< Piro >
Monday - November 3, 2008
This rant space has been kind of a scary place over the past few years. If you were to attach a health monitor to it you'd probably come to the conclusion that it's been cold, dead and buried with a spork in its chest for a long time. When the stars slip into the right patterns it seems to rise from the grave and totter about like a hungry zombie, seeking the flesh of unwitting readers unfortunate enough to to wander below the fold of the Twitter bar. Here there be No Recent Content. Ph34r the silence.
When you consider what a considerable lack of ability to shut up i suffer from, this issue with the rant space has always been a paradoxical thing. The past two years for me have been the kind that lead to one of two scenarios regarding ranting and blogging: lots and lots or none at all. I guess i fell into the mostly "none at all" camp as i struggled with my first year of being a dad. Combined with the fact that having a 2 comic week was cause for celebration... I'm sure there are more than one of you have been wondering if it wasn't just the rant space that was more than a little dead.
No, I haven't been dead. Mostly dead perhaps, but i've been getting better. I think i can move my arm a little. I'm a slow healer.
The trouble with being mostly dead is that the longer you are mostly dead the more you build up to talk about if you ever become un-dead. I can understand why some of the mostly dead find this so daunting that they decide to stay dead. Luckily, my inability to shut sometimes proves to be useful, and here i think it might save me.
There are a few things besides the need to frighten people that has prompted me to come back to the world of the living. The first is that Jack is going to be one year old on the 9th (this Sunday). It's rather mind boggling to think that a year ago we were awaiting his arrival, completely unaware that he wasn't going to 'arrive' so much as 'impact like a planet destroying meteor' into our lives a little bit earlier than we thought. I think Jack's first year has been a good one - he's a very happy baby and is doing quite well. The prognosis for his parents is a little grim, but when he smiles like this, we find ourselves not minding very much.
The other reason for rousing myself is to write my usual election year nudge to make sure those of you in the States who are old enough (and registered at this point) to vote actually... *vote* today (Tuesday, November 4th).
Like I've said in years past, I don't feel it's my place to promote my personal political leanings. There have probably been things in the twitter feed, within rants or even the comic itself that may give some sense of what my leanings might be, but that's to be expected when you are a stream-of-consciousness unable-to-shut up kind of person like i am. Even in my most self-righteous, majorly pissed-off moments I try to remember that other people may view things a little differently than I do and i should try to understand and respect that. The world would be a better place if more people understood that everyone's views of the world, including their own, are are colored by their own perceptions.
Voting is your opportunity to give a voice to that perception of the world, and you should exercise it.
I don't care what your political leanings are, or if by nudging you to vote i'm encouraging a vote against my own choices. I'd rather my choices loose by people's actions than win by their silence. Not everyone feels this way, but I do.
I always get emails from people who proudly proclaim that they are making a conscious decision not to vote, and go on at great length to explain why. I have no problem with that. In fact, if you have chosen not to vote and feel strongly about your reasons why, you are 'voting', in a way. You've thought things through and made your own decision. I have as much respect for that as for someone who may vote the same way I do. My point is that voting is something to be taken seriously, whether you choose to vote or not, you should make the choice, not let indifference or lack of attention make that choice for you.
So, consider yourself nudged. Just for fun, I had the idea for some visual political spoofing when thinking about writing this today. I found myself doing what hundreds of people have already done - create yet another lame spoof of that infamous "Hope" poster by Shepard Fairey of OBEY GIANT fame. I didn't do this out of deference for the candidate featured in the original poster - there have been spoofs of it in just about every political flavor (including the Swedish Chef and the Soup Nazi) - i deliberately did NOT use his color scheme and went with black and white to express a kind of neutrality. That and it looked more b4d455:
Silly? Perhaps. Not anywhere near as graphic or pop arty as the original or some of the ones on that spoof site, but it didn't come out too bad considering how quickly i did it. The message? Ph34r what will happen if you don't vote? Ph34 what will happen if you do? Ph33r the lines you might have to deal with? Ph33r the morons who might try to get you to fill out a poll or convince you to vote? No political message at all, just Largo being Largo?
I guess it all depends on your perception of all of this. I did a slight variant of it that i think is much easier to understand... it's what we'll all need once this election is over, i swear.