the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Modern Politics


While I was over at Sophia’s place today, she played me all the political messages that were on her answering machine relating to Election Day.  California always has hundreds of confusing initiatives on the ballot, and frankly I’m not sure how most people even understand what they are all about. 

Sophia is a registered Republican and got several messages from her party, including one "directly" from Governor Schwarzenegger himself.  I received messages from the Democratic Party since I’m still registered here in Redondo Beach.

All of the messages contained no clear reason to vote one way or another other than party identification.

As we sat down to catch up on a week’s worth of "All My Children" episodes, Sophia had a sudden urge for watermelon.  We took a walk to the supermarket.  As we left the supermarket with our overpriced watermelon, we were stopped by a scraggly-looking guy who asked us if we wanted to sign a petition against redistricting.  You show me a petition – I think it must be for a good cause.  I agreed to sign it.

Sophia wasn’t as easy a customer.  She asked the Scraggly Petition Guy all sorts of questions.  Even after the guy gave some semi-reasonable answers, Sophia didn’t buy it.  She said she didn’t believe in the petition, so she couldn’t honestly sign it. 

"No problem," said the guy.

He pulled out another petition and handed it to her.

"Then maybe you’ll sign this.  It’s for the opposite side."

Sophia and I glanced at each other.

"What’s going on?" I asked the petition guy.  "You’re petitioning for opposite points of views at the same time?  I’ve never seen this before."

"I’m not petitioning for anything," he answered.  "I get paid a buck a signature by both sides.   He-he-he.  Sweet deal.  You’re sure you don’t wanna sign?"


  1. Tatyana

    …or, to quote last Akaky’s comment @ recent comments on the right: “I couldn’t care less one way or another”.

    That’s how Rome came to its demise.

  2. LisaBinDaCity

    I guess he is an equal opportunity petitioner.

  3. akaky

    Shouldnt that be he’s an equal opportuner? Although you cant really get good opportuner these days, what with the dolphins drowning in the nets and the penguins drowning because of those damn oilers. Enough to give anyone the blues, I think.

  4. brando

    i don’t know much about politics. but hey, you should write about Jack Abramoff and Indian casinos. that would be funny.

  5. Neil

    re: unfunny Jack Abramoff/Indian Casino post that was on for one hour yesterday before I deleted it —

    Brando, that was a low point in my blogging career. Let’s keep it between us. I already apologized for naming Chief Sitting Bull’s beautiful Jew-crazy daughter “Opening Thighs.” Sophia came home yesterday and saw the post and said, “This shitty post is even shittier than before. Delete it before Brando reads it and feels superior. He never writes bad posts.”

  6. brando

    oh dude, i was just teasing, not feeling superior. i’m sorry, bad joke. (i actually read it on bloglines, and thought it was very creative). i hope you don’t think i would feel superior to anyone in the blogosphere, because i can barely stand to read my own posts after writing them (which is a big reason i turn off comments). you rock, neil.

  7. Neil

    I didn’t realize that when you delete something, it still stays on Bloglines. Hey, if I knew you would like it, I would have kept in on.

  8. He's Dead, Jim!

    Your petitioner is on the “Capitalism” side of the ballot, obviously. It speaks volumes that the breadth of his pocketbook overrides any principle he might hold.

  9. brando

    well, i liked it, but i think sophia is very bright, and would defer to her judgment. but yeah, once you commit a post to ‘publish’ even if you delete it, it still shows up on bloglines (and any other RSS feed reader).


  10. groovebunny

    Those petitioner guys get paid per signature? Well then someone just made $3 bucks off me today. lol

  11. Tovah

    And we live in an unprincipled capitalist society. How scary is that. Unprincipled people who only care about making a buck.

  12. Bama Girl

    I’m so over this special election. I’ve never heard of “prop” until I moved to California.

  13. -RM

    hmm…I can’t stand this type of opportunistic person, only because I am like that. Why can’t there be any decent people in this world. Also, Neil, don’t go signing just any petition out there, I swear one of those is going to sign your soul over to the devil. I shit you not, you’re just going to sign and the devil himself will pop out of your ass or something.

  14. schuey

    this guy is absolutely brillant ! Actually he is my new hero !

    Now if you excuse me, I have to watch cars getting nuked by some angry french people…

  15. Denise

    The Gov must be busy because I, too, had a personalized message from him on my machine tonight. (I also had messages from six other people who were so committed to their causes that they had to pick up the phone and call me. Very touching, really.)

  16. Lon Cohen

    That guy is the same kinda guy who would give blood and sperm on the same day.

  17. helen

    Dun be too hard on that guy. He’s just making a living. lol

    Republicans or Democrats also got to eat too….. to fight another day.

  18. akaky

    I refuse to accept responsibility for the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. I thought that was Eddie Gibbon’s fault. It says so on all those damned square books of his.

  19. Atomic Bombshell

    I dread going to the polls today…

  20. Heather

    Whoa. That’s the worst crap I’ve ever heard.

    Yet again, Neil, please tell me that this is not true…

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