I'm Forty-eight. Just like the president. Forty-eight...I'm not a complete failure, but I certainly haven't lived up to my potential. Just like the president.
I have a lot in common with President Obama. He's two months older than me. Raised in a so-called broken home, just like me. He has one foreign born parent, one white trash parent. Just like me. (My mom is from Canada, my Dad is from Corning.)
Barack Obama married a strong woman-his partner and the mother of two beautiful children. I married a strong woman-my partner and the mother of my vasectomy.
Barack Obama overcame racism, earned an ivy league education and rose to the highest office in the land. I overcame college and dropped out of Chico State after seven years of being the highest guy in the land.
So it's kind of like President Obama and I have been leading parallel lives.
The only difference between where he wound up and where I wound up, far as I can tell--affirmative action.
I guess that's proof that it works, because you would not want me in charge of the country. That video of me and Wally Herger on mushrooms alone would force me to politely decline your nomination.
But I have been inspired by the president's call to national service.
I joined the Navy Seals, but that didn't last. I failed the Shooting A Teenage Pirate Through The Head From a Mile Away Test because I can't see squat without my glasses. And I can only hold my breath underwater for, like, three seconds. Plus I guess Navy Seals don't cry or some shit like that.
The end for me was when I was gangraped crossing the equator (which to be fair, could have happened if I was working for Greenpeace too.) So that was it for me and the Seals--I get raped once, I quit.
I was just trying to be part of the solution.
Sure, I could join the growing number of disenchanted who are wondering why gays can't serve openly in the military or why the health care bill is a gift to the insurance companies or why are we still in two wars or what the hell kinda ponzie scheme was that bailout or where the fuck is the change goddammit?
But then I might start thinking I voted for the wrong guy.
And if I learned anything from the people who voted for George Bush twice, it's never admit you voted for the wrong guy. Twice
The biggest disappoinment for me a year after Obama's inauguration is that Anthony Peyton Porter's column is still forced to sit in the back of the Chico News & Review. Shameful. Or maybe he likes being back there so he can keep on eye on whitey, I don't know...
My mom--she's 71--she's still happy with the president. She is a classic JFK-era liberal Democrat. When Barack Obama won she cried.
"This is wonderful. Black people deserve this for all they've been through in this country."
Then, in the same breath, "I hope nobody shoots him."
That is how much the civil rights movement and the Kennedy assassination
shaped people like my parents.
I was grounded for saying the name of a certain Richard Pryor album out loud. And it wasn't 'That African American Is Crazy.'
I also remember hiding under the kitchen table when I was six while my parents cried because Robert Kennedy had been shot. And as far as I know, they didn't have anything to do with it. Unless you believe 'Sympathy for The Devil'.
When I was young it was a given that racism was a way of life, good men get assassinated and every generation goes to war. Or as my mom called it at the time, Canada.
She was always ready to smuggle me into Canada.
Growing up all through Viet Nam she'd say "When you're 18, you're going to Canada."
Even when the war was over, but Carter reinstated draft registration, it was "I don't care what you sign, you're going to Canada."
When Reagan invaded Grenada, "You're Going To Can-A-da."
(A pronounciation joke--no extra charge.)
Even during the first Gulf War, when I was 30 and there was no draft, she'd insist, "You're Going To Canada."
Finally, when I hit my forties she stopped saying she was going to send me to Canada. Then in 2004, right after Bush was re-elected, I called her up and said, "Mom, you'll never guess where I am..."
No, I did not run away to Canada so I could hide my head in the sand and ignore the problems we face here in America. I got satellite TV for that.
But I still have hope. It's almost 2010. The future. Surely things will be better now. Actually, I hear 2010 and all I can think is that we are so far from achieving warp drive the Vulcans are never going to notice us, there will be no federation of planets and we will all die at the hands of the Borg.
That's just a cold, hard fact people. Not like global warming.
It's 2010 and we have no jet packs, no ray guns, and no American-made fuckable robots. The future is here and we're not ready--as usual.
That's what we get for living in the present. The here and now.
"I'm living in the here and now...wait, it's already passed--no, wait...hasn't happened yet. Where was I? Oh yeah, here and now. Whoa-there it goes..."
The best we can do is dwell hopelessly on the past and live in fear of the future. Hence, religion. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and I Can See Sarah Palin From My House.
Posted 12/23/09CommentReturn To ArchivesReturn To Merry Standish Standard Main Page