Tuesday, May 29, 2012

in a nutshell

Whenever I get annoyed with someone -- workmates, bosses, teachers, students, friends, whoever -- I play a little mental game with myself; I call it "in a nutshell." It's pretty much what it sounds like, the "in a nutshell" explanation that encapsulates something in a short phrase or sentence. In my case, I use a short phrase or sentence to encapsulate someone's personality or qualities.

A simple example: I once had a boss who would tell me to do one thing and then, later, she'd ask me why the hell I'd done whatever it was she'd told me to. This happened on an almost daily basis. When I'd say, "I did it because you told me to," she would reply, "obviously, you misunderstood." So her "in a nutshell" was "Obviously, you misunderstood." That pretty much summed her stupid ass up. Oh, OBVIOUSLY it was my fault that despite my perfectly good ears, educated brain, and more than adequate qualifications for the job I was doing, I am the one who misunderstood her, rather than her forgetting what the hell she was talking about. I took to emailing her for instructions so that I could capture her shit in writing. She still claimed I misunderstood.

So ... the game is simple, but it helps me keep my mouth closed when someone really pisses me off -- in work situations especially, when one must often keep one's mouth shut when one is confronted by a stupid boss or coworker, lest one get fired for screaming "ARE YOU A FUCKING IDIOT?" at them. In short, the game amuses me and makes it possible to go on living. I used to keep a little notebook of in-a-nutshells at my old job. I found the notebook the other night and was cackling for hours, to the confusion of AB.

Anyway, I've recently added an entry for Mittens:
"I need to get 50.1 percent or more."
Pretty much sums up everything that's Mittens is about, doesn't it? He's not going to worry about what his supporters say or do; he's not going to worry about the facts or anything else. He could pretty much be saying his in-a-nutshell in response to any question, which is why it is so perfect. The guy has no moral center; there's no issue or past statement he won't completely kick to the curb if he thinks he'll get more votes for it.

For example, let's just plug it into some imaginary but quite plausible media questions:

Reporter: "Governor Romney, are you concerned about Iran's getting nuclear capability anytime soon?"
Mittens: "I need to get 50.1 percent or more."
Because what he'll do about defense or tensions in the Middle East are irrelevant to Mittens; he simply will do ANYTHING to get elected, and his statement pretty much proves it. If he'll go to bed with Trump -- a delusional reality-tv star and the symbol for everything that is wrong with real estate speculation and capitalism -- for a few bucks and some headlines, he'll go to bed with anyone for a few bucks and some headlines.

Reporter: What's on the agenda today, sir?
Mittens: "I need to get 50.1 percent or more."
Because as I type this, Mittens is whoring himself to Trump and his fellow rich freaks in Vegas. Need I say more?

Reporter: Governor, you've been known to change positions on several important issues: a woman's right to choose, gay marriage, government-run healthcare, even whether you're really a hunter. What are your true and heartfelt views on these issues?
Mittens: "I need to get 50.1 percent or more."
Again, it fits. The guy will say or do whatever he thinks he needs to in order to get elected. Has anyone ever wanted anything more? Like a kid who wants so badly to be popular in school that he'll buy other kids' lunches, do others' homework, or whatever. You know the type.

What Mittens doesn't understand is that when you completely hollow yourself out in order to be everyman for everyone, you end up losing everything. Look at McCain. The guy used to have some principles; he used to be a true maverick. He finally sniffed the chance - the tiniest chance! - that he might be president, and he sold out on everything and everybody he every believed in. The guy let his handlers put Palin on the ticket with him, for god's sake. How low can anyone go?

So Romney can claim all he wants about understanding everyday Americans, but one look at the people he's using to get votes -- Ted Nugent, Donald Trump, anyone on Faux Nooz -- tells you that this guy is about one thing: "I need to get 50.1 percent or more."

Heaven help us if he does.