On The Menu

Yesterday, while unwinding from work, I found myself plopped on the couch watching a rerun of Family Guy. The episode was a takeoff of the 1982 film, “Poltergeist,” and was entitled “Petergeist.” (For you non-viewers of this subversively—and sometimes inappropriately—funny animated comedy, Peter is the family patriarch.) In one scene, upon finding themselves homeless and hungry, the Griffin family visited a soup kitchen. They sat down at a table and were waited upon by a staff person. The following exchange ensued:

WOMAN: “Hi and welcome to the soup kitchen. I’ll just start you off with a basket of pizza crusts and apple cores. Oh, and we do have one special today. It’s an avocado pit with a little bit of avocado still on it, and that comes on a ripped pair of boxer shorts.”

PETER: (examining a menu) “Now, I’m trying to decide between the tossed spaghetti on a newspaper and the half yogurt with a balled-up tissue in it.”

Later in the evening, I returned to the couch to watch NCIS, which was aired on the CBS affiliate out of Hartford. During the show’s commercial breaks, I was repeatedly subjected to political ads from Connecticut’s two U.S. Senate candidates, Linda McMahon and Richard Blumenthal. The ads were pointedly negative. The candidates “approved” of them nonetheless. I did not.

Come this Election Day, the citizens of Connecticut will be forced to choose between the CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment and the state Attorney General, between a woman who “made a fortune from…[a business that] lives off performance-enhancing drugs, violence and the exploitation of young people” and a man who “abysmally erred in lying when he said that he had fought in Vietnam.” That’s some choice.

It got me to thinking about the Family Guy episode, about the limited and distasteful options presented to the family at the soup kitchen. Who wants to eat if forced “to decide between the tossed spaghetti on a newspaper and the half yogurt with a balled-up tissue in it”? Who wants to vote if forced to decide between an exploiter and a liar?

I’m not suggesting that people abstain from voting. But I think a lot of Americans, myself included, are tired of holding their noses while they do so. What’s a concerned citizen to do?

6 thoughts on “On The Menu

  1. Sometimes it’s okay to abstain for a real reason,not because you’re just apathetic.
    In 2000 and 2004 I
    couldn’t stand any of the candidates for President or VP.
    Bush used chicanery and lies to screw McCain in 2000.I think McCain wouldn’t have invaded Iraq.
    In 2004,Kerry wouldn’t get my vote with aa gun to my head and neither would Bush.
    I wound up voting for some guy whose name escapes me-he was a Libertarian.
    I’d probably vote reluctantly for McMahon in CT just so Obama couldn’t get another Kagan on the Supreme Court.
    BTW how’s that working out?
    She had to recuse herself from almost half the cases before the Court this session.Didn’t Obama consider that?It’s a non-ideological,but extremely serious problem.
    Every day that passes gives one more example of why electing Obama was a real case of national insanity.He just hasn’t got the experience for the job.I don’t think he was ever under pressure until now.
    Bad place to start a learning curve.
    I once had a situation where I had no good choice-there were two worst case scenarios and they were mutually antagonistic(a mediacl problem)-I took the lesser of the two risks and still nearly checked out(too bad I didn’t ,hey klaus?)but miserable bastard that I am,I’m still here to spit in the punchbowl.

  2. I heard part of a campaign commercial for McMahon that was supposed to ‘appeal to women’. I think the ‘Mama Grizzlies’ are the type of women who will call the cops every time your dog gets loose while their sons make tire tracks on your lawn at 3am. They’re the kind that will vote to cut funds from the local school when they have pulled their kids out of it anyway.
    Sorry– I grew up in the ‘burbs and it comes back on me sometimes.

    1. Well,whoopee do,you grew up in the ‘burbs.
      I grew up in the inner city where between hearing everyone’s domestic wars and the elevated train screeching around a curve every ten minutes,when I moved to a neighborhood with a subway,I couldn’t sleep.
      I lived in a couple of suburbs for a few years in Illinois-in one case in an apartment development which wasn’t exactly peaceful or bucolic,and in the other case in a cookie cutter tract of townhomes.
      I swore I’d never live in a suburb again-city or country,that’s it.
      I actually didn’t bring up the mama grizzly issue-it’s a silly campaign act like most campaign acts.
      And BTW my kids went to public schools,and one went to a public college-so there.I know you’d enjoy it if I were a hypocrite,but I’m just a very opinionated individual.
      The Kagan issue is a real and serious one-we shouldn’t have to see a case work its way to the Supreme Court and take a chance on a draw.That’s why there’s an odd number.
      Sotomayor MIGHT have to recuse herself if a case she ruled on as an appellate judge comes up,but that would also apply to Breyer,Ginsburg,Roberts,Alito,Scalia-heck,all of them,but it seldom occurs.
      Kagan having been a recent advocate on so many cases,may find herself on the sidelines a lot.
      Ginsburg was a policy maker and advocate for the ACLU,but she never steps aside on cases they are litigants in.That’s because she has no ethics.

  3. Obama-haters like “observer” are relentless! They have ideed succeeded in poisoning the debate.

    But I think our President has done a (mostly) excellent job and kept a cicil tone despite incredibel abuse (example above with regard to “insanity”) including succeeding at:

    stabilizing the economy when it was tanking;
    saving the auto industry;
    curbing the worst abuses of credit card companies, Wall St speculators, and health insurers;
    expanding health coverage in the US, especially to children;
    starting to make needed investments in infrastructure, especially in long-neglected railroads and needed alternative energy;
    stopped the use of torture (as far as we know;)
    extended unemployment assistance to long-term unemployed;

    In all these areas the Republicans were opposed, and in some cases succeeded in reducing the effectiveness. In other cases, such as dealing with climate change, campaign finance reform, repealing anti-gay laws, they succeeded in blocking his efforts.

    As for Kagan, an exdellent choice, but she will have to phase in activity because working as Solicitor General she was already involved with some of the cases. She is far better than corporate hacks like Roberts, Alito. who always side with corporate interests over workers and consumers, and have allowed the unleashong of unlimited corporate and fat cat money to buy the elections.

    Those who want to supress rights for gays, workers, don’t care about the unemployed or the environment, should indeed vote for the Republican candidtes.

    In my judgement, the one big Obama error is expanding the war in Agghanistan.

    1. Yes,I do hate what Obama is trying to do to this country.
      I DON’T hate workers(having come from a working class family),gays(I don’t give a damn about them one way or another),”minorities”,since that would describe most of my family,and I don’t like the corporate wing of the Republican party.
      What I want is enforcement of immigration laws,less micro management of the daily lives of citizens,no “hidden” taxes like the 3.8% on home sales,a direct betrayal of the $500,000 capital gains exemption on home sales(owner occupied),no more intrusive gun control schemes from the NYC brunch crowd(we already have effective laws),and NO cap and trade,which will bankrupt ordinary citizens who might want to turn a light on.
      So there you have it.I guess we won’t be having a coffee together.

    2. One more thing-saying I’m “poisoning” the debate is another example of leftist demonization of divergent opinion.Go abck to your little red book for pointers on how to counteract terrible people who’d dare to not kiss Obama’s rear end.
      Two years and out.Hopefully roadblocked in Congress.

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