Monday, October 27, 2008

Ouaga and Politics

Part 1
At the end of this week, Katie and I will be heading for Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, a few hours north of where we are right now, and, according to the travel guides, a veritable shopper’s dream (that’s what we’re supposed to do in times of economic turmoil, right . . . shop?) The biggest Arts and Crafts (SIAO) event on the continent will convene during our time there, and will be the sole purpose for our visit, but it seems we will also bear witness to the end of the Tour du Faso, the African baby of the Tour de France given that ASO actively supports this race with personnel, money, and advertising. I wonder what the Burkinabè Champs Èlyseè will look like. . . perhaps something like this. Of the things I am most excited about are the Women’s weaving, sewing, and paper recycling cooperatives, the apparent plethora of good food (which at this point would include anything that doesn’t use tomatoes, onions, cabbage, or green peppers, or at least sprinkles a better variety to include any of the aforementioned), and the market which sells locally-made and native musical instruments. I plan on buying a guitar. We are also hoping to travel to Gorom Gorom to spend a night in the desert. Above all, it will be welcome respite from the daily grind of Bongo.

KA—Speaking of the daily grind. . . Yesterday some people from the embassy were in Bolga and came to visit us in Bongo. Apparently they are really impressed at how we are managing to live here. I believe they might have been horrified by how we take showers and the fact that there is no running water (I did not tell them that that we are unable to find/purchase shampoo and conditioner up here...maybe next time). But then again, these are people who can play basketball every Tuesday (it’s true! Some Fulbrighter’s and embassy people play every Tuesday. Upon hearing this we officially felt totally isolated from reality). One of the women brought us a bag of Chex Mix and a small box of Smore’s Granola bars (our faces must have looked like it was Christmas morning). . .I’m sure they were small thoughts to her, but Mo and I loved every bite of them (yes, we are just about finished with both). Oh yea, and today, at 9:30am, the thermometer read 41ºC (105ºF) in the sun (and just think, it doesn’t get hot here until March!!!).

Part 2
It appears there is an election going on in the States right now, and since we will be out of the international communication hub that is Bongo we won’t be able to report to you our reactions until we get back. Since our faithful readers may not agree with the decision to voluntarily take ourselves further away from the internet, we shall post our reactions now, but ask that you do not read until November 5, 2008, that is if the riots that may commence don’t interrupt regular internet activity.

Should McCain win.

Wow. For the people who know the kind of people we are, I’m sure you’re expecting us to be totally dejected at this news, but I can’t help but be wholly ecstatic about it. Who would have thought, really? Not us, that’s for damn sure. But let’s looks at the facts (by which I mean the broad ones, because his victory means details really don’t matter at all anymore, do they?).
McCain ‘08 is definitely not McCain ’00 (a year in which I probably would have voted for him if I cared enough to pay attention), and I have to say a lot of what he did to garner the support of his party in the last 8 years defines him more as a pushover than a maverick. On top of that, he picks an Alaskan Governor who feels, at least from reading the VP debate transcript, that she is an energy authority by virtue of governing a state through which an oil pipeline runs (by the way, since living in Ghana I have earned my PhD in Holyshitthesunisfuckinghot, yay me!), not to mention the presumption that she was picked to garner support of the dejected Clinton supporters (KA---gimme a B -‘B’ gimme a S -‘S’), only to be polling strongly in the “Men who are really horny about women who speak professionally in colloquialisms and happen to be the Vice Presidential Candidate but offer no real threat to the importance of their penis” demographic, and then seek to support the latter by treating her like the vacuous doll she is more than willing to be. And yet, he won (KA—at least that makeover that cost hundreds of thousands—$150,000 to be exact—went to something good like promoting feminism...right? I mean that shows good fiscal responsibility during a financial crisis. Now did you take the money from Social Security or from those taxes you are not going to raise?). That says a lot about a person, doesn’t it? To portray your campaign as McCain did (devoid of any substance and willing to latch onto whatever may work despite the possibility that your doing so would only further the distance between said campaign and reality) and still win, well, that’s the fella I want, and we all need, in the White House. Not only the underdog in the waning moments of the campaign (and who doesn’t love an underdog, or Underdog for that matter). Maybe calling Obama a socialist gave McCain the push he needed (not mentioning that the proposed governmental buyout of the banks is a socialist move and one he supports!), or maybe Palin’s supporters came out in record numbers to prolong what will be their unrequited (perhaps?) sexual desire for her since heads of state and national dignitaries are quantum leaps hotter than governors (i.e.: G.W. Bush 1998, or G.W. Bush 2004? And for the boys: Margaret Thatcher 1989, or Margaret Thatcher 1991? Yeah, I thought so.), or maybe people found out Obama fathered a black child. Whatever the case, he won.

I distinctly remember a London periodical, after the results of the 2004 election were finalized, asking all who happened to read their headline how ‘x’ number of people could be so dumb (where ‘x’ represents the amount of people who voted for Bush). I was dumfounded, but not really crestfallen since both popular candidates weren’t really great, and their differences, at least in the areas I thought I cared about, were not so profound; in fact, I scarcely remember any. I was much more hurt by the insolence of our friends across the Atlantic, so much so that I wanted to pen a letter to remind them who helped whom in WWII and that the Queen didn’t star in any movies like our beloved Ronald Reagan (may he rest in peace). And anyway, wasn’t that the same paper that shows nudie girls on the third page or something? Before I could turn on the computer I changed the television set to Nickelodeon and forgot all about why I was so upset. Spongebob was on.

What I didn’t know then was that those people aren’t dumb. In fact, they are so much smarter than me that it took another election cycle for me to realize just how smart they are. What we need in the White House are the people who will win at any cost, and can do so in any given circumstance. (KA—because, we can’t have American morale hurt by not achieving victory, at any cost). We need people who are willing to take the tattered reins of the American Political Machine and not repair them, because they were made in America by Americans with dead American cow and stamped “Made in Taiwan” with American Stamps and American Ink. America. (KA—Freedom aint free!)

Seriously though, now that McCain has won (is anyone looking into those reports of voting malfeasance?) I find I am no longer able to return to the United States. Katie and I will live out the rest of our days in Iceland since land should be relatively less expensive there in the near future. I’m not sure how he did it since all signs pointed to Obama, but them be the facts, and you should now consider yourselves reading the blog of one of the first ex-pats of the McCain/Palin era.

Should Obama win:

Well, that was a no-shitter, eh? I mean, he was gaining major points in states that were considered Republican as little as a few months ago, he’s extremely likeable, and he was the Democratic nominee during what could be the worst time in for the Republican Party in recent history. Hell, more white males like this guy than they liked Gore or Kerry. He had to win, right? How much of his victory can be attributed to the general population’s (note: hopefully “general” will be more than 50.00000001%) estimation of him as someone who will be a good president, or at least the general population of the electoral college thinking him so, I cannot be sure, but I am thankful that the Republican party took a major dump in this one.

Should Nader win:

Holy shit.


Sarge said...

Hey kiddo, you're looking skinny, eat more meat!

El King Kong said...

If you remember....when I first met you two was on top of Mt. Bonell (at night)during an alleycat race. I remember sitting next to the cutest shaved-headed girl, and commenting on how fast the chick with the Sumo wrestler hair-doo was! I love that look on you Mo...don't shampoo until next we see each other!!

It keeps dipping into the 40's & 50's here at night. I am making roasted pumpkin seeds from the enormous pumpkin I just carved King Kong's mug into. And I hope you get to see one of the 3 costumes I'll be in tomorrow.


tadpole said...

Speaking of alleycats, I did my first one a few days ago. I just put some fancy (used) aerospoke wheels on my bike and switched over from race gearing to one better for commuting. So everything was pretty new to me.
Big surprise, I didn't win. It was poker run style and I didn't even have a good hand. But I had fun.
And then I did Critical Mass Halloween night dressed as Freddie Mercury. I rode all over San Diego that night and now my right achilles tendon is hurting me, either from the riding or from dancing. This comment blows. Go Nader!

tadpole said...

By now you must know that Obama won with an over 2:1 ratio of electoral votes. But, gay marriage in California is most likely to be banned and drinking on the beaches in San Diego will be banned as well.
It's actually very quiet here in the office. All the military-types are either bummed or afraid to show their support for BHO. It almost feels like somebody killed their puppy.

Sarge said...

Kiddo, Obama won. You're still coming home next year aren't you?