I have been absent from our e-shout out book for some time now, so I have a fair amount of random stuff to say (side note: there cannot be more than two or three people who read this blog who did not catch that reference, but for your benefit: about 15 years ago, my brother and I began inviting people over to our house on weekends, summers, etc., just to hang out, and our family's basement became one of a few de facto social gathering places in town for our group of friends. One summer we introduced a log/journal -- it was called the "shout-out book" --- for people to sign and write stuff in when they visited the basement. The book still exists somewhere, and maybe we can post a few pages to the site one of these days). Anyway, here is a borderline coherent rant of the things I have been thinking about for the past few weeks (sort of like when I was doing a "Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down" column, but for this week it's all thumbs down):
The Texas Democrats. Is it me, or is taking fucking forever to count the delegates from the caucus portion of the vote that took place in Texas on Tuesday night? How many people were there? Just write down all the people who voted for Barack, then all the people who voted for Hillary, and count that shit up. What am I missing? Also, I understand that the Texas nominating mechanics are very complicated, but I understand this much: 2/3 of the delegates are apportioned by the popular vote, and 1/3 of the delegates are apportioned by caucus. Doesn't that mean that if Hillary won the popular vote by about 4 percentage points (she did), and if Barack won the caucuses by about 12 percentage points (so far, he did), then didn't he get more delegates in Texas? Stay tuned . . . we should know by about halftime of the Sugar Bowl.
The Mets. The Mets are down to three healthy players, and it looks like they will open the season by fielding a team with David Wright covering the left side of the infield, Jose Reyes covering the right side of the infield, and Angel Pagan patrolling the entire outfield on his own. In fairness, who could have possibly predicted that Moises Alou would get hurt and not play a full season? It's going to look like a T.B.O. team on a Saturday morning during the high holidays (thanks, I'm here all week). I think Open Bar is scheduled to pitch the 6th inning against the Tigers this weekend. I am not worried yet, but I fully expect to be linking back to this post on May 17 when the Mets are 20-22.
Michigan and Florida. Let's say you are a school teacher. Shit, some of you are school teachers. You have 50 students in your class. You assign each student a day to do their book report. Some students get their own day, others will present their book reports in groups of three and four. Also, there is some random Tuesday in February, a day when you know in advance that you will have nothing else to do, so you assign 22 students to do their book report on that day. Now let's say that two of the students, call them Florence and Michael, when you assign them their day in April or whatever to do their book report, tell you to go fuck yourself. They say, "no, uh-uh, fuck THAT Mr., I'm doing my book report in February with all the other kids!" You warn them that if they really go ahead and do their book report in February, instead of in April like you assigned them, they are going to fail. "I don't care," they say defiantly, "you ain't my mother, Mr." So they proceed to present their book reports in February. Nobody listens, because you've sent the other 48 students to recess to make sure Florence and Michael get no attention for their obstinate behavior, and -- as you warned Florence and Michael -- they both receive failing grades on their book report. A few months later the day comes when Florence and Michael were supposed to do their book reports in the first place. They are both feeling kind of unhappy about the failing grade you gave them, so they start whining about wanting to do their book report again, but this time for a real grade. If you let them go ahead, and give them the grade that they earn on the April presentation, or if you grade them based on their February presentation -- in fact, if you make them any kind of accommodation at all -- aren't you (a) kind of a huge pussy, and (b) going to lose all credibility with the other 48 students the next time you assign due dates for book reports? I think so.
Nick Kristof. I apologize in advance to everyone with a shred of compassion or concern for human rights and social justice. I know full well that our generation's reaction to genocide in African nations will be compared to the American reaction to the holocaust 60 years ago . . . too little, too late. I know all of this, and I am sure I will regret this post in a few weeks (or a few minutes if Hasdai or Goldie gets a hold of it and/or me), but right now I cannot help myself: I am begging, absolutley on-the-knees-hands-thrown-up-in-surrender begging Nick Kristof to shut up and settle down for just five minutes. God forgive me, I need a fucking break. I am sure that Obunduletarumina Rokatilingijunobrum or whatever the fuck is a horrible dude, and no doubt the Bush administration's lax attitude toward voting irregularities in the southern provinces of Namibia in late 2005 are to blame. I am also sure that aid worker Hotellerangi Babatoranji has shown Kristof first-hand examples of the freedom fighters from the north routinely slaughtering babies and feeding their parents to warthogs while systematically drinking all of the water themselves so that the southerners cannot have any. And no doubt this all dates back to some tribal conflict between the Azamagooths and Chizzlewinks 1300 years ago. I get it. It's fucked up. Do your best and move on. Would it fucking kill you to write something about Canada? Jesus.