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Barry Crimmins

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Confessions of an ex-con (attendee) Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Confessions of an excon attendee

The best man, Lloyd the Dog

I haven't a single regret that I won't be in Denver this week nor St. Paul next week. I am content to watch the media and pols limbo to new lows of pandering, insincerity and self-celebration from the comfort of home.

I've been to a million campaign events. I've been a credentialed member of the media at numerous national political conventions, as well as a dissident/performer at those same gatherings and several others. I've shared the stage with presidential candidates and bull goose loony conspiracy freaks. It's a toss-up which was more embarrassing. On any number of campaign trails, I've watched soulless party regulars commit malicious atrocities while smiling like they're selling Pepsodent. I've waded through media maggots, reeking of the fetid flesh of the bloated carcass of a free press, dead from a high fructose cornholing delivered at the behest of corporate kingpins. It takes years to lose the contact stench.

I could have put something together that would have made trips to the conventions in Denver and St. Pol both justifiable and profitable for me but I have been to enough of these confectionary confabs. This doesn't mean you have. You could be young and hopeful or in a racket that requires your presence at such affairs. Then again, maybe you're just too goddamned stupid to realize that Wrestlemania is less scripted than American political conventions.

In any case, I ain't a-goin' and glad of it. I was very happy yesterday as I put in a several hours doing yard-work on the sad anniversary of the death of a dog who was a better person than any politician I have ever met. Way better.

Looking back, it pisses me off that I could have spent two more summer weeks with Lloyd the Dog four years ago. Instead, I squandered that irrecoverable time trotting on a hamster wheel that led to four more years of a president who wouldn't skid down a slippery slope of slime until a couple of tough women named Cindy and Katrina cold-cocked him on his clown nose a year later.
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The month I spent in Crawford, Texas in August '05 was time away from Lloyd that I do not regret. Along with several thousand dedicated activists in Crawford, I helped Cindy Sheehan bring focus to a question that sniveling George W. Bush has never answered. It concerned the war that took her son Casey's life. It challenged Bush's jingoistic, carnage-justifying rhetoric by demanding,"What noble cause?"

There were times in Crawford when the media minions nearly outnumbered the activists who bloomed like a bouquet of cactus flowers in that dry gulch in the desolate corner where Dubyaho should be made to sit for the rest of his useless life. But all the MSM wags put together didn't do the job that a few bloggers and one radio network (Air America, in perhaps its only moment of relevance) did by reporting Cindy's and the protesters' articulate and well-reasoned dissent in detail. Sans expert commentary, the story told itself. The protester's testimony brought clarity and perspective to the indefensibly imperialistic and monstrous act of war-mongering that Bush had instigated against the people of Iraq. The word got out and resonated throughout the globe. Over those late summer weeks, people from throughout the country and world heard the call and came to Crawford to add ballast and resonance to the cause. All the while George W. Bush did what he does best in times of conflict -- he cowered in the safety of sequestered privilege. But this time his cowardice was obvious to everyone -- even Americans! Since then, he has never regained the undeserved credibility he once enjoyed with so many of his conned constituents.

The beginning of the end of Gluttonous Old Party's current run of political dominance commenced in Crawford. In 2006, Democrats, wrapped in the flag and camouflage (they nominated any vet who would have them), took back Congress. Since then, they have done exactly dick with their voter-provided opportunity. Now the Donkeys tiptoe around a camo and flag-draped Republican standard bearer as they play a massive electoral advantage into a dead heat. Before it's over, Barack O'Bromide could actually lose to I'm John McCain and I disprove this message. If America manages to call for a Bush-Cheney encore in the person of a jabbering, failing old fraud and crackpot (my father was a war hero, John McCain was a prisoner of war, there's a fucking difference), we should thank the Democratic Party and its refusal to storm the gates of Fortress Bush, no matter how much a coast-to-coast mob begged it to lead the way.

If McQueeg wins, it will also be traceable to a summer when the D candidate went on a good war /bad war tour and announced that, environmental calamity and economic depravity be damned, as president, he would actually increase the Pentagon's budget. This would further engorge an ecological-assassinating war machine that converts greenbacks into spilled blood. Some change!

So please think twice before you decide to waste everyone's time by trying to bring me into the fold at the First Church of Barack the Savior. I will decide how to vote when I determine whether or not the maniac McCain has any chance to take New York and then I will act appropriately. I know which end is up. I also know when I am being taken for granted as a person with no other choice.

Three years ago this month I was presented with an actual choice, grabbed it and hopped the next plane for Texas. There I convened with some wonderful people who understood that mainstream American political conventions are quite literally killing us. I agree which is why I'll take a pass on intensely scrutinizing Dem Denver. I've seen all of the prefab posturing and focus-group fuzziness too many times. The Democrats' big, big-party party is designed to steer clear of the kind of confrontation that truly shifted the political landscape in Texas in '05. I might not be able to control myself  watching conventioneers traipse about cramming corporate booty into Verizon tote bags that were purchased with funds that otherwise would have been used to secure attorneys to defend the giant telecom in lawsuits brought by citizens outraged by Big Bro Bell's complicity in converting the Bill of Rights into confetti at a ticker-tape parade for fascism.

Oh and by the way, I am endorsing one political candidate this fall. Her name is Cindy Sheehan and she is running as an independent against a certain sitting leader of an impotent group of House Democrats. I urge the good people of California's Eighth Congressional District to vote for Cindy on Nov. 4.
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Trail Droppings: Have I told you lately how sick I am of the word "journey?" Suddenly everyone's on a "journey," whether they're making a bad movie or decorating a condo or simply married to someone who is running for office. Here's a journey for anyone who employs a once useful term in such a self-aggrandizing manner: Go to Hell! Once she began describing her "journey" last night, I quickly found a path away from paying attention to Michelle Obama's speech.

This came after she plummeted off the wrong trail when she told us that anyone who works hard can make it. Note to handlers: Scrap that portion out of the speech before she makes any Rust Belt appearances.

Caroline Kennedy speaks like someone who has a lot of experience addressing the entire household staff. At one point last night she got so excited discussing Barack Obama that she nearly unclenched her jaw.

And what an imaginative job she did helping find Joe Biden as the VP candidate. Apparently death precluded Tom Eagleton from getting a second chance. So the Hawk With the Heart is the #2 man (scatological pun intended.)

How bold to choose a guy with all the inside info in the world who is either stupid or immoral (or both) enough to send his own child to a war he knows should have never taken place. That counters the McCain child sacrifice, but good!

And thanks to Caroline and the search committee, the official legislative leg-breaker for the credit card industry could finally be changing jobs after 36 years. Somehow I don't think it will hurt his credit rating.

That said, may the Great Spirit smile on Caroline's uncle.

MSNBC should cut to the speeches when the speeches are happening. This would reduce the chance that its mind-numbing "dream team" will actually melt their mikes with hot air.

Wolf Blitzer should shut up while the speakers are speaking, too. Aren't the the volumes of type CNN has infesting the screen enough without having Blitzer read them to us? Wow, Tom Harkin is from Iowa, thanks Wolfy! And if I wanted to watch the convention on an i-Pod, I would, but on CNN, to make room for all the shit they have crawling around, they often relegate the action to a space that could be obscured by a baseball card. People want to see the convention, not all the distracting nonsense a control room can inflict upon them. And we really don't need the CNN noise meter, designed to constantly remind us that it's anchoring its coverage direct from the convention floor. This is because we don't need to see noise because we can hear it. This isn't a football game at the RCA Dome, where the outcome isn't predetermined and there's a reason to yell.

Not to be outdone by the Most Encrusted Name in News, FOX will anchor its coverage of the Republican Convention from up John McCain's ass. Fox officials haven't yet announced if they will employ a noise meter.


updated: 10 years ago