Sister Novena's PortaPulpit
freedom, liberalism, movies, and truth

Saturday, November 06, 2004
Welcome Back To the 60s, Part 2

But not the 1960s... no, I mean the 1860s.

This is the 2004 electoral map:

Does it look a little familiar? I wonder why that would be?

Next stop:

(thanks to Mat)
3:16 PM ::
Sister Novena :: permalink

Thursday, November 04, 2004
No Mandate

The right has already started deluding themselves, believing that somehow their narrow victory constitutes a mandate.

I call bullshit.

The main evidence for this purported mandate is that "more people voted for Bush than voted for any prior incumbant president."

Of course, the other side of this coin is that more people also voted AGAINST Bush than have ever voted against any prior incumbant president.

In the comments below, my mother, a Bush supporter, claims, "Bush has as strong a mandate as any president has had since Reagan." Sorry, Mom, but the numbers just don't lie. Your 3% win over Kerry is nothing more than a tiny sliver of extra support; it's the saddest excuse for a mandate in living memory.

In 1980, Reagan had a 9% lead on Carter.
In 1984, He had an 18% lead on Mondale. (Note that one: that's what we're calling a mandate.)
In 1988, George H.W. Bush had an 8% lead on Dukakis.
In 1992, Clinton won by almost 6%.
In 1996, Clinton won by 9%
In 2000, George W. Bush "won" with roughly 1% less of the popular vote than Gore.

And in 2004, George W. Bush's "mandate" is made of a whopping 3% of the vote. That is to say, every single president since Reagan has had a bigger mandate than George W. Bush has now, by at least a factor of two. That's the lowest winning margin for any incumbant president, EVER.

Mandate my ass.
7:13 PM ::
Sister Novena :: permalink

Worth Repeating

George W. Bush Means Nothing
By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist

Friday, August 1, 2003

You cannot reach me, Dubya.

Go ahead, ya smirkin' Texas lug, stumble around all scrunched and blank eyed and pseudo-manly, shove this country into a bloody unwinnable war and lie about all the reasons why, gouge the economy and ruin the schools and embarrass the nation every single day as you mangle grammar and meaning and truth. It doesn't really matter.

Go ahead, toss those useless $400 rebate checks to the depressed and jobless populace as some sort of bogus humanitarian gesture as you quietly force an increase in their property taxes to pay for your record-breaking deficit brought on by the tax cut no one wants. Ha. You are so cute.

There is so much more going on than you know. There is so much deeper understanding and wider knowledge and higher winking and you can't touch any of it. Do you know this? You need to know this.

You and your brethren are like this sticky toxic mist. You will burn off in the sun of awareness and orgasm and breath. This is what makes it so fun to watch, so magical and visceral, such a divine circus, a rich tragicomic pageant. Do you sense it?

By all means, hack away at the Clean Air Act so it allows millions more pounds of pollutants into the air every year. Slam gays and women's rights and call everyone in the country a "sinner," cut funding for AmeriCorps and the arts and the poor and nature conservation. Wow. The universe is so very proud. Do you hear it laughing? You're not even making a dent.

See, you cannot touch us. We are inured. You are merely hollow and sad and quickly, effortlessly forgettable the minute we step outside or get into bed with our lovers or laugh with friends or scream to the sky the lyrics to "Ballroom Blitz," always, always striving to taste the intense flavors of the collective dream state.

What, too vague? Too namby-pamby new-age tofu-licking pro-sex liberal? Too bad.

Because there is more meaning and content and depth and significance in a lover's moan and in a drop of wine and in a dog's wag than in anything you can conjure in your homophobic faux-cowboy Lynne Cheney-thick dream, honey. Get over yourself. We are on to you. We know you are made of nothing but spin and frantic gesticulations and scowls. Poke a finger into you and out pours only sawdust and sighs.

Hello, Senator Lott. You want to stick it to the environment, do you? Lick the tailbones of your corporate cronies in the auto industry and kill that recent bill that would've mandated a reasonable increase in fuel efficiency for thuggish belching SUVs in about 12 years?

You wish, instead, to snicker and sneer and give not one crap for the planet or our nation's terrorism-inducing dependency on petrochemicals? Kill that bill, senator. You go. Toss a bone to your Detroit pals. That is so sweet. Here's a karmic Post-It note: The gods would like you to right now realize, you have zero true effect. Barely a footnote. A blip. A flicker of quick pain and then poof, gone. Very sorry.

How about you, RIAA? You want a piece? You want to bitch and moan and attack individual music fans with your snide lawsuits and desperate paranoia and come scour my iTunes library and find out how I got my hands on free MP3s of the new Metallica and AFI and burned all that glorious chill electronica from Net-radio broadcasts using my glorious copy of RadioLover? Here is my phone number: 555-LICK. Bring it.

Here is my porn collection. Here are my divine sex toys and my lubricants and my leather strappy things and my collection of happy open-minded perversions and my active account at and my tattoos and piercings and love of massage oil and vibrators and things that go ooooh in the night. Come on over, Mr. Ashcroft, I have something to show you.

You see, I know you're there, all of you. Sour politicians and conniving Wal-Mart execs and desperate reality-TV creators and gluttonous SUV manufacturers and poisonous garbage-food purveyors and all-'Murkin homophobes and the dumbed-down lowest common denominators and lip-twitching hyper-religious crusaders and anti-everything GOP lizard people, Rummy and Rove and Rice and Ashcroft and Dick, et al. I see you. We see what you are trying to do.

We feel you seething and churning and eating away at the soft rainbow underbelly of the culture, feeding on the weak and the poor and the ignorant, doing your utmost to lower the collective vibration and thinking you are somehow all-powerful and significant and invincible, the center of the sociocultural universe, when in fact you are but a strange and banal rash on the ass of time.

I know you want to shut us down. I know you would love nothing more than if all resistance was mowed under and all perversions were bleached dead and all nuanced questioning of your malicious antihumanitarian agenda was numbed to the point of blind flag-waving psychopatriotism, one born of fear and misinformation and photos of the bloody mutilated bodies of Saddam's demon sons. Damn, you try so hard.

I have news. I have a revelation. It is timeless and ageless and nothing new and I hold no claims to it, but it needs to be repeated and shouted and deeply felt again and again and again, because sometimes you get a little out of control.

Here it is: You are immaterial. You are of zero nutritional value and are indigestible like corn and just pass right through. Do you understand?

There is so much more going on down here than is dreamt of in your bitter and small-minded philosophy. I, and millions like me, sense a more luminous undercurrent, a wider spiritual lens, a richer sensual mother lode.

We know that no matter how much you pule and spit and hiss and spank and crack down, no matter how many laws and how many restrictions and how many wars and murders and stabs at the heart of meaning and sex and divinity, you cannot touch what really matters, you cannot really have any lasting effect.

Oh, it might seem like you do. You can make daily life very grating and tiresome and make people sick with your chemicals and desperate with your slashing of jobs and guilt ridden with your hammering sin and pain and guns and fear.

We watch you spin and hype and rage and scrunch your face in intense bogus prayer aimed at your bitter and self-righteous and homophobic God as your testes wither and weep. Man, have you got gall.

Maybe this gives you the illusion of power and control. Maybe this makes you feel all phallic and handsome and virile as if your toupee isn't rank and askew and your slacks wrinkled and your children in rehab and your sexless wife popping Zoloft like M&Ms. Titter.

But here's the thing: You affect only the surface of things. You are like the little swarm of gnats you have to pass through on the path to the cool summer lake. You are the tainted oyster in the vast ocean of time and sex and love. You are a jagged pothole on the highway to hell and the broken step on the stairway to heaven. But you are not real. You give no light. You contribute nothing. Not where it matters.

But please, by all means, keep trying. Keep ripping away at the rich dense frantic fabric of this gorgeous inexplicable life. You represent all the dark threads, the ugliness and the tension and the low vibration and you are necessary to remind anyone who's paying attention of what to watch out for, what to methodically purge, what to use as easy leverage to vault forward.

Look. You cannot reach me. You are nowhere near. You have no true power and no true connection and have yet to make any sort of splash in the calm lake of open-thighed soul. But it's OK. We understand. After all, as the saying goes, the graveyards are full of indispensable men. And the divine only smiles, licks its lips, and shimmies on.
1:31 PM ::
Sister Novena :: permalink


I still have some hostility this morning. I can't quite find the right words to express how I feel... fortunately, someone else has managed to articulate my mood:
Fuck you.

Fuck the South. Fuck the Flyover. Fuck NASCAR, Travis Tritt, and The 700 Club. Fuck your bigotry. Fuck your monumental stupidity. Fuck the monuments you build to it. Fuck the pedestals you then place them on in government buildings. Fuck your religious tunnel vision and intolerance. Fuck the NRA. Fuck America's Heartland. Fuck your stupid fucking children. Fuck the entire amber waves of fucking grain.

Fuck Walker. Fuck Herbert Walker. Fuck "Walker, Texas Ranger." Fuck Prescott. Fuck Church's whiskey-soaked, ham--fisted lynching of State. Fuck the ghost of Strom Thurmond up his hypocritical ass with the fucking Confederate flag and the Gettysburg Address. Fuck preemptive strikes. Fuck oil. Fuck coal. Fuck Billy Graham.

Fuck the flaming, mangled corpse of Dale Earnhardt.

Fuck the Mall of America. Fuck your fucking time-changing Daylight Savings bullshit. Fuck your fucking of the Kyoto Treaty. Fuck Elvis, both young and old. Fuck John Deere. Fuck every single last Red State.

Fuck Larry the Cable Guy. Fuck cowboy boots. Fuck large, steer-headed belt buckles and all the fucks in Blue America who find them chic in an ironic way. Fuck Mississippi's refusal to ratify the 13th Amendment until 1995. Fuck Halliburton. Fuck "The Passion of the Christ" and the way you crucified the passion of Howard Dean. Fuck Waffle House. Fuck Wattaburger. Fuck all of your fucking panhandles.

Fuck the Alamo.

Fuck your fucking accents - any of them, all of them. Fuck the fact that you're supporting a president who's killing your own fucking children. Fuck the rusting husks of your fucking bankrupt farms. Fuck your yellow ribbons and your parades and your air shows.

Fuck your ignorance. Fuck your illiteracy. Fuck the massive rancid pile of cow shit that is the Midwest.

Fuck every single last one of you.

(Found via Mat)

At last, something Denny and Mat and I can all really agree on. That felt good.

Note to conservatives: if you thought the left was crazy before, just wait till you see us when we're really pissed off. The Left has joined the culture war in earnest.
9:36 AM ::
Sister Novena :: permalink

Wednesday, November 03, 2004
In Which The Revolutionaries Get What They Wanted

The new majority is more theocratic than Republican, as Republican was previously understood; the defeat of the old moderate Republican Party is far more decisive than the loss by the Democrats. And there are no checks and balances. The terminal illness of Chief Justice William Rehnquist signals new appointments to the Supreme Court that will alter law for more than a generation. Conservative promises to dismantle constitutional law established since the New Deal will be acted upon. Roe vs. Wade will be overturned and abortion outlawed.

Now, without constraints, Bush can pursue the dreams he campaigned for -- the use of U.S. military might to bring God's gift of freedom to the world, with no more "global tests," and at home the enactment of the imperatives of "the right God." The international system of collective security forged in World War II and tempered in the Cold War is a thing of the past. The Democratic Party, despite its best efforts, has failed to rein in the radicalism sweeping the country. The world is in a state of emergency but also irrelevant. The New World, with all its power and might, stepping forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old? Goodbye to all that.


Goodbye, reproductive rights. From now on my rights will be determined by the possession of a uterus.

Sorry, Morgan and Suzie, you're not going to see your human dignity recognized in the US anytime soon.

If you dig anti-Americanism, boy are you gonna love the rest of the decade. We'll be hip-deep in it!

Stem-cell research? Ha!

And to the couple million more kids who are going to grow up in poverty... them's the breaks.

But hey, at least this paves the way for our theoretical revolution. And that's all that matters.


1:07 PM ::
Sister Novena :: permalink

Welcome Back To The 60s

Well, there it is.

My parents' generation remembers the 60s very fondly. So much so, apparently, that they have decided that my generation and the one behind us should get to live it for ourselves.

Welcome back to:

The Nixon administration (albeit without Nixon himself)
An unpopular war
A contentious civil rights movement
A nation and a society divided against itself
The generation gap

And, if we're lucky:

A draft
The energy crisis
A foundering economy

Won't this be fun? Who wants to be the new Dylan? I'm going out to buy my lovebeads today!

But seriously, I don't have a lot of patience for looking back. Now we know what we have to deal with, and now is when the next cycle begins. It took the Republican party 40 years to get to where they are today, I suppose it shouldn't surprise anyone that it'll take us longer than 4 to catch up. I don't know if I'll be around to reach the promised land with you -- my inner ex-pat is screaming for release -- but fuck it, we've still got Barack Obama, so there's hope.

This is what faith is about: getting knocked down, picking ourselves up, and continuing to work towards truth and justice. We Shall Overcome, indeed.

By the way: fuck George W. Bush. He'll never be my president.
12:47 PM ::
Sister Novena :: permalink

Da End O' Da Woild

Oh, God... I don't know if I can take another four years of this shit. And I don't even mean another four years of Bush (though that too), but of this fucking pointless, useless division in America.

I stayed up as late as I could last night -- only about 1 AM, which is normally peanuts to me except that I'm still on the festival schedule -- and went to bed in a state of mild despair. Ohio hadn't even remotely been called yet; we hadn't heard a peep from Nevada, Iowa, New Mexico or Wisconsin. I went to bed in a country that was evenly split. I awoke in a country that was still -- STILL -- evenly split.

Dave asked me if it felt like world might end; yesterday it did, and it felt like it might be a good thing. In reality, though, it appears that the world has not ended yet. We're still stuck in the same godforsaken world we were in day before yesterday.

Is it always going to be like this? Is this how it will be from now on? I don't think I want to live in a country like this.

The downside: even if we can pull this out, Kerry didn't get a mandate.

The upside: even if we can't pull this out, at least Bush didn't get his fucking mandate.

9:41 AM ::
Sister Novena :: permalink

Tuesday, November 02, 2004
The Big Day

Well... here it is, for better or worse.

I can't believe how nervous I am. It seems like we've been waiting for this day for... for... well, years, and now that it's here, I just want it to be over with so we can all get on with our lives. I am cautiously, but genuinely, optimistic; it's a year for good things to happen.

I feel like I should be saying the rosary or something.

I don't know if I'll post again tonight; getting access to a computer is sort of an office-hours thing for me right now. In any case, if Kerry wins I'll be out celebrating, and if Bush wins I'll be locked in my room, trembling with existential dread.

It's not like you'll be looking to me for election results coverage, anyway.

Update: I hit the polls on my way out of town, and cast my vote for Kerry just after 11 AM. (I also cast a vote against a state amendment barring gay marriage.) I was astonished to discover that when I cast my vote -- in a sparsely-populated rural district -- I was almost #700 for the day.

To put that in perspective, the last vote I cast in the same district was for the state primary; that day I voted in the late afternoon and was only something like #65. That means there's been a huge surge in voter turnout, even in our solidly red county.

Partisanship aside, a big turnout is a great sign. THAT, not rioting in the streets, is the kind of revolution we need right now. People are taking their government back into their hands. I had a sense of watching this country, as a whole, actively making a decision about where we're heading... perhaps for the first time during my lifetime.
10:03 AM ::
Sister Novena :: permalink

Sunday, October 31, 2004
Happy Halloween!

God, I love Halloween. The only thing I love more than Halloween is Christmas -- and yes, I know it's not "cool" to love Christmas, but I do, even if I don't always love the stuff I gotta do around Christmas. But today's not Christmas, it's Halloween! So screw Christmas! Plenty of time for that later.

It's been a long time since I had a really great Halloween. Two years ago I had a reasonably fun night out with Brian (who, as a skilled prosthetics/make-up effects artist, had a pretty bitchen' costume), but that good Halloween was later cancelled out by What Happened In Los Angeles. (I'll save the LA story for another time.)

I will say this: ANY Halloween in the US is a hundred times better than any Halloween in the UK. The British just don't get the Spirit of Halloween, they're completely hopeless at it. I used to have a running debate with my English ex over whether "Halloween" or "Hallowe'en" was the correct way to spell the word... he posited that since the name was originally anglo in origin, the angloid apostrophe was compulsory; I countered that since we Americans were making far better use of the holiday, we had the right to rename it sans-apostrophe if we wanted to. That led to accusations of Obnoxious Americanism, to which I freely admitted... I can't help being a product of my native culture. All I know is, in Britain the kids don't go Trick-or-Treating, they go out on petty extortion missions, and the adults put on wigs and titter on the Underground. Pfffft. (Strangely, they got all excited over Bonfire Night, which sounds great in theory, even if the execution is generally pretty weak. I'd like to see it done really well sometime.)

Anyhoo, my Halloween is likely to be pretty quiet. Today's the last day of the festival, and it's an early night for us. Tomorrow I'm driving back to Memphis to vote (and how fitting is it that this year Election Day falls on el Dia de los Muertos?) and then coming back Tuesday to wrap up my festival work.

PS: somebody, please, tape the election night stuff for me... any of the big three networks or CNN will do nicely. Get everything. I need it for the film.
11:27 AM ::
Sister Novena :: permalink