Domestic Franchise Abuse

Kage Baker, as I have often noted, was heavily in favour of voting.  The exercise of one’s franchise was a dearly bought privilege, as her studies of history taught her: she appreciated that. And we were in the first batch of under-21’s to be allowed to vote in California, which was a memorable honour.

Also, being strongly opinionated but dreadfully shy, Kage loved a way to express herself that did not involve arguing with other people. Also, a way that  could not be dismissed out of hand: her side might lose, but no one could automatically discount or ignore her vote. It had to be counted.

She kept close track of politics, feeling that as a corollary to voting, one ought to be informed as to what the hell was going on. Besides, doing the research herself let her check what she wanted, not be force fed by some partisan volunteer. Volunteers are frequently uninformed, unscrupulous and untruthful. Please try not to take offense if any of you are or have been political volunteers, Dear Readers. Heck, Kage and I both did it in our youth. But that was how we discovered that some people volunteer because they desperately want political power but are not even as electable as a popular cartoon …

They are the folks who have made life in Los Angeles a living hell the last month. Today we all go to the polls to elect a new mayor in a close-run and contentious campaign; raving, hair-burning, wild-eyed party flacks have been knocking on our doors, littering our lawns, monopolizing our telephone lines and buttonholing us in front of all the local grocery stores the entire freaking time …

It’s almost enough to make one withhold one’s vote, out of sheer pique. Not to mention the frustration of getting 4 calls from some candidate’s flunkies in an afternoon: obviously, they don’t have the manners or competence to keep track of who they have called. Then there are the knocks on the door, usually well after dark – you can hear them coming up the street by the sound of hysterical dogs howling. This morning being The Day, the first  door knocker arrived at … wait for it … 5:30 AM.

Guess what, Eric Garcetti? Had I been considering voting for you before, I sure wouldn’t be now.

The Corgi – who nearly went through the front window in his urgent desire to eat the dawn intruder – has since frightened off three more of them. They’ve been wandering up and down the street like zombies.

We’ve gotten calls today from all candidates for every office, Speaker of the House Willie Brown, and Bill Clinton.  They were all recordings, sadly, or I would have told them what I think of all of them by this point.  If I hear about Garcetti’s childhood memories of Carvel soft-serve one more time, I am gonna scream … anyway, Carvel: small potatoes, Valley boy. I remember Currey’s.

Nor do I care about anyone famous’s opinion for or against marijuana – famous people have no trouble getting marijuana if they need it, so their opinion counts for nothing. And if they are against medical marijuana, they can afford plenty of other medical care and their opinion counts for even less.

I have researched the issues. I have made out my sample ballot. I will indeed be voting. But I am sick of all this grand-standing and yammering. The only reason Kage still walked to the polls, really, was that she liked the stickers they handed out … as do I. I like keeping score. But this is ridiculous.

Next election, I am mailing in my ballot. I am putting up a NO TRESPASSING sign on the lawn. I’m hanging a chain, a gate and a row of barbed wire on the porch. I may wire the door knocker to give electric shocks. And I am recording a new message on the phone:

You have reached XXX-XXXX and no one wants to answer the phone. If you are calling for normal business, leave your name and a number. If you are calling for anything political – anything at all – hang up now. We will not talk to you. Now go away or we’ll subscribe your candidate to the nastiest magazines we can find.


About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Domestic Franchise Abuse

  1. Athene says:

    Actually, to be completely accurate, Eric Garcetti isn’t a Valley Boy. He’s LA Metro born and bred. Wendy Gruel is the Valley Girl. I know my tribe, fer shure.

    Still, I am mighty sick of Carvel these days and I don’t even eat that much ice cream.


    • Kate says:

      Really? His ads – at least the one where he talks about getting soft-serve from Carvel – say he grew in the Valley. What’s the point in changing that? Weird.But really – soft serve? From Carvel? When you could get even 31 Flavors? Man’s got no taste.

      I just came home from seeing Star Trek: Into Darkness, BTW, and found a late Mitch O’Farrel flyer on the door. Aaaargh! On the other hand, I have now finally seen Cumberbatch, and he’s really quite good. I can now accept him as the Voice of Smaug.



  2. Mark says:

    From the opposite end of the Valley, I hear you…

    ….except it has been the Gruel campaign that have been the nuances out here. Including a 6 am GOTV call after I’d read them the riot act for calling earlier in the week, and an honest-to-god political dirty trick recorded call that let me know “as a fellow Republican” that Garcetti was for gay marriage and illegal immigrants….with no identification who made the call… Probably the difference has to do with our different party registration.

    Makes me wish for a legitimate “none of the above” slot on the ballot…..which if it won, would require an immediate snap election in 30 days, with all prior candidates who lost to NOTA banned from running for the office for 6 years. I suspect *both* of these losers could not beat NOTA.


  3. Kate says:

    Mark – maybe they tossed coins for who got to be a pain in the ass in each area. You got Gruell, we got Garcetti. It’s enough to make you miss. Sam Yorty … almost. Still, either of them is Villaraigosa!


    • Mark says:

      I remember “traveling” Sam! Was there any office that he *didn’t* run for?
      …and no, I won’t miss “Mayor Viagra” as my friend the city council aide calls him…


  4. Cal says:

    Was there a Carvel outlet in the valley during Garcetti’s childhood? I grew up in L.A., and never heard of Carvel until I moved to Connecticut.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.