Monthly Archives: October 2012

What Fox News and Limbaugh did to My Dad’s Brain

I just had a disturbing conversation with my Republican Dad, who called Obama “a monkey who rose to the top through affirmative action.”  He revealed the true underbelly of the racist, sexist, homophobic Republican party whose only perspective comes from old white Christian men.  He said “Romney will win by a landslide” even though the polls have them tied for the popular vote and Obama winning more electoral votes.  When I pointed out that under Romney, his four children would have to pay $200k per couple in Medicare costs, he didn’t care.  Partisan politics are more important than his loved ones.  I pointed out that under Romney, Medicaid would be gutted by trillions of dollars, leaving almost one third of our country (77 million) uninsured. The elderly would be kicked out of their nursing homes on to the street.  The mentally ill would have to abandon their medications.  Children would go unvaccinated, causing the return and spread of once-cured diseases.

My Dad is one of the one percent, and I pointed out that he was only voting for his own selfish interests–a tax cut for the wealthy–and not for the good of the country.  I’m too old to have an abortion, but I know I want women, who will have abortions whether they are legal or not, to have them safely.  I don’t benefit from Obamacare, but  I am passionate about insuring 30 million more people and bringing an end to the pre-exisiting conditions prohibition, insuring young adults until they’re 26 years old, capping lifetime costs, and closing the donut hole for the elderly.

I brought up the Republican war on women, and my Dad asked, “What has Obama ever done for women?”  I said that Obama was pro-choice, while  Romney will appoint  pro-life supreme court justices and seek to overturn Roe v. Wade, and that Obama had signed the Lily Ledbetter Act, which provides equal pay for women.

My Dad then said that “‘Women are sluts who should keep their legs closed.  Why should we pay for these sluts’ contraception?”  I pointed out that poor people have sex too and they might not be able to afford the pill.  I didn’t say that Rush Limbaugh’s advertisers all pulled their ads from his radio show when he said this–I was in shock.

I said that Romney would eliminate Planned Parenthood.  He said, “I’m not going to pay taxes for abortions!”  I pointed out that abortion accounts for one percent of Planned Parenthood’s budget, and most of it’s budget goes to paying for cancer screenings for poor women.  My dad can’t conceptualize the poor–they are just lazy people who can’t pull themselves up by their bootstraps.

I argued that Romney would privatize Social Security, and my Dad said I knew nothing about money.  He said that if he’d invested his social security money, he’d have “900k extra money to give you when I die.”  I countered that he lost one million dollars in the crash.  “But the market changes and I got it back,” he said.  “‘What about the people who wanted to retire after the crash and their social security had been wiped out?”  I asked.

My dad believes that he is a self-made man who “never got help from anyone.” Then he said, “Except when my Uncle gave me the job at Turner Construction.”  Well, I never got a job through a relative, that would have been a huge help.  He also seemed to forget that my mother, who worked as an English teacher in Queens, New York’s middle schools, paid the mortgage the first year he bought us our house in an exclusive neighborhood with the best schools, and throughout the slow winters, at a time when women in our village didn’t work.  He also seemed to forget that he got the job as a home inspector which made him rich came from a tip from a neighbor.  He lucked out–he was born a white male WASP who received support from family and friends.

I asked him, “Why is it that Democrats like Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Dave Letterman, Rachel Maddow, all use humor to critique Republicans, while Republicans like Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck all incite fear and hatred through insults and anger and screaming?”  My Dad, who really values humor and who is constantly joking, said, “I’ll grant you that point.  But you know Ann Coulter is my girl.”

I personally know Ann Coulter. She was in my Freshman English Honors class at Cornell.  She hadn’t found politics yet, but she was already a lunatic.  Her comments on literature were the laughing stock of the class.  She wore baggy sweatshirts and madras shorts every day.  A friend of mine was her housemate, and knew her to be an anorexic, living on air popped popcorn and wine.  She had brown hair and a horsey face.  All of my friends and my roommate and I constantly gossiped about how stupid she was.

I used to respect my Dad’s keen intelligence.  We were raised reading the New York Times and listening to Classical music.  But my Dad now finds the New York Times to be too liberal.  He turns on Fox news and leaves it on all day.  He listens to conservative talk radio rather than Classical music.  He rants rather than argue.  He has become illogical and ill informed. Thanks, Fox news and Rush Limbaugh.


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30. Madonna

On Sunday I realized with horror that I had lost my $300 Madonna tickets.  They were not in my desk drawer in my office where I kept our passports, birth certificates, and titles to our cars.  I looked in my bedside table drawers and they were not there either.  I couldn’t think where else to look, and I distinctly remembered putting them in the desk drawer. The concert was on Tuesday  night.

The whole incident reminded me of the time when I missed the Seinfeld show at the Paramount.  Saturday night we had gone to a club where our friend Geoff was playing bass.  Only he didn’t show up.  On Monday as we were driving, Josh asked me when Seinfeld was playing.  “I think it is on the 17th,” I said.

“Karen, it’s the 19th!”  We screamed.  Josh yelled at me.  I didn’t know what had happened to me.  We were supposed to be at Seinfeld when we had gone to the club instead.  I hadn’t checked my calender.  How could I not have looked at my calender?

So Monday we woke up without the tickets.  The morning started at 5:45 a.m. when I got up and opened the door for Ariel, our soft coated wheaten terrier, to go out. Only Syd, our ragdoll cat, escaped, and ran under the fence out into the alley.  Barefoot and wearing my nightgown, I ran across the poop in the yard, down some steps, and out into our parking space which was filled with gravel and pieces of wood.  I picked Syd up and brought him into the house.

A zit the size of a volcano had erupted on half of my face.  My dermatologist prescribed an antibiotic and two creams for my adult acne, so this was rare.  The zit was so huge I wanted to put a band aid over it.

When Josh got up we searched for the tickets to no avail.  Later on I was off to the endodontrics wing of University of Washington hospital for my fourth attempt at my root canal.  The dentist told me he had once flown to L.A. for a U.C.L.A. game without all the tickets for himself and eight friends. He had called Ticketmaster and they emailed him the tickets. He completed the root canal only to tell me I needed surgery.

I got home at 5 p.m. and it was too late to call Ticketmaster.  I didn’t remember what company had sold me the tickets, so I tried my online credit union.  They were remaking the website and said they had given me a temporary password, which I had never received.

Thankfully we had a dinner date at Poco Wine Bar on Capitol Hill (in the other Washington) with our good friend Brad, the brilliant host of a radio show  with a background in liberal talk radio who has interviewed and dated many famous people and always has a good story to tell.  We were talking about how he dated Delilah, who had appeared on Katie.  We ate salted caramel popcorn, macaroni and cheese with prosciutto, and a warm chocolate layer cake.  I needed the comfort food and I felt better.  On my new diet I eat what I want one day a week.  I’ve lost 33 pounds.

Brad said he knew we would find the tickets and everything would work out.  We arrived home at 10 p.m. and we were too tired to look for the tickets for tomorrow’s show.  Josh got up a few times during the night to search for them in my office.

The next morning Josh called Vivid Seats.  He had discovered that he had paid for the tickets and found the record of it in his email.  We asked them to email us the tickets. The man on the phone said he would call us back.  Fifteen excruciating minutes later he said he couldn’t email us the tickets because we were part of a group sale.  We were devastated.  I said I would buy tickets from a scalper for my favorite performer.

If I meditate and listen to my intuition, I have been known to find lost items.  When I was young I used the ouija board to find cleaning supplies and it spelled out exactly where they were.  When I got back from living in Florida for a year,  I used meditation to discover that my passport was in a red purse in my armoire, a place I would never have thought to look.  This time I had a gut feeling that the tickets were in my sock drawer.  That was not a place I would have chosen to put  concert tickets.  I emptied the sock drawer, but found no tickets.

I looked in the back of my night table.  I called Josh in to take a look back there, and we found the tickets in their small envelope two feet away from the sock drawer!

We arrived at the 8 p.m. concert at 7:30 p.m. only to discover that for $300 we had the worst seats in the house.  We were behind the stage and the screen in nosebleed seats.  We looked out on the backstage sets.  I had bought the tickets the first day they went on sale. I complained loudly about the seats because I was pissed.  A Seattelite actually walked down the steps and took a look at my face, then went back to his seat.  No one gets upset in public in Seattle.  Key Arena was about a quarter full.  I insisted we find better seats, while the other passive Seattlites, who also mentioned they paid $150 for each seat, resigned themselves to their fates.

The opening “band” came on after 9 p.m.  It was one man playing turn tables of Madonna songs, with a few other popular songs.  It was the worst opening act I had ever seen.  I didn’t want to hear Madonna songs from anyone other than Madonna live. He went on and on.  Madonna didn’t come on until 10:00 p.m.

A bell rang, and monks dressed in red hooded gowns came out.  A huge incense dispenser swung from side to side.  Madonna came out, wearing a tight black cat suit and a long blonde wig.  She was singing a new song I had never heard before.  She continued to sing unfamiliar songs, including “I shot my lover dead in the head” which featured her shooting an automatic weapon at her dancers, who fell down and the screen nearest to us showed splattered blood.  I remember seeing that she did this number after the Colorado movie theater shooting, which was completely inappropriate and easily could have been cut from the show.

At one point Madonna dressed in a majorette uniform and twirled a baton.  It was kind of sad watching a 53 year old woman wearing a majorette uniform.  I was impressed, however, when she walked a tight rope made of a kind of ribbon in her high heels.

Madonna would sprinkle bits of her hits throughout the show, singing the entire songs only a couple of times.  She did sing “Vogue,” “Express Yourself,” (in which she added the words “born this way” to mock Lady Gaga’s rip off of her song), and “Like a Prayer” for her last song.

I still couldn’t see the main screen, as we were kicked out of our seats by their rightful owners.  Luckily, we found empty seats nearby. I never saw Madonna’s face.  She was so far away she was as small as a Barbie doll. She never sang “Like a Virgin.”

It was by far the worst concert I’ve ever seen and the worst seats I’ve ever sat in and the most expensive tickets I ever bought.

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