Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just wanted to wish all of you a belated but very happy Thanksgiving! We had some wonderful friends visit us for the holiday, and it was so good to connect with our "comfortable people." You know those people who just get you? And with whom you can put away your filter and just be your own true self? And play Apples to Apples for hours and laugh hysterically while playing bad ping pong? Those people. We are so thankful for them. It was awesome, and we were sad when they drove away.

But at least we have pictures of funny birds from a local cider mill to remind us of the visit.



What the hell is this?



And these?



This one's name is Elvis.



And these are geese in couture.

Prop 8: The Musical

Look at all the fabulous queer-friendly folks in this video from funnyordie.com!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Need a cup of Coffey


I just can't help myself. I am always (always!) attracted to bitchy women. But bitchy-strong, not bitchy-whiny. And if they look a little freaky or untraditional, even better.

So it is with my new crush, Tabatha Coffey, former contenstant on Bravo's Shear Genius. She's got a new show on Bravo this season: Tabatha's Salon Takeover. She's kinda bitchy, but she's got a gooey center in there somewhere. I just know it.

Rowrrr.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Two letters to Barack Obama

Here's the letter I wanted to write to Barack Obama tonight:

Dear Barack Obama,

Quit being such a douchebag, please. I understand from your past and recent actions that you don't give two shits about queer people or women, so I don't imagine that a plea from this queer woman will mean much to you. However, I imagine that by now you've even started to alienate voters you actually care about (straight males, mostly the white ones), so I thought I'd just make this friendly request on behalf of your...I don't know...integrity, I guess. You were supposed to be the Great New Hope, but you're quickly becoming indistinguishable from that pile of shit that resembles McCain. Pretty sure that's not what you promised a few months ago, although I'll have to go back and study your transcripts. You're a shifty motherfucker, so I may have missed it.

Anyway, I don't expect you to stop being a douchebag just for me. I mean, I didn't even vote for you in the primary like I said I would, so I know I ain't done nothin' for you lately. But you seem to have endeared yourself to other progressives, and they're gonna start to get pissed, what with all the shitting all over their values and stuff, so maybe you could do it for them. Or for yourself, really, since you're gonna need their votes to get that white house. Or maybe you could do it because you promised us you were different, that you were a decent guy who cared about all the people society just doesn't care about (wait, that was Edwards, wasn't it?). Anyway, I know for a fact you promised us you were different, and I'm pretty sure you at least strongly implied that you were a decent guy. But if you don't quit being such a colossal douchebag, well, then you're not a decent guy at all - you're just another fucking politician.

And all the shit you've been doing the last couple weeks makes me want to cut your nuts off.

Straighten up or fuck off,
Gender Blank


But because I am a civilized and mature adult, here is the comment I actually left on his website:

I am a registered Democrat who will be voting for Cynthia McKinney in November because Barack Obama has proven over the last several weeks that he doesn't care at all about women (comments on abortion, telling Bernie Mac he was just "messing with him" after pretending to chastise him for his misogynist remarks) or pretty much anything else his most vocal supporters care about (FISA, Iraq pullout, pandering to evangelicals, gun control). At this point Barack Obama and John McCain might as well be the same candidate.

Barack Obama is supposedly a great orator, so I don't believe all of these things are simply instances of him "misspeaking." He is either misspeaking (in which case I just can't trust anything he actually says), or he means what he is saying (in which case I simply can't trust him). Either way he loses my vote.

Barack Obama is behaving like a political opportunist with no integrity. He promised something very different from what he has delivered thus far. I refuse to hold my nose and vote for him just because he's the Democratic nominee. I will instead gladly cast my vote for a Green.

If John McCain wins the election because enough true progressives are fed up with Obama's crap and vote for Cynthia McKinney or some other candidate, it will not be our fault. It will be Obama's fault for treating us like our votes are expendable. In any case, at this point it doesn't seem like McCain will be much more horrible for the country than Obama's recent actions suggest he will be.

Sincerely,

Gender Blank


I kinda wish I'd actually written the first one.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Celebrity Playlist




Just some stuff I've been listening to recently. I guess I'm on a Brit-pop/electro-pop kick, which is nothing I ever thought I'd be into. I blame Imogen Heap's Hide and Seek for getting me started. Then one thing led to another, and here I am. Some of this stuff doesn't exactly fit that genre, but I've been listening to it lately, too. Hint: click on "launch standalone" to hear the full versions of the songs.

Enjoy! Or don't. I don't give a shit. I promise to get to some real posts soon. My vacation has been sucked up by flying to exotic places like Iowa and Florida. Guess where I saw more water.

Monday, June 9, 2008

My philosophy






What philosophy do you follow? (v1.03)
created with QuizFarm.com
You scored as Existentialism

Your life is guided by the concept of Existentialism: You choose the meaning and purpose of your life.


Existentialism


100%

Hedonism


60%

Justice (Fairness)


55%

Utilitarianism


55%

Kantianism


30%

Strong Egoism


25%

Nihilism


10%

Apathy


0%

Divine Command


0%




h/t to Portly Dyke

Saturday, May 17, 2008

I am not a geek.

37% Geek



What I am is a nerd. I read books and journals, not manuals and comic books. I talk about critical theory, not mathematical equations. I play Super Mario, not real gamer stuff. I had a stack of research handy when buying a scooter, but I trust salespeople to tell me which digital camera is best. I have never sent a text message. Srsly.

I'm okay with not being a geek. I'm proud to be a nerd. That's not a judgment against geeks. Geeks are smart people. The world needs geeks. I just ain't one of 'em.

h/t to Bob.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Missed another goddam anniversary

Last time it was my 1-year blogiversary. This time it was my 11-year coming out anniversary. My lesboversary?

Anyway, it was eleven years ago on April 30, 1997 when I made my first gay public announcement. I was attending a small Christian college in Iowa and was frustrated by the lack of community for queer students. I knew I was gay, and I was pretty sure about two other people on campus. Two.

Anyway, I needed a support group and one didn't exist, so I decided that if Ellen could do it, so could I. I advertised Come Out With Ellen in the daily bulletin, and about 20 people showed up. Most of them were straight allies, but that was just as nice to see. We watched the Puppy Episode and then had a discussion about creating a queer group on campus.

It was one of the scariest evenings of my life, but it started me on a whole new path. I've really never looked back. Well, that's not entirely true. As a person with a concealable minority identity, I've had several moments since then when I've chosen to tuck away that identity - out of concerns for my safety, my employment, or my comfort. That hasn't happened for a number of years, but it has happened. They weren't proud moments. They were about coping.

But after eleven years, I can safely say I am completely out of that closet. I make no apologies for any part of my identity. My queerness is an important part of who I am, but it's not remotely the most interesting thing about me. It's a detail, and for that I am thankful because it used to consume me. That's what closets do.

Anyway, a big shout out to all the people who stood on the sidelines and cheered me on. Allies like you are invaluable. And a special thanks to MonkeyPants, who sat by my side eleven years and one night ago and held my hand as my shaky voice started to claim my identity. Her hand is still my favorite.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A call for more cussing

Surely I can do better than this:


The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?
Created by OnePlusYou

h/t to PortlyDyke

Sunday, April 20, 2008

SATC

This lady says I can be a feminist and like Sex and the City. Whew!

'Cause while I don't do the whole fashion thing (or the whole men thing), I like the whole friends-as-soul-mates thing. MonkeyPants and I have a couple of soul mate friends from back home, and while we didn't talk about men at the coffee shop, we did talk about women (and sports and motorcycles and the patriarchy) at restaurants. We liked to eat, and we really enjoyed each other's company. So that part of the show resonates with me. And goddammit I really miss those friends.

Plus, I always find myself attracted to the strong (and sort of bitchy), slightly odd-looking independent thinker. Which means I had a small crush on Miranda (and an even bigger one on Cynthia Nixon). What can I say? The heart wants what it wants.

In any case, I am about as feminist as one is allowed to be without spontaneously combusting, and I enjoy Sex and the City. I don't love every thing about it, but as a socialist feminist and cultural critic, I almost never love every thing about anything. Occupational hazard, I guess. I've gotten good at compartmentalizing, and I've made room in my happy compartment for Sex and the City. Deal with it.

h/t

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Update on the fatness

I was 190.1 this morning. Not bad, I thought (considering I was 202 at the beginning of March).

Then I looked at myself in the bathtub tonight. Much work to do.

I took a walk today, and I felt pretty good. This town is made of a bunch of fucking hills, so even a slow walk ain't all that easy. My goal is to feel that route is easy by July. Totally do-able.

I'm thirsty.

Friday, April 4, 2008

A little less fat

So, remember back in, oh, January or something when I promised to weigh in each week? I was getting back on the wagon and wanted to get healthy? And I reported that I weighed something like 197 at the time? 'Member that?

Well. I had such good intentions of making those weekly reports, but that was before I actually gained weight while "dieting" (to be fair, the diet consisted mostly of M&Ms and frozen burritos, but wev). I got up to about 202.5, and I certainly didn't feel like telling everybody about it.

But then something happened. It was a series of somethings, actually, that made me start eating less. And better. Not perfectly, by any means. I had frozen burritos for dinner last night and a bag of M&Ms yesterday afternoon. But with the running around of covering a second building, the emotional blow of my boss leaving, and some general weirdness in my mental state, I just wasn't interested in enjoying food. Which is why I'm fat in the first place. I simply enjoy food. And it usually feels good to eat it, no matter the reason. But I wasn't enjoying it anymore, so I ate a lot less of it.

And this morning I weighed in at 193.7. So, yippee for stress and mental weirdness! I have about ten more pounds to lose before I'm at the weight I was at when I moved here in August. I felt pretty good then, so I'm shooting for that right now. After that we'll see if I feel like doing more. I will look like I need to do more, but at this point I really only have an interest in feeling good in my body again.

Would I love to be at my ideal weight of 145? You bet. But do I value that enough to do the work required to get and stay there? Don't know. I'm 31, happily partnered, and in a job I like. I kind of don't care anymore if I'm fat. I just want to feel strong and in charge of my body, and that's not how I feel at 193. It's not even really how I feel at 183, but I'm a lot more comfortable in that neighborhood. So I'll aim for that for now.

I'll report again next week. Even if I gain weight. Well, we'll see.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Friday, March 28, 2008

I cannot live in Dallas

I just can't.

Boston? Yes. Madison? Yes. Denver? Yes. Chicago? Yes. NYC? Yes. Philly? Yes. Austin? Yes. San Francisco? Yes. Ann Arbor? Yes. Iowa City? Yes. Podunk, NY? Yes.

But Dallas? Apparently not.

Sorry, Cowboys. I know how much you were looking forward to my fabulousness.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Can I live in Dallas?

So. My boss, who loves me and wants to promote me, took a job in Dallas. Which puts a lot more questions marks in my future than there were before. Which sucks. And about which I cried and bitched for a few days. But now I'm mostly over it. Mostly.

The thing is, he was told by his new institution that there is an open Assistant Director position there, and he can bring somebody to fill it if he wants to. And he asked me, sort of jokingly, but sort of seriously, if I am interested.

It's a great opportunity, but it would require leaving Nowhere, NY for Dallas, TX. And not that Nowhere, NY is so spectacular, but we're talking Dallas here. If it were Austin, I might just say yes. But Dallas?

Can I live in Dallas?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Where I am

Just wanted to check in to let you know that I'm technically still alive. But only barely.

I got roped into covering a second building while another director is out on maternity leave, and it's sorta kicking my ass. It's interesting what you discover about a colleague's work habits when you take over her job - and her staff. Somebody ain't been earning her keep, and now I get to go in and clean up after her.

It's actually been pretty amazing to work with some of these new people. I've found some really great kids who are thoughtful and motivated, and their standards have been forced so low that they think I'm a fucking superstar. Which, I gotta tell ya, ain't so bad.

Anyway, look for me again around the end of May when I finally get a moment to myself. I'll miss you all until then. Except for you, buddy.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Why I should stop saying fuck

'Cause it attracts people to my humble blog who are looking for shit like this:

1. "why women don't like to be fucked everyday" (It's you, buddy.)
2. "tiny 18 year olds fucking" (Way to steer clear of the kiddie porn there.)
3. "obama girl fucked" (Nice.)
4. "is it healthy for a man to be fucked" (I think yes, but what do I know?)
5. "huge dick mother fucker" (George Bush. Has to be.)
6. "healthy way to get fucked" (Cucumbers?)
7. "for time up fucking" (Wev.)

And this is all just within the last month! As always, it gives me a little giggle that these douchebags end up at GBWI, where perhaps, 'cause you just never know, I am radically changing their worldviews. It could happen.

And now I need to go scrub my brain. Fuckers.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Just go to Shakesville already

Go here to read Melissa's first installment of "a new series in which [she]'ll be addressing misconceptions or answering questions about feminism and/or feminists." This first post is entitled "Feminism 101: Feminists Look for Stuff to Get Mad About."

It's fucking brilliant.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Gender Blank is gettin' older

Gray hair? Check. Crow's feet? Check. Stretch marks from semi-annual attempts at weight loss? Check, check, and check.

Oh, and it's my birthday today. Always a tip-off.

I'm 31 today. Not a momentous birthday. Still a young pup by many standards. All dried up by some others, but wev. I've never really bought into those standards.

Anyway, I'm takin' it easy today. Students are gone for the whole week, which is such a totally kick-ass gift! I'm going to clean my office, catch up on some paperwork, and hang out in my pajamas. Then I'm going to let MonkeyPants take me out to dinner. I've got a hankerin' for some Japanese food.

By the way, I'm setting no goals for my thirty-second year of life. I'm just gonna take shit as it comes. In case you were wondering.

Happy day to all of you! Thank you for being in my life at 31!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Jane Fonda said "cunt" on TV

See for yourself.



Meredith Vieira apologized for Fonda a few minutes later, but no word on whether Fonda actually felt like apologizing for it. I hope not. If you've seen the show, you get it. Even if you haven't seen the show, there was nothing offensive about the way she used the word.

Had she called Meredith Vieira a cunt, that'd be a bit different.

Seeing The Vagina Monologues changed my entire outlook on the word. I still don't use it, but mostly because now the word is too good for most people. That's right. The C-word is too good to be used with ordinary people. Especially ordinary people who do stupid shit.

Those people are just dicks.

Stuff I'm listening to these days



Some of these are only 30-second versions. But you get the idea.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Question: Why doesn't Gender Blank wear make-up?

Answer: Because it might attract the wrong kind of guy.

Another question: Where are this woman's nipples? BTW, that's no girl, but whatever.

Sigh.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

MSNBC sorta blows

I know you already know this. But it bears revisiting every once in awhile. They provide enough examples at pretty regular intervals to keep my rage-o-meter at least partially engaged at all times. Plus, they continue to employ Chris Matthews. That's enough to give me heartburn by itself.

What I'm most irritated about over the last few days is their coverage of the Democratic race for the nomination. First, after Super Tuesday failed to deliver a decisive front-runner, MSNBC.com ran a headline all day long that said something like "Democratic Race Could Go Negative" with a subhead indicating that this negativity would split and damage the party (sorry - I can't find a link to the article anymore).

Don't you just love it when corporately-owned douchebags predict inevitable disasters for their opponents based on a history that completely contradicts the prediction? After all, the ensuing article noted (at the very, very end) that up until that point the Democratic race had been pretty darn civil. They could at least wait to see what happens and then make a reasoned analysis. I mean, even Jerry Falwell waited until after the disaster of 9/11 to blame the gays and the feminists. Just like a gentleman should.

Plus, so far they've been wrong. I know it's only been five days since Super Tuesday, but I haven't read any reports of a huge wave of negativity between Obama and Clinton. There is still time, of course, but they seem to be making a pretty concerted effort to be on good behavior (relative to most political campaigning, anyway). I hope they don't make me eat my words in the coming weeks.

Another thing that's bugging me right now is this photo of Barack Obama on MSNBC.com.
















I just can't help but think the top dogs at MSNBC are chuckling just a little at running this Angry Black Man photo. Or Evil Black Man. He looks more evil than angry. Now, I know that photojournalism is all about capturing a "moment." But after winning the four contests last night, wouldn't you think Barack Obama would be having a happy moment, and wouldn't that photo be more appropriate to run? Or was it just too tempting to slap up an unflattering photo that plays into the stereotypes that lots of voters have?

Perhaps I wouldn't be so cheesed if they didn't run that photo next to this one of Mike Huckabee looking all serious and presidential.










I'm not irritated by this because I'm a fan of Obama (he only got 49% of my vote on Tuesday). I'm irritated by this because I'm a fan of fairness. And balance. But in a completely non-Fox News kind of way.

Or maybe - and probably most likely - I'm irritated because I just got done reading this and this over at Shakesville. Melissa says it way better than I could, so just go read about MSNBC's misogynist douchebaggery over there. Don't forget the comments sections when you read stuff at Shakesville. The regulars over there are a smart and savvy bunch, and the discussions are often as good as the posts.

Anyway, MSNBC is beyond having some 'splainin' to do. If they want to remain a viable candidate for my entertainment attention, they're gonna hafta make a grand gesture of some sort. Suspending David Shuster isn't quite enough for me.

Chris Matthews would be nice to have in the trophy case, though.

I missed my blogiversary



















Happy belated 1-year blogiversary to me. It was January 11. Somehow I forgot about it. Prolly 'cause I was busy taping paper fishies to the walls of the lobby here in the ol' dorm-home. A girl's gotta make a living, after all.

Here's my first post from a little over a year ago. A hundred and seventy-three posts later I can't say I'm any wiser. Well, maybe a smidge. At least I know how to embed YouTube videos now. That's something.

Now have some cake.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Monday, February 4, 2008

The vote looms

We're a day away from Super Tuesday. God dammit, I need more time!

'Cause here's where I am right now: I've publicly agreed to support Barack Obama, who I believe is a great choice, but I keep secretly rooting for Hillary Clinton, who I also believe would be a great choice, albeit for very different reasons.

I saw people standing at the corner of a busy intersection in Albany this weekend holding Hillary signs, and I admit that I felt emotional. These were people standing out in the misty cold for a viable female candidate, and that's never before been possible in my lifetime. Or anyone else's.

And then I saw this video about Barack Obama, and it gave me chills. Truthfully, I get chills nearly every time I see coverage of Obama making a speech. Not usually because of his actual speech, but because of the crowds' reactions to his speeches. I can't say that he totally lights my fire, but the fact that he lights so many other fires is certainly inspirational.

Is it possible to be inspired transitively? 'Cause if so, I'd like to express my feelings about Barack Obama as a logical equation: If I am inspired by people's excitement to engage in the democratic process, and Barack Obama makes truckloads of people get excited about engaging in the democratic process, then I am inspired by Barack Obama.

But here's the thing. Even though there are things about her that make me cringe, I am directly inspired by Hillary Clinton. I don't think there's anyone smarter in the race. Maybe even in the party. She is damn near unflappable. She can play the game with the best of the boys (I'm not necessarily interested in someone who plays that game, but I still admire that she can do it so well). She's been smeared more than any woman in American history, but she refuses to give up, and a day before Super Tuesday she leads the polls and the delegate count for the Democratic nomination. I just can't help but be inspired by that.

But can she win against John McCain? I'm not so sure. I think she could if Obama were on the ticket with her, but I'm not sure he would accept that offer. I think Obama would be able to beat McCain with a few different people as his VP, which ups his stock with me. But I don't know that he would put Hillary on the ticket (even though I believe she deserves to be there in some capacity), and I don't want to miss an opportunity to vote for a well-qualified female candidate. Who knows when it will happen again (not saying that there won't be a well-qualified female, just that it's not easy to squeeze through the process like Hillary has)?

So, dear readers, what do I do with all this? I have a day to figure it out. Any advice out there?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Apple juice



One of my RAs pointed me to this video, and I can't stop thinking about it for some strange reason. So, I thought I'd share it with you.

You're welcome.

Edwards drops out

A little factoid: Four in 10 Edwards supporters said their second choice in the race is Clinton, while a quarter prefer Obama, according to an Associated Press-Yahoo poll conducted late this month.

Huh.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Fuck you, Mr. Edwards

"I think what we need in a commander-in-chief is strength and resolve, and presidential campaigns are tough business, but being president of the United States is also tough business," Edwards told reporters Laconia, New Hampshire.

This, in response to Hillary Clinton getting almost teary talking about her country.

Now, I'm no great Clinton-lover, but this comment by Edwards is below the cooter. That's worse than just below the belt. He deserves nothing short of a feminist ass-kicking for going there. I mean, really, John? I'm fairly certain Hillary could fuck you up pretty easily.

Hillary getting choked up about her country is actually a point in her favor, in my opinion. And you, sir, are just a desperate douchebag hoping the cool kid picks you to be on his ticket.

Friday, January 4, 2008

On the Republican side

Just wanted to add that Johnson County Republicans chose Romney with 32%, followed by Huckabee with 22% - indicating that Huckabee is going to have a hell of a time in New Hampshire.

'Cause Iowa Republicans in general are a pretty born-again bunch, especially in the more rural areas (which is most of the state). But the ones in Johnson County, and specifically the ones in Iowa City, tend to only be Republicans because they're rich. They're really more like Libertarians than true Republicans. Except for Mike Thayer. He's about as socially conservative as they get.

But Granite Staters have a decidedly Libertarian bent. "Live Free or Die" and all that shit. They're Republicans because they want the government to stay out of their business, not on accounta Jesus. So I don't think Huckabee is going to find quite the reception there that he got in Iowa.

In addition, New Hampshire is Romney's back yard. Now, I left New Hampshire before really getting a pulse on how those folks felt about ol' Flip Flop Romney, but I think he'll probably win their primary.

Of course, who knows what the addition of Guiliani will do to the race in New Hampshire? He wrote Iowa off a long time ago, and Iowa voters returned the favor. He isn't in the top three in NH right now, but maybe he'll mention 9/11 again and it'll work this time. We'll know in a few days, I guess.

My prediction for Tuesday, btw, is Clinton-Obama-Edwards, Romney-McCain-Huckabee. Huckabee might climb to second on the momentum of last night, but I don't think it's gonna happen. I think Obama will gain enough ground in the state over the next four days to make Clinton sweat, but I think she'll hold on for the win (she currently has a 12-point lead there). Which will make me happy, because I think the country needs to see a woman do well. But I'm an Obama girl (er, woman) now, so I'll root for an upset.

Any different predictions out there?

I'm the new Obama Girl. Er, Woman.

So, I promised to endorse whoever Johnson County Democrats chose to be the party's candidate for President, and they couldn't have been any clearer. The gap between their Chosen One and the second place guy was even wider than the gap statewide, which was already pretty astonishing. Here is the breakdown:

Johnson County
updated 12:33 a.m. EDT, January 4, 2008 100% reported

Obama 52%
Edwards 24%
Clinton 21%
Richardson 2%
Uncommitted 1%
Biden 0%
Dodd 0%
Gravel 0%
Kucinich 0%

So that means my official endorsement goes to Barack Obama for President 2008. And in a huge way, too. I'm a little shocked and disappointed in a strange kind of way, although I think I would have felt that way no matter who got picked. Or maybe I was hoping JC would give me a reason to endorse Clinton, 'cause I want to like the female candidate, but she certainly didn't earn my vote based on her record or her talking points. Johnson County voters were her last hope of getting my endorsement, but they weren't extremely impressed either, I guess.

I have to give Clinton points for her speech last night, though. She focused on the party and the Democratic vision and said she can't wait for the contest ahead rather than insisting she will be the winner. Smart move.

And congratulations to John Edwards for coming in slightly second. It was a good showing for him. But I couldn't wait for his speech to be over. And not because of his accent (sorry for my prejudice in the last post, Phydeaux). It's just that he kept talking. And talking. And doing that contrived politician-y thing where they mention local people with tragic problems in an attempt to make us gullible voters believe they actually know those people and give a shit about them. All politicians are guilty of this from time to time, but Edwards is the only one I saw do it last night. And the only mention of his wife, unless I zoned out during the middle, was to mention her cancer. Classy move.

Barack Obama, on the other hand, took a moment to actually recognize his wife and her role in helping him through the whole thing. It seemed genuinely celebratory, which was great to see. And he was charismatic and hopeful as all hell, which explains why he has been inspiring all sorts of young people to come out and get involved in the political process.

And for that I am truly thankful, because seeing that kind of enthusiasm and turnout for a candidate is a reason to really get excited about what he might be able to accomplish. Because, as MonkeyPants said, any of the top three would be fine, they'd all be way better than Bush, and there probably wouldn't be much difference in the way any of them would do the job. But if one of them makes more people want to get involved in the process or makes people start caring about politics and the direction of the country, well, that's sort of a big deal and definitely a reason to celebrate. And to earn my highly-coveted endorsement.

Congratulations, Mr. Obama. The people of Johnson County - and now I - believe you're The One. Don't fuck it up.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

My presidential pick

So, I thought I'd weigh in before the Iowa caucuses and go on record with my pick for the next President of the US of A. It's a biggie, this election, which is why a celebrity such as myself needs to put out an endorsement to try to sway as many undecideds (or wrongly-decideds) as possible.

But here's the trouble.

First of all, I've been way too busy to follow every detail of every campaign as closely as necessary to make a truly informed decision. And if you haven't noticed, there are a bazillion fucking candidates, so even someone trying to follow every detail would have to make a full-time job of it.

Second of all, I've done a lot of those online polls where you can vote for your values and then find out at the end which candidate you match up with best. And every time my top pick is the nutjob from Cleveland. But I can't seriously endorse a candidate who looks like an elf. Or believes in them.

Third of all, there is nobody among the top three or four Democrats who really stands out to me and makes me say "That one there! That's my woman/man!" I haven't yet decided if that means that there are no great candidates in the mix or if it means there are several equally great candidates in the mix. But either way, I'm not excited about anybody.

Fourth, I'm not in Iowa or New Hampshire during an election cycle for the first time in my life. Which means, unfortunately but thankfully, I haven't seen a single ad from anyone yet. Not that I decide who to vote for based on ads, but the ads help me decide who I might not want to vote for. If candidates run especially nasty ads, for example, they turn me off. But not all negative ads are nasty. Some of them bring up really important points against other candidates that TV-watchers might not hear other places, depending on the types of television shows they watch. And, very occasionally, candidates come out with ads that are inspiring or clever or just plain slick, which can help a little. So, while ads need to be evaluated through a very dense filter, they can be helpful. But I haven't seen any, so I haven't been helped.

Lastly, the top three candidates on the Dem side have gotten endorsements from some key people, which doesn't help me at all. My graduate school mentor came out in favor of Clinton, some Iowa City political activists I trust and admire are supporting Obama, and my parents will be caucusing for Edwards. These are all people I would gladly take cues from, but they've sort of cancelled each other out. Thanks for all the help, y'all.

I've asked myself the following questions to try to help me decide. Number one, does running a slick campaign deserve my vote? If so, I'd lean toward Clinton. In the early stages of the campaign, anyway. The rollout of her announcement and the stuff right afterward was pretty genius. I didn't see much of the Edwards or Obama stuff, so Clinton wins by default, even though I suspect she'd win this category anyway.

Number two, does possessing a vagina deserve my vote? I'm undecided on this point. Certainly Vagina-Americans need to have some other qualifications to hold the highest position in the land, but it is tempting to root for the first viable female candidate in American history. At least to root for her to be good. Which I'm not convinced she is. All I can commit to saying is that if I decide to base my vote on vaginal ownership, I'll probably go for Clinton.

Number three, can I stand a southern accent like John Edwards'? 'Cause I know he does a lot of work for poor people, and even though his haircuts are kinda expensive, I know he cares about the little guy. And that's important to me. But he just sounds irritating. That statement is rooted in a northern/midwestern bias against southern accents, and in no way do I think it reflects the great diversity of intellects among people with southern accents. Bill Clinton, very smart. George Bush, not so much. But, whether it makes me an ignorant bitch or not, people with southern accents have to work harder to win me over than others do. And I'm not sure he did. Based on tolerability of accent, Obama or Clinton would take this one.

Number four, how much experience is enough? Because if experience matters, I don't think Obama has enough of the right kind. He will, but I don't trust his gut yet. Maybe in another four years. On experience, it's Edwards or Clinton. People might argue that Clinton has roughly the same experience in the Senate that Obama does, but I call bullshit on that. We all know she was involved in a lot of stuff while Bill was running the show. Which isn't necessarily a point in her favor, 'cause a lot of questionable shit came out of Bill's reign. But at least she's got experience doing stuff.

Number five, is it more important to vote for the most progressive candidate or the one I think has the best chance of beating the Republican for the job? Clinton actually would lose both of those, in my opinion. I think she's the least progressive of the top three, and she might just carry too much baggage. If I vote most progressive, I think I go with Obama. If I vote best chance to win, I think I go with Edwards. And then I remember that Obama gave a platform to friggin' Donnie McClurkin and start to rethink the whole progressive thing. So, I guess Edwards wins this one.

So, where does this leave me? With a toss-up, that's where. So what does a celebrity like me do when pressured by the masses to endorse someone for President in 2008? I mean, this my Oprah moment, so how do I figure this all out? Is there an answer? I think there is.

Trust Iowa.

That's right. I will put my trust in Iowa. I used to live there and have personally and often witnessed the thorough deliberation Iowans put into the caucus process. They take this shit very seriously, they ask the tough questions, they weigh things very carefully. At least the ones in Johnson County, anyway.

So, perhaps I should be more specific. I will put my trust in Johnson County Democrats to choose who I will endorse for President. Whoever emerges victorious after the caucus in Johnson County will get my support. It's not that I don't care enough to do my own research, but I know that thousands of people in the Hawkeye State are doing it for me. So I'm going to give it up to them and have faith that they will pick someone deserving of my very important endorsement. It's the least you all deserve!

Fingers crossed, and I'll weigh in on Friday.