Secret Pop

Jun 20, 2008


I keep singing "Why Bother" by Weezer to myself. But it's not about relationship angst. It's about the election. I'm an avid and outspoken Democrat, but something happened to me in the 2000 elections. Recently watching Recount brought it all flooding back. That sickening sense of helpless frustration. It's funny. When you watch a movie about the election debacle, you know how it all turned out and you know it isn't going to turn out differently, but for a spell, you can allow yourself to get caught up in the drama of the story and hope that things won't go awry, as you know them historically to have gone awry. It's peculiar and irrational. And it's how my mother watches movies. Movies about Dillinger or Bonnie and Clyde make her so angry. She just wants the protagonists to get away. And history be damned. When I was watching Recount the other day, that habit of hers suddenly made so much sense.

I was rooting for John Edwards. And then he dropped out. So I was rooting for Hillary Clinton, and now that's over. I completely support Barack Obama and will vote for him come November, and I'm not at all unhappy that he is going to be the candidate. But for some reason I don't have the stomach for any of the debate. I'm even reluctant to write about it here, because I know if someone posts a comment that rubs my Democrat nose in anything, I'll probably burst into tears.

Why so fragile? I have no idea. I was almost disenfranchised when I went to vote a few weeks ago. My polling station had changed, and I didn't realize it. So I strode into the old folks home around the corner and presented my drivers license and was promptly turned away. I asked the volunteers if they knew where I was supposed to go, and they pointed to a number on a map, but didn't know the actual street address. And they were very pissy about it. In the end, I had to walk back to my car, drive home and get my voter's pamphlet, drive to another location (which I would never have found just based on the area they were pointing at on the map), park, wander around looking for a sign that would indicate where I should go, and then wait several minutes while a volunteer with absurdly long and curved fingernails tried time and time again to prize a single ballot from the stack. In the end, I got my "I Voted" sticker. But it just didn't feel like it mattered anymore. And that saddens me. I have many impassioned opinions about the electoral process, but I no longer have the fortitude to assemble them and say them aloud. This seems like something to be ashamed of. The up side is that I no longer have to vote at that old folks home. It's much closer to my apartment, but it always smells like a roast beef dinner in there. Causing me to note that old folks homes always smell like roast beef dinner. No matter what time of the day you go and no matter what anyone is actually eating. And if you know me and food smells, you know I am willing to go a few extra blocks to not smell like anyone's dinner. Ever.

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