E3 Is Not For Us

E3 is not for us. I’ll say it again. E3 is not for us.

This is where the surprises probably won't be happening too much.I will go on. Let me catch my breath.

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An Open Letter to the Democratic Party

Dear Democrats,

I’ve thought long and hard about this, probably harder than I even had to think about the letter to the GOP. In a way – you are WAY worse off. If this were basketball you would be the Celtics – you aren’t even close to first, and if you make it through the elections it isn’t because you won, it’s simply because you didn’t lose. But you aren’t in last place either. If you were in last place you’d be getting first picks in the draft raffle, you’d have the benefits you need to rebuild. You aren’t even close to first but you’re still a few steps from last – you are in total limbo. In other words your decisions are mostly terrible but you haven’t bottomed out so you just hang there slowly dying.

How did you get here? You were poised to do really well after Bush. People wanted some change, you ran on change, change was a thing you could take to the bank. Build a few crucial policies, show the country that you meant business/could definitively lead when you were given the power to, and otherwise deconstruct some pretty terrible policy choices from the previous eight years. You ruled every branch you could see and…

Nothing. You did nothing. You complained, argued about who was more liberal and basically just wallowed in petty infighting. Rather than show that you could get things done you managed to do absolute shit. Hell – after Bush you could have even made a sizable dent in the national debt, shrunk some new totally useless government departments and looked like a hero even to some middle line Republicans. You were given the entire country to you on a plate with an almost limitless ability to do what you want and you couldn’t do anything.

I have a few ideas about this- you spent 8 years complaining about Bush so much that it became the party’s sole ideology. Rather than be a party about accomplishing things you became a party that only complained about what you weren’t allowed to do. Did that pay off in the elections? Absolutely, but what has it been doing for you lately? You don’t have any mission. You don’t have any planks in your platform. There is this sort of amorphous idea about what you stand for but I don’t think you really know how to stand for anything anymore.

You’re for gay rights until it’s inconvenient and then it’s “bigger fish to fry” even when you don’t have anything substantial to jump onto. You act like you are against corruption until SOPA/PIPA comes up and you can’t jump harder to get your votes in supporting it (or co-sponsoring it for the love of God). How is that corruption? Well let’s look at one of the big co-sponsors of PIPA, Al Franken (also one of your darling poster children)- not only did he co-sponsor it he repeatedly defended it in a public forum (right to the end) despite mounting evidence that it was hugely destructive, poorly written, ineffective, and probably likely to kill more jobs (with its simultaneous killing of innovation) than the piracy it was meant to wipe out. The top donator to his candidacy? Time Warner- one of the top corporate sponsors of the bill. And between the two bills there are a huge number of Democrat supporters in the same compromised position.

It’s hard to take the high road when you can’t stop putting tollbooths up on the low. But even more telling is that when NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) came to a vote last year with provisions to hold American citizens indefinitely without trial (with a record-breaking violation of the 4th through 7th amendments of the Constitution) what did you do? 86 votes in the Senate were cast in favor of this treasonous legislation and you were 45 of those votes.

The White House had that provision added illicitly and rather than take a stand against probably one of the most dangerous and far-reaching laws against citizens’ rights you went right along with them. If this were during the Bush era you would have been all over the news complaining about the bill and making lots of passive-aggressive comments and fighting it the whole way. But you didn’t do that this time, you did what you were told to (incidentally not by your constituents) and showed a lot of people just how little you cared about your supporters’ most basic human rights.

Now I could go on much longer with examples like these but for the sake of brevity I will skip to the next thing you are screwing up. You have no swagger. This is probably due to you not having any central philosophy as we stated before. When the Republicans do something you don’t stand your ground. You complain about their low-blows and lack of ethics (which we’ve seen you share). You go on TV and do your best impression of a kid who is going to take their ball and go home stomping their feet. It’s hard to respect you when A: we know its an act, and B: if you had thought of it you would have done it first.

Here’s the thing- if you don’t get your shit together, stop pretending like you aren’t in the pocket of special interests, and decide what you are in the first place? You are just going to end up hovering in the “good enough to sell a few season tickets” range. No rebuilding, no improvement. Just a lot of whining and winning the occasional game against bad teams that you don’t explicitly lose. That’s not winning, that’s settling.

With hopes I don’t end up in one of your new-fangled CIA ghost prisons where I can be held indefinitely,

Sean Baptiste

 

PS Do better.

 

 

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An Open Letter to the Republican Party

Dear GOP,
Take a knee. Just put the craziest right wing-nut sellout on the ballot. Lose and lose hard. This is what basketball teams that want to rebuild do, they throw the game so they can get good draft picks. Take 4 years or whatever to lick your wounds, rebuild, and really think whether you want to be defined by crazy fundamentalists who frankly can get you to the big game but can’t get you elected. For that you need to appeal to middle of the line rational people who don’t really cater to one party or another. Go back to your roots- quit the social conservatism, it doesn’t work. Women aren’t going back in the kitchen with meatloaf, no shoes, and a singular desire to be no more than baby pumps (not that I think most ever really wanted that any way).

Quit it with the gay bashing. You really can’t win against social Darwinism. Stop fighting social Darwinism. Here’s the thing – deep down inside all of your horseshit rhetoric and chest thumping for the minority super right are a few good ideas. Not a lot at present but a few things you can build on.

You used to be fairly ok at economy. You aren’t anymore. That isn’t a subjective comment. Not a single candidate you have in the race actually knows what a Free Market Economy is… or Socialism is for that matter. It’s just a series of buzzwords that are empty of meaning, and although that will play to the lowest common denominator in the room the rest of us think you look like clowns.

Your leaders that want to fight the left just to fight the left and not on any sort of principle? Yeah, don’t let them be leaders anymore. You actually come across as that loser in high school who just shitted on everything because he/she didn’t have a point of their own. It makes you look weak, hateful, and 100% unpresidential. No one cares what you’re against – people care what you’re for.

To be perfectly honest – there are only a handful of times where I have gone out of my way to vote for Republicans. I’m not a long time supporter angry about the hard times. But I’m also not a live or die lefty who wouldn’t vote for you in a million years. I’m just a guy who thinks the more valid you are as a party, the more competitive your ideas are, the more the Democrats will have to earn their votes. The more everyone will actually have to listen to the discourse. The better off everyone will be for a little balance (except for extremists… they’re fucking crazy.)

TL;DR: Do better.

With the fondest intentions,
Sean Baptiste

PS- I will follow up soon with a constructive letter to the Democrats- so no dismissing me as some sort of Liberal Agenda Opinionist or whatever your current vernacular is for that now. You can do better than that.

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Brain Blog: Amidst the Living

Sometimes it’s easy for me to feel like things aren’t real. My sleep patterns are kind of a mess, weather takes away my cognitive abilities, and other than that I live a pretty sheltered life. I don’t leave home much, I almost never see friends or other people. When it all gets added up it is easy for me to slip into a sort of slight fugue state where things seem a bit cloudy and dreamlike. To me, this is probably how a zombie feels – though zombies do appear to socialize more than I do.

As I feel I am either good enough (or sure as hell better be) to rejoin the living on a limited trial basis I decided through the excellent guidance of both my brilliant fiancee, Maria and my standup comedy tutor from When I Grow Up (the talented and sagely Dana Jay Bein) to take another comedy class. This time I was going to up the ante a bit – not standup comedy but Improv 101. Continue reading

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Brain Blog: Green Period

Hey all, there really isn’t much of a post today. I kind of spent most of my creative juices doing some painting.

Hallelujah, I'm working in greens!

Now what I really need is to get some finger paints and a really big canvas…

Oh also I did start working on the germ of an idea of a joke (see yesterday’s post) here it goes (remember, it’s just the first draft): “Sure, Zach Snyder’s Sucker Punch is totally sexist and exploitative… but imagine how much worse it would have been if Neil LaBute directed it! Then, not only would the men exploit the girls in the movie in increasingly pervy and gross ways but it would turn out in the end that all women were the enemy in the first place.”

 

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Brain Blog: Progress Bars

Lately I haven’t been terribly productive. A change in medication, a lack of focus, and some other stuff have made me feel like my progress bar just sort of shorted out and froze. This has been the case for a while now but I am starting to think I need to reboot.

I made this in Paint!

How do I do this? What am I going to do? Where’s my reset button anyways? Will I have to defrag my brain afterwards? I used to be motivated by performance: getting in front of people and talking, or acting, or just being stupid. That seems less and less viable in my immediate future as I still have a tough time being around people for too long without becoming exhausted and tuning out. Also most of the things I would want to do would be at night which is impossible for me. So what do I do? Continue reading

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Brain Blog: The Scary Painting

Remember when I said sometimes I am painting because I’m in a dark mood? That’s how this one came about. Sorry about the upper right hand corner glare. I need a better way to photograph this stuff.

I call it "Liquids" even though everyone else calls it "Japanese Ghost". I'll accept that.

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Brain Blog: A Turn

I’m still painting.  If anything I am probably painting more than I was before. As I’ve said I’m still kind of working through what happened to me and painting helps. Consequently my paintings have been abstractly angry. Keep in mind I have no actual training in painting and Bruegel I am not.

Right Side Up

A painting I did recently was particularly angry. In my head I pictured a hill on fire, the faintest silhouette of a ruined castle on top of the hill, and a red sky filled with smoke. Abstractly that was kind of the way I was feeling.  When I was letting what you see above dry I kept looking at it on the table and I hated it. It wasn’t what I thought I was going for at all. Continue reading

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Brain Blog: Morning Stories

Maria and I have a new ritual that is kind of cool. We wake up, get our coffee, boot up the Xbox, and then play an hour or so of “Alan Wake“. More specifically I play, and she watches it as if it were a tv show.

Not Stephen King

I like this as a morning thing. Normally we would watch something off the DVR or flip through the channels.  This is more fun. We have our funny comments about the characters or the ridiculous Coffee Thermos collecting (what?) and kind of work together to solve some of the more puzzling elements. She’s also much better at spotting collectible manuscript pages and usable items then I am. We work together but treat it like a show.  I love it! Continue reading

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Brain Blog: Stories

I’ve said it once or twice but my view of the world… my feelings on our reason to be (I won’t use the french version, it’s my bête noire) is that we exist to create stories with our lives. Short lives, long lives, lives everyone knows about, and lives few ever will- it’s what hold us together.

William Blake

Now bear with me, I don’t know where I am going with this. I’m freestylin’.  What you create for your family, friends, and enemies is essentially an anthology of stories of your life. All will be remembered at least partially incorrectly and everyone will have a slightly different version but overall those stories that people tell about you are you, or at least a pastiche of yous stitched together from dozens, hundreds, thousands of memories. Continue reading

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