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Sorry Elana, but I have nothing to offer in regards to the recent city election. Tho it pains me to admit it, this was a year of pissing on the graves of billions– the poor subjugated people who have never known the sweet freedom of democracy. There was a moment’s hesitation on that fateful Tuesday morning, time afforded and excuses looking small and petty in the sunshine. I considered the candidates who would be spending their day in breathless anticipation for the results, I considered the ballot initiatives which would mold and shape my community for years to come. I considered the fact that I had given the year’s voter guide a perfunctory leafing and had no idea what the fuck was going on and then I considered making lunch and heading off to work.

The self righteous few who had collected the signatures or the money to land their names to the ballot did not speak to me beyond a general or focused revulsion. If Gavin Newsom had been challenged then I may have made a special trip just to mark one check-box, but he was up against local alternaculture luminary Chicken John, homeless cab-driving personality crisis Grasshopper and the slick would-be stuffed shirt Quintin Mecke who ran his campaign office a door over from my own. Having listened to his media savvy on the cell phone countless times I couldn’t even muster any sympathy to take me up the street. Now, had Chicken John or Grasshopper or Mecke had a chance in hell of winning I would have legged it double-time to oppose them but, as I said, this was a sleeper election at best.

I’ve skipped voting for candidates countless times, probably a couple in every

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election I’ve had the hard-won right and privilege to participate in, but I’m much more adamant about reading up on and forming half-baked, emotional opinions on local initiatives.

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This year, somehow, my weeks of note-taking and investigation came down to reading the first three in the book laying on the couch, sick, waiting for Amanda to pick up pants before I laid down in bed to prepare for playing a Halloween party. Not the ideal environment for civic duty, I admit, and it yielded a passing knowledge of a MUNI bill and two city hall procedural issues. The latter two made me drowsy but Proposition A stirred the dying embers of my heart momentarily. It looked like another step towards privatization

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which, broken as the bus system may be, is not the direction I would have things going.

Yet it wasn’t compelling enough of an issue to drag me off to the polls for another round of the ignorant ass awards, not this year. However, in the days leading up to America-day I received an interesting e-mail, followed by an even more interesting one. It’s worth reading the entire quote, people:

Correction! Election day is Tuesday, November 6th. We put the wrong date in our last email. Oh geez, we are so embarrassed, and so sorry for sending you a second email. This is the last you’ll hear from us. We promise.

Hey young San Francisco voter,

We got your email from the San Francisco voter file. See below for the legal mumbo-jumbo. We don’t mean to bug you, but we don’t have the money to send you something in the mail, and we’d rather not waste the trees.

Check out our voter guide to see what we think about the ballot www.theballot.org/2007/sf.

We just want to remind you to vote tomorrow, November 6th. Polls are open from 7am to 8pm. It’s so important that young people make their voices heard in this election.

Don’t know where your polling place is? Go here:
http://gispub02.sfgov.org/website/pollingplace/INDEX.htm
Or you can vote all day in the basement of City Hall.

Did you know that since February, only 154 new voters have registered in San Francisco? Crazy! That freaks us out, so starting Wednesday we’re going to focus on registering young voters. But for Tuesday, the city is expecting a record low turnout for this election, and that’s always bad news, because the Republicans always vote. So we’re going to get out there and vote. You should too.

We’ve been making voter guides for every San Francisco election since 2004, and we’re here to stay. There are three elections next year, and we’ll be making voter guides for young people for every one of them. We also throw parties, art shows, and poetry slams year round. Check us out and sign up to join at www.theleague.com/sf.
You can download a PDF version of it to print and take to the polls.
http://uploadway.com/files/1104/SF07_voter_guide.pdf

So please check out our voter guide to learn about the election and then go vote!

– The SF League

The League of Young Voters PAC (also known as the League of Pissed Off Voters) sent you this email blast. We’re not some vast right wing or left wing conspiracy, so don’t freak out. Don’t blame any of the candidates we endorsed.

We got your email address legally from the San Francisco voter file. You can unsubscribe from our list below. To take your e-mail out of the voter registration database, re-register to vote and write “delete” in the space for your e-mail address. But we hope you don’t. Email is the only way broke groups like us can contact voters, except for robocalls. But those things suck! We wouldn’t do that to you.

Paid for by League of Young Voters Political Action Committee (LYV PAC) 45 Main Street, Suite 628 Brooklyn, NY 11201, William Wimsatt, Treasurer. Not paid for by any candidate or candidate’s committee. Voter Guides posted on this site may not reflect the position of LYV PAC or its affiliated organizations.

If this offends you it’s worth continuing on to their website which is run out of New York, Brooklyn to be specific. Brooklyn, you know? Where the cool white kids live?

A couple of days after my failure to participate, my insult to the oppressed masses of history, I was standing outside work smoking a cigarette and chatting with a fellow wage-slave. A ragged looking, but obviously not homeless, bearded dude came out from the store doing his best Abby Hoffman, carrying some clipboards. “Hey, do you guys wanna hear about some, like, totally boring liberal stuff?” he asked making vague gestures with his hands and rolling his eyes. We both stared at him until he shrugged and started walking off. “No, I want more condescension” I offered but he didn’t turn around.

quintinmecke.jpg

The next week the hip volunteers for Mecke’s failed bid were clearing out his rented office. I walked through the sad-parade of ratty chairs and tattoos and suppressed my smug laughter. Taking the trash out later that night I opened our blue bin to chuck the recycling and found it had been filled to the brim with campaign propaganda. So had the next bin down the street. Thousands upon thousands of unused, never touched, never read, never cared for and never needed newsheet pamphlets were standing between me and a simple civic task. I had no recourse but to leave a couple of paper bags alongside the trash where they would be kicked over and strewn about before the evening’s end. I wish I had the guts to follow my impulse and upend both industrial-sized containers into the former Quintin Mecke campaign office doorway.

PS– The top graphic wasn’t specific to this year’s democracy hootenanny, it’s the record cover of Funeral Shock’s 7″ that came out last time Gavin was up for office. Local band you’re not gonna like.

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Tongue-tied with a sudden sharp ache in my chest as my faltering heart becomes overrun with an adrenal sneak-attack. The prospect, the very idea, of attempting communication– the simple art of opening my mouth and flooding the local atmosphere with my wit and humour– sends shock-waves through by body, one powerful surging tide of anxiety laying waste to vital organs and clumsy limbs alike. Just a little self-contained Nagasaki, babies bursting into flames created by the friction caused when I come into contact with the outside world. An extreme example: another collision with a mystery wandering around the neighborhood where I find myself employed. For all intents and purposes she remains a fictional character, an empty husk in a demure coat flitting from vague instances of imagination to the busy streets of anonymous obstacles clogging my day like a drowned rat clogs a toilet when you try and flush the little bastard. However, as these non-interactions become more frequent the little monkey living in the back of my brain where the lizard became the man has begun to take a pair of pliers to various nodes and nodules responsible for a variety of impulses best left alone. Yet as the growing desire or compulsion to attempt some form of communication beyond awkward eye contact and reflexive looking away there also grows the more overwhelming physiological impact of a possible exchange. But as I said this is an extreme example. Typically social interactions are fraught with nausea, faintness, a burning desire to leave and my hands and mouth cross-dressing. It’s a very rare occasion when I find myself at a party and a nearly extinct one where I leave feeling that the evening wasn’t yet another challenge to my right of existence. Against any available wall-space or tucked into some convenient corner a mental checklist is checked more thoroughly than any examination by Santa Claus or the CIA. I don’t know how to behave, how to approach anyone, how to effortlessly and naturally become part of a conversation, how to think, how to dress, how to talk and even if I did what the fuck am I gonna talk about? There’s a million and one rules of engagement in any social

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gathering and I will violate each and everyone until I’ve shamed the poor sods who invited me into leaving to make sure I get home okay. Not that I need to go to parties and attempt to fit in, make nice, meet people or enjoy myself. This is an avoidable pitfall and nine times out of ten I’m smart enough or balanced enough to decline any well-intentioned invitation to leave the safety of my little hovel. Unfortunately, while life is full of parties, it’s also full of various obligations which require even more stringent application of communication skills and an ability to stand in the correct line with the correct paperwork and the correct questions and answers. I’ll be taking to the friendly skies soon and my excitement about this impending vacation is tempered by an acute fear of dealing with the airport, getting stressed out and anxious, then boarding a death-trap which will use the force of gravity against my stomach and fill my head with visions of corrupted fuselage breaking apart. I’ve been told there will have to be an exchange with the plastic smiles lurking behind the check-in counter instead of the animosity expressed by the automated tellers. I think the last time I checked-in through the counter one of my bags was x-rayed and my other bag and I were both stopped by security and humiliated publicly. This would be more of a brick-wall in my life if my job was better paying and I found reason to, I dunno, check out pyramids somewhere. Trouble commences whenever I need to ask someone at a store where something might be– I know that it won’t exist until I ask some over-worked and under-paid future assistant manager for life who will drop everything they’re doing to take me right back to where I was looking and politely point out the neon lights and bells and whistles surrounding the product of choice. Hell, ask the guy down at one of my liquor stores how well I deal with paying the correct amount. Then there are times in your life where you have to enter some strange place with bad carpeting and worse lighting where employees have compulsory attire and perfect, white teeth. A faint memory of intentions long drugged, murdered and dismembered slowly began to haunt me after reading an article detailing the recent protests which briefly interrupted the shareholders’ meeting for Berkshire Hathaway. (more…)

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Generic Strip Election day is coming, and unless I miss my guess you have absolutely no idea what the fuck is going on except that Arnold is poised to mop the floor with Angelides and his horrible commercials… When I was growing up my complete political perspective was shaped by Berkeley Breathed and my father’s high-volume diatribes syphoned through a couple 40oz of Rainer shot rapid-fire at the television… Now that I’m an adult I feel more compelled to investigate things further and for the past week or so I’ve been leafing idling through the California Voter’s Information pamphlet in between reruns to educate myself about the issues of the year… As anyone who has ever cracked open such a guide knows the pamphlets are broken down into concise summaries of the ballot proposition written by some bureaucrat whose job is not likely to be affected by the results of the impending election… These summaries explain the core ingrediants of the ballot measure, the expected fiscal impact of implementation and, if you’re lucky, a breakdown of how this came to be on the ballot… Afterwards we’re treated to paid endorsements supporting or abhoring

the proposed item… If you’re like me you mostly pay attention to who signed their name to these arguments and vote accordingly, kind of like how you watch the television adverts… Has anyone else found this year’s crop to be especially delicious? I swear to god the geniuses behind some of these are gonna take Madison Avenue by storm– one recently unleashed beast has obviously been based on the breakout success of popular herpes medication commercials… Anyways, there’s many complicated issues involving state retrofitting projects, essentially the A-E props, which aren’t sponsered directly by Ghandi or Chrysler and, therefore, more difficult to navigate… Reading through the pamphlet yields that Prop 1A would prevent the taxes gleaned through the sale of gasoline and the tolls collected at weigh stations from being spent on anything other than transportation… By transportation they mean adding more lanes to more freeways, but that’s besides today’s exercise… The proponants, a shadowy congomeration of minds known as The One Plan to Rebuild California Now, complain about this legal loophole with which politicians (if anti-Semetism was still en vogue this would be interchangable with Jews) syphon off our hard earned dollars for their special interest cronies, yachts, illegal immigrant nanny/mistresses and prime rib dinners… The opponant to this measure is Jackie Goldberg who chairs the state assembly of education who argues that flexibility with tax revenue is key to budgeting and cites schools as what will suffer if the billions of tax revenue is locked into expanding all of Los Angeles’ freeways… Who do you trust? The shadowy organization includes everyone running for office this term and everyone who has ever run for office holding hands with various city groups from the Mexican border to the Bay Area… Jackie Goldberg is a dyke from LA who teached in Compton until she decided it was time to become a Democratic State Assembly member… Can’t decide? Neither can I, so let’s look at the law they’re changing… Okay, first of all you can’t get the full text online unless you’re prepared to download the fucking PDF file so we can’t do that… From what I recall the way things stand there’s an amount of revenue which is gained from gas and weigh station taxes which goes into a Transportation Fund… The California Energy Commision website is of no help… Don’t waste your time on the PDF’s… So I google: “california state budget” transportation revenue 2005 and get a page of various pages none of which appear to be actual budget data from the state… Let’s try “proposition 1A” california! Okay, so we find the

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legislative analyst’s breakdown of the proposition which is nice… There’s a blog entry and some paid hack sites and then we have this official text from the state which discusses the precursor ballot measure, Proposition 42 from 2002’s election cycle… So here we learn that this issue was recently voted on, that the loophole has been exercised twice to balance the state budget and that both sums borrowed from the transportation fund will be repaid within a period of time with interest… So remember when California couldn’t pay its employees and state buildings were unscrewing lightbulbs and shit? Some of the money dig out the shit came from the transportation fund… Fair enough– I can’t find it online but in the actual pamphlet there is mention of a 2/3 majority vote by the state assembly and approval of the governor for such a syphoning… So I guess with Prop 1A the next time the state can’t pay its employees– well how many are there? I can’t tell by browsing the DPA site… Frankly I have a headache already from this excursion and you’re bored to death and don’t care so why bother? So twelve more ballot propositions to learn about and all these motherfuckers running for office and then we’ll all be educated about the issues and able to make responsible, adult decisions…

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Thanks to Matt for this video, which is, as he puts it, “unstoppable”: Along with this video, I’ll file Bob Woodward’s The State of Denial http://cialisfromindia-onlinerx.com/ under things that make me happy this week.

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