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Friday, September 03, 2004

Republicans ad absurdum...

Yes, absurd and dumb may be the best way to sum up the Republican National Hate Fest Convention.

Dumbest move: Letting Zell Miller (supposedly a Democrat) deliver the keynote speech on Wednesday. Some white sheets are best left untouched.

Absurdist theater: The two interruptions of Dubya's speech by protesters. Monumentally embarassing fuck-up on the part of security? Or staging for Republican talking points against all those dangerous liberals who want to destroy America?

Some Republican supporters are perhaps starting to see past the bullshit they've been fed for the last 4 years, although Andrew Sullivan seems to still be suffering from Republican Personality Disorder (akin to Orwellian 'doublethink', but more self-serving). Maybe he just needs more medication.

However...

Encounter With A Dubyathug

I had the opportunity to travel to Victoria yesterday to do some advocacy volunteer stuff. A good friend of long standing who now lives there offered me crash space so that I could stay over the long weekend. He neglected to tell me that he has a recently-acquired, sort-of-ex-pat-American boyfriend. Seemed like a nice guy, I thought.

Everything was fine until the boyfriend announced (quite insistently) that he was going to watch Dubya's speech to the convention. My friend, who knows full well my political leanings (and shares most of them), tactfully suggested that he and I move into the kitchen to talk. Fine. I'll take coffee and civil chat over exposure to the political equivalent of toxic waste any day...

You know how people cheer a football game, even though they're at home watching it on TV? Yup, about twenty minutes later the boyfriend starts doing the "Yeah! Right on!" thing damn near every time Dubya opened his yap (and I have no idea just how far along the speech actually was when he started in with that).

My friend just kinda raised his eyes to the ceiling. I looked at my friend and the comment was out of my mouth: "So...just how long did you date the neo-fascist before he moved in?" Like I said, my friend knows my politics...and my lack of tact. Things might have been salvageable...if the boyfriend hadn't walked into the kitchen at that moment.

I don't think I need to detail all of the nasty conversation that followed, but summed up: He called me 1) "a brainwashed liberal who has no idea what it's like to live in the real world"; 2) anti-American; and 3) "a disrepecter of the President". It's nice to be recognised. He didn't even seem too put out that I'd called him a neo-fascist, either. He just shut up when I asked him what the hell he was doing living in Canada if he loves the US so much (hint: call it a meds availability issue) and he stomped (literally) back into the living room.

Needless to say, staying at my friend's place for the whole weekend instantly became a bad idea. As it was, the rest of the evening was rather tense (but remarkably quiet, all things considered). This morning at the Helijet terminal (I lucked out and got a standby seat on a morning flight back to Vancouver) I apologised to my friend (he'd walked over there with me) for the "neo-fascist" wisecrack and any further troubles it might cause between him and the boyfriend.

He accepted it, and we'll probably never discuss what happened last night again (although I got the impression that the boyfriend is soon-to-be-ex), but I think we're both agreed that if the boyfriend is any indicator of the feelings of "Real America", then the US could be in bigger trouble than either of us imagined.

Not a very comforting thought, is it?