Monday, April 17, 2006

I Want Some Damn Cookies

For those who don’t know, Hypoxic wanted queer bloggers to devote today to voting and registering to vote. Adam, meanwhile, has been tormenting his readers with pictures of homo-made baked-goods. Does he hook GayProf up with any of those cookies? Oh, no, he wants bloggers to talk about civic duty and public responsibility just to get a chance to maybe have some cookies.

Fine, I am not above working for the oatmeal raisin. Heck, it’s better than trying to come up with an idea for my blog on my own.

So, how to get people to vote? How to get people to register to vote? How? How? How?

How about if we framed voting as a new reality t.v. show? I live in fear that American Idol will eventually attract more actual voters than mid-term elections. If you can’t beat them, join them.

Think of voting like your opportunity to cast somebody off the island. We can force all of the elected officials (who we will call “contestants”) to live in one giant house. Let’s call that house, oh, I don’t know, the Capitol Building. Within that house, we will dived the contestants into two teams: the Mars-Senators and the Mercury-Representatives. We will put cameras everywhere capturing their movements and interactions.

There can be the usual astounding realizations for reality t.v. We will likely find that Thomas Tancredo doesn’t wash his hands after using the restroom or that Katherine Harris can’t hold her liquor and starts hitting on whoever happens to be in the hot-tub.



Each week, all the contestants will face some type of “challenge.” One week, they could be forced to balance the budget while keeping a tiki torch lit. Another week, they might reconsider Puerto Rico’s status while they stand on logs for twelve hours.

Every evening, we could have video-summaries that shows that day’s events. Those who tune in regularly will be able to discuss who lies too much in the house and who just wants to be on t.v. For those who want a constant feed, we can set up an entire cable network that does nothing but show the proceedings of the Congress – er – I mean the house.

At the end of two years, if you registered to vote before hand, you can have the chance to decide who stays on the show. Because, in government, you are either “in” or you are “out.” Yep, the voters can toss out anybody who is part of the Mercury team every two years. Because of predetermined rules, though, only a third of Mars contestants can be eliminated every two years. Those contestants who survive elimination win a million dollars from their local lobbyist.

Have I convinced you to vote yet? Great – Now I have some suggestions to help the rest of the nation:

    – To increase the number of gay men voters, let’s make the voting machines dual purpose. Why not be able to cast your vote within a tanning booth? Elections are always in November, just the time that your summer glow starts to fade. With the tanning option, you can save democracy and look unseasonably golden brown. Lines at polling places would be around the block in West Hollywood.

    – Let’s follow the lead of some other nations and tax the shit out of the lazy-ass people who don’t vote. The fate of the national debt, war, the education system, and environmental disaster might not be big enough issues to get some people to the polls. If not voting means, though, they have to pay a tax the size of their monthly Starbucks tab, they’ll drive their Escalades right into the voting booth.

    – Speaking of Escalades, why not give out a free gallon of gas with every voter registered? Have you seen gas prices these days? Those Escalades burn-up four gallons just to roll down the windows. Toss a little petroleum in to sweeten the voting deal.

    – Voting booths can dispense drugs depending on which party you opted to choose. After the pull of the lever, Democrats could get Xanax. This should dull the pain of voting for the “lesser of two evils” and knowing that you likely lost anyway. The Green Party, naturally, would receive a joint. It can replace the one that they smoked while they were voting. The Republican Party could receive Acid. After all, they live in their own reality already, so why not have a legitimate excuse?

    – How about penalties for not voting on human rights issues? Is your state trying to cut welfare, keeps gays from getting married, or deprive immigrants of healthcare, but you are too lazy to even voice an opinion? Then I say you get a one-way ticket to being a bus-person at your local Denny’s. Screw public service that involves picking up trash on the highway – that’s too easy. People get nice tans doing that work. If you had to spend an hour washing syrup out of your hair each day, you would get your sticky ass to a voting booth.

    – Show the American voters what a great success it has been to bring elections to Iraq. We can show all the smiling, appreciative faces as they go to the polls. Yeah, many of those voters don’t have decent water, healthcare, or access to education, but surely the ability to elect a Parliament that never convenes brings them joy. Hmm, maybe we better wait on this one.

    – We should make it clear that Wonder Woman would vote if she was a U.S. citizen. Well, if she allowed elections on Paradise Island. Given that she is the heir to an absolute monarchy, though, she isn’t particularly inclined to start allowing voting now. It’s great for the U.S., though.



Though all of the above ideas show my brilliance, alas not many of them are likely to be picked up – except that tanning booth idea. That’s hot. Still, we are left with the reality that voting is a duty and a responsibility. Now is the time when we all have to come forward and demand that republicanism (the governmental system, not the political party) actually work in this country.

Are you a white man over the age of 21 who owns a large parcel of land? If not, then sometime in the past people like you (yes, YOU) fought for the right to vote because they thought it kinda important. Much of U.S. history has revolved around questions about who could and could not vote. Indeed, the U.S. has been historically pretty stingy with the vote (We won’t even go into the complicated ways we used to get Senators). Yet, people like you (yes, YOU) gave every ounce of their energy to ensure that subsequent generations of yous could participate in the government. Do you want to let down the dead by not voting? The dead will haunt you. Nobody wants Elizabeth Cady Stanton on their ass from beyond the grave.

Most importantly, GayProf wants to live in a nation that cares about human rights, that works within a world community, and provides for the basic needs of all its citizens. So, unless I move to the Netherlands, I am going to need you American folk to start voting more.

Visit vote-smart.org to learn how to register to vote in your state.

17 comments:

Roger Owen Green said...

O.K. Another posting idea!

Actually, the American Idol thing isn't as silly as you think. "Let's make voting FUN! Let's gets our friends to vote - if they all banded together during a local election where 30% usually vote, we could carry the day!"
(And then they'd have to govern - THAT would be interesting.)

Oh, and I love oatmeal raisin cookies.

tornwordo said...

I think you deserve some cookies.

And don't you think more people would vote if you had a whole week to do it and you could do it from your computer?

Make it easier for people to vote and they will.

Problem is, those in power don't want MORE people to vote. They're more than happy counting on those who put them in power in the first place.

vuboq said...

Could you please go into the complicated way we used to get Senators?

I'd like to think I'm not completely ignorant on the way our government works (or used to work), but I don't know if I'm familiar with this or not.

Thanks!

MEK the Bear said...

For the gay vote, we should also have polling places in bathhouses and bookstores. You know that would totally work, despite it being a sad statement.

Lyle said...

I've been a permanent absentee voter ever since I lived in a precints with too low a population to get a polling place. Absentee voting is great, I get to sit down with my ballot in front of the computer and research my choices.

Best of all is that "Lalalala. You can't have any effect on my vote" attitude I get to take to political ads once I drop my ballot in the mail.

So perhaps one way to increase the vote is if we talked about absentee voting in different parts of the country, explaining how to be an absentee voter.

Elizabeth McClung said...

What about "take back the voting booth" feminist marches? Or better yet, change the date of all the wymyns music festivals and locations to centre it in someplace like Tennessee and elect a lesbian Governor as a festival event.

GayProf said...

vubog:The creators of the U.S. Constitution had a great suspicion about the intellect of the general populace. Given some questionable voting decisions after independence (I am thinking of you, Rhode Island), the Constitution had remarkably few ways for citizens (and by citizens, they meant only white men over 21 years of age) to vote directly in Federal affairs. We all know about the Electoral College as the most famous vestige that selects the President. Many don’t know, though, that the Constitution required that each State Legislature select the Senators. It was not until Amendment XVII (Adopted in 1913) that voters got to elect their Senators directly.

Joe said...

I can see us text-voting, oh yes.

"OMG 4RLZ IMA GWB H8R!"

"HLRY 4 SN8!"

chris said...

Do you really believe that cutting welfare, denying health benefits to immigrants, and preventing gay marriage are equivalent?

Hypoxic said...

Gayprof, if that post doesn't get you the oatmeal raisin, then I don't know what possibly could :)

Thanks for a great post, wonderfully written! And your readers have some pretty good comments/suggestions too.

Thanks for supporting the initiative - even if it was only for the cookies LOL

Kevin

GayProf said...

Chris: Thanks for stopping by my little bloggy.

I think a minimal standard of living, access to medical care, and freedom to negotiate and form intimate relationships are basic human rights that we should fight for on behalf of all people. The terminology “gay marriage” would not be my first choice, but it’s the issue at the forefront these days.

Your question, though, presumes a disagreement. Which don’t you see as fitting with the others?

Roger Owen Green said...

The trick with electronic voting, even at the polls as a result of the HAVA law, is that they have been susceptible to hacking and other manipulation. Companies such as Diebold, whose leaders were so very pro-Bush, have made the technology even more suspect.

Dorian said...

For shame, GayProf, you're not up on your Wonder Woman continuity! Following the death of Hippolyta, Diana abdicated her posistion of princess and Paradise Island adopted a parliamentary system of government with Philipus in the role of Prime Minister.

(Of course, it's a moot point now as Paradise Island has once again withdrawn from "Patriarch's World")

Adam said...

I want to let you know that you have some cookies coming your way my friend. Congratulations and job well done!

GayProf said...

Dorian:: My Wonder Woman ignores much of the insanity that DC has sent her through in the past decade and a half. So, my Diana never became a god (dumb!); never had her mother serve as Wonder Woman (silly!); and never murdered anybody (sacrilege!). I also tend to ignore the “Emma-Peel”-era Wonder Woman of the late sixties, but who doesn’t?

Don’t get me wrong, Rucka’s Wonder Woman was better than she had been in a long time (when he wasn’t having to clean up the mess created before him). The recent artistic renderings of her, though, always make her so thugish, IMHO. When, oh, when will I be asked to edit Wonder Woman?

With the recent disappearance of Paradise Island (again), one has to question if Nubia will be far beyond.

Adam: Exxxxcellent.

Luciferus said...

Brilliant. Ok, you've convinced me! I'll vote. And when we're both in Boston at the same time, the cookies and the drinks are on me.

Fave lines:
"Those Escalades burn-up four gallons just to roll down the windows."

Screw public service that involves picking up trash on the highway – that’s too easy. People get nice tans doing that work."

Also, Queen Hippolyte is DEAD, so, Diana is more or less Queen. Except that the Amazons have left this dimension.... Oh, damn!

Luciferus said...

OKay, okay. Nubia's bound to be back, it just makes so much SENSE, y'know?

As for WW killing Max Lord, I was totally cool with it. She's a warrior princess for crap's sake!