Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It Finally Happened

I know I am stating the obvious - thanks to the McPalin hijinks's and the antics of our corrupt bastards - Alaska is enjoying (I realize, a questionable choice of words) a degree of recognition, mention and scrutiny not previously experienced at any point in its modern history.

Except perhaps during the Gold Rush.

We are surrounded by plenty of evidence that we are wiggling in the glare of this dubious limelight - Palin is the topic for the talking heads to the talk shows and everything in between, but in my mind, you know you are living in the theatre of the absurd when references to your elected officials start appearing in Harper's.

Those of you familiar with the monthly will know about the Harper's Index and their practice of featuring the ridiculous, peculiar, laughable and downright absurdly corrupt in the front 10 or so pages titled "Readings". Well, last month, Alaska began to creep into these sections. Palin made it into the Harper's Index ("Minimum number of reporters who traveled to Wasilla, Alaska, in the two weeks following Sarah Palin's selection as VP: 90") as well as into the Readings section: "Death and the Maiden". Now this month, it's even juicier.

Titled The Good Life, Senator Ted Stevens on Virtue, it's a reprint of some of the more damning transcripts of conversations between Ted and Bill that the FBI recorded.

After reading the smattering that are reproduced here, it's no wonder the jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts in such short order once the disruptive and oddball juror disappeared.

Although the transcripts are available to review - I have to confess I never bothered to. I didn't need to - I wasn't one of those that fell for the craven currying tones that the Fairbanks Daily News Miner took when reporting and commenting on the trial. However, it is very interesting to read these now.

Because really, as always - it's Ted who gives himself the rope by which he was hung.

Since these are public records and I am a lazy beast, I am sure that Harper's won't come after me if I quote just a few of the better lines of conversation from their magazine (and of course, as before, I can't resist adding a little editorializing of my own):

August 31, 2006

Ted Stevens: Hey Bill? Wonder if you are going to be around Sunday? Catherine has in mind replacing those black couches at the chalet---[can we ever get past just how pretentious it was to call that dump a "chalet"?]

Bill Allen: Yeah, uh, hey, Ted, the FBI got a warrant and searched my house and the office. They asked me what I done on your house. I said, well, he's paid for everything, and I just told'em I wouldn't talk to 'em.

T.S.: Okay. Good. I had an inkling something was up, but I don't know what it is.

September 10

T.S.: ....Keep yourself going my friend. I've never been up against a bunch like this before. I'm not getting much sleep , thinking about all this shit that's going around . I'm just trying to figure out why these fuckers are doing this thing to our friends. [quite possibly it is because those fuckers are upholding the law and they suspect you broke it, Uncle Ted]

October 18

T.S.:...So you and I ought to wait this thing out. They haven't filed a charge yet. It may be that what we've done leaves an impression that we have done something wrong. But you have to make up your mind you're doing something wrong to be really guilty of a crime. [here we see the first hint of that fine legal mind that brought us his astounding statement that he is not guilty until he finishes his appeal process] We don't want to get ourselves there by trying to do something that leads to a different kind of charge.

Yup, Alaska has arrived on the national scene - thanks to the whole freak'n lot of petty, ill-grammared thieves and trailer trash queens.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Don't Mind Us, We're Out and About

Well, I can't rely upon Flic to pick up the slack while I'm traveling; she is out of Squarebanks at the moment as well.

We'll both be back, soon, really. I'm in the airport, having scavenged for some good travel reading materials. I settled on:

"The Vesuvius Club"
"Kinfolks - falling off the family tree"
"The Whale and the Supercomputer"

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

T'was the Day After...

And Obama won!

We hadn't been listening to the news all day, being too nervous and busy. But as the Bring Your Own Effigy hour approached, Obama already had a lead.

I swear, I walked back into the kitchen for a minute, went back, and the election coverage was talking about President Elect Obama. "It's over!" The early arrivals ran into the room. Before most of the guests arrived - he'd won.


So there was nothing to do but have a celebratory jello shot and a fresh keg cup of beer. We spent the rest of the evening with the bonfire (and Mike Kelly effigy), bouncing back and forth to hear McCain's concession, another jello shot, Obama's phenomenal speech, another jello shot, and then desperately hoping for a crumb of local news. Oh, and Flic made a kicking moose chili.

Today? We celebrate some more, I think. But I'm laying off the jello shots. There are a few here with your name on them, Ish.

Monday, November 03, 2008

T'was the Night Before...

the election, and here is what I did:

  • I made an effigy.
I hadn't planned to. After all, I figured I had shot my creative wad when I first floated the "Bring Your Own Effigy" idea - but I was disabused of that notion by my blog mate. No way was I going to be able to show up and swizzle beer and get rowdy if I didn't have an effigy in tow.

Initially it looked like ET

So I got down to it and whipped up a passing likeness of a certain District incumbent. It wasn't until it was completed that I realized that, like most politicians, it was spineless and flip-flopped any which way. Too late to put some backbone (or a pole) in it, so it's propped up in chair, the target of an occasional curious sniff from one of the pooches.

  • I drank a peartini and snarfed a scotch egg, fries and hot wings.

Just as I was attaching the head and putting on the finishing touches, I got a call from my blog mate. She had been out doing her civic duty by waving candidate signs on a cold corner while I was home cozily ensconced before the fire hacking up a pillow case and gluing on cotton fuzz eyebrows & goatee. It took no arm twisting to lure me out for a pre-election nip. Those peartinis never fail to knock me right off my pins - faster and more thoroughly than anything I imbibed during my (in)famous Nome bar crawl this past summer.

  • I listened to reports that 9,000 election observers will be mobilized to Indian reservations,

and internalized the bitter truth that the Banana Republicans have succeeded. It's a sad day when any place at all in our country needs to have protection to ensure fair voting. And even sadder when I consider that whereas 10 years ago I believed our elections to be fair, open and honest, I don't hold that opinion any longer. Rigged elections? Sure, why not? It happened in 2000, it can happen again.

It's late, and although I am jittery from too much coffee and the arrival of E-day, it's time for this blogger to head off to bed. Need to be well rested for tomorrow: at worst it could be the end of the free world as we know it - at best, a hell of a shindig.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Two Days to Go

There are many reasons why I love living in the Goldstream Valley.

Reason # 897: On Halloween night, at the annual Lion's Club party for the ankle biters of our community, the award for Scariest Adult Costume went to ... a woman who dressed up as Sarah Palin.

But as we come down to the last days of this ugly campaign, we've been trying to come up with a way to survive Election Night. Being drunk seemed a good approach to several of us.

Presto! We're having a party. Beer, bonfire, and effigies to entertain us while we see if the Hoopleheads actually elect McCain. (Note to Hoopleheads: Sarah Palin is the candidate for Vice President. Not President. Really.)

I hope that it needs no further explanation that there is a difference between some spirited effigy burning of various political figures and a display that features an African American candidate being lynched. But who knows? We're an ahistorical society.

I'm thinking of Dubyah as my effigy. And really, who can compete with what the Brits did at their recent annual bonfire (one that burns a political effigy every year?) You might also be entertained by the YouTube video below.