27 January 2009

Three Deceased People I Would Clone...

...and the Ridiculous Jobs I Would Hire Their Clones to Do:

1. Colonel Sanders, whose clone I would hire not as my chef but as a guy to sit on my front porch, shouting chicken recipes and shaking his cane at passers-by.

2. Paul Newman, whose clone I would hire to follow me around everywhere, each day dressing in a different costume based on his Newman's Own products.

3. Buckminster Fuller, whose clone I would hire to say the phrase "bucky balls" whenever I press a button on my Bucky Remote®. In theory, this will help accelerate my new plan to phase out the word "shenanigans." In the future, when you hear a load of crap, you'll say "I call bucky balls on that one."

20 January 2009

And...cue repressed disappointment

Obama's being sworn in right now, and when I felt a twinge of the Fever that's running rampant, I decided it was time to say something. I mean, this excitement is infectious, but so is avian flu.

Constant media-induced aggrandizement has elevated a President-Elect (not a President who has done anything, mind you) to the status of Savior of the Free World in a matter of two short months. I obviously have a problem with heaping praise on anyone before they've earned it. But let's table that issue for the moment. The bigger problem here is that it's rare to hear someone say with any clarity or specificity how Obama might actually become worthy of their praise. That is, relatively few people are saying, "I can't wait until Obama does ______." They're simply saying "I can't wait until Obama." This is lazy thinking at its worst. So many people out there have only vague notions about our new President, notions like "notBush" and "firstblackpresident" and "ohboychange" and "holyshitimbrokemaybeobamawillfixthat," and somehow these vague notions were enough to earn votes. Obama voters who can actually justify their choice are in the minority.

I imagine this atmosphere of mindless Obamania will lead to some interesting results. I expect he'll start his term with a couple of high-profile "game-changers" that won't actually change the game in any significant way at all, but will make a lot of noise in some circles and quiet a lot of noise in others--that's the "Change" we've heard so much about. Once people realize he's not a messiah and isn't going to "fix" the world (because that's not really his job, after all), I anticipate a two-year, nationwide period of cognitive dissonance that should be all sorts of fun to watch.

Let me be clear: I don't have any major fears about Obama's presidency. In fact, I'm hopeful about at least one of his plans. If he actually closes down Guantanamo Bay, that would be a good thing. We're not the freaking Inquisition here.

Yes, he'll try to socialize health care and I don't care for that. But if we're being honest, the country has been moving in that direction for years now, and if it finally happens on Obama's watch he still won't be solely to blame for it. (On a side note, the very act of establishing a government is a step toward socialization, so the world has been on this road for a while, like it or not--and I don't.)

No, I don't anticipate any significant reduction in gun rights, at least not within a single term.

Yes, I think that, to the rest of the world, it makes us look good to have a black president, and to a certain extent I may even agree that it's a big step for us. However, the world is fickle and racist and has relatively little interest in Obama as a person or political figure, only as a member of a particular race, so screw them.

No, I don't interpret the election of a democrat as a sign of the End Times, any more than I would interpret the election of a republican as such. In fact, in a country that enjoys polarizing itself (and if that sounds dirty, it's because it is), we actually must have a democrat for a few years to balance out all those republican years. If we were willing to elect reasonable, moderate candidates, we wouldn't have this problem. But, alas, despite my vote for the impeccably-mustachioed Bob Barr (said vote being, as I understand it, one of several tens of tens), we will, apparently, continue on in our zigzag journey, first riding an elephant that consistently veers to the right and then a donkey that tends toward the left of the Path of Reason, which runs arrow-straight toward The Future. We'd get there a lot faster if we were on a Segway--those puppies only veer if you do.