Friday, July 18, 2008

The Playing Field is Not Level


Himself pissed me off in the car as we drove to the Atheneum at Cal Tech. There was traffic, due to a huge sink hole on the picturesque original Pasadena Freeway. The graceful beauty, with its curvy meander through the Arroyo, is crumbling from the ever increasing number of cars that cram onto it. The New Yorker cartoon came into the late-in-rush-hour traffic discussion, Himself having yet to read my post below. I have said clearly, in conversation and via blog, that I am not enchanted with Obama.
From actually reading the magazine’s article instead of merely the caption of the cartoon, I am less enchanted but I am also captivated by his cunning and particularly by his cunning transparency about his cunning. I have never known of a politician to admit, at least in a public forum, that there are election strategies that should probably be illegal, but are clearly not, that he is knowingly taking advantage of. Yet, he spares explicit level playing field and better good rationales and astonishingly owns up to these decisions.

Nevertheless, my husband has branded me a Silverlakian bubbleheaded goofball bleeding heart Obama slavering liberal although I’ve said nothing much stronger than “I think Obama will be a better president than Bush.” And he even AGREES with this himself and still is making sport of implying that I am a bumblebrained ditz. Himself and I achieved dĂ©tente and enjoyed a lovely alfresco dinner with Colleen and Geoff and Ryan. During dinner we mentioned that we had both almost completely stopped buying books, availing ourselves almost exclusively of the local library and publisher’s copies and that also our music purchases have also been radically curtailed.

I picked up a couple of CDs at Amoeba almost a year ago but have purchased no other tunes for many moons. The Hold Steady, my admiration for which I have made no secret of, has a new recording out and I did ask Himself to order it for me. It has been well reviewed but I am trying to maintain realistic expectations. If nothing else, it will be a great summer pleasure to simply have something new to listen to and I am giddy with excitement, rushing in from work all week and asking first thing if it’s arrived. . I will be missing the local concert supporting the album because I will be in Toronto with my intellectual and cultural superior.

KCRW, whose hipster music folk consult all over town and are considered trendsetters, has gotten as bland as KOST. It’s the friggin’ QUIET STORM flaccid dick music that won’t offend or rankle or merit the attention of anyone anywhere. There are no CDS in my car that any of my family will listen to so on the ride home from the sanctorum of nerdulent genius, the evening dj on the NPR station we love to hate, played Bob Segar’s Hollywood Nights. It is ham fisted and shallow but has a throbbing and urgency that make it a great rock hit. Stupid but sort of satisfying in that Tom Petty guilty pleasure sort of way. It would be fun to play on Guitar Hero after I nail Slow Ride.

I was still smarting from his Obama Silverlake ninny rant when Himself blasphemed and snidely compared The Hold Steady to Bob Seger. He knows how much I admire the former and this just felt cold and mean. What’s worse is that the fifteen year old seized upon the opportunity to diss Mom, mimicking his father in putting down something I find moving and beautiful. The car windows were all steamed up when we got home and doors were slammed.

I know this snarky sarcasm is a transparently hostile big dick thing. I tantalized the big dick and am now personally and uniquely responsible for children and thankless job and mortgage which impinge so on reading time. However, prior to the enticement into the female lair of evil, there was lots more time for jacking off and that, I think, that has a lot to say about the paradox of people with dicks. The paradox of people without them is that while we laugh at the big dicks as we multitask, we are tender. We know that it is our tenderness you really want. And we forgive.

Shabbat Shalom.

4 comments:

Lorax said...

Ok...but who the hell is John going to vote for? Isn't it better to be suckered by someone smart and liberal?!

Lorax said...

ps...lorax is the aka of someone in norcal near the new leaf in felton...i'm blogging about something that shouldn't be traced to me...and everytime john links to us...we end up as the first hit on google!!!

harry said...

Of course Obama is a politician, duh. That was my point about the useless panty-knotting (if you can relentlessly talk about dicks... big dick religion, limp dick music... guess I can do panty knots) abou Wright and the Congregationalists in Southside Chicago. It was the perfect, calculated choice for a budding politico in that environment. Two years ago there was an article in the Atlantic that was very similar to this New Yorker article (with a perfect cover, hilarious) that profiled BO as a brilliantly controlled and calculating politician. And EXACTLY as people would attack Hillary as calculating my response is, well yeah, let's have a smart and calculating president who knows what the fuck he/she is doing.

And trust me, I know silverlake Obama mamas and you are not even close. More kinda cranky old school reactionary....

FionnchĂș said...

I have no idea who to vote for. My "choice" has only won once since I registered, and that was in '92, not much of a contest. I wish we had viable third parties, as I harangued on my Green Party post last week, but as we don't, I get despondent. Oligarchies and plutocracies don't inspire me to wear a flag pin.

As to music, Layne's venting about my off-hand crack relates to the background music The Hold Steady plays. She accurately pegged it as the way that you "want" to hear music as a soundtrack of (y)our lives, and how the "bar-band" to me generic style of many of their tunes gives a plainer foundation upon which Craig Finn can bluster, howl, moan, emote, and, well, vent.

It's simply, to me, more interesting on paper than on record for this reason. I did not think that this casual observation or my similar ones on Obama and the soccer mom brigades who venerate his every utterance deserved such opprobrium in this public forum, but that's the price of being Himself. I look around, I ponder, I sneer, and I too long for idealism beneath my cynicism.

As a curvaceous gal stood waiting for the Red Line yesterday, I stared at her chest. Only to figure out, as Mr. Intellectual, what her pink t-shirt proclaimed in an elevated portion of her fabric. I guess it fits our theme here as well as it did her torso, with its Segar-era ballooning font, Loraxian allusion, and New Leaf vibe, the spirit of a better place where even politicians bow to idealism in its Californian varietal. (Except for Reagan and his redwood comment.) "Love, Peace, and Humboldt." xxx to all, me