Politics and observational bitching aren’t my wheelhouses. There are plenty of places out there for you to read that stuff, so I stick to music and true tales of puking strawberry daquiri into my neighbor’s bushes circa 1979. There’s enough snarkiness on the intergooglewebtubes without me piling on.
But recently I attended a family reunion where I was more or less shoehorned into the role of the whackadoo liberal nephew from California, home of the gays and the hippies. Also, The Beach Boys. At one point I noted that I don’t consider myself a liberal, at which point my extended family uttered a collective “That’s okay, we all do.”
That’s the rub with American politics circa 2012 (or at least American political rhetoric): you’re either a NAMBLA-defending tree sitter or you’re humping your assault rifle while staring at your Reagan poster. I don’t fit either stereotype, nor do most Americans fit these ready-made red and blue clichés.
The majority of us are silent members of the Lemelo Party. Never heard of us? Here’s some information on our organization:
The Leave Me Alone Party, a.k.a. The Lemeloes, was founded by absolutely no one at no specific time. My guess is that it dates to the Colonial era when some Bostonian merchant sitting on a hemp bale said, “What the hell do I care if King George taxes tea? Fie upon him, I’ll drink water. You guys go have your little protest. I’m going to stay here and shoe the pony to this Dolly Madison woodcut I found in the privy.”
We carry no cards, have no meetings, etc. It’s not that we’re apathetic but rather that we don’t think we’re so goddamned special that we need our own exclusive club. No, we vote when everybody else votes, and then we trash that stupid little “I Voted” sticker because it’s nobody’s business. You’ll find us registered with all major parties except the Greens because although we agree with many of their principles they’re just so damned obnoxious about it. Being a Green means trying to convert people and talking about Whale Wars, both of which violate our sole principle of keeping to ourselves.
We believe that being left alone is the single most important component of American life, and also the one that is most endangered. Over the next few weeks I’m going to give you a little primer on various topics from the Lemelo point of view, beginning with:
Regulations: Regulations are a good thing when they lead to us being left alone and a bad thing when they don’t.
Good Regulation: Environmental protections. I live in a valley. Recently I approached said valley from the mountains and got a good look at the air quality. I’m fairly certain that I would breathe cleaner air in an unattended truck stop toilet. I’m one guy — I can’t take on the entire manufacturing sector just to breathe a little fresh air, and neither can you. Your petition isn’t going to fix the problem and neither is your t-shirt nor your impassioned lecture in the Starbuck’s line. Let’s allow the EPA to do their job and you go back to your hacky sack and your jam bands.
And on the non-white boy dreadlocks side of this debate: Loosening EPA standards is not going to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States, so enough with that stupid diatribe. The only things that will bring back jobs are: 1) Companies realizing that they need to balance civic responsibility and profits; and 2) You being willing to pay what things are worth. As long as you keep demanding that you won’t pay more than three hundred bucks for a PC with enough computing power to design and launch a space mission (but that you use to search for Miley Cyrus nip slips), then some eight-year old named Ming is going to have to build it.
Bad Regulation: Pretty much everything involving an airport. I hate flying, which is really saying something since I grew up in airplanes. Modern airports are the antithesis of being left alone. Don’t get me wrong — I want to avoid a terrorist attack as much as anybody, but not at the expense of having my dignity ass-raped by a TSA worker emboldened by his windbreaker. Can you name one other place where you have to remove your belt and shoes, put your hands over your head, and stand there while your cavities are scanned for contraband? If you said “jail” congratulations –you move onto the bonus round.
A quick word about the full body scanners at airports: I don’t really care who sees a shadowy outline of my dick. I’m a guy; therefore, I’m inordinately proud of my junk. If I thought that I could get away with it I’d walk through security with my bare johnson flapping in the Cinnabon breeze. No, it’s the principle of the thing. I’m just trying to get to Denver to work a family tree jigsaw puzzle with my elderly relatives and to do so I have to get patted down like Manson entering a probation hearing. I’m a middle-aged guy traveling with two kids for Christ’s sake.
And I have a list of on-plane grievances, too, but I’ll limit my list to the Lemelo-specific beefs:
1: My ticket entitles me to the rental of one cube-shaped space for the duration of my flight. I don’t know the dimensions, but for the sake of argument let’s call it 20″w x 36″d x 48″h. Why do airline seats recline into my rented space? I’m six feet tall and you’ve crammed so many seats into the cabin that Frodo over there is complaining about the cramped quarters, and now Stuart From Marketing has his head in my lap and my knees are bruised because he slammed his goddamned seat back without warning. I hate you, airlines. You’re violating the core principle of the Lemeloes.
2: Speaking of my imaginary cube, I’m sorry that you are morbidly obese and the airlines have decided that a toddler’s booster seat is adequate for an adult, but that really isn’t my problem. Southwest Airlines was absolutely right with their pay-for-the-seats policy. If you need more than one imaginary cube you need to pay for it. I recently spent three hours sharing most of my seat with a guy who was so big that my nipples were pressed against the window like Billy’s girlfriend’s in Midnight Express. How is that fair to me? If you overlap into my rented space you need to pay for the privilege. Don’t like it? File a class action lawsuit to get American-sized seats in airlines. I’m sure you’ll win.
3: Finally, whatever genius came up with the idea of charging for checked bags needs to be sentenced to three years living with Courtney Love. I know that sounds harsh, but this dude needs an in-depth course on the law of unintended consequences.
See, the fuselage of a plane is a big tube. Running down the center of that cylinder is a floor. Above the floor is where the people sit. Below the floor is where all of their crap goes. But no. Johnny Revenue convinced his boss that income would increase by millions if they started charging for checked luggage because either: a) people would pay extra; or b) they’d leave half their shit at home and the company would save on fuel.
But here comes the unintended consequence: Now all baggage is jammed into the passenger compartment. The bottom half of the tube is emptier than a Beyonce lyric while upstairs I’m getting tea bagged by Businessman Todd for five minutes while he tries to stuff a steamer trunk in the overhead compartment.
Do you have your own concerns about being left alone? Join me on Twitter at #Lemelo and vent away. And tune in next week when I reveal the horrible truth behind Big Gay and their same sex marriage agenda. Are you and your family in grave danger? This and Don Masterson with your accuweather forecast same time next week!