Thursday, October 30, 2008

Scary Female Voldemort With Fluffy Bow in Hair For Ohio's 2nd Congressional District?

Okay, prepare yourself for a Harry Potter reference. Remember how Voldemort becomes less and less human in his evil attempts at immortality? This, I’m pretty sure, is why Jean Schmidt looks the way she does.

I suppose that after you violate basic Congressional rules by calling Marine veteran and congressman John Murtha a “coward” on your first day in Congress, lie about gifts received from lobbyists, falsify your college education, tell voters you’ve been endorsed by politicians and organizations that haven’t endorsed you, plagiarize guest columns... TWICE, admit you weren’t aware of the financial crisis ‘until a few weeks ago’ and then air ridiculous commercials about the “success we’ve enjoyed” due to your leadership, and finally, wage a three-month assault on the fictitious Chinese drilling off the American coast that you've apparently imagined and then blame everyone (Republican John Boehner, democrats, then the media) for your lies, it becomes easier and easier to let yourself sour with age, baseless vitriolic attacks and senseless politics.

Of course, like the Cincinnati Enquirer reported back in 1984, this wonderful woman was calling young Republicans “young Hitlers” and booing Elizabeth Dole at the Republican National Convention, so I guess maybe she’s been this stupid all along.

Anyway, I proudly checked my ballot box for Victoria Wulsin. It’s hard to imagine that anyone continues to elect Schmidt into office, and I assume that those who do so just don’t realize how this woman is seriously embarrassing our district. I would beg Republicans and Independents who don’t know the issues at hand in the 2nd Congressional District of Ohio either do some research on the atrocious behavior of this woman or just skip voting for their representative altogether.

On a personal note, I might not be so angered were it not for the fact that I personally visited Schmidt’s office in Washington, D.C. back in 2006 to request her support in Congress to end genocide in Darfur. Upon arriving and waiting for quite a long time, I was handed off to an aide, not much older than me, who condescendingly suggested that it was so wonderful I was attempting to be so involved in politics, deflected my serious questions, questioned my own knowledge and then (!) tried to connect with me about my hometown by naming streets in it.

Totally insulting, but exactly what I would expect from Jean Schmidt’s office.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Adorable Politics

You may have seen this before now, but it's just so cute I had to post it. These students at the Ron Clark Academy have been studying politics this year with mock debates and, well, raps apparently. Some parts are a little tough to understand so they lyrics are posted below.

Obama on the left
McCain on the right
We can talk politics all night
And you can vote however you like…

(McCain supporters)
McCain’s the best candidate
With Palin as his running mate
They’ll fight for gun rights, pro life,
The conservative right
Our future is bright
Better economy in site
And all the world will feel our military might

I want Obama
Stick wit McCain you gone have some drama
Iran he will attack
We gotta vote Barack!

(Obama supporters)
But McCain and Bush are real close right
They vote alike and keep it tight
Obama’s new, he’s younger too
The Middle Class he will help you
He’ll bring a change, he’s got the brains
McCain and Bush are just the same
You are to blame, Iraq’s a shame
Four more years would be insane

Lower your Taxes - you know Obama Won’t
PROTECT THE LOWER CLASS - You know McCain won’t!
Have enough experience - you know that they don’t
STOP GLOBAL WARMING - you know that you won’t

I want Obama
Stick with McCain and you’re going to have some drama
We need it
He’ll be it
We’ll do it
Let’s move it

I’m talking big pipe lines, and low gas prices
Below $2.00 that would be nice

But to do it right we gotta start today
Finding renewable ways that are here to stay

Democratic left
Republican right
November 4th we decide
And you can vote however you like, I said
You can vote however you like, yeah


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Signs That This Election (Coupled With My Own Independent Historical Research) Has Mentally and Emotionally Exhausted Me

Last night I dreamt that Teddy Roosevelt, angry with me for apparently defaming the Republican party, was stalking about outside my house equipped with two black bears and one angry blonde mountain lion. What does it all meeeaaaan???


Monday, October 27, 2008

What I Did With My Friday Evening.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

In defense of elementary school children everywhere...

I'm sure by now you may have seen the video where Sarah Palin answers an eight-year-old boy's question about what a vice president does. Palin does her best concerned look with knit brow and maternal smile, explaining that the veep "runs" the Senate and can "really get in there" to affect policy. The McCain camp has defended Palin, pointing out that she was explaining complicated civic issues to an eight-year-old. For the video of Chris Matthews putting a McCain spokeswoman Nancy Pfotenhauer through the ringer on this issue and Nancy jumping and bending backwards to defend her veep candidate, see below.

So who should be angry here, other than Chris Matthews? John McCain--because his running mate has a tough time stringing sentences together and has gotten mixed up before about what the vice president does? The American people--because it's insulting that a national political party would choose a vice presidential candidate not for her qualifications but for her yoobetchya charm as a last-minute effort to revive a floundering campaign? Dan Quayle—because he sees his great legacy of vice presidential flubbery challenged by this Alaskan maverick?

Nope. In fact, those who should be most angered are probably busy right now, playing tag at recess or practicing long division. Or perhaps they are learning Civics, and their teacher is having to waste lesson time reteaching what Sarah Palin got wrong about the duties of the vice president. It's the children of America who should be angry.

As I listened to Nancy Pfotenhauer argue over and over again that Palin's response should be taken in the context as an answer for a schoolchild, I was furious and wanted Chris Matthews to point out the obvious—that a second-grader could handle simple civics and grasp that the vice president doesn't run the Senate but instead serves as a tie-breaker when the Senate can't make up its mind; or the fact that if we all followed Palin's example, we'd oversimplify things so much for schoolchildren that they'd never gain a basic understanding of how our country runs or much else for that matter.

There are enough fairy tales in public education already. When in some history lesson Christopher Columbus was outted as the rapist and pillager he was, it was a little bit like losing Santa Claus. I thought back to my first lessons in Kindergarten, where in the week leading up to Columbus Day we read picture books about this international hero who brought gifts to America and back to Europe, who befriended the Native Americans and who looked dashingly handsome in the watercolor version of the story. With the truth exposed years later in another school room, I sighed and filed Columbus away in my "Believed That Once, But Never Again" mental dossier. To join him later would be Thomas Jefferson's indiscretions, Abraham Lincoln's theories on colonization, Japanese internment camps and John Edwards's fidelity, just to name a few.

I'm not advocating for a first grade lesson plan in smallbox blankets, but I also think that if we can tell children the truth and not insult their intelligence, we should do so. No vice presidential candidate who claims to be so dedicated to education should go in front of a nation and tell a child an oversimplified truth about American civics. So instead of condemning Palin for telling American children distortions, I will give her the benefit of the doubt that she didn't understand the issue herself.


Friday, October 10, 2008

Things Currently Occupying My Brain, Preventing Me From Blogging


Friday, October 3, 2008

Before you go see another quirky generational movie about being...

Tonight, college kids will pay their student ticket prices and pile into movie theatres across the country to see a movie that undoubtedly will speak to them, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.

I know because I was there in their shoes on this very night five years ago, paying $8.50 for a 10 o’clock showing of my generation’s movie, Lost in Translation.

I had landed as a freshman at Northwestern University only two weeks before opening night and I felt, as most college kids feel, like I had finally arrived. This was where I was meant to be—living in my totally awesome dorm with the coolest kids in a great-but-I’ll-knock-it-anyway college town, where I could finally eat fresh sushi and drink sake while musing about politics with other young liberals (hallelujah!) who shared both my opinion that God does not hate me for my lefty persuasions as well as my use of unnecessary superlatives like the aforementioned 'coolest' and 'totally awesome.'

But college also has this way of setting off a self-referential inner-monologue that you can’t shake. Walking through a gorgeous campus with your iPod soundtrack while leaves crackle underfoot doesn’t exactly help to curb your deluded sense of grandeur either. So you walk from class to class, high off Rousseau and that cute guy from Econ who was most definitely at least a sophomore, and you ponder your depth and your Friday night plans because that sophomore-dude is most definitely going to the party in Allison Hall.

It was in this mindset that I found myself on October 3, 2003, huddled around California rolls with new friends and waiting for our showing of Lost in Translation. I had broken up with my high school boyfriend the night before and was really looking for some solid ground, something I could identify with and find strength in. That turned out, I would discover at about 10:45 PM, to be Scarlett Johansson’s underwear.

Who was this girl who--while deeply pondering her life (like me! twinsies!)--wore headphones, stared aimlessly at citi-scapes and bounced around on a bed in Tokyo in her underwear? How cool was that? I made a mental note to find grandma panties like Scarlett’s and figure out how to make them so sexy. Underwear aside, I wasn’t in Tokyo, I wasn’t going to Yale and I was not planning on majoring in philosophy like Scarlett’s character, but her brooding self-examination spoke to me. It resonated with my inner-being, and this was my movie.

Actually, it was our movie, all of us. If you weren't on mine and Scarlett's side of the equation: What will I do with my life?, then you were on Bill Murray's: What have I done with my life? Many of us bought the soundtrack, some of us bought grandma panties (not nearly as sexy as hoped), and all of us talked feverishly about what had he said to her?? That whisper! It defined us all!

But then, four years later, we finally found out what he whispered: “I have to be leaving, but I won’t let that come between us, okay?”

And that was it.

After defining ourselves by our imaginings in that veiled mysterious whisper, relishing in the indelible innocence of their impossible, fleeting relationship, and coveting the quirkiness of Japanese culture and (by God!) karaoke parties, that was it.

Sure, I was let down in other ways, like Scarlett Johansson’s creepy, Pygmalionesque post on Woody Allen’s arm and Bill Murray’s disastrous divorce and the way the soundtrack kind of got old by the next summer. But this revelation was the final straw in severing me from the movie that I thought had defined me.

So a word of warning to you 18-year-olds or other self-seekers who might line up in the coming hours for this Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist movie and hope to find yourselves in the characters' doomed innocence or eccentric, impossibly cute behavior: Don’t hang your hopes on underwear or soundtracks and record the playlist yourself.