Thursday, October 28, 2004
Having trouble deciding who to vote for on Nov. 2? Confused about who is a Republican and who is a Democrat? Do you listen to the candidates and get confused by their triangulations?
You are not alone, my friend.
We are in some very strange, potentially dangerous political times. This election could be for the whole ball of wax, the whole shootin’ match, all the cards. Every marble.
It’s an easy, pat answer to say “Anybody But Bush” but that gets messy when you consider that both Bush and Kerry went to the same college, both are loaded, both are white men and, for chrissakes, they were dressed identically at the last debate. (Did anybody else wish Kerry showed up in a Sioux war bonnet or in shorts and a T-shirt?) So, to make things simple—but maybe more complicated—we’ve devised this little quiz.
It is based on the now widespread and generally accepted notion that America is divided into two kinds of states, with two kinds of inhabitants, and two kinds of cultures. I’m sure you’ve heard all this before.
To oversimplify this: Red States are mainly rural places where people find watching cars race around a track to be a thrilling afternoon. The word “liberal” is seriously derogatory and people may dip potato chips in mayonnaise in Red States.
In Blue States, people drive European cars, eat quiche without ridicule, and make excuses for Bill Clinton’s atrocious behavior with a woman his daughter’s age. Their music tends to be calm. A male ballerina will not get his ass kicked on a Blue State street.
These are wildly exaggerated stereotypes, but you get the picture.
But there is a conundrum buried in this idea. You may think you are Red but you’ve got a lot of Blue in you. The opposite may also be true. Those who firmly believe their vote is going to John Kerry may prefer their beer in a can, a decidedly Red trait that horrifies Blues. To get votes, John Kerry mounts a Harley Davidson. Bush struts around in workingman’s Carhartts but calls the richest people in America his “political base.” And as we have reported in this newspaper before, several of our political leaders may look and act like Democrats, but some things they do are quite Republican, and visa-versa.
Here in Monterey County, although considered a stronghold of the Democratic Party, a quiet shift to the right has been underway for years. Famous and highly respected futurists who have studied Monterey County see a GOP horizon. (Well, not really, but it sounds good and just may be true.)
So take this test and score accordingly. A high Blue score should be an affirmation of your left-wing status. Score high Red and you’re a sure right-winger. Score with a mix of Red and Blue and you are like the rest of us—right in the middle.
Good luck, and be sure to vote on Tuesday.
1. MST stands for:
• Monosodium Triglicerate (a food additive banned in Pacific Grove)
• Monterey Stage Theater
• Your Ride to Work
• Monterey Sales Tax
2. If you attend Spirit West you are:
• Really into hang-gliding
• A born again “virgin” really into Jesus music
• A member of the California Liquor Distributors Association and here for the annual convention
• Really into Jesus music if it means getting young GOP votes
3. If you were the king/queen of Big Sur you
• Close off the roads, admitting only worthy pilgrims on foot
• Privatize the national forest and sell, sell, sell!!!
• Call in an air strike on those nude dope-smokers at Esalen
• Not change a thing
4. The Carmel City Council has the distinction of
• Under investigation for an alleged “sloshed fund”
• 100 percent Republican
• Led by a former CIA operative
• Both B and C
5. Local Environmentalists are:
• Helpful if you’re a raccoon or endangered snail
• Great if you’re a developer who benefits from misguided tree-huggers, who make embarrassing rants at public meetings.
• In danger of becoming irrelevant due to poor/lack of leadership
• The only people who seem to give a rat’s ass about anything here
6. When you think of Fort Ord you think of:
• All those miles of great off-road trails
• A tremendous, sad waste of money and opportunity
• A tremendous opportunity to make piles and piles of money
• A lost source of payday revenue that poured in twice a month if you sold cars, booze, drugs or sex or some combination thereof
7. Peter Newman is:
• Brother to famous actor, died in Korea during “human wave” attack
• The Beloved Party Leader
• Up to something, but it’s not clear what
• Used car salesman who used to sell VW
• Pit Bull
• Black Lab
• Border Collie
• Pound Pup
• To be tolerated if it’s hers
• Oh the joy of cats! The fluffiest and fattest are best!
• Word used interchangeably with dude, usually after “cool”
10. Carmel Valley is:
• An environmental tragedy slain by greedy developers
• Home to babyboomer Whole Foods fans pretending to be ranchers
• Shoveling tax dollars to the county and in need of incorporation
• All of the above
11. You moved here from:
• Fresno to bathe in your riches in a Pebble Beach hot tub
• Fresno because Dept. of Corrections transferred you to Soledad
• China because you now attend MIIS (to spy on US imperialist dogs)
12. The Running Iron is:
• A torture device used at Soledad ‘back in the day’
• One of Schwarzenegger’s futuristic movies from the ‘80s
• A home away from home, complete with beer
• Tool used by squid fishermen to haul in their nets
13. The Pig:
• A new sculpture in Big Sur, in memory of eradicated boar
• The best radio station in the world
• Frenzied source of anti-Bush propaganda
• A torture device used at Soledad ‘back in the day’
14. Sam Farr is:
• The drugged-out clown in a cowboy hat and jumpsuit who introduced acts at Woodstock and carried around a trombone
• A local political hero
• A career politician who does
anything to stay in office
• A little bit of both B and C
15. What does Mary Jane’z refer to:
• A queer punk band at Stevenson
• A type of shoe for a girl
• Place to score a bong
16. Jonah and the Whalewatchers is:
• The newest Disney movie
• The crew at Hopkins Marine Lab studying humpback migrations
• A rock group from Salinas that sings songs based on the Bible
• A reggae band from Monterey
17. Mission Ranch:
• A faith-based resort in the hills of Nevada. Nice place.
• God’s waiting room
• Clint’s place
18. Bob Edwards:
• It’s so sad he’s gone. Hopefully he’ll find a new gig.
• What you do to get to work before the boss gets there at 10 or so
• A kick-ass ‘80s band from Canada
• The Prophet of the Airwaves
• A drug addicted hypocrite
20. Paper or plastic:
21. Round Table is:
• Dinner out with the family
• A group of non-hierarchical anti-corporate radicals
22. Sunday means:
• Church then NFL
• The Book Review
23. Pebble Beach:
• Pays a decent wage
• Pays crap. Treats workers like crap.
• Needs to do something about all those goddamn looky-loos creating traffic jams on 17-Mile drive every weekend! Makes me late for golf!
• An elitist, gated, private town that should not even be legal
24. George W. Bush:
• So-so president but probably a decent guy considering everything
• Doing a gosh-darn good job considering the circumstances
• A buffoon who is ruining the country, maybe the world too
• Actually in cahoots with bin Laden, making money on all this
25. Red Beans and Rice:
• A side dish with your burrito at the “legit” taco spot near work
• Breakfast, lunch and dinner
• What the help eats
• A band that plays at Sly McFly’s and every friggin’ summer festival
26. John Kerry:
• Massachusetts liberal to the left of Ted Kennedy
• Anybody but Bush
• Capable of leading the country
• Pretty much the same thing as Bush; white man, Yale, rich, all that
27. San Francisco:
• A place where they have “offbeat” parades
• A beautiful city, on par with Paris
• Great city until it was ruined by yuppies and dot-commers
• Your little five-bedroom urban getaway in Pacific Heights
28. Moss Landing means:
• Where you keep the “yacht”
• Yucky enviro-mess with those awful smokestacks and so forth
• Work (at the Lab)
• Work (at the Plant)
29. Red Meat is:
• The strength of the Party
• Somewhat strange weekly cartoon
• To be avoided forever and ever and ever
• The guys who helped your political campaign
• A Rolling Stones song about what makes the world go ‘round
• What the young ladies show far, far too much of these days
31. How many friends live in Seaside
• My friends can’t afford to live there
• My friends wouldn’t be caught dead living there
• All my friends are my neighbors at Seaside Highlands
32. I say Weekly, you say:
• Sole source of quality independent local journalism
• Bastion of Bush-hating liberal media
• Good source to plan a weekend with your girlfriends
Key: see second article in this section.