Thursday, July 20, 2006

Where's the Plurality?

Today I've discovered yet another reason our two-party system is failing America. I've always been of the opinion that we need more political parties. Not that I am naive enough to believe we only have two, but in reality we only have two that anyone gives a crap about. You know why? Because somewhere along the lines these two parties found it both expedient and useful to write into the rules of Congress that only the Democrats and Republicans get special privileges, which, in essence makes them superior in ability and access. Democrats and Republicans get special treatment and have special rights in our lawmaking and electoral process.

This, however, has led to a gigantic vacuum of progress and responsibility. Because they know that there will only be two contenders in every major political race, neither party actually has to DO anything. They can sit around and argue and bicker and vote pay raises for themselves, knowing full well that all they have to do is send some Federal money back home and blame the other party for all of life's problems.

This is what a multi-party government can bring to us. When there are an enormous amount of parties all vying for seats and influence, they are forced to actually take positions on things and be innovative in campaigning. They are forced to work for the betterment of society or else risk losing their seat and power, perhaps forever.

A multi-party system also forces political opponents to work together and build coalitions. You don't see any of this propagandist polarization in multi-party governments because without the support of many different people, you cannot govern.

All of these are reasons why I'm an avowed independent. I tried to vote in my primary yesterday and was barred from doing so, unless I was willing to declare a party affiliation. Well, I have principles.

Friday, June 02, 2006

A New Frontier

I have had this space reserved and planned for quite some time now, but it has been a struggle to actually post anything. I envisioned this blog as a place for me to explore ideas and vent frustrations over serious issues. However, it seemed rather pretentious to make the first post something so grandiose or over the top serious. That's just not cool. So with that in mind, here is my first attempt at posting:

Recently I've found myself living in Kansas City, which is a weird enough phenomenon on its own. During this experience I have had occasion to attend several baseball spectacles at Kauffman Stadium, enjoying not only the friendly fountains in the outfield, but the reasonably priced and relatively clean seats (in contrast to those on the East Coast). On top of the value, the ineptitude of the franchise guarantees that nearly every seat will be available to every single game.

This season the Royals (or TurdBirds, as the locals have taken to calling them) have reach new heights in incompetence, fielding one of the worst teams of all time (and that includes my 3rd grade T-Ball squad on which I was the star player). Even when a team loses, most of the time fans are loyal and longsuffering, but there is an inevitable breaking point. Kansas City reached that point exactly two days into the 2006 baseball season. No one is holding out hope anymore and are actively rooting for the only attainable goal this year: breaking the Major League record for losses in a season (120, set by the first-year expansion NY Mets back in 1962).

As an outsider I have been reveling in the unique joy that is a rogue fan base. So many people who have endured so many awful seasons are having their hearts ripped out as they bite their lips and endure the national media attention that comes with such futility. This is painful for so many involved, even as they pretend not to care. I seem to be one of the few immune to such horror as I could not care less if the team was boxed up and shipped to Somalia.

That is until last week.

I was attending a two-week intensive class that ran for four hours every weekday evening and concluded around 9:30pm. This happened to coincide nicely with the end of the fourth quarter of whatever NBA playoff game happened to be scheduled for the evening. Since I also do not have cable television and the NBA has seen fit to keep the preliminary rounds away from the telling eye of the impoverished and paranoid, I had been looking forward to listening to said broadcasts on the way home.

As I entered my car for the thirty minute trek I switched on the local ESPNRadio affiliate only to hear... yep, you guessed it, Frank Stallone... the Royals broadcast. Apparently the Kansas City affiliate for NBA playoffs had also yet to find a way out of their Royals broadcast contract. In my opinion it would be better to lose the money than subject the good-hearted mid-western people to that form of torture, but then again, I am not a programming executive for any media outlet (praise be to God).

This left me with the unenviable task of guessing when JT The Brick would be doing NBA updates and tune in at exactly the right time to avoid hearing any of his ridiculous voice or incoherent, illogical, inane banter.

The moral of the story folks, is that the Kansas City Royals are not just a baseball team, but an uncontrollable Juggernaut sent by the forces of evil to stomp upon the comfort and sanity of people everywhere. This menace will not be confined to Kansas City for long, it has savaged me and it will soon be knocking at your door. Be on you guard, therefore, and do not let the Royals drag you down with them.