Dems and Republicans and hot dogs

As someone with zero interest in Taylor Swift, there's no reason I should even know that she was in Seattle over the weekend for two sellout concerts at the football stadium. There was no escaping it, though. She got more coverage in the local news than the local news ever gets.

She's a big deal, but I've never knowingly heard a Swift song. I'm not even sure whether she's 'country' or what passes for rock'n'roll these days, and you know what? Life is fine without whatever she bellows to fill stadiums.

And you know what else? I used to laugh at closed-minded old farts like me.

In a grocery store, you can choose between several brands of almost everything — potato chips, eggs, hot dogs, whatever.

You have your favorite label and style of weenie and I have mine, but all the hot dogs in the store are, generally speaking, hot dogs.

For politics, though, we get two choices, Democrats — the party of status quo and "gosh we tried" and never offending decorum, and Republicans — the party of lying, hating, and screwing over anyone who isn't rich and white and straight and, preferably, male.

Neither Dems or Republicans are, generally speaking, hot dogs — they're not what I'm shopping for, they offer no solutions to any problems, and they're inedible even smothered in mustard and sauerkraut.

But those are the choices. We're allowed only Dems and Republicans, so you can have either disappointment, or outrage.

Oh, you'd like a third choice, or a fourth? You want actual solutions to problems like climate change, health care, corporate control of everything? Sorry, Dems and Republicans write the rules together, and together they've made sure there are no other choices. Without getting too conspiratorial, the one thing both parties like is that you have only two choices, and there'll never be three.

If you don't like it, you wan walk away, or you can vote for some party that can't possibly win even an election, let alone run a government.

Returning to the grocery analogy, Democrats are the blandest, most meatless and flavorless fake franks imaginable, and Republicans are hot dogs made entirely of horse manure. Those are your options.

How much did that stink? I'm dissatisfied with the grocery store analogy same as you, but damn it, I put about three hours into that drivel over the course of a week and a half, so I am damned well gonna hit 'publish'.

"This newsletter is free," says a blog I used to read, and clicked back to for the first time in a year or so, "but it's only able to sustain itself due to the support I receive from a small percentage of regular readers. Would you please consider becoming one of those supporters?"

My answer is no, which became an enthusiastic Fuck no when a pop-up repeated the begging a few seconds later, and I remembered why I'd stopped reading that blog.

The guy I'm talking about does good work, but he isn't breaking fresh news or anything. He's doing links and commentary — the same thing I do three or five times a week. He does it better, no doubt, but neither of us does it well enough to expect to do it for a living, with readers' donations paying the rent and filling the fridge and repairing the roof when it leaks.

But he does do it for a living. So far as I know, he's never done anything else, and when you click there he'll urge you to pay to subscribe so he can keep doing sittin' around in his jammies.

I'm not naming the guy, because a lot of bloggers do the same enthusiastic begging. They all think they're so essential to the dialogue on current events that you should pay them to surf the web and collect links, and I've already said fuck no, but I'd like to reiterate: Fuck, no.

At a different website, there's an original article on climate change, written by a well-known moviemaker. It's a pretty good article, and yet, in the sidebar that site says, "Please donate," and there's "subscriber-only content" if you do.

Again, I marvel at the spectacular testicles some people possess. Mr Moviemaker is a millionaire, and I am not, so if you have Mr Moviemaker's patronage, you don't need mine.

What's that smell? It's the scent of trust fund kiddies who've been fluffed into believing they're "pundits," and won't you please make a monthly pledge so they never have to find a real job? Haw, haw, and Fuck no.

That'll never be me, I promise. I don't have the ego. This website is my hobby, and I will never beg you to pay me to write what I'd write anyway.


There better stuff than this in my notebook, waiting for me to write it up — lots of leftover bus stories from four months of commuting to work and back, and the epic day of stupidity at the hospital for my brother's surgery, and the breakfast with my family that blew my mind by being utterly frustration-free.

Soon, dang it, all that's coming soon, so don't give up on me yet, just because of the grocery store and hot dogs thing.


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