I WAS RIGHT. I knew I was right, and gloating is terribly
unattractive, but I don't have a newspaper column, so I have to get my
joy wherever I can, especially when my bouts of political ranting are proven
Back in the last days of the U.S. election, I itemized
for casting a vote for either Gore or Bush (or Nader or Buchanan, in the
most extreme cases.) I stated that, if you deeply cared about the environment,
at the expense of any other issue at stake, then you were obliged to vote
for Gore. Political logic, of course, dictated that Ralph Nader, the candidate
of the Green Party, was the "natural" choice, but I didn't agree.
If you cared deeply about the environment, then you'd
want to hope that the protection of natural resources and enforcement of
environmental laws stood a chance under the next president. Since not even
Nader could hope to see himself in the oval office, the choice, it was
obvious, was Gore. The worst aspect of Nader's campaign was his cynical
assertion that there was no difference between Gore or Bush, and that a
left-liberal voting for Gore was a compromised vote, a dull, unprincipled
"sell-out". I'd expect this kind of manichean political rhetoric from an
undergraduate living in co-op, but not from a taxpayer who actually reads
newspapers. Events, I think, have proved me right.
So, if you were a lifelong Democrat who felt "underwhelmed"
by Al Gore's charisma deficiency and vaguely burned by the indignity of
the Clinton regime, living in a key state (like Florida), who decided that
Nader was probably right, that there wasn't much difference in the end
between the two, that campaign finance was a key issue, but an issue that
just showed up the candidate to be the corporate puppets that Bill Maher
always said they were, and based on that vague unease, you decided to vote
Nader in an attempt to register some indeterminate sort of protest (to
whom, though? -- it's a secret ballot), then you, my friend, are an idiot.
An idiot. Stop watching "Politically Incorrect", and by all means,
remember that Christopher Hitchens might be amusing and compellingly self-righteous,
but he's a Brit, and this wasn't his battle, after all. You've been
had, by yourself. Enjoy the next four years, moron.
OPTING OUT OF THE KYOTO protocols isn't a huge surprise,
if you knew anything about George W. Bush's political worldview. Bush is
the least sophisticated kind of fiscal conservative imaginable, a godsend
for his corporate backers, the kind of citizen whose distrust of science
and scientists is both inchoate and insecure. They seem to do their best
work harnessed to the yoke of industry, after all, so why should we listen
to them when they stop outside of this deeply, historically valuable role?
They've been wrong before about this kind of thing (insert a garbled joke
about Malthus that you overheard some guy from the National Review
tell at a party) so why should we believe them on this global warming stuff?
It's all just a way of extorting more money out of the First World to pay
for those shitty little tinpot countries whose dictators the French and
Germans are always visiting. Damn the Europeans anyway, they've gotten
us into enough trouble. Nip this thing in the bud, that's what Daddy said,
and besides, there are studies -- big expensive reports, dammit, I've seen
them -- paid for by the oil companies that show how wrong those Kyoto eggheads
really are. Besides, A few more degrees hotter in the summer, a few warmer
in the winter -- I don't see what the problem is, do you?
WE'VE BEEN CAT-SITTING for a month or two now, taking
care of my buddy Franc's cat while he gets his life in order, following
a bit of a domestic rupture.
Three cats is a lot of cats. It's not quite the "insane
cat lady" household, reeking of ammonia and sour kibble, the air semi-solid
with drifts of fur. Still, it's more like everywhere you go, anywhere you
are, at any time of day, you're being examined by a pair of unblinking
cat eyes. At any point between the bathroom and the library, you're likely
to find yourself triangulated by a three pairs of eyes, as all the cats
sit quietly, passively, making their presence known.
Trixie, Franc's cat, is a long-haired gray tabby, a little
princess of a cat who reminds me too much of Nato.
Minutes after being dropped off, she staked off the bedroom, and hasn't
really left it except for a drink and a piss. The other cats can enter
the bedroom, but Trixie has primacy, and spends the night on the bed with
Keebly isn't terribly put out, though I suspect he'd like
to use the bed. Tado is fascinated by Trixie, and sits staring at her for
minutes at a time. They have near-fights, where Tado will lunge at Trixie,
stopping short, trying to get her to run, to inspire a little bit of a
chase. For the first time since I've had a cat, I've stopped short and
wondered at how unusual it is to share our living space with small, furry
animals who do little, if nothing, to help. Lying in bed, one cat across
my knees, another staring at me from a perch atop K.'s wardrobe, the third
wandering in and out of the room, meowing for food, I thought that we might
as well have monkeys, or birds, or lizards, scrambling across our dressers
and kitchen counters, bolting from room to room, suddenly erupting into
motion, squabbling and shifting invisible boundaries. They're cute, I'll
admit, but the strange nature of parasitic relationships has become abruptly
apparent, at least for a brief moment.