November 07, 2006


So, I must admit, I've become a bit fashion-obsessed since this summer.

I'm sure it has more than a little to do with living in Los Angeles.

You can also chalk some of it up to having a European girlfriend who was constantly harping that I'm too old to keep dressing like a student.

Of course, it really started with Ozwald Boetang. He is, by far, the coolest brother I've ever seen in an orange, hand-made suit. And, after seeing his handiwork, both on his show, as well as in movies like "Miami Vice" and "Gangster No. 1", not to mention Jamie Foxx for the last two Oscars, I've now determined that I need to make a big sale JUST to have a hand-made suit from Boatang.

But what REALLY pushed me over the edge was the film "The Devil Wears Prada". I'm not going to give a big, long, Macroscopic review like I usually do. Let's just say that I got a subscription to Men's Vogue that night.

Yes, it's true. I think I'm officially a metrosexual.

Of course, I've always been aware of clothes. Old friends are quite familiar with my "Theory of Ugly Uniforms" - i.e. sports teams with ugly uniforms NEVER win championships. Think about it - if you have on whack gear, how can you feel good about yourself? And if you don't feel good about yourself, how can you possibly feel like a champion? And if you don't FEEL like a champion, how can you possibly BECOME a champion?

Consider the Detroit Pistons - during the "Bad Boys" era, they had the classic, simple blue & red uniforms. They won back-to-back championships. But, for years, despite having a guy like Grant Hill, one of the most talented players in the game, they could never match that success.

During those same years, they also had this rediculous teel uniforms with some stupid iron horse logo.

Then, a few years back, they changed to a modernized version of the classic blue & red. Got some great talent.

Champions again.

L.A. Clippers - take note.

Point being, the same, ultimately, applies to non-athletes. You can't really expect to conquer the world in sweatpants and a thread-bare t-shirt. I have a good friend who used to call that particular combination of clothes her "I Give Up On Life" uniform.

I once argued with a friend that I refused to buy silk boxers - after all, why spend so much money for something that is ultimately going to wrap around my ass?

And my friend replied - "Of course you should spend alot of money for something to wrap around your ass. It's YOUR ass!"

In short, I put alot more thought and care into what I put on my body these days.

But it was only after I'd walked out of my local polling place today that I realized what I'd done:

My favorite crimson polo shirt from Structure, great pair of jeans LagunaSport jeans, and these excellent cream-colored Italian sport shoes I got as an absolute steal on Melrose.

Yes. It's election day, and I'm wearing red, white, and blue.

In case anyone was wondering, I am an American.

I'm a patriot.

And, just like anyone who's sick to death watching something they love sink deeper and deeper into corruption and dispair, today is, as Andrew Sullivan said, not an election. It's an intervention.

I'm also a liberal. So, here are some things I believe, and how they dictate how I vote.

1. Generally speaking, I only vote for candidates I believe in. Which means I didn't vote for anyone for governor. It also means that I didn't vote for Diane Feinstein (she's too conservative for me) or Diane Watson (what the Hell does she actually DO, anyway?) - no big loss for these ladies, seeing how they're running unopposed. I also didn't vote for Cruz Bustamante - call it payback for running in the stupid recall election, splitting the Democratic vote, and helping to give us the Governator. See ya later, Cruz.

2. I don't vote for bond initiatives. No matter what they're for. Unless it's an emergency, like the War Bonds they issued to defeat the Nazis or something like that. Generally speaking, bonds represent a certain point of view on how government should work that I don't agree with. And bonds have only become really popular because we've come to deify the market while simultaneously demonizing the notion of taxes. If we, as a people, collectively agree that something is important, instead of of selling off pieces of the country to the highest bidder to help pay for it, why don't we just pony up ourselves for the things that matter? Instead of asking each person to contribute a fair share to the maintenance of the nation, we're begging the rich to lend the state the money, at a significant mark-up. That just strikes me as fundamentally unpatriotic. I mean, think about it - George Bush is saying that the War in Iraq is the definitive conflict of our lifetime. And yet, not only is he asking us to give LESS money to support said effort (in the form of these insane, unfunded tax cuts), but we've issued treasury bonds that we have to pay interest on to pay for it.... most of which are being bought by China.

So, generally speaking, bonds are bad. We have the money. Let's just pay for it. Moreover, I think bonds encourage waste on the legislature's part. It's like having a high limit credit card - it doesn't exactly encourage fiscal responsibility.

3. The ONLY exception I'll make on bonds are those that are issued for education-related initiatives. Especially now, since we've been saddled with an unfunded Federal mandate called "No Child Left Behind", the future of the country, dare I say, even the world, depends on us getting education right. Don't believe me? Watch "The Wire" on HBO. You'll see what I'm talking about.

4. I don't vote for Republicans. With VERY few exceptions. When I lived in New Jersey, I voted for Christine Todd Whitman for governor back in the mid '90's against Jim MacGreevy (even then, as a born & bred Democrat, I had a sense that MacGreevy couldn't be trusted -
who knew?). And I think, given the fact that her new book is called "It's My Party, Too: Taking Back the Republican Party", you get the idea that she's not your typical Republican. As you know, my brother is a Republican, and I have nothing but respect for his opposing viewpoint. But the way his party's leaders conduct themselves politically and during elections themselves - voter surpression (usually targeted against Blacks), exploitative ads (usually done at the expense of Blacks), push polls, robo-calls, sometimes down-right violence - these people are fundamentally un-American. You want to legitimately debate the issues, fine. But Jim Crow is illegal, gang. Until the stink of Lee Atwater and Karl Rove and the Nixon "Southern Strategy" is washed away from the GOP, they will NEVER get my vote. I'll sooner leave the ballot blank.

So, yes, friends, I DID vote, today. I always vote. But I did not vote for Phil. Or Arnold. Or Peter Camejo. I know longer vote for fear.

But I happily voted for Mark Ridley Thomas and Jerry Brown and Debra Bowen. I gladly voted for Prop 87, to tax the oil companies to fund alternative energy research. And I gladly voted for public financing here in California.

And now, I'm going to the movies. :-) After all, nothing else is really going to happen this election day until midnight.
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