Wait, I missed the debate on the pubic option!
I have watched the debate over health care with interest since the first Clinton Administration. I’ve seen and heard proponents, opponents, ne’er-do-wells, stand-up comics, average Joes, educated folks, etc. argue and plea for and against health care for so long, it’s all melded into one jumbled mess in my brain. There has been an explosion of information ignited by both sides of the argument for decades, and I have come to one definitive conclusion. I have been meticulously and earnestly lied to repeatedly by all sides. This stopped being about doing the right thing a long time ago, and is now just about being right. The Democrats were looking for a victory, and the Republicans were bent on robbing them of that victory. The actual bill they fought over didn’t matter.
I am not excited or angry by the passage of the health care bill because I have no idea what the actual pros and cons of the bill are. Both sides claim the other is wrong. I’m not talking about morally wrong (although there is some of that going on). Each side has argued the facts that their opponents are using to support their argument are wrong. How can that be? Experts are cited and then other experts are cited to counter the other side’s experts. It’s a dizzying array of pointless growling and chatter. The debate itself ceased to be a debate a long time ago. It’s now just a bunch of people shouting at each other. Honest political debate is as rare as getting a slinky to go back up the stairs.
What’s a confused boy like me to do? I have decided the only appropriate course of action for me to take is to be disgusted by my government and the political process in this country. I don’t buy into the discourse that one political party is more at fault than the other. I think they both suck equally. And I don’t think it’s a matter of throwing the bums out. We’ll just elect more bums. You know why? Because being a bum is a major qualification for running for political office. They’re always asking for money, and they always end up spending it to feed their bad habits, which, as far as I can tell, is running for political office.
So, in conclusion, yippee we have health care… and boo we have health care.
As if we needed further confirmation that the publishing industry is in trouble, BookExpo Canada officials are leaning towards canceling this years show. To put this in technical terms, this sucks the big one. All the major publishers are pulling out, not willing to pay the exposition fees in order to show off their wares. Here’s a quote from an article in Quill & Quire:
After confirming that Penguin Canada would not be attending, company director of marketing and publicity Yvonne Hunter told Q&Q Omni that the money that would have been spent on the fair is now going to be channeled into marketing. “We’re looking at the possibility of creating a travelling Penguin showcase to promote our key titles for the year,” Hunter explained. Such an initiative would be costly, she added, but would still be cheaper than attending BookExpo.
Despite this development, I still think it’s too early to panic. In the words of Sam Cooke, a change is going to come. Don’t worry. It’s a change for the better. The new publishing industry will be more flexible, and I believe more open to a bigger pool of writers. The money might not be as big as it once was. The seven figure deals that are few and far between as it is will be fewer and farther between. As I said before, publishers will be looking for books that are multimedia friendly. Authors may have to change the way we approach the pitch, and be willing to expand our skills, but the opportunities will be there for us. BTW – I don’t really blame Canada.
I leave you with my favorite performance of Sam Cooke’s song “A Change is Going to Come.” Obama’s first mistake was not having Ben Sollee performing this at the inauguration celebrations that took place this weekend. Instead, they had Bon Jovi singing it with Betty Lavette. It should have been Ben and Betty.
Another reason to like Obama. He’s a U2 fan. If you ever get a chance to see them live, do it. Incredible!
The mainstream media would have you believe that this election is over. That a certain charismatic candidate has charmed the American people into a state of pre-election frenzy of hope & change, that the mere act of voting is wholly unnecessary because their candidate will simply ascend to the throne of U.S. Presidency like some angelic entity that is more ethereal than human.
Vote Now! Vote Cowbell!
So, I’m sending out this plea far and wide. Don’t believe this election is over. Our candidate can still win. All you have to do is vote Walken on Tuesday. If you want more cowbell, this is the only way you’re going to get it. The other candidates aren’t even talking about cowbell. Why? Because they have no cowbell plan. It’s all war and taxes with those other presidential hopefuls. Only Walken wants you to have your cowbell. Let freedom ring! (In this case freedom is a metaphor for cowbell. Get it?)
Walken for Prez!
Recently, I came out in support of Sam Masterson for president. I only did this because I was unaware that there actually are other candidates running for President of the United States. I now regret that endorsement. I am announcing today that I am withdrawing my support for Masterson and throwing the entire weight of my much sought after endorsement behind Christopher Walken. I do this for many reasons. I am a fan of Mr. Walken. I do a very bad impression of Mr. Walken. I’m terrified that if I don’t support him he will hunt me down and shoot me dead. Most of all I’m supporting him because of his platform. It is as follows:
How can I not vote for the man?
I am officially in the Sean Masterson camp.
William Henry Harrison thought it was a good idea, too.
Obama, the next time you want to play the “big man” and give a speech in the cold without a coat under a driving rain, remember these three words: William Henry Harrison. And the one lesson you should learn from the video below is never explain historical events under the influence of alcohol.
I watched the debate last night and got absolutely nothing out of it. The only thing I learned is that I am secure in my choice to be neither a Republican nor a Democrat because I don’t agree 100% with either party. In my search for a defintion of exactly what each candidate stands for I found these interesting videos from none other than Marina Orlova of HotForWords fame. I keep stumbling across her videos in the most unexpected Google searches. BTW – if you’re offended by cleavage, don’t watch this video.
This is a follow up to yesterday’s post urging young people to change the current election system. This is my favorite musician, Ben Sollee, doing a Sam Cooke cover – A Change is Gonna Come.
We are in the homestretch of what has been an interminably long presidential campaign. Primaries, caucuses, polls, issues, wars, and even attire have been discussed and analyzed ad nauseum. And where has it gotten us? Smack in the middle of a competition that is in a virtual dead heat. The closeness of the race has encouraged some very bad behavior. Emails have been hacked. Intentional misstatements have been made. Race and gender and age have all been used in vicious attacks from all sides of this more than ugly affair. Both sides are saying experience is an issue while at the same time promoting change. It is utter madness. In short, the politicians are ruining this presidential campaign. As a YA author, I know I should be encouraging kids to take part in the process, but I can’t in good conscience promote their participation. Why should I? So, they can learn the art of spin, or how to be caddy and unseemly and still have the gall to say you’re taking the high road?
The only reason I would encourage the youth of America to get involved and pay attention is to learn what needs to be fixed. In essence, my plea is a plea for help. To every child from every corner of this country, please save us from this system. Come up with a better way. Remove the politicians from politics. I had a friend suggest that once the two candidates are picked after the primaries we should develop a multiple choice test that covers the ten major issues where each party holds opposite views. Instead of voting, we all take the test. Our vote subsequently goes to the candidate with which we most agree. No fuss. No muss. No more personal attacks after the primaries. We’ll actually talk about the issues. It sounds like the perfect solution.
So, young people, if you’re brave and you have the will to enact real change, get involved. Come up with a plan to make the system about the issues not the politicians. Please – and if you can come up with a plan before November, that would be great.