Monday, October 20, 2008

Them Swingin', Fightin', Battlegroundin' States

Brian Wilson--"Heroes and Villains" (mp3)
Bottle Rockets--"Welfare Music" (mp3)

What a pleasure to get to spend time in a "Battleground State" or a "Swing State" or just the good ol' state of Ohio! What a pleasure to see people whose votes actually mean somethin'! What a pleasure to overhear the politcal public discourse of a state in play!

LANGUAGE ANALYSIS INSERT: If someone tells you that he or she "doesn't like either candidate," this is typically coded Conservative language that means "I'm still voting for McCain, but I can't say that publicly with any pride anymore, so I'll just pretend I'm disgusted with the whole thing."

So we went to Ohio to visit Kathleen, to partake in the joys of Parents' (Spending) Weekend and, along the way, we stumbled into a taste of what the political campaign must be like in other parts of the country. We drove along roads where we'd hit patches of McCain country, and then an Obama sign would slip in, and then it would start to mix up. We drove through small, rural towns where the matter is not decided. No, Ohio does not separate easily into "cities for Obama" and "countryside for McCain." It is a battle. We drove through Westerville and saw the "Welcome Senator McCain" sign on a donut shot, still up from last week and saw proof positive that a candidate had actually come to visit that town!

Here are some of the things I really enjoyed:

--A stretch of houses in Centerburg where the first sign read "Support The Troops--Bring Them Home," the next sign was the traditional "Support the Troops" and the last sign said "Veterans For Obama." I'll bet there are some interestin' discussions or glares across the lawnmowers on that street.

--My wife tryin' to engage everyone we encountered in a political discussion or at least a "Who ya for?"

--An Obama sign that read "Barack Obama/ Joe Biden Vision and Experience." Such a clear sign. I wonder why that slogan hasn't been spread around more.

--An overheard conversation in a restaurant, where the man was tellin' his date: "I don't think Todd really wants to move to Washington." I love it when people start talkin' about people they don't know by only their first names. I love it that Todd Palin has achieved that status, so much so that he is campaignin' on his own, advocatin' America's core values--"huntin' and fishin'."

--A bumper sticker that read "Gas was $1.42 When Bush Took Office."

Stuck as we are in this reddest of the Red States, we are missin' the vigor of this campaign. The best we can hope to do is to give the driver of a car with a McCain/Palin sticker a glare when we pass him, cuttin' into his lane a little too soon so that he is sure not to miss the "Obama" sticker on our bumper. Not much, I'll admit.

LANGUAGE ANALYSIS INSERT: In order to appear to be a "man of the people," I have dropped most of my "g's" in the writin' of this post.

"Welfare Music" comes from the Bottle Rocket's second cd, The Brooklyn Side; "Heroes and Villians" is from Brian Wilson's remake of Smile. Both are available at Itunes.

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