Last week, Sen. Jim Inhofe's (R-Okla.) family built an igloo on the National Mall, named it "Al Gore's new home" and gleefully cheered their global warming mockery to the world.
Meanwhile, during the same week, a dear friend of ours has a 40-year-old husband suffering a rare brain disease, just got ripped out of a comfortable hospice facility and shoved into a nursing home with an 80-year-old roommate in order to speed his slow demise. $300 a day out of pocket -- that's what it costs to sit there and rot decades before your days are truly supposed to be numbered. They have three children under six who barely know their daddy. The family is going broke. It's heartbreak wrapped in catastrophe multiplied by a million.
So while the good Senator fucks around with Frosty the Snowman, my friend's children get to watch daddy die a dreadfully undignified death. Sounds fair, right? I mean, why should something like, let's say, health care reform get in the way of a Senator dropping his drawers in front of us school kids?
"Hey, Jimmy. Yeah, you, Inhofe. You sure are right about one thing. Hell has frozen over in the District of Columbia."
There once was a really tall dude with a beard and top hat. His name was Abe, and in his spare time, Abe emancipated slaves and made clever speeches. Abe once said, "If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." Abe would clearly agree that about sums up what's happening in and around Capitol Hill these days. Christ, what am I talking about -- that's what's happening in every political pocket from sea to shining sea.
Friends, welcome to "Typocrisy."
What is this Typocrisy, you might ask? Simple. It's the typical hypocrisy we have come to expect from those cunning little cats called Senators and Congressmen. And by the by, their bosses aren't exactly immune to it either.
What it all comes down to is that Washington sighs while the nation dies. Can't you hear the labored hot air puffing from the inflated lungs beneath their proudly displayed flag pins? "Oh, those poor, poor American middle class and low income bastards. Wish we could do something. But they just don't understand how hard it is to fuck people over day after day after day. I mean, how do they expect us to remain relevant?"
Man, they got it goin' on. I mean, the whole stalemate-is-the-new-checkmate thing... it's poetry in slow or no motion. So, hey, all you political party people under that gilded dome. Raise your hands in the air, and wave 'em like you just don't care. And while you're at it, why not celebrate your newfound nihilism with a brand new national anthem that goes a little something like this...
I'm just a bill. Yes, I'm only a bill. And I'm sitting here on Capitol Hill. Well, it's a long, long journey To the capital city. It's a long, long wait While I'm sitting in committee, But I know I'll be a law someday At least I hope and pray that I will, But today I am still just a bill.
The macro-political plan sculpted for the party system was supposed to set up good arguments out of which great solutions emerge. How's that workin out for ya? Instead we have Jimmy and Johnny sparring in the sandbox over who makes the best homecoming king. Super.
So, what if we simply no longer recognize this infantile popularity contest? What if, let's say, none of us showed up at the voting booth this year, or in three years? (Enter Wild Wild West theme song as tumbleweeds roll down deserted Main Street). Instead, what if we gave you political types the high hard one and said we're taking the next few years off from changing your diapers in order to speak amongst ourselves?
Yeah, I know. Voting represents democracy's way forward. Blah, blah, blah. How's that votey, democracy-y, Americany thing workin out for ya?
Arianna Huffington just penned a blog about TED, the nonprofit imaginarium that boils and bundles ideas from tech, design and entertainment. Those affiliated with TED ideate so that the world might become a better place. Only problem is, ask 100 people what TED is and they'll say either that older Kennedy who just died or the dude who played a mean guitar on Cat Scratch Fever.
Here's the point. Great ideas from brilliant people seem to be strictly prohibited from Capitol Hill these days. And guess what. That means they're prohibited from reaching you and me, the Americany, votey people.
Pols and pundits find it far more fulfilling to pontificate about the handcrafted palm pilot of sweet Sara P. instead of the ingenious educational network created by Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin. Who? What? Oh, they're just some guys who founded the KIPP schools; the insanely successful, free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory public schools where underserved students develop the skills to kick a whole motherload of ass.
Friends, in your best Axl Rose, wail it with me... "Welcome to the Typocrisy, baby!"
How long before stem cell research again suffers utter defeat because adult cells are not adequate substitutes for the politically charged embryonic version? Eh, who cares, as long as my friend's husband dies in front of his kids in order to save those cute teenie weenie microscopic, non-breathing things.
How long before we understand that it's kinda silly to blow bajillions of bucks on "opposition research" to see who wears purple underpants or has hair plugs.
How long before we think that it also might be kinda silly that while all that idiocy goes on and on and on, 1 in 4 children lives in poverty as only 10% of the population owns 72% of the wealth and the top 1% owns 38%?
How long before the one and only atheist in Congress gets some long overdue company so that every other deity-fearing politico can understand that the common good does not necessitate the common God?
How long before we realize that family values are not something you buy at Wal-Mart?
How long before Bank of America or Chevron can run for President?
How long before we discover that D.C. Demoblicans or Republocrats are actually avatars created by James Cameron in order to break all economic deficit records?
C'mon, peeps. One more time, get up and give it to me... "Welcome to the Typocrisy!"
Barack. Listen, man. What's the difference between Congress and a light bulb? Light bulbs work when you pull their strings. I know, I'm likely not gonna get a job writing one-liners for Letterman, but you get the drift. You and I are about the same age. We're not old. We're not young. We're in decent shape and still have our wits about us. (Though you're obviously light years brighter than I am.)
The point is, we can still pack a mean punch. So, Mr. President. Throw the punch. Seriously, throw the damn punch, dude!
What I means is, nobody with an official (D) or (R) or (I) after their name wants to risk anything anymore. Be the risk we want to see. We're all waiting for it. Believe me. I don't care if someone lives in a tent city in Sacramento or a sweet pad in Palisades Park, we want to see you put on the gloves and get busy busting through the ribs of this absurd political monster. THAT is your way forward.
And if I can make just once last request it would be this. I would ask that Senator Jimmy Inhofe and his adorable little family spend his next term living in that lovely igloo they built. Maybe then they'll understand exactly what it's like to be an American these days.
Thanks for visiting Typocrisy. Hope you enjoyed your stay.