Wednesday, January 30, 2008
"He was elected by all them Mexican illegals in Chicago. He did the oath onnna KOran, because the political correct crowd let him."
I'd been listening to a group of waiting-room elderly hiss their inaccuracies for eight minutes. A dermatologist's office in Dartmouth isn't an ideal spot to seek out the Illuminated, but I expect a certain ... decorum in a doctor's waiting room. (Plus: did I need this now? Who would ever have thought that spending one's life shirtless on boats in the sun might lead to a possibly moderately non-malignant spot that required removal?)
It was a dumdum free-for-all, between allusions to Chappaquiddick and and the vocal exalting of war criminals. One fellow turned around and, red-faced, instructed the woman to "declare you're Independent, then they'll listen to you. You'll get what you want if you do that. They figure you're brought and sold if you say you're Democrat. Brought and sold." [sic]
I wasn't exactly certain what he meant. I mean, I understand the common belief in the "lazy conspiracy of the majority party" -- relying upon their loyal base, depending on a certain number of votes from each precinct which they take for granted. But I couldn't understand how declaring yourself not a member of any party would ensure that Washington (or Boston, or wherever) would help your particular political agenda and make your Early Bird Special less expensive.
I'm going through my midWinter political ennui. The empty cheer of knowing that next year's SOTU will be delivered by someone who possibly doesn't say "nu-kyoo-ler" isn't enough. The frustration of watching the national corporate media pick and groom candidates while leaving issues behind has hit me especially hard this go-round. We never even get a mention of a single-payer not-for-profit health care system, just the bitching going back and forth between candidates about the bitching going back and forth between candidates.
I never hear my vociferous companions in an office, a market line, these talcum-scented pensioners mentioning what they read on DailyKos or TomPaine.com and I never even hear them quoting the polite Republicans at NPR. All I hear is some weird empty biased flaky sloganeering, or as James at Aces calls it, "conservarrhea." But, I always give my elders the benefit of the doubt (because I was raised by people who were older than I, and thus owe their generation something) and besides, maybe they just hadn't heard...
I cleared my throat.
"Barack OBama isn't a Muslim. His father was raised a Muslim, but wasn't religious, and his mother wasn't religious. Obama's Protestant."
The Old One waved her hand dismissively and went on: "And I don't like that Patrick. The Governor. I don't trust him neither. I like that Hucklebee, but that Genuanny-Jewellerronnie-whatever, he's a no good Eyetalian from Noo Yawk. But I like that Thompson."
"Missus FernanDEEZ?" the receptionist shouted from behind the sign-in window.
I was glad, actually, that I wouldn't have to hear her cackling anymore. Because I was tired of her veiled racism and the surely-upcoming cheap line about the Clintons.
And I remembered her (or someone just like her) from the market line...
"Let me get my change purse out oh I know it's here somewhere now what was that again thirty seven cents thirty you kids don't know what it was like four five six seven there you go oh sorry I dropped one here's a nickel now that's four cents you owe me I know how you kids don't know how to give change without that cash register tellin you and we never spent so much when we were your age you charge so much for everything not like when we were your age isn't that right they don't know how good they got it if you worked harder at the one job you wouldn't need the two..."
Hear the sigh of the cashier.