Archive for November, 2010

The Long-Promised Buffalo

November 30, 2010

Yellowstone Traffic Jam:

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November 27, 2010

I slept in my car in the woods surrounding Priest Lake, Idaho.  I had intended to stay at a friend’s cabin, but the plan collapsed.  I woke up before the sun rose and boiled water for coffee on a camp stove I bought in Seattle.  Ate an apple.  Walked down to the lake to see the sun.  Then drove east to Bozeman, MT.

The Great Northwest is extremely rural.  The towns have their churches and auto-repair shops and little else.  So one is surprised by the omnipresent espresso stands.  At nearly every gas station sits a small hut, where men in pick-up trucks stop to order lattes.  Not the drip-coffee rurality I knew growing up.  Seattle creep.  Strange.

Portland, Seattle

November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving resolution: updates this blog.

Portland was beflowered houses, bearded folk and microbreweries.  Kind of like the Shire. I worked on a gay rights campaign and raised over $500 a day. Not bad.  Portland boasts the most microbreweries per capita, the most strip clubs per capita, and the “largest independent book store west of the Mississippi.” They also quote more statistics about their city (per capita, at least) than anywhere else. I caught the swifts. Thanks Michael.  Thanks Kara.

In Seattle, I ate vegan cupcakes.  I ate vegan Mac and cheese.  I ate vegan chili dogs.  I worked to preserve Mt. Rainier and I shopped at REI.  I drank Americanos.  Then my car got towed.  Fuck Seattle.  Thanks Katrina.

And then, for the first time in a long time, I turned East.

Election Reflection

November 3, 2010

My, have I fallen off.  I’m not anywhere near Portland.  I’m in New Orleans and will be for some time.  I’ll get back on here and catch y’all up on my wanderings (quick preview: I SAW BUFFALO), but for now I’d like to do an election post.

Now, there’s been plenty of noise out on the nets about the thing.  Nate Silver liveblogged the night.  Jon Chait has some good words on why the Dems went down.  Marc Ambinder gives us a taste of what’s to come.  And then of course there is every other news site out there: the chatter is endless.

But I noticed one tack that none of the pundits have taken.  It’s a time-tested method of analysis dating at least as far back as the first election covered by the New York Times in the 1850s.  Basically, you take election-relevant words, convert the words to numbers (using that oh-so-scientific cipher in which A = 1, B = 2, etc) then look for meaningful overlaps between the resulting numbers.  That 1850s New York Times author discovered that “Zachary Taylor” and “will be president” each add up to 173, and so it was.

Now, what can we learn by analyzing 2010 as they did in 1850? Lots of bad news for the Dems.  This is the year where the “GOP” (38) equals “Change” (38).  Where the ghosts of Republicans past come back to haunt: “Richard Nixon” (137) equals “Washington DC” (137), “Ronald Reagan” (110) equals “President” (110) and “Bush” (50) equals “America” (50).  The year when the “Grand Ol Party” (1511) throws a “Revolution (151) and when “New York” (111) falls into “deep sadness” (111).

Man, “Barack Obama” (68) must have gone out and got “drunk” (68) last night.  The people have spoken: not only are the “Democrats” (98)  “partisan” (98), they’re also “assholes” (98).  Speaking of “partisan assholes” (196), what about that “Christine O’Donnell” (196)?  Her “unamerican” (99) patron saint “Sarah Palin” (99) didn’t do so hot last night.  Not only did the Palin-endorsee go down in Delaware, but also in West Virginia, Alaska and Nevada, against the unpopular Harry Reid.  Some might call her “hopeless” (99).  Though really, “Palin” (52) is the “Devil” (52).  Perhaps these “major losses” (146) are “bittersweet” (146) after all.

And more good news.  The party of “Lincoln” (79), as the Republicans dubiously claim to be, is going to have to look for a new moniker.  The man is a “Democrat” (79).

So the question remains.  Is “Democracy” (87) to be built by the “Clinton”(87)-“Drunken”(87)-“Artist”(87)-“Schumer”(87) elites or the “Rand Paul”(87)-“Dick Cheney”(87) freakazoids? Maybe the Luke “Skywalker” (125) of political prognostication “Nate Silver” (125) can tell us.  Personally, I say “elites” (70) are “better” (70).