Thursday, January 12, 2006
There's A Dream That Strings The Road With Broken Glass For Us To Hold
I love it when new people find my blog. Not for the obvious reason in that it increases my readership and makes me... well, I guess "happy" isn't the right word. There isn't really a word for how you feel when something moves you off your cycle of 24-hour uncontrollable sobbing to just a soft, moist-eyed whimper. But goddamn it, there should be. We have words for stupid things like love and happiness and feeling like you're about to barf* but nothing for that most significant feeling when the utter blackness of your heart and mind and soul flickers--even if only for a second--to a deep, less-all-enveloping charcoal color.
OK, fine, we'll invent one. Let's see, what to call it... well, it's main features are a slightly less than absolute certainty in the meaninglessness of all life, including your own. So "suicidal" isn't quite right; besides, that's sort of taken. Not suicidal but willing to continue living even though the very idea of drawing another breath causes you pain equal to Jennifer Lopez stabbing you in the eye with a spork while singing. Liveable? No, too strong. What's something that's not quite dead, but not exactly participating in the process of living?
Ah! "Existy". That's it. I'm feeling very existy.
I'm feeling that way because yesterday someone stumbled on to an old post of mine and was so moved by it that she re-posted the whole thing on her own myspace blog (with kind attribution of course... otherwise this would be an entirely different post, tonally speaking). This makes me less-unhappy-than-usual for two reasons: 1) it isn't possible for a person to be reminded too often of their own awesomeness, especially after a post like yesterday's and 2) I have finally broken in to the fat myspace.com market completely by accident. With this kind of exposure on such a widely used network, can total world-domination be far behind?
Of course since we're talking myspace, world domination will have to come via 17 year old riotgrrls and sk8rboyzz and all thA hOmiEzzz (my new BFF Nancy--a grown woman--excepted, obviously), but that's OK. Advertisers don't market to teenagers because they have money to spend. They market to teenagers because teenagers, by and large, are stupid and thus susceptible to suggestion. Which is fine by me.
It's also an opportunity to go through the pleasant parts of my now-common cycle of getting to know new readers. They're always so nice and polite and complimentary at first, which is where me and my pal Nancy are right now. But soon, should she consider sticking around, I will wear her down until she sounds like all you other Bucketeers: bored, cynical, unimpressed and unjustifiably angry, mostly at me. We'll whip her into shape yet. We'll have her calling me a "no-talent ass-clown" in no time.
I'm going to take a slight (slight) break from talking about myself to bring up the story about Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito's wife ran crying from the Senate confirmation hearings yesterday.
I would like to take this opportunity to say to Mrs. Alito: Awww, Puddin'.
Of course Republican senators were all indignant after that: "Look, the Democrats made a girl cry! A totally impartial observer to the proceedings spontaneously broke down because of the savagery of Democrats asking questions to which Mr. Alito is free to answer in any way he likes! There's no way people should vote for them in 2006. I know no one brought that last part up, but we're just saying..."
This just sort of underlines for me something that has been bothering me about the state of politics in general over... well, most of my lifetime. Here's my question: how come everyone in public office is such a pussy? No one can ask any kind of challenging question be they press or fellow politician or citizen because, instead of accepting the question for what it is, as a query for knowledge or to test someone's position, the receiver of said question automatically rises up to scorn the asker: "How dare you, sir!" before slapping them with their embroidered velvet glove and storming off to be comforted by their cats and the soothing, non-judging smiles of their Precious Moments collection.
This isn't in any way limited to Republicans, they just happen to be the latest example, especially since there are no Democrats on the national level worth talking about.
I'm wondering what it was exactly Mrs. Alito thought she was going to find when they put her husband up in the Senate between the Senators and the television cameras. Besides the natural Senatorial predilection for grandstanding, her husband is nominated to the Supreme Court of the United States. A lifetime position. Of which there are only nine. With all the line-up changes over the last 15 years, it's easier to get into Duran Duran.
And by God it should be. It doesn't really matter who plays the bass on "Rio" or "Girls on Film" or "Hungry Like the Wolf" or "Wild Boys" or "Save a Prayer" or "Union of the Snake" or "New Moon on Monday" or "The Reflex" or "Is There Something I Should Know?" But we all want to know who's in charge when Bush v. Gore II: This Time It's Personal comes up for decision.
The questions should be hard. The process should be grueling. It's supposed to drive people like Harriet Myers away. Maybe we should disqualify Judge Alito because his wife is such a big baby or has a heroin problem and needed to run out and "get well". Let's not rule that out entirely.
People sometimes wonder where all the great people are in American political life. I would argue that we don't have any because there is nothing in the American political process that is tailored to reveal greatness. The propensity of the system at the moment favors insulation from anything that might be construed as short of total agreement. Pointed questions and contrary views are met less with intelligent, considered responses and more with choruses of "Look what they're doing, everyone! Look how they're being mean!" That sort of environment doesn't foster greatness. It fosters Ted Stevens (R-Alaska). There is no forum for engagement, for parliamentary dignity, for any kind of an honest crucible to find out who is capable and who is not.
We need something more like the British system (minus the gay and/or socialist overtones obviously). We need Prime Minister's Question Time among the congressional leadership. Look, they're trying to replace Tom Delay and how are they going to do it? At a closed-door retreat, decided mainly on who is the best fund-raiser. Does anyone wonder why no one from the Congress has been elected president since 1960?
I know it's not as funny as peaches or girl's names, but sometimes things bother me. I'm sure I drove off at least one new reader (and maybe a few old ones) with that one. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go have a lie-down. My existy is starting to wear off.
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 7.5 (splitting the difference between the two halves)