Friday, January 4

Go Ioway

WELL, fuck. Shredded lateral collateral, some menisci (I looked up the plural) damage, arthritis and a migrant kneecap. Surgery scheduled for a couple weeks, subject to my Poor Wife being available to chauffeur my anesthetized carcass around. Surgery's how I figured it would turn out, but I was hoping to get a fighting chance at natural healing first. I blame the manufacturer, with apologies to Lenny Bruce.

And I blame the doctor, who pulled the But I'm Still A Virgin act on me when I asked for a new Vicodin script. "We don't like to do that," he says, like I enjoy waking my wife in the middle of the night yelping in pain, secure in the knowledge that at least I wasn't being overprescribed. I thought we'd gotten over that Nancy Reagan One Toke And The Next Thing You Know You'll Be Selling Your Wife Into Chinese Slavery routine in the health game. It's fucking Vicodin, Doc, not crack. We used to call them "aspirin". Look at me. I'm fifty-four. That means I was a teenager in the late 60s/early 70s, which means if Life Experience counted in such things I could be an anesthesiologist.

I suppose I should be glad I didn't get a Zipper Knee back when. But on the other hand, if this would have just held off another couple years the Glorious Everlasting Light of His Obamaness would have delivered us one of those all-purpose Space Surgery widgets Bones McCoy uses and I'd be boogalooin' down Broadway.

Okay, look, I don't mean to pick on the man; it's mostly his followers and advisers I have a problem with, especially Afternoon Blabfest hosts who've made billions proving you can't underestimate how much the American public overestimates its own intelligence, and, concurrently, that you're never too old to pay through the nose for a virtual My Little Pony™. The woman is the same age as I--we were born one month apart--and here's the second paragraph of her website's paean:
Newsweek magazine calls Senator Obama "a political phenomenon unlike any previously seen on the American scene." Since being elected, Senator Obama has been on the cover of Vogue magazine and won a Grammy® for best spoken word album. He even has a beer named after him!

I'm guessing that everyone of a certain age is now thinking exactly what I thought, namely how much better off this country would be if these people had been around to assist the Stevenson campaign. Exclamation point.

So now that literally dozens of Iowans have spoken in their unique, if not hyperreal, 19th century version of the Pepsi Challenge, maybe Senator Obama will be pressed into running for President, instead of Candidate You'd Most Like To Name A Beer After!, but I suppose we'll have to wait to see what MoDo wants him to do next.

You'd think that having given birth to Jimmy Carter, History's Greatest Monster, in 1976, Iowans would still be ducking for cover. At least the rest of us can forget about them for another four years, assuming we're not involved in college wrestling or the professional corn de-tasseling circuit.

In fact, if Barack Obama is so all-fired set on dishing out hope for the future and curing rampant disillusionment (which reminds me, how come people try to make a big deal out of John Edwards, wealthy and coiferiffic attorney-at-law, "hypocritically" presenting himself as a spokesman for the downtrodden, but when some GQ-handsome Harvard Law grad with $10 million of other people's money available just to get his face plastered all over a state with seven electoral votes starts talking about Disillusionment no one says, "Th' fuck you know about it?") eliminating the Iowa Caucasian Caucuses might be a good place to start. I listened to Keith Olbermann do five minutes at the top of his show last night about how overblown Iowa was, before introducing the horserace graphics and bringing on...Tim Fucking Russert, who proceeded to agree that Iowa was overblown while explaining the "psychological importance" of a victory. Which made me think:

Do something about that, Senator!

It's all well and good to bemoan Washington gridlock, but if we're not in agreement that it's a lot easier to moan than to do something about it then some of us have the opportunity to learn an important lesson. The Iowa moderates who voted in Democratic caucuses Tuesday so they could express their displeasure about partisan politics in Washington aren't its innocent victims: they're the very people whose silence facilitated an imperial and imperious White House trashing their birthright and their treasury. So now they're suddenly part of the solution? Fine, but it'd be reassuring to know they now understood the problem, something the junior Senator from Illinois could explain to them. He saw through the war from the beginning, after all; meanwhile, every Iowan in Congress voted for it, and they all were reelected after. Consensus ain't always all it's cracked up to be. There was no public voice raised against attacking Afghanistan (including Obama's), and little regarding Iraq beyond the caricatured Quagmirist. Look where that consensus got us. We could all agree with Tim Russert, or David Brooks, assuming we think the cesspit of American post-war interventionism and its war on economic justice would look nicer in a uniform beige. Otherwise, we need partisanship, and we'd best be ready for it to continue. The fight's over the bullshit American Exceptionalism our children and grandchildren will be paying for without ever being given a voice, Senator. It's not about Flag Burning Amendments, or only peripherally.

As for his dewy-eared idealist volunteers, more power to 'em, but one is forced to reiterate that just as someone with no expertise may not be the best choice to disarm a bomb, a group of people who've come of age without having to fight for civil or voting rights, or reproductive or gender rights, or even the right to party, may not fully appreciate where they'd be without partisanship, let alone how much more than rhetoric is required to fight it.


Doug said...

Hehe, good close. I fought for my right to party and the closest I got to idealism was Ross Perot -- that may account for my sunny disposition. I think Jerry Brown was already out of the race in that sunny summer of '92.

heydave said...

Sorry to hear about your knee, and also sorry to hear that we're not omnipotent.

Julia said...

What you said.

D. Sidhe said...


Fuck me, but I'd vote for you over any of the current crop of cretins. I realize this is faint praise and all, but you probably don't have a pantsuit *or* Teflon Hair.

And I am *extremely* sorry about the knee. That sucks. I hope you held out for actual fucking painkillers, because I'm betting he tried to steer you to Tylenol. If it's bad enough for surgery, it's bad enough for painkillers. I understand they don't want people taking it long term, but I don't think "until after the goddamned surgery" counts in your case, it's not like you've been doing this for months.

God, I hate doctors.

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