Shakespeare’s Got Nothing on This ‘Nothing’

I have insomnia, so I stayed up most of the night thinking and making this graphic that is both a pun and at the same time very apropos to describe the trivial way the Democratic race for the nomination has been portrayed: as a series of gaffes, laughs, smears, slanders and out-right, bold-faced lies.

Angry ministers. “Me So Pretty” Breck Girl allusions. Cackles. Billary. Asbestos laced pantsuits. “Menacing” middle names. Is he or isn’t he a Muslim? Assassination fantasies. Sniper fire over Bosnian skies. Flag pins and patriotism. Sexism is worse than racism. Racism is worse than sexism. Ferraro. Steinem. The Weather Underground. Bitter-gate. Elitism. Geraldo dreams of black baby genius factories.

She’s a monster. He’s nothing but words.

Is this what things have come to?

For the most exciting election in a generation all the spats, missteps, misfires and misspeaking seem to be the obsession of a press corps and cynical populace bored by the perceived similarities of the candidates’ stances.

The campaign for the Democratic nomination is a joke. And I don’t mean that the voters are a joke or that the candidates are jokes, but to the system, the process and to the outsiders looking in, this is a joke. This is schadenfreude. To the jaundiced eye this is a menagerie of when ambition and ego collide.

Part of the flaw is the fact that there is no honor among politicians. Expediency is the rule of the day. Who’s quarterbacking and who’s piggybacking? If it’s the Barack Obama train leaving the station, that will be the one they’ll ride. But we can’t get there without a laugh track and a fistful of statistics arguing who can’t win what and where and white working class people as Hillary Clinton plots her next move in her quixotic bid for a nomination that is seemingly beyond her grasp.

God bless her cold, dark heart. She is truly The Thing That Won’t Die. Cheering for her is almost like cheering for the gut sucking beast in Ridley Scott’s “Alien.” Making Barack Obama Sigourney Weaver in this scenario.

In politics no one can hear you scream.

I know I may be in the minority on this, but I don’t think she actually wishes the most tortured of ill will on Barack Obama. I think she wishes that something, anything would surface to make him damaged goods. Invoking Robert F. Kennedy and his assassination by Sirhan Sirhan was more telling of how dire things are in Clinton Country. She’s cranky. She’s tired. She’s fucking up.

It’s everyone else’s fault but my own. The rallying cry of the fatally ironic. The last refuge of the refuted.

In this Shakespearian melodrama, every player takes turns being the clown for the cameras. The pundits chew over the 24-hour surveillance courtesy of the World Wide Web. From boob tube to YouTube. This is point and click journalism. No investigation, no background check required. Whatever sounds good to the ear. Whatever tune can captivate the masses.

They can beat Hillary with the same Missy Elliott hot beat, rapping “She’s a bitch!” over and over, then switch to marveling the perils of Barack’s “naivety” and the drama of being the man with the permanent tan. They don’t even flinch as they talk out of both sides of their neck, then let out their own cackles. Kick ’em while they’re up. Kick ’em while they’re down.

The only thing more annoying than this fixation on the trivial is the fact that so many people gobble up this garbage. A third of all voters believe Obama is a “secret” Muslim, as if a religion indicated one’s intent. There’s the non-stop coverage of Bill Clinton’s word vomit. Video of John Edwards fluffing his hair as if everyone wasn’t doing their same, working to look their best to impress eager voters.

What does Hillary Clinton want?” Cries out Chris Matthews every night (while Clinton avoids him and his show). Most say a VP spot and that’s why she remains swinging haymakers, racking up delegates and hammering home the point that Obama is weak among “Reagan Democrats,” code for the white blue collar class that is less sophisticated, most resistant to Obama’s halcyon calls for egalitarian change, most suspicious of the tan man.

Vote for the black guy? Surely you jest! He’s scary. He has a funny name. His pastor and his wife hate America. And Israel. Or at least that’s what FOX News keeps telling me. And CNN. And certain segments of MSNBC.

God bless American? No, no, no. Goddamn America. And two wars rage on. And the economy falters. And a crime wave sweeps American cities. And folks are siphoning the gas out of other people’s tanks. Four houses on my block remain unsold and it’s been more than a year for three out of the four that are on the market. I’m unemployed with no health care. Millions of others are unemployed with no health care.

But don’t ask the candidates about us, the huddled broke unemployed war-weary masses. Please do continue making a farce, making fools out of us all. Make the monkeys dance for our delight. Watch them burn ever-so-bright then burn out.

They’ve crunched the numbers for Barack and it doesn’t look good. There are too many leaks in the dike and not enough fingers. But when they say this, the following is what I hear:

The bitches and the niggers have fucked everything up! The laity cry out for a savior. A man who rose from the political dead to become a champion of the trees and the bees. Al Gore riding astride a steed like El Cid prepared to vanquish the Moors from Spain.

What we need right now is a white man! There was none of this Ferraro v. Brazille, Tina Fey v. Tracey Morgan, “Black on Bitch” violence when the white man ruled the roost. We need someone gender and race neutral! I don’t see color when I see a white man. I just see a leader. The sort who doesn’t raise these sort of hackles, these difficult questions about sex and race. Obviously this task is too difficult for a multitude of menopausal doyennes and Obama-aid drinkers. Look at the horrors they have caused, breaking apart a coalition white men worked so hard to forge.

And they said a child shall lead them. But would a
white man do for you?
Standing in a suit, so inoffensive and plain, the same as we’ve had before? No more fighting over who’s time has come. No more calls for her to be done. No more “go back where you came from.” Just the (always) chosen one. The only one who can lead and we would follow. Ambitions borrowed on promises of tomorrow. He said tomorrow your time will come.

But not today.

Spades and skirts are a joke. Their foibles make me smile. How can you take one so seriously, when they can’t hide their inadequacy? Where is that golden child? I’m voting for John Edwards even though he’s been out of the race for months. I’m building a bridge back to the twentieth century to play “Return of the King.” I’m looking for that one ring, that one white man to rule them all.

My precious, my precious. I covet your banality. I covet your perceived normalcy. Your neutrality. Obviously this nomination was never meant for me. (Or any other harridan or black buck. We’re bad luck!) Thank you Pat, Chris, Sean and Lou. For reminding me that only more of the same will do. It was naive of me to believe that we could move past this fallacy. We will shut the fuck up and accept our inferiority. We’ll all just drop our trousers and bend over. We know the game. We’re begging. Please fuck us all one more time.

Fuck change.

6 thoughts on “Shakespeare’s Got Nothing on This ‘Nothing’

  1. I have to read this when I’m feeling more coherent, as I was also up all night tossing and turning over this election. I had a blog post in mind too, which I knew as of 8pm last night I needed to spit out, and I never did. Now I’m paying for it.Damn the insomnia!!! I hear you!Looking forward to reading this.

  2. [quote]the system, the process and to the outsiders looking in, this is a joke.[/quote]In other nations they pull out guns and start shooting. The survivor takes the helm of the bullet riddled nation.[quote]And the economy falters.[/quote]The local economies in certain places have been faltering far longer than in other places. Interestingly enough the places that have been in a recession the longest have a stronger will to PROMOTE the political machine that already dominates their local and regional governments. [quote] And a crime wave sweeps American cities.[/quote]Again – which machine is the dominant force over these ‘crime wave’ cities? Once they obtain national control it is assumed that the wave will subside. They will do nationally what they have failed to do locally. Interesting. But hey – they announced the other day that Americans drove 11 million miles less during some time interval that I don’t recall than during the previous interval. Must be good for Global Warming if not our wallets[quote] And folks are siphoning the gas out of other people’s tanks. [/quote]Is it poverty that creates crime or the desire to maintain a standard of living which is beyond what you legitimately have to offer will compensate you?[quote]Four houses on my block remain unsold and it’s been more than a year for three out of the four that are on the market.[/quote]3 years ago the prevailing argument was that PRICES ARE TOO HIGH, working class people are being priced out of the market. Now that there is a market correction with the housing values declining…..more complaints.[quote] I’m unemployed with no health care. Millions of others are unemployed with no health care.[/quote]Hundreds of millions are EMPLOYED with health care that their employment pays for. Is it a slap in the face to ask people to be conscious of the value of their labor skills to be sold in the market, to research where the demand is and to move to this place if necessary?Imagine if a band of lions on the African tundra chose to stay put as their food source that sustains them migrated westward? In this “civilized society” is this basic instinct of following the opportunity abstracted by that which the government can do to mask this fundamental tenant?(I am not being snide as you might think. At some point the basics of life do indeed apply. As a person who has struggled upon moving to a place that I saw as attractive while outside looking in – I fully understand the frustrations and even self doubt that is accompanied with the job search. At the same time it forced me to drop all of the auxiliary interests that distracted my time and to focus on ME and what I needed to do. I took a government job that was going to tide me over for 6 months only to have it last for 5 years. I was learning and they needed the expertise that I brought to the table and valued my willingness to maintain my high standards, not having them be tied to my pay – which was deficient. I left them once the gap between my worth and their compensation grew too large.As much as it might be counter to your personal ideological and political leanings [I don’t know you] the though of having one’s economic position be so closely tied to a political arraignment rather than one’s personal inventory is a recipe for dependency if not outright failure. Absent this knowledge – we as a people will being to put more faith in this political arrangement far beyond that which is healthy.)

  3. [quote]I have to read this when I’m feeling more coherent, as I was also up all night tossing and turning over this election.[/quote]With all due respect Redstar – what does this election mean to YOU that it would cause you to so much unrest at night? I recall feeling the same way on Christmas eve but I knew that I had the hard benefit of toys awaiting downstairs. Do you expect a radical transformation in your life as a result of who sits in the White House? With you having to share this among 302 million other Americans does this sort of dilute your personally customized interests?

  4. constructive feedback: My laundry list of issues wasn’t so much about a call for governmental “dependence” but a call for issues to actually be discussed with possible solutions to them. I’m just bored with hearing about Hillary Clinton’s gaffes over and over which have no relevancy whatsoever.And I know you’re not trying to be snide.I was largely venting because everything has become so terribly petty. Per my unemployment, the newspaper business is on a bit of a downswing as you may have heard. So I’ve been juggling my options while doing freelance work. I’ve had health insurance in the past and even then I felt the need for an overhaul of our health system. The care I received was inferior to the care my family received under my dad’s insurance when I was a child, before the insurance company started interfering with our doctor’s decisions. And while the price when up the quality of care did not.I just don’t like the notion of people being sick and not being able to get help. I believe in competition and meritocracy in the marketplace, but the marketplace is failing when it comes to health care. They’re about money. Not helping people. And that runs counter to what doctors are supposed to be doing. Hence the ever increasing inadequacy of health care.So when it comes to health care I feel like it should be available to all considering the uninsured are already sucking up our tax dollars going to emergency rooms and being unable to foot the bill, causing the closing of countless trauma wards and hospitals, creating hospital monopolies and fewer options for people.So I know people get bored when candidates yammer on about health care, but I’d really like to hear some solutions to this other than we don’t care if black people die earlier of things that don’t kill white people with the same frequency.And I’m continually disappointed in local politicians and community organizations who drop the ball when hospitals close in urban areas. Too many black organizations spend their time in seminars and giving each other awards rather than applying practical solutions to problems. Sometimes I wonder if it would kill these groups to stop daydreaming and do something tangible, like raise the funds and maintain a free clinic. But this is the sort of problem where everyone is failing. Government, business, activists, churches and non-profits.

  5. –Hundreds of millions are EMPLOYED with health care that their employment pays for. Is it a slap in the face to ask people to be conscious of the value of their labor skills to be sold in the market, to research where the demand is and to move to this place if necessary?–what about the millions of us EMPLOYED citizens going without healthcare? are we to take the same advice? Just because I’M conscious of the value of my labor skills doesn’t mean my EMPLOYER is.The idea that healthcare should be a privilege absolutely baffles me.Anyway, Snob–found you via NPR a few weeks ago. I must say, as a fellow writer (and extremely lazy blogger), you are doing the damn thang. Much respect.

  6. Thank you, Jamie! I’m doing the best I can. I’m glad you like the blog and I’m having fun with NPR. It’s pretty sweet. (Now if only there were some money involved …)

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