Sophia Meets Mr. Marshmallow Face -or- An Afternoon With Newt Gingrich

The last time I attended anything at Spokane’s famed Bing Crosby Theatre, I wasn’t wearing a shirt for a brief period of time.  Allow me to explain.  It was the 90’s.  And where that might actually explain everything right there, I also happened to be 14 and “skanking” away to the then renowned ska punk band Reel Big Fish with hormones on fire and bowl cut hair.  On that very night, had you told me what the next event I would be attending there would be….I probably would have told you to lay off the pint stashed in your Jnco mammoth pants.

13 years later, I sat only about 10 feet from where I once danced frantically.  But, back then it was simply known as The Opera House, not after the cities most famous former resident.  The crowd is a bit different as well.  Instead of rowdy teenagers and twenty somethings, I see old men and women everywhere.  Stern faces, agendas clearly visible in the eyes of angered upper-middle class white people.  Shiny bald heads poke out above sleek Northface jackets, and usually accompanied by a pair of eye glasses resting on a fading nose.  There are old women dressed in layered sweat suits and New Balance running shoes, or their finest evening attire (although it was 2 o’clock in the afternoon) strapped with a gaudy set of pearls probably passed down from generation to generation.  Each lovely white bead just a bit larger than the next, and more than likely picked by folks with a skin color that does not seem to be anywhere in sight today.  Yes, this is a slightly different crowd.  Aside from the ridiculous youngsters who thought it would probably be “just so cool” to rock their Obama branded t-shirts, all the while snapping pictures between giggles, there is literally no comparison to events passed.  And instead of a scattered selection of band equipment and wires slinking across the wood floor, there is a single podium, and a selection of American flags and Washington State flags.

Another major difference is the girl sitting next to me asking to take my cell phone for a while.  She wants to play Angry Birds, of course.  She is my 4 year old daughter Sophia.  And she wants to see the man I have informed her as being known as, “Mr. Marshmallow Face”.

I had the idea to bring Sophia to the rally when I heard ole Newt was coming to town in part because she didn’t have anywhere to be and quality time is always good.  But in all honesty, she was my diversion.  I know I reek of liberalism and open mindedness in such a way that the whole event could have become extremely awkward, extremely quickly.  Faster than I dropped my dirty Converse onto the lobby floor, I was definitely going to be flagged as a damn dirty intruder.  The buttons on my shabby sweatshirt didn’t read “Newt-er Obama Care” as many others did.  Actually they were simply some swag from the indie band Axemunkee, and a logo button for Silver Sprocket Bicycle Club from my dear friends with Bobby Joe Ebola and The Children Macnuggits.  But, as far as these old conservatives were concerned they might as well have been pictures of aborted fetuses and border hopping immigrants raping their teenage daughters.  Yes, it was absolutely imperative that I had a distraction.  And let me tell you folks….Sophia is adorable.

Of course, it didn’t entirely work.  I could still feel the eyes upon me.  I was displaced from the half a dozen “rowdy kids” hiding out at the very top of the balcony, consistently interrogated by Newt’s security and Spokane’s finest.  But, they knew I was one of them in some way shape or form.  My age alone made me a target amongst these Reagan enthusists, probably all old enough to have even voted for him.  But, I did have the kid with me.  She even had pig tails.  This could work.

Two o’clock rolled around, and Sophia is continuing to pull on my sleeve asking when the Marshmallow Man was coming.  I tell her to be patient:

Easter Egg

“What are all the flags for, Daddy?”

“Well, Mr. Marshmallow Face wants to be president of our country, so he made people put our country’s flag behind him so he looks important?”

“I don’t think a marshmallow should be president.”

“Me neither sweetheart.  Me neither.”
A random woman walks out on stage with about half the theatre applauding.  She announces how proud she is to be able to introduce their honored guest for the evening.  She’s the top dog Republican in this area (whose name you can Google if you really give a damn) and she seems to be rather excited for her fellow brethren of rich folks in attendance.  She excitedly yet calmly introduces the “potential first lady of the United States”, Calista Gingrich.  Applause roars throughout the ancient building as Newt’s latest fling known as his wife (should she not get cancer anytime soon) struts across the stage with an enormous fake smile (which she will continue to have the whole damn time, sort of impressive) and a blond bun tied so damn tight it appears as though her eyes have been implanted onto her forehead.

“She’s not a marshmallow.”

“No, she’s Mr. Marshmallow Face’s wife.”

(Giggles ensue) “She married a marshmallow!”

“Yep, lots of people have married Mr. Marshmallow Face.”

“They’re silly!!”

Newt comes out on stage in a slow manner.  And it was at this moment that you truly found out who was there for Newt and who was, well, just there.  I remained sitting, with the excuse that Sophia was now on my lap when she wanted a better glance at Mrs. Marshmallow Face.  But, I was pleased to learn that the two old men sitting next to us, who didn’t seem so bitter actually weren’t.  They faced the forceful eyes like the evil little shits in the back rows when they refused to stand up and applaud for a man that represents an immense amount of conservative ignorance.  Arguably, he may be the worst of the bunch.

Gingrich had nothing new to say for anyone who has been following the circus that has been the GOP Primary.  He muttered off the laundry list of things he was going to do “on my first day in office”.  He named dropped Reagan a fair amount.  It was interesting to hear his thoughts on the president’s apology to the Harmid Karzai about recent Koran burning by Americans in Afghanistan.  Somehow Karzai is suppose to be to blame for one of his Afghan troops turning his back on its own people, and killing two Marines in the process.  His opinion….take a guess.  No matter, his rhetoric was all the same.  And depending on what side of the cable news pendulum you decide to swing, it was all good.  Or bad.  I might go with bad.

Most importantly, Sophia didn’t seem to be too impressed.  She was quickly back to her game of Angry Birds before she made the only relevant comment I heard in twenty minutes.

“Daddy, I need to go potty.”

6 words that I feel pretty much summed up the entire event, campaign, even the primary.  After a quick bathroom break, I decided we have come to a good stopping point in which we could leave while still having some sort of impression.  Well, I guess that sort of happened before we even showed up.  I decided we could go on a high note.

We stepped out through the lobby, amongst even more spiteful eyes upon the sinning trash that were walking out on the conservative messiah.  Outside were greeted by a quaint (3 people) group of Ron Paul supporters.  Their attitudes were almost polar opposite from the cold stares and dead eyes of the American dream that sat within those doors.  The tattooed young lady with a smile for days was quite the relief.  Her and her entourage (the other two) was exactly what I needed after this ridiculous event.  I may not agree with them by any means.  But, I’ll be damned if they aren’t, well, nice (at least). 

I’m not a Ron Paul supporter by any means.  I can understand Libertarianism a bit more than I conservatism.  But I can’t support the idea as a whole.  But, I’ll be damned if I wasn’t ecstatic so see Sophia smile at the first positive attitude she had seen in a while.  This was a good moment.

Sophia did soon realize that Mr. Marshmallow Face was just a man.  A man “with a really big head” she would later proclaim.  I seriously cannot thank this kid enough for bringing the most absolute clarity to the debacle and obscene world of American politics.  It’s all just one really big, silly potty break.

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OccupyMN

The Occupy Wall-Street Movement started months ago, in response to the ever transparent corporate influence in government.

Millions of people are out of work.

I stepped out of the train into Government Plaza (or “People`s Plaza”) into an arena flanked on all sides by large modern skyscrapers. These same skyscrapers are home to some of the largest corporations in America. Walking across the plaza you see lines of police, standing, watching, and waiting. Some may have been wondering how long till their shift is done. Well, it appeared so on some of their faces.

Looking towards the plaza there was a sense of optimism, joy, determination, and hope. It was a new energy about this protest something different compared past`s protests. We see people old, young, disabled, veterans, etc… All gathered with their own agenda in their own quest for their own personal idea of change in society. One of which I can say with my own bias that we desperately need in our grand American society. I sat down on the edge of an empty foundation taking all these thoughts in trying to piece together this phenomenon. There was a woman who was sitting next to me in her mid-30s I presume, and engaged her in conversation. I found out her name was Nancy, a mother of two, and a registered nurse by profession. So, I decided to ask her the question of the day(“why are you here?”). She replied, “I`m here because, I am tired of seeing the country stroll down the path that it is. Our nation is too precious to be left for sale by the highest bidder.” She went on to say,”my two kids need hope in this country, a country founded on the principles of democracy, and I have yet to see real democracy in a long time”. This it would seem is reasonable enough a majority of the people squatting here would agree with her direction of views.

I parted ways with Nancy, and began to walk further about this mass collection of eclectic people. I ran into a construction worker, who had a very comical sign that  read”Turn off Fox, so easy a caveman can do it.” This I had to take a picture of. The gentleman began to tell me that it was far too cold to  put on the caveman outfit that he normally associates with the sign. The more I progress the more clever signs I see. All sorts of Organizations had tables set up,  passing out their literature, waving flags, and showing solidarity toward the climate of the protest. The two most visible of these organizations were the local Socialist Action chapter, and the I.W.W.(Industrial Workers of the World). These groups are naturally very suspicious of capitalism and would love nothing more to rid society of it. Which the attitude of  the Occupy Movement seems to embody.

Although given the large percentage of these two groups they wasn’t a driving force of leadership. A small organization of a few college kids had organized this OcccupyMN movement, which is very interesting to note. The embodiment of true Democracy takes place in this movement.Everyone has a stake in the decision-making process, no elite few, but a group decision. This is the true center piece of this movement: true Democracy, no elitist hierarchy, but a government for the people by the people. We have seen a new awakening among the common people, a peasant`s revolt of sorts, but a revolt that is a long time coming. Americans seem to be waking up to the reality in which they truly live, and quite frankly are pissed off. Every American needs to exercise their right of protest whatever their ideology.

Democracy isn`t a system, but an embodiment of ideas. It is made up of people, people with their own ideas, and envisions for the future. Together, as people we can bring back what Democracy truly is: Hope.

Fake Centurions and other Bull.

Wow. Seriously? No comments at all? I write a very political blog, taking my own views to a fringe point of view (although one I was willing to defend for the moment to play devil’s advocate) that could easily be taken the wrong way, pointing my bony finger of blame in a vague direction that I figured someone would pounce on, all in an attempt to stimulate some conversation (if not debate) to liven up this place. I wrote in coarse language that I normally would never use in my blogs for shock value, perpetuating a “red neck”, “red state” stereotype, hoping it was like hanging “red” meat in front of hungry beasts. I used sarcasm when it was totally inappropriate, and only lightly touched on some real issues, telling only half the story, in the long shot belief that someone may just want to jump in, make Paul Harvey proud, and tell “the rest of the story”. But instead, I get more response from waving at strangers in traffic. Okay then. Either people around here are unusually tolerant of the political beliefs of others, no matter how half told, or this place is just not getting many readers. Maybe we should decorate it differently? I’ve tried writing nice, I’ve tried writing mean, so I guess the last thing to try is just to bring up a handful of topics and hope someone wants to talk about one of them. If you throw enough mud at the wall, eventually some of it will stick.

Before I start, I’ll clear up my personal political beliefs. I’m a Libertarian. Yes, just like everyone’s favorite Libertarian… Drew Carey. I don’t blame Obama for the downfalls of the current economy, although I am a bit miffed that we were promised real change in Washington politics, transparency, and honest reform, and we’ve seen none of that thus far. I do tire of his “blame game”, we all know Bush wasn’t what our country needed, but it’s been two and a half years and the people are tired of hearing about it. It’s beyond time to let go of the past. I place the blame of excessive spending on the various branches of government. I remember every year when I was enlisted, it was a chore to spend money. If we didn’t spend the entire budget, we didn’t get that much to work with the following year, thus rewarding excessive spending. Fraud, waste and abuse abounds, and it’s time to shine the light into that and scrape the sludge out of the sides of our economic hull. Downsize, and leave what’s left to work faster and more efficiently.

As far as the situation in London, there are racial undertones, however the larger story is that you can’t walk down the street in certain places in London without getting searched and hassled by the police. There have been over 300 deaths reported from persons in police custody with no real investigations or convictions as a result. The police in London have nearly been an opposition force against the people, and they have become untouchable and unaccountable through traditional means. That’s what filled the keg with powder, waiting for the right match to strike, and eventually it did. I would say that the “flash mobs” here in the states probably have a similar undertone to them.

Now with that cleared up, onto other news. A 12 year old boy scout has gone missing from a fishing trip in Utah. Being an Eagle Scout myself, I would like to believe that he has the skills to know what to do in that situation and will be found in short order. Although, he’s 12, the youngest age one can be in scouts, so he probably doesn’t have a lot of experience. If he was in the cub scouts, he’s undoubtably been taught what to do when you get lost and how to increase your chances of being found. Lost hikers are usually found very quickly, since once they’re lost they tend to travel in large circles and are normally found within a few miles of where they were last seen. In any case, I hope it works out quickly and the worst thing that comes from it is a future story he can tell around the camp fire of the time he conquered wilderness survival. Maybe he’ll grow up to be the next Bear Grylls.

In other news, an underwater volcano erupted off the coast of Oregon… Who knew there were volcanoes there? Nothing happened, just an underwater lava flow. I don’t know what it looked like, but I imagine the Oregon coast looking like a hot tub with freshly steamed delicious fish washing up on the shore. Sounds like it could have been a popular vacation spot had we known about it in advance.

In more dubious news, centurions crossed blades outside the Colosseum in Rome. Apparently, a popular occupation is to dress up like a centurion and get tourists to pay to have their picture taken with you. This has been a common thing in the area, although lately there have been complaints of “fake” centurions and gladiators charging excessive amounts of money for a picture, sometimes using the tourist’s own camera and then demanding more money before they give it back. They also charged visitors for tours that never panned out with no refund. Undercover police dressed as centurions formed a “sting operation” to catch the criminal frauds in the act, and apparently when the badges came out, a sword fight ensued… I’m not kidding. Seriously, I would gladly pay to see that. With the help of some more undercover cops posing as street cleaners, the spurious Roman soldiers were taken into custody. When in Rome, do as the Romans and only deal with licensed Colosseum guides. Supposedly, the real ones are required to speak fluent English and be friendly. If you ever feel like you’re being mugged (or crucified), report it to police immediately. Apparently, that won’t be very hard since it seems like there’s legions of undercover cops in the area. I wonder how that looked when they were booked at the jail? “What’s your name, son”? “I’m Spartacus”! Another one stands up, “I’m Spartacus”, and another “No, I’m Spartacus!”

And finally, a bull was loose in the streets of a Washington state town last night. Police chased it for hours with no result, apparently bulls are easily spooked by the slightest things, like flashing blue lights and sirens. Eventually a cowboy sitting on the hood of a patrol car (again, I’m not kidding) was able to lasso the bull and end the rampage. You have no idea how long I’ve waited to say those words. Way to take the bull by the horns! I’ll be here all week folks! Take it easy, we’re all in this together.

Poverty Polls and Issues Ignored.

This week Gallup posted a poll that said that Obama’s support is suffering among “the poorest Americans”. Poor, according to them was defined as anyone earning $2,000.00 or less per month. I suppose that means I’m poor. My first clue should have been that I met a “homeless” couple who made more than I did. Well, maybe not, it did say those who “earn” $2,000.00 or less and I “earn” $2,080.00 a month, but since my heath care costs doubled when Obama announced his “Obamacare” plan, and through taxing, my net pay is around $1,400.00 a month. Apparently, that’s pretty poor. I had no idea I was poor. I have a vehicle, make rent, buy food, and I obviously have internet access. I can’t afford all the food I want, I don’t have cable, or even a real bed or any real furniture that didn’t come with the trailer I rent, but I never thought of myself as poor. Sure, I just turned in my third request to my job to get a new pair of boots because my old ones are falling apart, and I can’t go to all the places I would like to go because I can only afford so much gas, but again, I’m not “poor”. When I want more money, I just work overtime.

I mentioned a “homeless” couple I met the other day. I put that in quotations because they aren’t homeless anymore since they just rented a trailer next to mine. Before this, they lived in a nearby tent city though. Their job is to stand on street corners and sell a locally published homeless newspaper. And like I said, they make more than I do. By Gallup’s definition, they aren’t “poor”.

So that brings me to a conclusion… I think this poll is skewed! A media poll that’s skewed? Say it ain’t so! I know, it’s crazy right? But I really don’t think that this poll says anything other than they expected low income Americans to fully support a Democratic party in office, and now even us “poor folk” are becoming disillusioned with Washington politics as usual.

Onto other news, London is burning! Riots are breaking out all over the place because someone was shot and killed by police officers. I haven’t seen the whole story reported here in the US. All they say is “young people” are rioting… No one here is reporting that the reason they are rioting is because they think the police shot this man because he was black. I think however, that police shot him for being a criminal illegally possessing a handgun and shooting at the police officer… I could be wrong though. I don’t know the officer, he might just be a racist prick. Other people are joining the riots because they say that the local government is ignoring predominately black neighborhoods in the city. According to the rioters, burning their own neighborhoods down is supposed to improve things though. Other people are joining the looting because they say they’re poor and can’t afford the things they want. Apparently, they make less than $2,000.00 a month. Well, according to Gallup I’m poor and I follow the law so there really is no excuse for this kind of burning and pillaging in my mind. I wonder if S&P will downgrade their credit rating now since it requires rioting in the streets to get their social-economic politics under control?

Dang, London, I thought you all prided yourselves as being all civilized and junk! When they do riot, they apparently go all out! You would have thought that someone made a bad call at a soccer game or something! I’m sorry, that really isn’t fair to say. They call it “football” over there don’t they?

Meanwhile here in the states, we have our own problems. So called “flash mobs” are springing up everywhere. The suspects are noted as “young people”… Didn’t I just hear that someplace else? Hey I did! But unlike Brittain’s news, there was one report of racial tensions at a flash mob at Wisconsin’s state fair when the attacks were targeted at white fair patrons. Even though people were injured at other mob attacks, no one reported any racial tension. Which leads me to a question;

If we’re supposed to be so evolved, why can’t anyone bring up race? Why can’t we call this what it is, social, economic, and cultural problems? It’s not limited to one race or culture either, look at the crazy white guy who shot up those people in Norway, or the white teenagers in Mississippi who killed a black man by driving over him in a truck. But everyone is skirting the issue, saying that it’s a poverty issue, or a gun control issue, or a political affiliation issue. If we can’t say what’s really happening, we’ll never be able to properly address and work through this problem in a peaceful, organized way. We’re all evolved and adult enough to tackle tough issues, so why the silence on the real problem? Ignoring social and cultural issues and hoping something fixes the problem makes about as much sense as ignoring your hair being on fire and hoping it’s just indigestion… No offense intended to anyone in London who may have lost their hair in fire riots…

Xenophobia,Vikings,Rubert Murdoch

MUSLIM EXTREMISTS ATTACK NORWAY!

This was the headline swirling around the Rubert Murdoch right-wing media empire shortly after the attacks in Norway. People were watching this on Fox News absorbing this message up like a sponge, and allowing more hate to fill their veins.The bigotry flowing out with a vengence, crying for more war, more blood, and proclaiming Western Christianity as the only religion that should exist.Hatred that brews discrimination of a greater race that extends not only to religious practice, but skin color. Innocent people are being tormented, threatened, discriminated against due to the media`s portrayal of a minority of extremists. The media makes them larger than life, makes them seem like they are numberless like the stars, unstoppable.  This causes a psychological effect on people whether they are aware of it or not. It effects them. It causes them to boil, explode, and lose logic in thought. It may seem like a stretch, but truly is it a stretch?

I can only imagine how the “foxnites” felt when they discovered it was a white right-wing extremist. I wonder if he watched Glenn Beck? Just kidding. The news media is a deadly weapon upon people`s minds, and history proves that. The news media needs to take a direct approach to the news, and letting temperance be their guide to the truth. When companies use news sources to promote their agenda, their feelings, their perception of what the truth is, we lose. Democracy is lost. We are lost to the bowels of anarchy. Responsibility, patience, temperance, equality, acceptance, democracy, and truth are what will break us from this propaganda of hate.

It only takes a spark…

Hope

In these unpromising times our nation has felt a tremendous economic burden upon it`s shoulders. These are the times when we as a nation need to pull together to create a strong nucleus around hope. Hope is what will pull our nation out of this hole. Hope is what will create jobs. Hope is that undeniable human quality that drives us to achieve great success, and build a common dream for the future.

The future has many different perspectives to many different people; however I say that in hope, our future is great. We have the ability to forge ahead, create new things, and find new innovative ways to prosper as a country. Our power to steer the nation is a democratic right and freedom we all share. We cannot take this for granted nor should we infringe upon other`s rights.

We are our own judges. We should be judges in how we shall embark on this new dream, and steer in the face of hope. We cannot be rash in passing our own judgment against those we believe to be horrid, cruel, or downright evil. There are others who may see the same in you. This is where we are failing as a nation, we must respect, not infringe one`s voice. There are ways that we should go about to empower one another.

Most of us are guilty in acting on the biggest vice of selfishness; we are falling apart at the seams because of this. Selfishness is what got us into this economic mess that we currently preside. Empowerment, hope, democracy, and selflessness should be our guide through the murkiness of greed/selfishness.