Letter From California
06/22/08 0638.32 pst
San Jose, California
A day after I lamented that the FISA debacle had ruined my much-anticipated quadrennial event of implanting presidential candidate signs into the yard—such grievous wounds America can inflict upon her citizens, yes—the package actually did arrive. Sulking, I chucked the box into the office and refused to look at it for a day.
Finally acknowledging I was being ridiculous and un-worthy even of drama queens in the matter, I simply asked myself: what would Digby say? Don’t be ridiculous, paradox, handle this at once and put them in the yard. You’re voting for him, aren’t you? I’m impressed with your current issue agenda today, paradox.
Okay okay, I did it. I also put the Veterans for Obama on the cars, admired the sweatshirt and forgave the hosers for stiffing me on my t-shirts, they highlighted it on the invoice, is this Amazon.com? Empiricism is a great thing, so I had a picture taken of my happy little quadrennial ritual. Don’t I look happy?
I should be, I have just gleefully escaped the horrors of 21st century “telecommuting” from home for the last six months, something I thought would be a natural for a unabashed domestic like myself but that in reality turned out to be an awful exercise in isolation and iron-fisted enslavement to keeping up the house. If you work from home it doesn’t matter how much you slave in the office, people come after four o’clock and ask why the hell dishes are in the sink, was there no break at all in the day?
It is good, very good, to get out and about, and praise Jesus I will soon have a short commute to the glorious metropolis of downtown San Jose, my own parking slot’n office, a pretty view’n things to do at lunch, another middle class stiff in Dockers and a dinged leather briefcase. I have made some, ah, rather unorthodox lifestyle choices with my time on the planet, and the employment compartment of my brain is at least dancing with unheralded joy at this latest evolution, part of a long, long journey. Dern, Silicon Valley came through again!
The housing labor construction market has crashed here, all the attending retail supply chains hurting as well, but the Valley is nowhere near to being down and out, employment is nothing close to the 36 month nightmare that came after the 2001 dot com crash. Wages still stay at zero growth, times are not easy, but with a local economy backbone including names like Oracle, Cisco and Apple the region still fairly hums along.
It’s difficult to tell how this year’s budget mudfight is going in Sacramento and impossible to predict what’s going to happen. Trial balloons are constantly launched and shot down in flames—education was supposed to take a heavy hit but no it’s not, prisoners were going to be released early but forget it that makes too much sense—so one can’t even get a general sense of what people are trying to do. No one took for a second Arnold’s completely asinine idea to borrow against gambling revenue, Jesus Christ.
The California budget process eventually will, like our current Federal nightmare, wind down into some ugly splat of hypocrisy, contradictions, dishonesty and regression, that’s what Republican Executives do. I keep trying to remind myself that until Democrats are Executives there’s very little the Party can really do to lead, it’s the ridiculous political evolution of 21st century American executive endearment we’re just stuck with.
As the righteous Athenae of First Draft recently reminded me we are only six years into the internet revolution, there is yet a long, long way to go. Silicon Valley hums under a burning California sun, summer in full swing as I stew in my classic impatience, still doing what I can, still listening to my people.