By at 7:47 AM Monday, March 5th 2012

 

The Politics Of Dancing: An Election Year Blog By Dick Valentine

Electric Six, Blogs

 

I am honored to have been asked by Antiquiet to do a little political blogging during the season of this 2012 American presidential contest. As a touring musician, I have a lot of downtime when I’m on the road… and even more when I’m off the road. Over the last decade, I’ve found myself becoming quite the fan (and troll) of countless political blogs from both sides of the only two points of view that we are allowed to have. After years of reading and posting thousands of cowardly anonymous comments, I am ready to take the plunge and post my own political blog, with my own opinions. I have always feared confrontation and I don’t want anyone to yell at me or be angry with me. Just take it easy.

The modern American political discourse is hilarious. It’s amazing to see people have such strong opinions concerning people they’ve never met. Of course, that people have strong opinions concerning people they’ve never met is the desired effect. If the electorate is led to believe that politicians can destroy livelihoods or make everything super-awesome with a single vote, then they are going to seek out more and more media to learn more about these people or to validate their opinions. People seeking out more and more media see more advertising on websites and buy more books written by Bill O’Reilly. If you are willing to become Satan incarnate to half the people in this country, you stand a real good chance of selling copies of your hardcover book about keeping hippies off your lawn to the other half.

As a self-professed political coward, I know from experience that the easiest copout is to say “I’m a single-issue voter.” I used to be able to say that with regards to the presidency, but unfortunately the whole Bush / Cheney / Rumsfeld / Wolfowitz experiment in Iraq that began 9 years ago has transformed me into a two-issue voter. I used to honestly say, “I’m voting for the candidate I most want to see on television.” Now I say, “I’m voting for the candidate I most want to see on television and the candidate least likely to start an ill-conceived ‘pre-emptive’ military engagement with Iran.” As it was in 2008, that candidate, to me, is Barack Obama.

Now, we’ve got all summer to discuss the ins and outs of the second part of my voting formula, the Iran part. I’m not getting into that right now. I’m going to focus on the first part, the part about voting solely based on whom I want to see on television. It really is that simple. Taxes? I’ve never honestly felt the impact of tax fluctuation one way or the other at any point in my life. I can’t say that Bush being president made me plan my financial life any differently than I did when Clinton was president. And now that Obama is there, same thing. Nothing’s changed. And no matter how many talking heads on the cables or drunk uncles in Ohio tell me that taxes going up or down should anger me or stoke some sort of emotion out of me… it just hasn’t happened yet.

Go up and down the list. Education. Jobs. Energy. Immigration. Dancing with the Stars. None of it really seems to have changed nor ever will change no matter who occupies the White House. Gay marriage? Okay, I’d like to see that happen, that’s good. So sure, I probably pull the donkey lever for that reason too.

But the only time I’ve ever actually seen a president moving and talking and whatnot… is on television. I’ve never been in the same room as a president. I’ve never run into a president on the street or sucked one off at an airport bathroom. It just doesn’t happen. I was at a campaign event for Michael Dukakis in 1988. So I saw him in person. And after that, I didn’t want to see him on television again. I couldn’t vote then anyway. But I would have done so because Michael Stipe was telling people to vote for him and in 1988 I would have eaten a live ferret if Michael Stipe told me to. I doubt he would have though, as he was a vegetarian then.

I digress. And I ramble. You know what I mean by just wanting to be comfortable with the person you are seeing on television. I like the televised Obama. I should write that book… ”The Televised Obama.” Then I could be on television too! I digress again. Sorry. I was saying I like the televised Obama. He’s calm, he’s got good comedic chops when he needs them and, as my wife often says, he is reminiscent of Fred Astaire. That’s good enough for me!

But lately, I find myself actually wanting to see four years of Mitt Romney on television as our president. I think it would be fascinating. The reasons are completely different than the way I want to see Obama on television. I want to see Obama because I like his media persona and I am comfortable with him representing our country as its head-of-state.

I want to see Mitt Romney on television as our president because I think it will be funny.

I first became aware of Romney in 2008 when he first ran and I was instantly captivated. He was the most unreal candidate I’d ever seen. He was weird, out-of-touch, robotic, inhuman, weird, sober-to-a-fault, anachronistic, weird, weird and weird. And this was 2008… before it was cool to interpret him that way. Back then, everyone was like “Isn’t he great? Why, he just looks like a president!!!!! And he’s got… MONEY!!!” Now most people seem to get it. The guy’s a fucking weirdo.

It was a lonely place to be in 2008. I went through a period where I couldn’t stop googling Mitt Romney. I thought there had to be an answer out there as to why he was the way he was. Who the fuck thinks it’s a good idea to have this guy around, let alone put him forward as our head of state?? Maybe he was an alien? A reptile? Maybe he was engineered in a lab? He sure wasn’t coming across as human.

I researched. And I researched. Nothing. No answers. Just “born in Michigan,” “son of the Michigan governor,” “married wife Ann,” etc. etc. Some such about being “Mormon.” Absolutely no proof of extra-terrestrial origin.

I’d ask my Republican step-dad if he heard anything, any chatter on the street. Any small clue that might blow the whole thing wide open and expose Mitt Romney as a reptilian cyborg. He’d just respond with “I think he’s what this country needs right now.” Ugh.

So I needed an outlet. I needed to make sense of the strange emotions I was feeling because of Mitt Romney. It was 2008 and everyone was talking about Sarah Palin, totally ignoring the fact Mitt Romney was making me feel very weird. So I turned to the only place I knew where to go to find some sort of solace. I turned… to art.

Without knowing what I was doing or why, I began to put together a couple shitty iMovie collages that tried to show to the world how Mitt Romney was making me feel. I compiled pictures of Romney and strung them together with quick cuts and budget effects designed to convey that Romney was not to be taken at face value. I made sure the audio was grating, surreal… so I recorded vocals in a helium voice.

The results are here in the collages Romney Disco and Reintepreting Romney. I posted these to YouTube in 2008… as cries for help. I needed someone to tell me why Mitt Romney was happening to me and why he made me feel horrible about everything. To date, my collages have only been viewed by a couple hundred people. Most of the comments left are by Romney supporters who seem to think I’m an idiot.

Maybe they’re right. But I never got the answers I was looking for.

Five years later, I’m doing okay. I eat solid food again and most days I honestly don’t even notice Mitt Romney. I’m even at the point where if he’s on television as our president, I’m gonna think it’s fucking hilarious.

But please don’t get me started on his five sons. I’ll go there in my next blog…

Dick Valentine is a guest political blogger for Antiquiet. He is best known as the singer for the Detroit band Electric Six. Electric Six has 8 studio albums and they are recording and releasing their first live album later this year. Valentine is also self-releasing his first solo acoustic CD Destroy The Children this May.

 
 

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10 comments
  1. Great to see the deep philosophical thinking of one Mr. Dick Valentine fleshed out upon the internet platter for all to feast on at last! Electric Six are one of my favorite groups of musicians and I make an effort to see them every year in North Carolina.

    All that said… I disagree with Mr. Valentine.

    There will be only one candidate I will vote for, whether I have to write in his name or not.

    Ron Paul 2012!

    • Rory says:

      Fun read…those videos were ridiculous/sort of awesome.

      I like his point about never feeling the effects of tax changes over different Presidential terms. Politicians and pundits bicker constantly about tax hikes, yet the majority of people don’t notice the difference when a change is implemented. The elite rich people do I suppose, but the income disparities are so out of control today that I don’t think the majority of us should give a shit if billionaires have to pay a little more or a little less. They take so much more than they could ever need already. That isn’t socialism, it’s common sense. If you have more money than you could ever spend then why should anybody care if you have to pay more taxes.

      The problem with politicians today is the majority of them are too cowardly and naive to tell people how it really is. Real talk.

      Hello. The debt the US has hit now is higher than a full years GDP. And every year it gets higher. You need a guy out there to tell people the truth. The debt needs to come down. In all likelihood this will eventually mean raising taxes and cutting government spending (not one or the other as the Dems and Reps would have you believe), or else we inevitably end up with economic collapse. Soon the debt will reach levels where the federal government can’t even afford the interest payments.

      Only one candidate even thinks to make note of these issues during debates and speeches despite getting booed and cawed at by the brainwashed Republican establishment drones in the audiences. That candidate is Ron Paul.

      Ron Paul 2012!

  2. Russell says:

    I’m writing in Dick Valentine when it’s time to cast my vote. Cause I think it’d be fucking funny.

  3. Daniel says:

    Dick Valentine is God. He hugged me at a show one time, thanks Dick!

    Fun article, loving the videos.

    Romney is obviously a reptilian. Eating baby fetuses and stuff.

  4. Skwerl says:

    $250 million isn’t wealthy when you consider the costs of baby fetuses.

  5. Joshua says:

    I have created a tumblr in honor of this post. http://romneydisco.tumblr.com/

    Relinquish the center… and Mitt Romney.

  6. Voting is stupid. Why vote when Diebold already votes in your place for you? Romney’s policies are the same as Obama’s are the same as Bush’s. The left and right wings make up a single bird called “communism.” That bird is The Federal Reserve and that is the person wearing Diebold’s hat. Voting is stupid. Revolution against a criminal system is smart.

  7. Mayor Perry says:

    Dick Valentine can emphasize with Barack Obama because they are both excellent singers.

    One of the “wonderful” things about Romney are the weasels surrounding him. One of his flunkies was on CNN after Alabama and Mississippi last week. Smug as fuck, when asked about coming in third in both states, he slithered “We got exactly what we expected tonight.”

    Mitt’s just the dog tied to the top of the car. His douchebag handlers are the ones at the wheel, the real evil.

    • Yea, Obama can sing, but have you seen him cut some rug??? I got into it with a right winger recently.

      You gotta see Romney dance though, he looks like he has some bortha in him. But still he aint got nothin on Barry!
      Take a look. its not a long video. Enjoy!

  8. [...] first two blogs were basically about how weird I find Mitt Romney and his five sons. I believe with every fiber of my being that they are weird, weird, weird people. [...]

  9. [...] cats as well, for a music video. We probably should have expected something this amazing, given his video work. And stuff like this, and [...]

  10. Leela Landers says:

    I’ve just heard “Romney” in the “Black Sheep” movie. I wonder, is that an allusion? :)

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