So It Comes to This

"We always want the best man to win an election. Unfortunately, he never runs."
~Will Rogers

The 2008 Election season is hitting its stride, and I have the same opinion I did six months ago, one year ago, four years ago and eight: ye gods, we can do better.

America is crying out for an actual leader, and for awhile I thought there just might be enough magic for America to believe in a Maverick crippled war hero, or a white/black man from Hawaii/Illinois/Kenya/Kansas who could turn a pretty phrase. Now? I look at this country, and I shake my head that I'm not in charge. (And I often wonder if I anymore even want to be.)

I have not decided my plans for this election cycle, but I thought you might get a kick revisiting my 2000 and 2008 campaigns. So, ever the next few days I am going ot re-run those columns, complete with 2008 Hyperion thoughts on just what 2000 (and 2004) Hyperion was thinking. (Hint: I often think I was crazy.) My launching column back in 2000 was pretty long, so I have split it in two parts. Enjoy seeing what I used to think. I don't know if it's a good thing or a sad one, but 2000 Hyperion makes more sense than anyone now.

The Hyperion Chronicles
“Ask not what Country Crock Spread Can do for you…..”

#8 So it comes to this

I am pissed off.

Wait. That is not the way I want to begin this. Let me try again. I am way beyond pissed off. I am enraged. I sit here one day after the third and final presidential debate, and I am filled with bottomless pools of frustration because We, as a country, cannot seem to figure out that the presidential election should not double as a Major-League Jackass contest.

(any of these guys might be better. Or at least more entertaining.)

I hate our choices. I hate the format that America uses to foist my “choices” on me. I hate the spin-doctors, an entire cottage industry whose only job is to come on TV.1 and completely lie about whatever I just saw. Hey, folks, I just got done watching two liars lying like there were prizes involved (which, if you think about it, I guess there are); I don’t need you talking heads to insult my intelligence further by telling me what I supposed to now believe.

1 And this was back before Cable News really knew what they were doing. If I wrote this column today I would probably be arrested for specific violent threats.

And lie they do. We all know about Gore: Clinton-like lies without the charm. Bush, however, gets a pass here. Bush lies quite a bit himself, but Gore is the Official “Liar” of this election season, so it is his lies, at least some of them, I’m bombarded with.2

2 I did not mean to imply (by any stretch) that Bush does not lie. I was trying to refer to how the Media only cares about Sound-Bite descriptions, and in 2000, Gore was the Liar and Bush was the Idiot.

But Bush does not get off scot-free. Almost every night I am treated to anecdotes showing how dumb he is. Hey, no argument here. Bush is dumb. So, though, is Gore. Gore spent the last eight years saying more stupid things than the Kansas State School Board3 ever could even if they were liquored up first. But I do not hear about that, because Bush is our representative “Idiot.”

3 I didn’t look this up, but I’m almost positive I am referring to the decision they made to teach Creationism as Science.

Look, both candidates lie. Maybe they have to. Maybe they would not get where they are, and would not get where they want to go without lying. Maybe our culture, TV, or even the French are to blame (I’m not sure how to justify that last one but I always enjoy blaming the French4).

(I have nothing intrinsically against the French, but I like my countries like I like my women: to put up a bit of a fight.)

4 I still do this, although now I am just as likely to pick on Croatia. They’re evil, smell bad, and I’m sleeping with their wives.

Both candidates are also quite stupid at times. Maybe they have to be. No one who would subject themselves and their families to the media molestation on purpose can be very bright. “But what about the power?” you may ask. What about it? By the time these guys get where they are they have whored themselves to so many groups and financial backers that it is truly rare that they get to make a decision on their own. This certainly is not new.

(McKinley: great mountain, terrible president)

Way back at the end of last century Bill McKinley sure did not want to go to war with Spain until his financial Puppet-Master, Mark Hannah, wanted to. Suddenly Bill got a message from God, and the rest was, literally, history. We fought a war we did not need to5, against an opponent who tried their damndest to give up every step of the way, just to prove we were a “happening” country. And you thought bombing an Aspirin factory because you had to testify before the Grand Jury6 was bad…

5 The Spanish American War, in case you’re truly stupid

6 One of Bill Clinton’s many sins crimes included the number of “bombing” missions that coincided exactly with testimony from him (or Lewinsky).

So, what am I left with? I remember being told often enough by various teachers, coaches, and the occasional riot police chief, that, “If you aren’t part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.” Let us allow that this is true in this case. I could spend the rest of this column ripping apart the positions our two major candidates have taken. I could point out the use of Michael Hutchins’s “Triangulation” concept7, where a politician tries to put him or herself halfway between where divergent opinion is on a particular issue. I could use cold math and show why very little of the campaign promises we have been given would or even could ever be done. I could point out the inconsistencies in the candidates’ positions; show how they have folded faster than Superman on laundry day8 anytime a belief ran into an obstacle such as money, or making Oprah mad.9 But any of these techniques, while they might give me some momentary satisfaction at being able to vent my anger at the impotence of our political system, will do little good.

7 The author I was thinking of is actually Christopher Hitchens, who may be the last honest Liberal in America. (Figures he’s a Brit.) I disagree passionately with Hitchens on many things, but he is one smart dude, and always worth reading. I was going to just correct the sentence, but I left my mistake in to point out that pre-Google, fact checking was a lot harder.

8 I cannot be sure, but I think this is a Seinfeld reference.

9 Again, I do not have time to pin this down exactly, but I seem to recall there being a flap when one candidate went on Oprah in 2000 and the other one initially did not want to or something. I do recall that both eventually went on. Bush in particularly charmed Oprah, but then again, he was always best in the one-on-ones.

(My original caption involved Anne Heche, but to avoid angry emails, let's go with, "You can see that thing from space!")

Therefore, I resolve to become part of the solution. It is as obvious to me as a Ted Danson10 toupee that neither Bush, Gore, or any Republican or Democrat for that matter, can get the things done in America that need to be done. So, I will do it.

10 Dude, especially those last few years; who was he fooling?

I, Hyperion, am announcing my candidacy for the Presidency of the United States. Rather than rip up my opponents any more, I am going to tell you what I will do to help this country along. We may be doing ok, now, but long-term We as a country are in more trouble than the Buffalo Bills at a Super Bowl11 without some major changes. Over the next few nights, I am going to tell You, the American people, what I will do. Some things you may have heard before: I do not claim to have made everything up. Some of what I say may not apply to you. Stick around, I will find something you can relate to better then Alabamians at a family reunion12. Once you see my plan I am confident you will come with me.

11 The Buffalo Bills lost four straight Super Bowls in the early ‘90s. 2000 Hyperion made a lot of damn analogies, didn’t he? I’ve gotten better, right? Right???

12 “Relate” + Alabama = Incest Joke. 2000 Hyperion had a lot of growing up to do.

The first column was originally twice this long, but I split it in two. Tomorrow I will reveal the first 7 ideas I had in 2000, or you if you cannot wait you can go here (but there won't be funny comments!)

Sadly, there won't be any funny comments in the actual comments, either. Sigh.

1 comment:

Lady Jane Scarlett said...

Nice new quote for the top. Life here in Michigan hasn't been the same since Brady left us.

Might I suggest that we convert the Monkey Barn into our own image and likeness? But with pirates. And Rick Astely.