Santigold, "Disparate Youth"

>> Tuesday, May 15, 2012

So I know this is the second Santigold track I've posted in as many weeks. I try not to do that kind of thing, try to keep up the variety and shake things up as much as I have in me, but I'm a little obsessed with Master Of My Make-Believe right now, okay? I mean, it's just a damn fine record all around and then there are three or four cuts on it that are just knockout punches, right? Which is something you either already know or maybe you just need to play the clips again.

I really wasn't planning on posting music at all. This morning I wanted to say something about this beautiful quote from an unnamed "Republican official" that Mitt Romney was looking for, quote, "an 'incredibly boring white guy'" for his running mate. But after puzzling and puzzling 'til my puzzler was sore, the best I could do merely merited a Facebook comment: "Yeah, but I don't think Romney is allowed to run as his own Vice-President, is he?" I know, not great, right? But what else can you say? It would make for a kinda interesting bumper sticker, though: "Romney, Just Romney 2012"

I'm telling you, I'm not convinced Romney would pass a Turing test. He's basically like a version of ELIZA that's been written to cough out Tea Party talking points and bizarre bon mot about how crazy rich he is (e.g. "I drive a Mustang and a Chevy pickup truck. Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs actually. I used to have a Dodge pickup truck, so I used to have all three covered."). He even has this thing he does where he spits out a random guess as to an interlocutor's ancestry that's reminiscent of the way some versions of ELIZA will try to desultorily change a subject when a Q&A hits a recursive loop.

And then later I wanted to say something pithy and sarcastic about the completely predictable implosion of Americans Elect. Except, you know, basically everything that could be said about that was literally covered by Paul Krugman and/or can be res ipsa loquitur-ed from the Buzzfeed page logging "7 Very Bad Predictions About Americans Elect". Re: the Buzzfeed list, they only went with one Thomas Friedman quote, though they probably could have gone seven-for-seven with the Great Moustachioed Hisself, who's been dancing around and leaving puddles on the floor ever since AE launched (n.b. I do not know for a fact the Friedster has been behaving this way: I am drawing an inference from the behavior of some friends' American Eskimo, who has been known to behave this way whenever she gets unreasonably excited, though, to be fair, the peeing has become much less common since she outgrew puppyhood; still, I think it's a reasonable inference).

I think the thing that keeps me from being able to fully commit to directing lacerating sarcasm at Americans Elect is that while the whole thing is misguided, its misguided by a misreading of lots of reasonable discontent with the political establishment. I mean, I think lots and lots of Americans probably do want a third and maybe even a fourth party, or at least an alternative to the Democrats and the Republicans, but where Americans Elect goes horribly awry is in thinking that people want the alternative(s) to be more "centrist" when, really, its the fringes who are discontented. As Krugman and others have pointed out again and again and again, there already is a centrist party in America, and its called the Democrats and if there are "centrists" who don't want to be a part of it because they have some sort of instinctive attachment to Eisenhower Republicanism (R.I.P.), that's entirely their own hangups with pulling the lever (or touching the screen) for a Democrat and has nothing to do with what the Democrats mostly stand for these days. Meanwhile, I think it says encyclopedias that if you go to Americans Elect's "drafted" candidates page, the top ten people wanted by the few actual non-pundity people who participated in Americans Elect include Ron Paul, Bernie Sanders and Dennis Kucinich (I'm obligated to note they also include, ironically, Barack Obama); that isn't a massive cry from the center, it's scattered calls from the disenchanted and disenfranchised tattered fringes of the right and left. Basically, Americans Elect is kind of like the governor of New Jersey responding to a train wreck in that one Futruama episode, only, presumably, without the excuse that it was giant invading space brains that made them a bunch of knuckleheads. So while there's a part of me that kind of appreciates the impulse they're expressing, there's also that when your mom told you "It's the thought that counts," she was kind of bullshitting you so you wouldn't feel bad about (giving or receiving) a lousy gift; sometimes the thought really isn't worth all that much at all. I guess I'm just trying to say Americans Elect was a pretty dumb idea wrapped in something justifiable that the guys behind it were too clueless to understand because they're actually not all that bright.


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