get past that rarefied air of privilege. Obama is also a fantastic speaker, with great oratory skills.

MittensIt’s fairly obvious that Mittens will be the eventual nominee. I look forward to the debates between him and President Obama. Mittens is no slouch as a debater, but there have been many awkward moments, especially the combative ones with the moderators (“You get to ask the questions you want, I get to give the answers I want. Okay?”), and he gets very defensive about his taxes and wealth. But Obama comes across as authentic and genuine, and Mittens comes across as exactly what he is: a really, really rich guy.

It will be fun to see the personae that Mittens adopts in the coming primaries. Perhaps we’ll get to see some Native American stuff in the southwest (certainly no LATINO stuff...get real!). Maybe he’ll don a 10-gallon hat in Texas and shoot a varmint. Illinois might give us a glimpse of ‘20s Gangster Mittens, and I can hardly wait to hear him talk about his love of ‘sport’ in Indiana, especially that ‘hoop’ game (“Boy, you Hoosiers really love your basketball, don’t you? I saw that movie, you know. Wasn’t that a great movie?”) and the upcoming Indy 500 (“Boy, you folks sure drive fast around here. I think I took a wrong turn when I was trying to get here, and I just kept going around in circles, and then they gave me some milk to drink. Ha! Ha! Ha!”)

Jeez, the guy is the Borscht Belt comedian of the political world. Ba-dum-tsss!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I think I’ll just crawl in a hole

PeytonGood grief, what a week.

It seems like it’s been one thing after another...some things aren’t huge in the big picture, but some have been.

I cried when I heard that Davy Jones died. I loved the Monkees as a kid, and I still loved them as an adult. I had just been discussing with Cousin Shane that they were underrated as a band. They recorded some really wonderful pop tunes, and Davy was, by all accounts, a truly decent human being who loved his family, his life, and loved performing. He died way too young, and I was very sorry to say goodbye to him.

Andrew Breitbart also died young. Since he had a wife and children, I think that’s all I’ll say about that.

This past weekend was a tragic one in southern Indiana, northeastern Kentucky, and a few other areas as very strong tornadoes came through. The last I saw, the death toll was 39, and that including a little girl found in a field...she was found alive, but was in critical condition. Her entire immediate family was killed, and she later died in the hospital. My heart just broke for everyone affected, and the devastation was mind-boggling. A couple of towns were essentially destroyed.

Pat Robertson had to weigh on it, and said that if people had prayed harder, they would have prayed the tornado away. He went on to say that people shouldn’t live where natural disasters occur. Tornadoes happen across the entire Midwest, and into southern states...I wonder where he’d have us all live? All the people along fault lines in California and the Midwest, all the people on the southeastern coast who are at risk of hurricanes (and those hurricanes can cause damage pretty far inland, too, so might as well just move everyone out of Florida), everyone along the Mississippi and other rivers that periodically flood...where does he want us all to go? And when will someone tell that senile old bastard to shut the fuck up?

Today Peyton Manning was cut from the Colts. I understand the reasoning behind it, but I’m so bummed that he won’t get to finish out his playing days in Indianapolis. He has always been a class act, and he will be very missed. Apparently, no other Colts player will ever wear #18. I will treasure my #18 jersey forever, and I wish Peyton nothing but the best. He is truly one of the good guys, an incredibly competitive player who works hard but maintains a sense of decency and goodness that you don’t often see these days. Safe travels, Peyton, wherever you end up. You’ll always have a place in my heart.

Exploding light bulbThere were really high winds in the area today, and while I was sitting here reading, with Sheeba on my lap, a large tree fell out front. Scared the bejeebus out of both of us, but the lights stayed on. I looked out front, and the tree was on the power line to the house, dragging it almost all the way to the ground. I called the power company immediately, and they put in the work order. Then things started popping...literally. A big *POP* from something in our electronics, and a puff of smoke...two of the ceiling fan bulbs winked out, followed by the other two, in rapid succession. At this point, I was starting to freak out a little bit, wondering if I’d have to grab the fire extinguisher (yes, we have one handy, in the kitchen). The smoke alarm started going off (the fumes from the CFC bulbs...they didn’t explode, but they definitely give off an odor when they go), and I called the power company back and said something like “Yeah, I’ve got a call in, but things are starting to blow out here!” He said to shut off the main power, so I did that pronto (that was my instinct, too, but I was a little discombobulated). Happily, the power company got here soon, and was able to fix the line pretty quickly. The neutral line, I guess it was, had snapped, so there were power surges coming into the house. Yikes!

No major harm done, although the conduit which contains the line coming into the house was bent, and we’ll have to have that repaired; the roof might be damaged in that area; and some of the electronics seem to be zapped. We’ll have to see if there are fuses we can replace, but in all likelihood, we’ll have to get a new receiver, CD player, and DVD player. I think they’re fried. I don’t know if it will be enough to file an insurance claim, or that it will be more than our deductible. We’ll find out.

I do keep things in perspective, and I realize that our troubles are minor compared to those in our state and other states who have lost everything. I really can’t even imagine, and I’m glad we have a federal government to assist Americans in a time of crisis.

So I’ve been feeling more than a little insular lately. I’ve just been hunkering down and doing a lot of reading, doing my workouts, and trying to let this storm pass (so to speak). Sometimes it seems like a lot of bad things, or things that affect us in a profound way, happen all at once, but I do my best to not let that get me down. All in all, we are very fortunate, and I know that.

Oh, and I didn’t even mention the brouhaha with that gasbag Limbaugh and the circus that is the Republican primary. Seriously, Republicans? Not looking good for you this fall....

But as always, I shall forge ahead, keep calm, and like a good citizen, carry on.