Video Deteriora Sequor (executrix) wrote,
Video Deteriora Sequor

Things to Do in America When Your Party's Dead

Nobody could do all of these things, and I'm not sure what I'm going to do, but there are some things that can be done right now, and things that have to be done over the long haul.

1. It really shouldn't to the same extent, considering the amazing ability to connect with anyone with an e-mail address, but politics basically runs on money. And if you don't have any, well, you can put the loose change from your pocket in a change jar and give away $5 when you get to $5. Believe me, any campaign or organization or cause you were planning to donate to will happily take $5 every two months from you. And once you get on one sucker list, you will never be alone, because every other sucker list will hit you up daily or several times a day. Just ignore them when you get annoyed.

2. I learned a Valuable Life Lesson when I was a high school senior. For reasons that now escape me I wanted to work on the yearbook. I immediately secured a power base as the Senior Pictures Editor because nobody else wanted to do it. And later on I earned actual money doing paste-ups and mechanicals, which I learned how to do because of those goddamn pictures. Which were, as we now say, about the size of an icon.

3. Every September, without fail, Vogue magazine runs a gushing editorial about how thank goodness, now you can wear frilly ruffly clothes instead of those awful plain ones! followed the next year by thank goodness, now you can wear elegantly tailored clothes instead of those awful frilly ruffly ones! And the readers fall for it EVERY TIME. The electorate is constantly engaged in Throwing the Bums Out, forgetting a) who elected them and b) that the new Bums are probably not that different from the old bums. But to the extent of genuine Bum superiority, we have two years to work on who we want to run for the House in 2018; there's a passable chance of the Democrats being able to take back the majority.

4. A cunning conspiracy is in place to make local politics REALLY boring, but, as they say, All Politics Is Local. If you can stand going to City Council meetings, you will be one of the first to know that a proposal has been made to give lavish tax abatements to the rat poison factory to be built on the pontoon over the lake. Which means you can help mobilize opposition.

5. In Batman's origin story, he camps around in a bat costume because he thinks it will frighten criminals, who are a "superstitious and cowardly lot." Well, actually, that's politicians for you. Most of them will cheerfully switch directions more often than a zumba class in a tornado if they think they can get two votes or $3.22 in campaign donations out of it. On a prominent issue, they might pick a position and stick to it, but on an obscure issue, enough signatures on an e-mail petition can move the needle.

6. This is America, so whatever it is you're interested in, there is probably at least one organization doing it. Probably there was one and a bunch of people stalked out in disgust. Check first to see you're not inventing the wheel. Of course if the people are SUCH wankers you can't stand it, then you may have to be the one to ankle.

7. Electoral politics isn't the only way to go. If you don't think you have a reasonable chance of getting government to provide benefits to people in need, there are a LOT of organizations working to get food to hungry people and improve the food system. Right now, I'm liking Food and Water Watch for their opposition to fracking, and Union of Concerned Scientists for their climate change work.

8. Right now, there probably is enough STUFF to go around, but it isn't distributed equitably. If we keep wasting and fucking up, there might not be enough stuff to go around, in which case we are going to have to learn to waste less, share more, and develop skills.

9. It's not the eighteenth century anymore. Smile Less, Talk More.

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