Tuesday, November 02, 2010

I think I saw the signs in the back of this particular picture personally, maybe the "use your inside voice" sign and definitely the back two, and maybe also a few others in that photo gallery. Buzzfeed also has a thread (I'm not linking to it partly because my office seems more serious than usual this week about non-work-related e-mail use and Buzzfeed seems more obviously not-work-related than most blogs, but mainly because my Internet connection sucks at the moment) with 100 pictures or something and I know I saw some of them myself. I took a few dozen pictures and I plan to download them from my phone later this week and when I do I'll put some of them up here and/or on Facebook. Yeah, I know later this week is much later than most people, but give me a break, I don't take many pictures at all and rarely upload them to anything, so this will be better than nothing.

As for my own voting plans, things are still a little up in the air (it's personal; it's a minor and probably a stupid thing to worry about but I'd still rather not put it in writing online), but I'm 90 percent sure of what I'm doing. I suppose I am too apathetic and pessimistic about this, and sure, things could definitely be worse. But still, when the optimistic case backed up by numbers is for Democrats to only lose 30 seats in the House and eight seats in the Senate, things don't look good.

10 years ago and more, my political philosophy was that America had two parties, the Evil Party (R) and the Stupid Party (D). It seems like things just didn't matter that much in the late 1990s, when there was a budget surplus and the French vanilla* sex lives of incumbents was the big issue and the last two or three wars had been just wars (well, more or less) and cakewalks. Since then, obviously, a lot has changed in the world, and I've grown to dislike glib "a pox on both your houses" thought processes, and in the past couple elections Democrats seem to have been much smarter than before.

At the moment, though, I'm leaning more toward my previous stance. That Onion article I linked to a couple days ago was, as I said, basically straight news. And T. has complained frequently over the past month or more about her boss's reelection campaign being run abysmally. If even half of what she's saying is reliable (not that I doubt her, of course, but hearsay is hearsay), the people in charge of that campaign are either so incompetent that they're literally unqualified, or deliberately sabotaging it.

And finally, in a minor, irrelevant-except-that-it-confirms-my-narrative detail, Vermont's Democratic gubernatorial candidate also seems to have a stupid campaign: what does he look like? Wikipedia has no picture, and his own campaign's Web site doesn't have a picture of him on the front page either. Boneheaded, unforced error.

* "Vanilla": plain and likeable but boring.
* "French vanilla": with one or two minor, predictable deviations from otherwise being plain and boring.

Thus, sex with a spouse is vanilla and an otherwise unremarkable affair is French vanilla, whereas swingers' clubs or gay sex by a social conservative or an affair in which the other woman winds up dead are more spicy.

The "vanilla" and "French vanilla" terms are fairly common in Magic: the Gathering, to describe creatures with no abilities, or only abilities so simple and common that they have keywords, respectively, but at the last minute it occurred to me that the meaning of the terms might not be obvious in a non-gaming context.

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