Friday, November 03, 2006

The Virtues of Complainte


At this late date, friends, it should come as no surprise that we advocate objections, complaints, outrage, irritation, agitation, and general gadfly-by-nightery. We believe that calls for collegiality and comity are generally little more than thinly veiled attempts to quell dissent and stifle the sort of genuinely agonistic discourse that once -- perhaps in a mythical long ago -- looked like democracy, unfettered inquiry, etc. If we were more Continentally piquant in our thinking, we might even proclaim that consensus is little more than the carnival masque of hegemony, the pleasant soundtrack that enables the deepest of grotesqueries.

You'll further note that the Swill has historically displayed very little patience for firm distinctions between speech and action, between "writing" and "doing something."

Today, friends, we're going to ask a little something different of you, and it's a not inconsiderable request: Put Up or Shut the Fuck Up.

Don't want to live in a gay-baiting, incompetently militaristic, Intelligently Designed, imperial theocracy? Don't want all the downsides of fascism without the compensatory consolation of an efficient railway? Not entirely convinced that mercury is the nicest spice in your fish soup? Think that women should be able to make the choice about when and under what conditions they're going to reproduce?

Well, do something besides complain. The $100 that you sent is fine and necessary -- Thanks! -- but we don't have time right now to lecture you on direct action, fungibility and monetary theory and shit.

Call your local candidate's campaign office. The fact is that you can do something useful -- even if it's only sit in the warm comfort of your own living room and make a few phone calls. Hell, you can even make a few phone calls from somebody else's living room: just go HERE to sign up.

If you like your current representation, and your particular congressional representative isn't running for re-electation right now, or if your particular congressional representative or governor or whomever is in no danger of losing his or her seat, you might think about the fact that your representative doesn't run the whole fucking show. Are you too busy? Are you too tired? Does it seem like a hassle? Are you nervous about calling strangers, or having doors shut in your face?

Boo fucking hoo. Shut the fuck up. We're hardly asking you to storm the Bastille.

You get the point, and we've already written too much for too few people. We're off to spend the next few days in a major metropolitan area, knocking on doors and convincing people to get off their asses and vote for the people we want to represent us.

"Why" you ask?

Well, not because we think we can have a noticable effect. Not because our messiah complex would ever find an outlet in something so quotidian as working in an election. Certainly not because we would lay claim to the baddassery of that guy whose portrait appears above.

No, it's because we would be ashamed to complain if we had spent this weekend taking care of chores, catching up on our reading, or watching sports, or grading papers. And we don't want to shut the fuck up.

We'll see you on Wednesday.

UPDATE: Here's another MoveOn way to get involved this weekend, even if you only have 20 minutes to spare.

5 Comments:

Blogger squeezychortle said...

I'd like to hear the monetary theory/fungibility, cause I'd have to abandon my offspring.

I did lecture my students on voting. 70% aren't even fucking registered to vote.

10:51 AM  
Blogger Swill to Power said...

We kind of expected you to explain the monetary thing. Anyway, don't fuck with us, squeezy: we know for a fact that your kids are in their mid-40s and running a very successful Tarpon-taxidermy business in Boca Raton.

Get on the phone bank.

11:07 AM  
Blogger squeezychortle said...

I'm was the AFT phone bank. And it ain't fun. If you can't believe that fucking union members are ON THE FENCE then you don't know how dumb Americans are.

And, what with the world's fisheries headed towards extinction, I've got the twins (both 43) back home living in the basement. There just aren't as many Tarpon in the sea as there used to be.

12:09 PM  
Blogger Phredward said...

Oh good--I thought that was a Tampon fishery for a minute. Swill, I'm with you: time to hit the pavement or the phonelines. On Wednesday we can talk about storming the Bastille, esp. if the Diebold conspirators (folks we deeply admire) prove right. (I take a particular pleasure, almost a personal one, in Daniel Ortega's return down South. Just thought I'd throw that in. For Paine's amusement.)

12:48 PM  
Blogger Swill to Power said...

Well, we clearly haven't left yet. Before we do...

Phred, consider this an official request for a Swill guest column on Ortega. We know you know of what you will have spoken.

Extra points for outlining the hilarity of Bush Co. accusing Ortega of caudillismo.

1:06 PM  

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