Presidential debates and a bit more

Ahhh, a night out on the town with Larry Fondation, and it might not be that late but the drinks were certainly flowing this evening. So it feels late. And if anyone felt like arguing the point I might even argue given my current state, but I suppose hard facts would dictate that indeed it is rather early. And I am a sucker for lost causes perhaps, the Irish in me for sure, but I couldn’t in all conscience argue this one. If I were with my brother T at this moment, we’d be in the kitchen making beans on toast with grated cheddar on top and possibly hot sauce, but I’m in America now, and on my own, and the baked beans just don’t taste the same here. So I’m writing instead, and then to bed.

We watched the presidential debate, the dodgers reigned supreme in most downtown bars, it was a bit of a quest, but the bar at the Sheraton turned out to be golden, so we watched it there. My Jack and coke was mostly Jack, so consider yourselves warned. And they were both good in the way that all politicians are good, they spin like little tops and tell you what they want to hear, and it’s only your critical thought and deeper knowledge that separates the two. And given my own critical thought, McCain was incredibly infuriating in his hypocrisy, but he hit the right notes for the American public…less government, I agree. Hope, I agree. Less spending, I agree. If we stopped killing people in Iraq and Afghanistan and escalating our military presence in the rest of the world, well! We could spend half as much, but put it into health care that works and if you scrapped no child left behind and channeled money into education, and housing, well, if you actually funded HUD fully and cut the corruption, what could we not do? Halve our spending while providing proper health care, education, housing…billions on the war machine could be much better spent elsewhere. Of course, that’s not what he’s saying. I don’t know where he plans to cut spending, but it’s not the war, it will be on the backs of working folks of course. And I don’t know how he can say we need a change when it’s his party in office, or that they stand for less government when it’s his government that brought us the patriot act and no child left behind, they’ve invaded two countries and called up every army reserve, hired hundreds of people to tap our phones, and have planned out what every teacher should be teaching for every minute of every day, and they say they’re for less government?

And so I do believe Obama is better…I have a more complex analysis of course, but it’s…er…late. Don’t make me argue. It hurts but I think voting for him is important, because I don’t think he’ll manage to do what should be done, but the alternatives frighten me. Some folks on the left argue that things should be allowed to go to hell and then the people will rise…the ones who argue that are always the ones who know they will not be sleeping in the streets, waiting in lines at the unemployment offices, struggling to feed their kids, I rather dislike those people. I think I’m united with most of the country on this, which is why the left has been so useless for so many years. If the revolution comes you know they’ll end up on the wrong side protecting their interests because they all have money, they’ll deserve what happens to them.  I don’t think fascism is that far away, and they won’t be the ones getting strung up.

That’s a digression though. I actually enjoyed it when McCain claimed that Colombia is our number one ally in South America and we must sign a free trade agreement with them, and Barak riposted that the Colombian government has been busy assassinating labor leaders (and so many others, how on earth could anyone consider them our greatest ally? An utterly corrupt government that employs death squads, torture, assassination and grows richer and richer every day? That’s my own comment, not the candidates). Not many politicians would do that, I must admit. Or promise to insert enforceable labor laws and protections into international trade treaties. I don’t know if he’ll do it, it’s doubtful he’d succeed even if he tried given the machine that is congress, but even introducing that into mainstream debate is good. Ha, makes you reassess your belief in what is good. We should be asking so much more, but a corrupt two party system lowers your expectations.

So. To conclude this rather ranting piece of writing, I think the republicans will be happy with McCain and the democrats happy with Obama, the rest of us rather unhappy with both. Hopefully the rest of us are leaning leftwards, there are a number quite enthused actually. My cynical self, well, don’t get me started on elections, but I rather like watching such enthusiasm. I’m like the jaded star of a good noir novel, sometimes I feel like the femme fatal but I’m probably the poor john…er…johnette. I’m not manipulative so that leaves femme fatal right out, and as I say, I’m a sucker for lost causes. Not that Obama is a lost cause, he’s got a great shot and I think he will likely win. It’s real change and real equality and real distribution of wealth is the lost cause, though I’ll argue it’s not lost any day of the week…life would be hard if I believed it were utterly impossible. People have to take power for real change to happen though (what politician will give the people what they ran for office to get?), and the questions remains, will they?

We didn’t talk about that question the rest of the night really. We talked about bar fights and Boston and hooligans and Flannery O’Conner, I believe my plan to remake LA as the center of the new noir is well on its way, I couldn’t ask for more from a night really. We went to Casey’s Irish Bar and Grill and it was alright, and then a bar on 7th…a hundred class whiskeys on the menu from $7 to $140 a glass, plaid carpeting, dead deer heads on the wall, two pool tables that were being played by amateurs, a crowd we couldn’t quite figure, live jazz, a beautiful bouncer with handcuffs prominently displayed on his belt…I enjoyed it. Not obviously hipster, there was even a guy there with longish blond hair and a white polo shirt tucked into his khakis. Where the hell did he come from? A good mix as far as race went, it was good. And home early, to write a blog and then fall fast asleep…

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