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The Bush 59 Million Need a Name
Cinque H. comments on the previous post's laundry list of things Bush voters are accountable for:
These kinds of shrill blanket recriminations get us nowhere. I appreciate that the bile will be flowing for a while (I have some of my own), but the real work will be in forming alternative visions over the next 4 years, not in sitting back, spitting hate rays at people who disagree with you.If you leave out the curse words in anonymous's list, which express the anger many of us feel towards the very, um, strange 59 million that voted for Bush knowing everything we know about Bush, the list is a pretty reasonable summation of what those folks have done to us.
Alternative visions, absolutely. We do talk on this page about kicking the oil habit and bringing the troops home and taxing & regulating the have-too-muchs to help the have-too-littles. Kerry would have lost by a much wider margin if he'd clearly articulated any of those positions. Excuse some of us while we sit back stunned for a few moments, trying to get our minds around the fact that 59 million people voted proactively for Bush. It's hard to know what to say to these people going forward, in casual conversation. "So, you...like torture photos?" "Into big deficits, are you?" "I could see where you might think Bush did pretty well in the debates." It's hard to even conceive how to reach across the aisle to talk about an alternative vision right now. So let us get our hating done.
Or not. First, what are we going to call the 59 million? One of their number who I personally know said, before the election, "This is the most divided the country has been since the Civil War" before proceeding to heap insults on critics of Bush. Well, in the Civil War you had Yanks and Rebs. I never particularly liked "red states" and "blue states." The 59 million need a name. The God Squad? Bushvoters? And speaking of hating, be sure to check out Abraham Kalashnikov's fine rant, also in the comments to the previous post. I'd post it here, but I do have family members who are Christians who I love and have broken bread with even though we vehemently disagree on many issues. Don't know if they voted for Bush--they think he's a Rockefeller liberal. In deference to them I'm going to struggle (not always succeed) to keep a moderate tone on the page.
UPDATE: Good "big picture" post from Steve Gilliard frames the issue as: Bushvoters' lives are wrecked by the economy, working 50 hour weeks, etc, and were suckered into blaming their misfortunes on gay marriage. How do we make them see what their real problems are?
The following statement by anonymous sums up my feelings pretty well:
An open message to those who re-elected Bush:
You are accountable for each flag draped coffin returning home from Iraq and explaining "Why?"
You are accountable for aiding the ambition and incentive of those newly drawn to the ideology and practice of terrorism.
You are accountable for alienating our friends and allies abroad and for fostering the recent, prevalent, and probably lasting image of America as an arrogant, petulant, trigger happy nation that is the leading global arms supplier and overextended global cop with a pathetic commander in chief and a hollow culture.
You are accountable for explaining to those abroad the reasons for America's contravention and disregard for international law, rules of diplomacy, and utter hypocrisy in how it chooses to demonstrate its "commitment" to democracy abroad, moral leadership, and leadership by example.
You are accountable for many of the dollars added to our national debt.
You are accountable for what will become a Supreme Court similar to the one that brought us "separate but equal."
You are accountable for the historic disproportion and concentration in wealth and poverty.
You are accountable for a new standard in "anything goes in order to win" electoral tactics, and the unprecedented fusion of political calculus into domestic and international policy.
You are accountable for abetting state sponsored religion and eroding the founding principle of separation of church and state.
You are accountable for unfettered corporate and commercial encroachment into the civic sphere and for failure to curb corporate misbehavior and corporate goals that privatize benefits but socialize costs.
You are accountable for not better preparing the massive generation of future retirees less equipped to fend for themselves.
You are accountable for the increasing millions without healthcare.
You are accountable for the results of an unfunded mandate to "leave no child behind" and a public education system that will continue to deteriorate and produce millions more of poorly educated, disaffected, cynical youth.
You are accountable for the erosion of things that used to be considered "public goods," the use granted privilege by the state and its citizens to operate as such (public goods other than national security, of course).
You are accountable for unparalled social divisiveness insofar as much of it results from the above.
You are accountable for just being plain fucking stupid, lazy, bound to dogma, crass, and/or unable to reason beyond fears, prejudice, and susceptibility to social pressures and patent manipulation.
Obviously we are all accountable. There is an added burden on those supporting the last four years and the four years hence.
God help us all - but especially those on the islands within the island that this country wants to pretend to be.
Looks like I was right to be freaking in my previous post. I'm reading that the networks are calling this for Bush (can't stand to watch'em). The only explanations I can fathom are: The Christ-squad came out in force to defend their False Jesus;
Juan Cole has a recap on where the race actually stands as of the wee hours Wednesday morning. If offers some hope but not much.
UPDATE, Wednesday: So, I see Kerry has conceded. Ouch.
UPDATE 2: I had an epithet directed at young voters that has been deleted. According to Joshua Marshall, "Young voters showed up at a far higher level than they did four years ago. But everyone else did too. And so the proportion of the electorate made up by the youth vote did not increase. At least not dramatically..." I've heard one reason for the Bush victory was people don't want to change leaders mid-War. To some extent this is an indictment of Kerry's failure to offer an alternative. But we know he would have lost on a peace initiative. I think what it comes down to is the majority of Americans are racist and aren't offended by the idea of genocidal war.
UPDATE 3: This 1972 Hunter Thompson quote from Billmon says it better:
This may be the year when we finally come face to face with ourselves; finally just lay back and say it -- that we are really just a nation of 220 million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns, and no qualms at all about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.
Steve Gilliard tells us not to sweat the election because the turnout is high, but I can't help it. Those red state numbers just turn my stomach. I'm sad to say that people I know and love support the radical right-winger over the moderate conservative. Amazing that anyone could look at those Abu Ghraib photos and say, "Yep, that's my guy!" Amazing that anyone could watch the three debates and say "Well, I think the President comported himself well, don't you?" The man was flying off the handle, drooling, smiling weirdly...is that what they want in leader? Scary times. Sorry, I'm freaking out tonight.
If you're in New York City, I hope you can come out tomorrow night, Wednesday, Nov. 3, for my talk at Dorkbot-NYC. Dorkbot is an informal monthly gathering devoted to theme of "people doing strange things with electricity." This month's is being held at Location One, 26 Greene Street in Soho (between Canal and Grand) from 7 to 9 pm. I've given my presentation the dramatic title "The Future of the Autonomous Art Object in a Wired World, or, How Blogging Changed My Art Life," but I'll mostly just be spieling about my artwork, while projecting some images and animated GIFs. The "virtual slides" I'll be using are posted here, minus all the illuminating chitchat. Also on the program will be Claire Corey, a digital painter I mentioned a few posts back, and Matt Hall & John Watkinson, who will be discussing their Cell Phone Drum Machine. See you there!
One fine GREENDAY I went to school and got an F-MINUS on a test. Then in gym, we began a race on THE STARTING LINE. Then i went to the school play and THE Q was at 1208. Then i saw SOMETHING CORPERATE laying on the ground, it was a comeplete SOCIAL DISTORTION! I met a guy and he knew THE CURE for THE KILLERS and it was completely LIT by HIM. He could see into the CHRONIC FUTURE that we were having KORN for dinner.. which we were. That was his STORY OF THE YEAR. Then we went to THE USED book store and bought a BRAND NEW book. There were SUM 41 people at this store. The lady's name that worked there was LOLA RAY. And by my LOSERS LUCK, she was my NUMBER ONE FAN. Then i went home and played with the neighbor's KITTIE. THE BEAUTIFUL MISTAKE was that he bites. I walked around and told some kid to BLINK 182 times or a MODEST MOUSE will attack him with ROLLING STONES or a VELVET REVOLVER or maybe even GUNS AND ROSES. It was a MINOR THREAT. THE INTERNATIONAL NOISE CONSPERACY turned their AUTOPILOT OFF when they heard about this. The moon began to SHINEDOWN, NO DOUBT. I sat in a SILVERCHAIR in THE DARKNESS of my room. I went to bed and had a TWISTED and DISTURBED dream about the fact that IMA ROBOT and i had a SIMPLE PLAN.. it was so NSYNC .. i found the LOST PROPHETS. The next morning i ate a LIMP BIZKIT. And then i went outside and trimmed a BUSH. It was now THURSDAY and i found a YELLOWCARD. Tuns out it belonged to a SUGARCULT. It had NOFX on us though. We later went to the LINKIN PARK and decided to RISE AGAINST THE CASUALTIES but they were AGAINST ME so they had their BOYS NIGHT OUT and went BOWLING FOR SOUP. We were HIDDEN IN PLAIN VIEW in a BOX CAR RACER eating BLACK EYED PEAS, watching a MOTION CITY SOUNDTRACK. I ate a VITAMIN C and my mouth was full of SALIVA. We were STARING BACK UNDEROATH on a dark MAE night. Months past and now its THE EARLY NOVEMBER.. we found some bugs and their PAPA ROACH. Now i wish i was TAKING BACK SUNDAY because now there is a DEAD POETIC in my neighborhood.. and we had to go to A FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND.. enough said. I met this guy named BILLY TALENT and he said he wasn't mean, NOR AM I. We heard A STATIC LULABY in the background telling us that our adventure was over.. the end~!
It is election day. I plan to vote for John Kerry. According to a recent New York Times poll, 45% of the American public doesn't think George Bush Jr.'s presidency has been legitimate due to the shenanigans last time around. I consider myself part of that number. I urge everyone to get out and vote and not do vote-swapping for Nader or whatever or assume that because you're not in a swing state it's OK to stay at home. We need the strongest possible anti-Republican, anti-Christian right (and I wish I could say antiwar) mandate through the size of the popular vote, and that means getting out and voting for Kerry.
When I sent a drawing from the MSPaintbrush program on my computer to the network printer, the printer routinely sent back a message announcing that the job was finished. This caused a slight power surge, and I discovered that if I was sending another drawing to the printer at the exact same moment, the signals would cross and the second image would get "zapped," printing out as a uniquely garbled geometric pattern. I actually learned to time to the split-second when to send the drawing to get a good "scramble."
I made multiple photocopies of the scramble-pattern and joined them in a grid, applying linen tape to the back of the paper and then folding the paper around a painting stretcher and stapling it on the back. The result is a rather elegant, minimal quasi-painting born out of the drudgery of the modern office (during periods of official "down time," of course). The differences in color in these web pictures are just discrepancies among the scanner, slide, and digicam images used to make them.
I started thinking about this work again after the recent interview where jenghizkhan said "I started making music by scratching CD's [as in hiphop, turntable scratching] that I made from digital noise samples (similar to modem tones). I got the samples from saving the screwed up files that my computer sequencer would spew out when it crashed (which was all the time in the beginning). The scratching occurs sometimes at a super subtle and slow rate so that I can draw out all the tones that make up the white noise of digital streaming information."
That got me thinking about visual equivalents to those kinds of sounds, and the interest that exists across disciplinary lines in digital by-products, especially down at the "molecular level."