I've been flyin'
down the road,
And I've been starvin' to be alone,
And independent from the scene
that I've known.
- Neil Young
Saturday night and I find myself in Albuquerque. How the hell we got here I'm not sure. Something to do with a spur-of-the-moment impulse. I think it was some form of election eve escape. Some hope for a pleasant distraction perhaps that found me saying to Mrs. Dada, "Let's go to Albuquerque!" this past Thursday.
And so here we are. Saturday night and our dinner plates are gone. Our used napkins lie crumpled neatly on the table as I wait for the delicious India Pale Ale to kick in.
Back in its heyday of Empire, England had a problem. Getting beer to the troops, those enablers of its global aspirations, before it rotted. To places like India and other exotic lands. As a result, Brits learned by upping the content of the hops in the beer, it acted as a preservative enabling shiploads to arrive in places "where the sun never set" and empire was preserved. (Which is better than places "where the sun never shines" that empires deserve, I suppose.)
So here I sit, in Albuquerque, in "A great people place," as one website described Il Vicino's brewpub. And while I love meeting others and chance encounters, this evening I came here with Mrs. Dada for its great beer. For the mystical powers of this empire elixir to help me forget what next Tuesday is.
Earlier in the day, I'd read Molly Ivins latest article. In it, she said:
"I remind you what this election is about? Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, unprecedented presidential powers, unmatched incompetence, unparalleled corruption, unwarranted eavesdropping, Katrina, Enron, Halliburton, global warming, Cheney's secret energy task force, record oil company profits, $3 gasoline, FEMA, the Supreme Court, Diebold, Florida in 2000, Ohio in 2004, Terri Schiavo, stem cell research, golden parachutes, shrunken pensions, unavailable and expensive health care, habeas corpus, no weapons of mass destruction, sacrificed soldiers and Iraqi civilians, wasted billions, Taliban resurgence, expiration of the assault weapons ban, North Korea, Iran, intelligent design, swift boat hit squads, and on and on."
Ivins concluded her article by reminding all of us how this election is about more. How it's about salvaging the Constitution. And it's about the corruption dripping scoundrels counting their gold piles while Rome burns. People like Bush, Cheney, Tom DeLay, Karl Rove, Dennis Hastert, Jack Abramoff, Ralph Reed, and a littany of others so busy restoring Bush's "honor and integrity" to the White House.
And here's where I need the India Pale Ale to really kick in. That's because I don't think Tuesday will change much. Corruption of the voting system is well established. Daily we hear of some new, outrageous schemes to confuse or mislead voters, or to outright block voters from exercising their rights. There's no limits to creative and criminal ways to steal elections it would seem.
And I wonder? How many fucking national election results will Americans accept being settled under very suspicious circumstances or outright criminal acts before they reach their event horizon? Or is a critical mass of outrage something that only happens in places like Mexico or Nicaragua where the U.S. stirs a hornet's nest for rigging elections while here in the U.S., Americans simply accept it?
I know from the elections of 2000 and 2004 we have gleaming examples of how it's easier to just roll over and accept the theft of the nation by the bold and most audacious among us. But is there no point where we stand up and reject such outcomes? And if we ever reach that point (pray it doesn't come too late), what will we be willing to pay? I guess that depends on how much we think what's at stake is worth. Apparently, at the moment, that's not much.
Tuesday is "Here we go again!" time. Karl Rove is confident nothing much will change because he knows the outcome from crunching the real voting numbers by using "The Math." (Perhaps The Math none of us has access to because it's buried deep within a secret code in Diebold software?) By Wednesday we should know.
But for now, it's still Saturday and I'm still waiting for the India Pale Ale to kick in. It's the beer of empires you know.