Republican BS

I was at the Sonoma County Fair today. In the main pavilion, was a booth for the Sonoma County Republican Party. They had a prominent sign that consisted for the acronym RINO inside a circle with a line through it: No “Republicans In Name Only.” This was shocking. One expects the teabaggers to promote such ideas, but not the Republican Party itself. The party has always maintained that it was a “big tent.” There was, the argument goes, great diversity in the Republican Party. But no more. That isn’t a surprise but the fact that the party would explicitly endorse it is.

The same party has a bumper sticker design contest going on. And the winner gets an American flag: a fitting nationalistic prize from a nationalistic political party. On seeing the announcement, my mind instantly came up with the perfect slogan for the modern Republican Party:

Republican Bumper Sticker - Designed by A. L. English
Bumper sticker designed and rendered by Andrea L. English.

I had hoped that the last year and the one coming up would have been enough fucking for the American voting population. But alas, I fear I am wrong and we will be in for two to four more years, until our collective anus has been so brutalized and we have lost so much blood that we are barely alive. Then, perhaps, tens of millions of Americans will stop voting against their best interests. And maybe by then, the Democratic Party will offer more than the wringing of hands and the assurance that they aren’t as bad as the Republicans.

Until then, if you hate America and what it has stood for as long as I’ve been alive—if you really want to fuck America with all the violence that the word implies—then your path is clear. Fuck America: Vote Republican.

Books to Frighten and Delight

The other night, I was lying in bed unable to sleep because my odd little mind was running amok. “Will you be able to pay your son’s tuition? Jeez, I hope so. He’d never forgive you if he had to quit and go to community college. Say goodbye to grandchildren. Speaking of grandkids, it’s too bad you aren’t 30 anymore. Right? I mean, not even taking into account the loss of skin elasticity, the middle-aged hairstyle (‘style’–that’s funny), or the loss of muscle tone, that extra 15 pounds–yikes! What? I’m just sayin’. Aging sucks. Sadly, in this country, only youth matters. OMG. I just thought; what if Tom loses his job? Holy shit that would be bad. Maybe you should get a part-time job at WalMart. You are so qualified for that! Really. Although, now that I think about it, why bother? You wouldn’t make enough to pay the electric bill, much less the mortgage. Oh well. The house won’t be paid off in your lifetime anyway so why worry? Someone will take it off your hands if you can’t afford to keep it and then you can move into a teeny-tiny low-maintenance apartment in a relatively safe neighborhood somewhere. Can you please make your heart stop palpitating like that? It’s really distracting.”

At that point… no, first my mind noticed the interesting similarity between “feat” and “feet”. Then it very cleverly (I thought) came up with, “Having great big feet is no great feat.” Actually, that wasn’t the first draft, we had to collaborate on just the right wording and then discuss the best way to illustrate such a clever play on words. That led to thinking about books. I wondered, of all the books I’ve read, which three did my mind and I find most disturbing. What about the most delightful? Here’s what we came up with:

The Three Most Unsettling Books I’ve Ever Read


Cover art by a talented artist (unkown) for a horrifying story.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

The son-of-a-bitch English teacher who made me read that bit of horror at the age of 11 should have had his head stuck on a pike while savage little children dance around it.

Edition designed by Shepard Fairey.

1984 by George Orwell

It’s scary because it’s happening and no one seems to notice.

The Bible
Cover intelligently designed by an anonymous
typesetter (probably an agnostic).

The Bible by Committee

It’s scary because it isn’t true and yet continues to be one of the most powerful weapons of mass propaganda ever created.

The Three Most Delightful Books I’ve Ever Read

Phantom Tollbooth
Artwork by Jules Pfifer

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

I wished I had a little electric car that could drive me out of this boring, tedious, senseless existence into a world of adventurous wordplay. I felt sorry for Milo when he had to come home, but his hopefulness in the face of impending indifference was truly inspiring.

The Hobbit
Beautiful cover, designer unkown

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein

One of the most enjoyable and unique respites from reality I’ve ever read. Short people can be heroes, not just comedy relief.

Pride and Prejudice
Cover art by Cassandra Austen

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Anyone unable to appreciate this book is vapid, insufferable, and probably too plain to dance with.