By Michael J. Smith on Monday July 16, 2012 08:40 PM

I may have mentioned the depressing fact that my college alumni mailing list is all full of The Most Important Election Since God Was A Small Boy, and of course my old school ties are nearly all dedicated Democrats.

I was incautious enough to make my own jaundiced views known, and there is now a petition campaign to revoke my diploma. One fellow-alum suggested that I was probably on Karl Rove's payroll. (Christ, I wish I were on somebody's who paid better than my current paymasters.)

This was a kind of hippie college, back in the day, where everybody thought he or she was was a bold original thinker. I suspected it was oversold even at the time, but now I'm sure of it. I may turn my diploma in even before they revoke it. These people, it's like an Elks Club dinner; some rare old cliches there, as the Ginger Man says, hauled out and flung down on the table with the air of a man holding a royal flush.

The same chap who suspected I was a crypto-Rovester also wrote:

Hopefully no one has succumbed to the voter ennui which Michael has been attempting to spread.
This cheered me up a lot. Last time I looked, ennui seemed to have possessed about 40% of the eligible population, even in 2008, a year of relatively high turnout due to Obiemania.

I seem to have been spreading ennui like Johnny Appleseed; even in '08, None Of The Above won by a substantial plurality. I am officially taking all the credit for his victory, right here and now.

(I haven't tried calculating how many electoral votes NOTA would have received; that would be a fun project for somebody wonkier than I am. All of them, I should think.)

There's a constitutional amendment for you: any time non-voters are a plurality, leave the office vacant. Or better yet, fill it by lot. The Athenian democracy filled a number of offices by lot, and so did the Venetian Republic. We could hardly fail to do better, picking people at random, than we do with our present Rube Goldberg apparatus of primaries and caucuses and what not, which attracts all the worst people as contenders, and gives rise to an unhealthy spirit of fanship among about 60% of the involuntary spectators. Fortunately fan sentiment is more or less evenly divided between Crips and Bloods.

What are we to think of this non-fan 40%? Are they stupid? Or do they have their reasons?

Whatever -- I'm with 'em. There's more of them than there are of Republicrat fans, or Demolican fans. Safety in numbers.

Comments (23)


Be grateful that your erstwhile hippie alums were not so scandalized by your suggestion that alumni association officials had to "apologize for any distress that it may have caused others".

My mother just died in a horrible event, in which a negligent mail truck driver, having forgotten to deliver a piece of mail to her box and failing to notice that she was at that moment retrieving her mail, rapidly backed up and smashed her to pieces. I am now feeling, and I hope to hang on to this feeling, that nearly everything in this insane asylum world is utterly meaningless and stupid. Elections are worthy of not just ennui but contempt by anyone with a brain. Everything damn near is all about the money all of the time. Birth, life, death, all just reasons for commercial transactions and little more. I am an atheist but I am having a mass said for my mother. Even this seems all about the money. And three of my four brothers and sisters seem to be lusting for a lawsuit against the postal service. We don't even have her ashes yet (cremains is the proper and most repulsive word). So fuck elections, fuck the news, fuck the supreme court, fuck Joe Paterno, fuck (pick your favorite), fuck, fuck, fuck.


Oh fuck indeed, Michael. What words could possibly be any good? So very very deeply sorry, brother.


So very sorry for you Michael, a warm, tight embrace your way.

Jesus Christ, Michael, I am so sorry.


Sad, sad. Condolences, Mr. Yates. Mail trucks and courier type vehicles are equipped with plenty of convex mirrors and possibly backup cameras too, so it may be worthwhile investigating whether the driver was actually using these devices. These accidents are more common than one would think (possibly because with more aerodynamic vehicles, rear visibility is getting poorer) although things are supposed to improve in a few years.


citizen yates:


"What words could possibly be any good"

like throwing a stone at the moon


Mr. Yates,

No. Words are no good at all. No words. None. Yet I cannot walk away without leaving a comment, so I will add, lamely, I am so sorry for the news.

My beautiful young friend Ame who died last month, said to me a few years ago, "sometimes I think everything is stupid." She was right, of course.

Mr. Smith,

Sweet place you have here, with lovely visitors, too.


Condolences, comrade Yates. So very sorry and sad to hear this. Hope you and your family are doing as well as you possibly can. Take care.

Jersey Patriot:

Good God that is truly awful. Many condolences to you and your family at this time.


Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent. -wittgenstein

Does anyone know the composer of the music that begins at 2 minutes in this disturbing video?




something to counter ennui..


Why is it disturbing for you, Boink? Age of the pianist and thoughts of a "tigerish" practice regimen? For myself I'd rather watch a senior citizen who can still tickle the ivories.


There was something weird and upsetting about her hand position. Carpal tunnel on the way for that one, I fear. Then of course she's got all that technique, and she's given utterly inconsequential boring music to play -- all about showing off the preternatural premature chops. It's really everything I hate about the Virtuoso Pianist trope.

But this is probably just envy, since I personally can barely find middle C -- on a good day.


What you said is part of it, sk. Then there are my high chair era memories, trying to find my mouth with both hands for purposes of nutrition. But "Twinkle, Twinkle" in that arrangement seems just wrong for that performer at this point in her "career". Any ideas about whose work it is? Anyone? A little "research" (wiki, of course) shows that Erwin Schulhoff did 10 variations and fugue on the theme, but I am doubting that this is that. Harmonically it reminds me of William Alwyn's piano compositions but my "research" abilities have petered out.

Kana Yoshihara by the way has pulled down 3 gold cups going back to 2009 at least so she is not exactly a newcomer.

Actual newcomers look more like this in Japan:


L'ennui de l'escalier.


I have a vague notion that the twinkle twinkle is Copland. I do believe I have heard that before.

Oh and it's nice to see that IOZ is still in the land of the living. One misses the blog.

Merkin in Montreal:

Comrades, never mind the Ennui Schmennui in the homeland! Today was a fine day in the rest of the world. First, we learned that the British airport immigration agents and train workers announced a strike during the excellent Olympic games:


Just when we thought we had enough good news for the day, we got another cause for celebration (or an excuse to indulge in more drinking!). The Quebec Human Rights Commission slammed Law 78 and declared it “inapplicable”. You may recall that the Special Law or Law 78 went in effect back in May to institute the same draconian laws that we already have in Dumbfuckistan: no protests without permits and no picket lines in colleges, etc. But we got a reprieve today. According to our awful Anglophone rag, the Montreal Gazette, noting that the Quebec’s Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms takes precedence over other legislation and no law can supersede it, the Commission states in its 56 page analysis that most of Law 78’s articles must be declared inapplicable. Yippee! Yes, We Can!



Merkin, you cheer me greatly.


Here's some stateside news to cheer you. Although the protestors are younger—and comelier—in Egypt, yet I suspect their chances of ending up in front of a sympathetic judge are still somewhat lower than in the land of a million lawyers.


Too ‘funny,’ ABC has a piece advising how to talk to children about the corrupted, MIC/CORP infested from the top: Cali STATE “UC” system jobless STEM student who snapped, yet can’t be bothered explaining how to talk to children about a country that drops daily remote control bombs from Nevada on entire villages of brown people.....(for just one thing they might want to explain to children, if they really cared about children).


(sorry, meant to more clearly attach the word "CORRUPTED" ...to the STATE SKOOL SYSTEM, not to the one who snapped)


the Brit, Dickens, may have been a prick, ... in many of his actions, but, one thing that rang true, beneath the lines, ... empathy is immortal ...it is (in fact, so many have died trying to save the lives of other humans) a human trait, it seems to be a trait of mammals ....mourning their dead .... it touches us all .... and it will live forever

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