Can’t wait for it to be over? Same here.

If you’re into early voting (I’m not), I hope you took the time to cast your
ballot. If you’re like me, and like the traditional aspect of voting (and
would hate to cast a ballot weeks early only to find out that candidate
likes texting nude pictures to high schoolers), then I hope you make it out
to the polls on Tuesday. Thankfully, Tuesday, it’ll all, finally, be over.

I’m into politics. I follow it pretty close. I’ve voted for candidates for
various offices on both sides of the aisle. But the one thing that’s
sickened me more this election than any of the ones I’ve been eligible to
vote in in the past has been the outright hypocrisy and slavish adherence to
ideology I’ve been subjected to. I’ve outright blocked some folks via
e-mail, because they’ve been unwilling to stop spamming me with unwanted
political diatribes. I’m serious. Friends. If one of them is reading this,
hey, if I send you a private note asking you to stop including me in your
bulk-spamming, why won’t you be nice and do it? I don’t report you as a
spammer, so why do I need to temporarily block your e-mail (all of it),
because you’re unwilling to respect my request?

I get it. Your guy’s in danger. Things’re closer than you’d like them to be.
So? You aren’t going to convert me, and you’re just ticking me off with your
ideologically-driven rants. Maybe I’ll unblock you after the election.

Maybe not.

I’m mostly disappointed in my friends on the left. Was talking to one of
them the other day. Guy just lost his job. He’s going to have to put his
house up for sale. Given the economy, and how upside-down he is, he’s likely
going to be forced into trying to short-sell it. Or, be foreclosed on. Won’t
say where he used to work (place now closed down because their product’s not
selling). Won’t even mention what he sells. But he asks me, “You’re not
really voting for Romney, are you?” So I brought up something he once asked
me. “Dude, are you better off now than you were four years ago?”

His answer? “Yes.”


I remind him. Your company went under because you couldn’t sell something
you’ve sold, in that same location, since your dad worked there. You have no
job. The house you bought cheap in 2009 is so devalued you’re going to lose
it. And you’re telling me that things are *better*, not just for you, but

His answer? “They will be, so long as Obama gets reelected.”

It’s mind numbing. Among his reasons for this declaration-the housing market
is making a big comeback. (Where this is happening, he wouldn’t say. My Dad,
who was a realtor for the past 5 years, sure had numbers that showed the
claim to be BS for virtually the entire market, particularly the one where
my unemployed friend is living), but he denies it. He says the unemployment
numbers are indeed being cooked.but claims it’s John Boehner who’s
responsible. (He can’t point to anything that supports this, but swears that
unemployment in the country *isn’t* so bad, it’s just republicans lying
about it and making people feel worse, so they won’t spend money, trying to
hurt Obama).

Uh, yeah, riiiiight. The fact that he *just* lost his job, along with 20 to
25 people who he’s known for years, seemingly has zero to do with the
economy being poor. And this, this was the kicker. His claim that, “You
watch. Obama gets back in, unemployment will be down to 4% by 2014, and he’ll
fulfill his promise to cut the deficit in half.

I know. You’re asking, “Why does Joe remain friends with somebody who’s this
clueless?” It’s a good question. I don’t usually tolerate ideologues-from
either party-to any extent. But I’ve known him for years, I take his wearing
of blinders when it comes to something like this with a grain of salt.and
try to end the conversation as fast as possible.

Listen. This guy ain’t my guy. And Romney? I’m not exactly jumping up and
down over him. When Obama won, I rooted hard for the guy. My Dad was working
again because of how bleak the economic picture was. I wanted the housing
market to stabilize because I didn’t want my neighborhood to turn into a
ghost town. Abandoned neighborhoods tend to become slums when nice homes can
be rented for $500 a month. I wanted my favorite little dive eateries to
stay open. I wanted my friends with low-paying jobs to be able to hang in
there until things turned around. Hope and Change. That was his slogan. So I
was hoping to see some of that.

What did I get? False hope and loose change. Unemployment’s up, despite the
promise to slash it drastically. The stimulus? Dismal failure, even
according to the CBO and his own people. The deficit he swore he’d cut in
half has only ballooned. Gitmo? That “critically important” goal, the one he
promised to take care of his first day in office (and signed the executive
order for in a highly-publicized photo op)? Uh, it’s still open. And he and
the democrat-controlled congress had the power to do it. But.if I bring that
up in a Yahoo group? I’m a racist. Huh? What does race have to do with the
fact he hasn’t done something he promised to do on his *first* day in

My friend says to me about this, “But you didn’t want it closed.” And I
agree. I didn’t think it was a bright idea. But when I say, “Still.your guy
promised he’d do it. For years under Bush all I heard about was how Gitmo
was an embarrassment and needed to be shut down. Why hasn’t he done it?”

“But, you didn’t want it closed.” That’s it. That’s all I get. Because, that’s
all he has. He doesn’t care that his guy didn’t fulfill that big promise,
even though this very same friend was jumping up and down, cheering when the
executive order got signed. My friend thought this was a noble cause. Close
Gitmo! He (and all the dems who took office and controlled congress) were
going to be heroes for closing “that torture chamber.” Now? That torture
chamber is unimportant, to the president and all those who supported the
position. The two years that all three branches were controlled by
democrats? Ignored by friends of mine as if those two years never happened.
Gitmo isn’t closed? It’s the fault of John Boehner and house
republicans-forget the fact they were the minority in 2008. Airstrikes into
Pakistan? My friend was one of those who stood with Dennis Kusinich when
Denny stood on the steps of congress and labeled Bush a war criminal for
drone strikes on our so-called ally. War criminal. Obama’s launched more
strikes, and put boots on the ground in Pakistan. Does that make Obama a war
criminal? Of course not: “He had a tough decision to make.”

Sigh. I can’t deal with much more crap like that. If you want to vote for
Obama because he’s your guy and you like to be in lockstep with your party,
hell, just admit it. Who cares? At least it’d be honest. But if you tell me
how Bush giving the order to capture Saddam Hussein is a war crime, then you
better damn well not be a hypocrite about the assassination of Osama Bin
Laden in Pakistan. Me? I posted about the Bin Laden killing. I lauded it.
Congratulated Obama for making the move and sending the SEALs in. So did my
left-leaning friends. But.when I supported taking Khalid Sheikh Mohammed? I
was a warmonger. I supported a war criminal. I supported a guy who had no
right to send airstrikes into Pakistan. I supported the worst president

But Obama ramps up air strikes? “See, he’s not a pacifist!” is the defense.
He sends members of our military into an ally country and conducts an
assassination? “He makes the gutsy calls.” He not only increases the
deficit, he adds more in 3 years than Bush did in 8? “We didn’t need to
spend that money then, we need to borrow and spend it now.”

“Joe, you support gay marriage,” he says to me. “Yep, I do. Have at it,” I
respond. He says, “But Romney doesn’t.” Which, I’m fine with. The president
doesn’t control the nation’s marriage laws by fiat. I remind him, “Hey, you
voted for Obama in 2008. Remember? When *he* opposed gay marriage?”

Long silence. Then, finally, “But, he came around.” So, it’s so important,
this guy won’t even consider Romney. But it’s only that important now. In
2008, to hell with the gays, right? He has no comeback for this. He voted
for a candidate who opposed gay marriage. But that doesn’t matter any more.
Because in truth, it didn’t matter then. Not at all. Obama was a democrat,
and that’s all this guy gives a damn about. Not the country, not the future,
nothing but the big D in front of his candidate’s name. He wouldn’t ever
vote for a republican. It wouldn’t matter if unemployment was 15% and dems
controlled congress and interest rates were 10% and the deficit was 50
billion. My friend, you see, doesn’t actually want a representative
democracy as a republic. He wants a monarchy, he just won’t admit it.

If you know me and you’re an ideologue, no matter who wins on Tuesday? Stay
away. I don’t care who you support or what side of the aisle you tend to
lean towards. I’m tired of ideologues and self-interested people filling up
my In Box (or worse, wasting my time on the phone) if this is how you think.
If you told me 5 years ago that “Gas prices are high because Bush is paying
off his big-oil buddies,” when gas was $1.80, and you’re fine and dandy with
gas being $3.60 a gallon, please, just piss off. I’m sick of paying this
much for gas, and I’m sick of hearing about how your guy “can’t do anything
about it”-when you swore to me up and down that Bush was directly
responsible for rising gas prices. Remember when gas hit $2.50 and you were
screaming bloody murder in 2007 and 2008, but now you won’t say a peep about
it? If that bugs you? Fine. That’s cool. Stop following me on Twitter.
Remove me from your address book (even though you wouldn’t do it before).
Unfriend me on Facebook. Trust me-I’m not going to mind.

But, if like an artist friend of mine from back in the day, you come to me
looking for a gig because you can’t get a job anywhere, and I always paid
you less than other companies, but paid you fair, you better get used to the
fact that I’m *not* taking those risks any more just to make sure you get
paid. I’m not going to start up a new book just so you have a paying gig
while I wait and sweat it out and lay out all the dough in the hopes the
project will make its money back. (I’m not kidding. An artist I worked with
in the’90s recently approached me about doing a book. He, of course, wanted
to get paid as he turned pages in. Me? Well, of course *I’d* get paid-

when the book came out. Oh, yeah, great. *Maybe* I’d get my money back,
months after paying this guy to do all the art, and after I’d spent the
whole nut for the advertising and printing. “Well,” he said. “You *used* to
do that. What, you don’t think you can put out a good book any more?” Nice
way to try and goad me into giving him a job, eh? So I tell him, “Uh, the
economy sucks and printing is expensive. Why should I take that risk?” His
response? “Oh, come on. The economy isn’t that bad. You’ll break even.”

I’ll ‘break even.’ Yeah, just what I want to do. Break even after paying you
for work that’ll take months to see print. Break even on a book I didn’t
even want to do, so *you* could have a regular paycheck for a while.

“You’re not really going to vote for Romney, are you? Seriously?” had been
one of *his* questions earlier in the conversation. I should’ve told him,
“Nah.but you’re not really going to ask me to pay you for a book I don’t
want to publish because you’re dead broke in this guy’s economy and can’t
find a job, are you?” and hung up.

Depending on how things go Tuesday? Next call I get from him, I jus might.

* * * * * * * * *

Currently listening to: Bodies by Drowning Pool

* * * * * * * * * *

If you don’t already follow me on Twitter and aren’t discouraged by today’s
blog, drop in. After Tuesday (and perhaps before) it’ll be all the non-PC
fun and games, tweets about writing, music, horror, and blind filmmaking.
Yep, blind filmmaking, for all you newbies:

and, there’s always Facebook, too:

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