John Furie Zacharias
having a bad day in a strange place
Thunderstorms Anywhere

Thunderstorms in the Imajica

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Wednesday, November 03, 2004
A Return to Zen Apathy

There is no spoon
Like everyone else, I stayed up as late as I could channel surfing between television news stations watching millions of Americans casting their vote for President of the United States.  After a marathon session of alternating between being a couch potato and a nervous coffee-drinking butt monkey, it became agonizingly apparent I was watching the United States of America swallowing the friggin' red pill, state by state.

I also realized I was becoming extremely irritated with the television news anchors bringing me the play-by-play of the electoral action to the comfort of my sofa -- and I wasn't even watching FOX news.  In my state of looming dread and frustration, I wanted to reach through the TV and kill these messengers.  Trying to avoid the 2000 election night embarassment of calling a state for one candidate erroneously while at the same time teasing me with breaking news in the upcoming segment, these talking heads began exacerbating the surging acid reflux in the back of my throat by continually telling me this time that the election in a growing number of states were "too close to call" or "to soon to tell".

"Shut up!" I screamed, seconds prior to swallowing my mouthful of stomach bile.  Couldn't they see the big electoral map of the country was bleeding out in red, time zone by time zone?  Rather than spitting on the television, I thought I should conserve my powerful stomach acids for the final tally.

The country was going -- some would say falling -- to the incumbent president.  The immense fractal blob of red states on the electoral map was not simply a hallucinatory trick of vision seen through my own increasingly tired, itchy and red eyes.

"What about the battleground states?" I asked the annoying television through a burp of gastrointestinal stew.  What about Ohio, and Florida, and Michigan, and those other places you effin' hairsprayed wimps are too scared to tell me about?  If only I could see just one state on the electoral map blink blue instead of red in the middle of the country, there might be some hope to staunch the right-wing hemorrhaging.  Doesn't anyone here have a friggin' Blue Band-Aid?

As Florida seemed to be going red and before the battle could be totally lost without hope, the blue states pulled a left flanking maneuver.  They obviously must have had airport security delays in making the trip from the East Coast to the West Coast of the United States.  U.S. Homeland Security Director, Tom Ridge, is from Pennsylvania.  Clearly he impeded the electoral process by forcing people to stuff the overhead bins with their heavy boxes of provisional ballots.  I have Ridge's memo on this.

Right about the time that California went blue, despite the Govinator's illegal use of time-travel to sway his state's voters is when I heard the phrase "nail-biter" for the two-hundred-and-sixty-third time from the election day color commentators.  Something physical inside my head popped.  I heard it.

Something Pavlovian happened next.  With the growing storm of right-wing red engulfing the rural middle countryside and millions of good people seemingly falling victim to the perpetual delusion machine, the continued use of the phrase nail-biter triggered an unconscious Rorschach desire deep inside me to hunker down.

Perhaps because I have not fully achieved my 12-step program of media de-programming since the intensity of enduring the recent quadruple hurricanes in Florida, I decided to employ the same strategy to hunker down that seemed to have protected me through Hurricane Jeanne.  After all the stressful pre-storm preparation has exhausted my mind and body, hunkering down is not bad adivce.  So, I fell asleep.

I awoke to a new day of hope and co-operation in the United States of America.  John Kerry gave his concession speech, sparing us all the insecurity of electoral litigation and the price of a stamp on the get-well-soon Hallmark card for Supreme Court Chief Justice Rehnquist.

Although I was busy at the time, I did watch and listen to John Kerry thank his supporters and say other sincere concession speech-like things.  Likewise, Dick Cheney gave us the new president and Karl Rove's speech seemed equally as moving.  So, that was nice.

Now that all the high-energy politix is over, I can curl up on my couch and stare at the perpetual delusion machine without worrying about a renewed presidential mandate for empire building.  There are no more "I approve this message" messages to share with me with scary wolves, and ostriches, and eagles.

I can return to my long-pursued goal of attaining Zen Apathy.  Now, I don't care and I am perfectly happy.  Well, don't bet all your money on that.

[Headphones] :: Mosh - Eminem

Posted at 11:50 pm by John Furie Zacharias


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