Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Gonzalez is going to win, no thanks to some of you

I've had this sign in my yard for the past few months. There were two candidates running for Position 8 in this primary: an eminently qualified, universally respected and near universally endorsed judge by the name of Gonzalez, and a well-meaning but incompetent trial lawyer by the name of Danielson.

Gonzalez is going to win this primary, and thus a full term on the Court. King County ballot returns favor him by a colossal margin. But he won't win by a large margin. A good portion of this state voted Danielson. Why? Why did so many counties, primarily in the eastern part of the state, vote for an unqualified, delusional jackass to serve on our state's highest court?

Well, let's see if we can answer that question. They didn't get a printed voter's pamphlet this year, just a ballot with two names: a "Mexican"-sounding name, and a "white"-sounding name. And in that situation, all factors being equal, uninformed voters checked the box for Danielson. There was plenty of speculation that this would be the outcome. You want to tell me there was another reason? Nothing else exists, here in reality, to suggest that there was any other reason to vote for Bruce Danielson, except that no one really gives a shit about State Supreme Court races, and it's easier to check the box of the familiar than to check the box of the unfamiliar, regardless of fact or common sense. So much for taking your civic duty seriously, you awful morons.

How fucked up this that? I can't even begin to vent about it. I've already been dealing with four years of scared racists leaching out of the woodwork to sell their brand of ignorance, just because we have a mixed-race president. God forbid we should get through a state judicial election without glaring evidence of persistent racial bias. Congratulations to Justice Gonzalez on this well-deserved and bittersweet victory.

UPDATE: Even the Gonzalez campaign is acknowledging that "racially polarized voting" probably had something to do with a lot of votes for Danielson.

An old friend of mine called me out for using the term "awful morons" to describe Danielson voters. I feel like I should explain what was going through my head when I picked that particular verbiage. A couple years ago, me and the band were playing a show at the now-defunct Rolling Thunder Saloon in Odessa, WA. Odessa is located in Lincoln county, which went 65% in favor of Danielson. One of the opening acts was a black comedian. He started to tell a joke about Obama - a joke making fun of Obama, let me be clear - and suddently a bunch of white faces in the audience started to turn bright red. Eyeballs bulged and mouths spewed forth obscenity-laced tirades: Kenyan Muslim socialist and all that. If it wasn't such a pathetic display of overt racism, it might have been funny. I remember thinking to myself at the time, "what a bunch of awful morons." I am sure that if those people voted, they voted for Danielson.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Coo Coo Katchoo!
IAN: I’m just going to come out and say it: the only reason Gregg Williams, Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints got punished is because they got caught. The bad P.R. of the bounty system had to be countered with the "good P.R" of fines and suspensions. Football is a game in which rich athletes (2012 league minimum Rookie Base Salary is $390,000, higher for veterans depending on experience) intentionally inflict pain and injury on other rich athletes in order to increase their odds to win games, and we enjoy it. It galls me to hear people talk like this is some kind of shocking, new phenomenon.

The problem is twofold. On the one hand, the league's front office is reluctant to own the level of violence in the game, lest they upset corporate sponsors or tarnish the image of the NFL as a family-friendly enterprise. Even though it’s right in front of our faces year after year. On the other hand, we have a multitude of fans who simply do not want to admit that they enjoy watching bloodsport. Given the rise in popularity of MMA cage fighting, this really doesn’t make any sense, unless you factor in the idea that most people like to moralize and rationalize ways to feel like they are better than others. That’s why people say things like “I don’t watch the games for the hits.” It’s bullshit, but it makes them feel superior to people who cheer when a guy gets de-cleated in the open field. It’s their way of saying I’m more civilized than that, man. I’m above all that nonsense.

But you’re not above it. No fan is. There are many reasons to love NFL football, but you cannot maintain fandom without loving the violence. You have to understand and accept that these men sacrifice their bodies in order to play a game they love and earn huge amounts of money in a short frame of time. You have to realize that every player on the field is acutely aware that they are more likely to die young or suffer from degenerative illness as a result of their occupation. You have to recognize the utility of the violence: a man playing hurt will play hesitantly, and a man who cannot continue will be replaced by a less-skilled backup. Big hits that cause injury do not win games, but they do improve odds. And now Commissioner Goodell is up in arms because Gregg Williams encouraged his players, in some specific detail and with the prospect of monetary gain, to make certain opposing players the targets of big hits. So fucking what? Do you really believe that defensive players aren’t going for killshots unless there are bounties involved?

If you like to watch NFL football, then it can be assumed that you like many things: strategy, strength, speed, incredible feats of athleticism, ritual, jargon, risk and suspense. But guess what? You also like the big hits. You like the blood and broken bones. You like the sound of the world’s greatest athletes violently colliding at high speed. And if you won’t admit that, then stop watching.

LAUREN: Why are we talking about football in April? I watch football because I like seeing men in tight pants. I don't watch it for the hits, or not for the hits. I am totally indifferent to the violence in the game. As I have stated before, I would prefer if there was a beauty competition as part of the football game, for all of the people watching the game for the same reasons I am.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

NFL Realignment

LAUREN: NFL teams will be divided by mascot. Land Mammals are all together. Stereotypes, for lack of a better term, are all together as well. There will be a Bird division. There will also be an Aquatic Mammal division, so the Dolphins will actually have a chance at winning their division.

We need to include a beauty contest, starting at the Combine, but continuing annually for all players. I want to know how they look in a bathing suit, I want to know their special talents, but more importantly, I want to know if they're attractive enough to be on TV. It's their job to look good for my entertainment, and I really don't think they're taking it seriously.

IAN: Roethlisberger, pack your bags. Flacco, pluck that 'brow. Eli, give us your big boy face. Rodgers can give you grooming tips.

But seriously, this would make things easier for the casual fan. I would add a Mythical Creature division, a Pirate division, and a Dubious Nouns division. Browns vs. Chargers, four times a year. Norv Turner still won't make the playoffs.

So, we're looking at a lopsided pile of awesome that goes something like this:

Bears, Lions, Bengals, Colts, Jaguars, Broncos, Rams, Panthers


Seahawks, Cardinals, Ravens, Falcons, Eagles, Jets

Patriots, Cowboys, Chiefs, Redskins, Steelers, Packers, Saints, 49ers, Texans

Buccaneers, Raiders, Vikings

Giants, Titans, Bills

Chargers, Browns

Every Movement is Better With a Theme Song

LAUREN: Okay, I know there are things people are passionate about, and I think that is fab. But dude, pick a song.

For the folks with reefer madness I would like to bring up the idea of using "Wouldn't It Be Nice" by the Beach Boys, because "you know it seems the more we talk about it, kinda makes it hard to live without it, so let's talk about it" is a great opener.  Because like the reefer, this song is almost universally loved.
For the 99%, pick Adele's "Rolling in the Deep." the 1% "could've had it all" but they "played us to the beat." It is kind of a threat, but at this point I'm okay with that.  Plus, everyone in America (and real 'Murika) loves this song, so it will work.

IAN: I really love the idea of having "Wouldn't It Be Nice" serve as the theme song for the I-502 campaign. In high school I learned that marijuana is a wonderful introduction to Pet Sounds, and vice versa.

I can't really see "Rolling in the Deep" representing the Occupy movement. If it was up to me, we'd stick to something classic like this: