In which I try to rank Elizabeth Warren and a bunch of people I don't want to vote for

The last time I did this was– Jesusalmost a God damn year ago, and since then not only has Kamala Harris dropped out, but so has everyone else I wanted to vote for except for Buttigieg, who has spent most of the last eleven months making me dislike him. I have gone from a Democratic presidential primary where I went through eight people before even entering “meh” territory to one person I want to vote for– Warren– a bunch of people who I despise, and Amy Klobuchar, who I wouldn’t have even considered a serious candidate any longer until New Hampshire, and frankly I probably shouldn’t start treating her for-real seriously until she does better in more than one state.

What I have been saying for the last several months remains true: this race is still Biden’s to lose, despite his poor performance in Iowa and New Hampshire, because unless the poll results have shifted radically in the last couple of weeks he’s still the only candidate with a serious base of support in the black community, who are still the base of the Democratic party and who haven’t had a chance to vote yet because of how fucking stupid our nomination process is. I have heard tell that those numbers are starting to shift, though, and if they are, Biden’s fucked, which is kind of fine because I think he’s slowly losing his shit and I don’t really want to vote for him.

But … God, I don’t want to vote for any of these fuckers other than Warren, and every time I try to think seriously about ranking them, I spend most of my time pondering the inevitability of death instead. I mean, to be clear: I’m voting for the fucking Democratic nominee in November, full stop; I don’t give a fuck who it is. But I really don’t like any of them beyond Warren, and I remember enjoying being able to vote for candidates who I wanted to hold office, damn it.

So.

2. … Klobuchar, I guess? Who is an asshole, and a moderate, and she’s shitty to her staff, but that’s all I’ve got and she hasn’t managed to personally piss me off yet? Plus, she’s a woman and she doesn’t have one foot in the grave or any obvious decline in her mental facilities? So, yeah, sure, Klobuchar’s second, I suppose, mostly because someone has to be.

3. Buttigieg. I have voted for Pete Buttigieg literally every single time he has run for office, and I don’t want to ever vote for him again. Yes, in March I was somewhat enthusiastic about his candidacy. And he’s spent damn near every second since then trying to drive me away with his Jesusiness and his Kumbaya approach to “working with” people who would literally rather see him dead than in office. But much like Klobuchar he has the advantages of not being senile or nearly dead, and I’m not convinced he’d be a shitty President, and he’s smart, if perhaps not as smart as he thinks he is, and if he made a sensible pick for VP he might not be a disaster as a President, although of the current group I think he’s the one most likely to run for a second term and lose.

4. Fuck it, Biden. Who is running an absolute shit campaign, and who is perhaps not as senile as I thought he might have been a bit ago (I was unaware until recently that he has battled a stutter his whole life, and that explains a couple of things) but is still noticeably not as sharp as he was a decade ago, and has run for President three times now and so far still has not ever managed to finish higher than third in a primary. And he clearly doesn’t understand the nature of the opposition he’s facing, either, because he’s competing with Pete for the Kumbaya naïveté awards. But at least he’s not either of those other two assholes, and of the group of three he’s the one most likely to have some fucking sense and not run for a second term in the first place. Leaving me with …

Bernie and Bloomberg, and fuck both of ’em, I’m not ranking them. I loathe Bernie Sanders. I like his policies but Warren’s are every bit as good as his and she’s not a garbage human and she’s actually got some accomplishments in her life, unlike Mr. Myocardial Infarction Where The Fuck Are Your Taxes, whose life’s work boils down to not having a job until he was 40, naming a couple of post offices, and exactly three black-and-white photos of him being a massive civil rights hero on par with Malcolm X, Jesus and Martin Luther King combined. He will be a desperately shitty President and nothing will be accomplished during his single term in office, if he even lasts that long without dying, because who the hell knows what kind of condition his God damn heart is in; his campaign has lied about it endlessly and he’s refused to release his medical records. Which is not fucking forgivable even before you get to the part where he’s basically a cult leader and I cannot tolerate the idea of an America where the Bernie Bros have political power.

(Am I calling every Bernie voter a cultist? No. I am explicitly not doing that, and if you are a Bernie person and I know you I am also explicitly not calling you personally that. But I stand by the statement nonetheless, particularly in the context of the vile hordes of his people I have to deal with online.)

Bloomberg, on the other hand, is a racist piece of shit and a blood-gorged tick on the nuts of humanity, and he’s carefully and clearly exposing every single thing wrong with what we are still calling our “democracy” for some reason. I have no idea why anyone would ever choose to vote for him, and the fact that he’s registering in the polls at all is a sign of how dangerously and completely fucked we are. If somehow the race is down to these two by the time the Indiana primary rolls around I’m probably just not going to vote. Again, I’ll vote for the nominee even if I hate him, which is looking more likely by the day, but I’ll be damned if I endorse either of these fuckers twice if I don’t absolutely have to.

(EDIT: When and if Bloomberg turns out to be a serial sexual harasser and/or a rapist, which I’m figuring even odds on, he immediately falls off the list altogether. That would be one thing that would definitively shove him under Sanders for me.)

Fuck the Iowa caucus

So here’s the thing: a few hours from now, or maybe a couple of days depending on how complicated things get, results will be released from the Iowa caucuses and someone– probably either a white dude whose name starts with B or Elizabeth Warren– will have won them. And that person will have just a smidge more actual delegates than the three or four people behind him or her, and all the press in the world won’t make a damn bit of difference to the fact that the actual delegate edge gained by this contest– y’know, the thing that matters— isn’t gonna be much of anything.

But there will be yapping, oh so much yapping, about What It All Means, and Bernie’s people will find a way the process was rigged against him even if he wins, and it all doesn’t fucking matter because Black people are the base of the Democratic party and right now no one and I mean no one has done a God damn thing to cut into Joe Biden’s huge lead among Black voters and unless that changes this shit is already all over but the shouting. And am I happy about it? No, not at all; with Kamala Harris out of the race I am an Elizabeth Warren man through and through, and Biden may actually be my last choice among the serious candidates (every time I try to think hard about whether I’d vote for him or Bernie at gunpoint my small intestine jumps out of my body and chokes me until I’m unconscious) but right now hard demographic reality is gonna make him the nominee unless something changes. Is that impossible? No. Does fucking Iowa have much chance to make a difference? Also no.

Fuck caucuses, and fuck Iowa. Caucuses, particularly how they’re practiced in Iowa, are undemocratic as hell and as wildly, painfully ridiculous a way for grown folks to choose a presidential candidate as they could possibly be. They disenfranchise old people, poor people, people with night jobs, people with children, people who don’t want the assholes who they live around to know who they want to vote for, people who don’t like spending hours arguing about politics in public with strangers, and no doubt a host of other people as well. They introduce a lovely veneer of social pressure into an event– voting– that is supposed to be private and secret. They are unnecessarily complicated. And Iowa is damn near as lily-white as it gets and I am sick as fuck of losing good presidential candidates– particularly in this cycle– because a state full of cracker corn-fed white hicks didn’t decide to get excited about them.

(Yes, I am from Indiana. When I get so fucking arrogant about Indiana’s position in the primary that I insist I should be able to personally shake hands with every candidate you can call me whatever the fuck you want.)

There needs to never be another Democratic Iowa caucus again– I don’t give a fuck what the Republicans do with their primaries– and Iowa needs to never again be allowed to be the first state to vote. Fuck New Hampshire, too, while we’re at it, but they don’t get as much attention and they’re not voting caucusing tonight so they aren’t what this post is about.

I fucking demand that the Democratic party come up with a fairer and more representative way to select our presidential candidates in the future. Caucuses are bullshit and the stranglehold Iowa has on our country is bullshit and I am fucking done hearing about either of them. Fix this bullshit, and fix it now. There are 50 Goddamned states in this country and I’m pretty sure you can find another one with fucking county fairs that also has some damn Black people in it. I won’t even fight you on which one so long as it’s a better choice than fucking Iowa.

Which, really, shouldn’t be all that fucking hard.

In which I give up already

It’s January 3rd, Goddammit, and everything about 2020 is already bullshit, from Castro dropping out, to Australia being on fire, to the shitgibbon starting a war with Iran, to the Ongoing Medical Calamity suddenly accelerating to the point where the phrase “eleven thousand dollars a month, paid in advance” was said in my presence by someone who wasn’t kidding, to, oh, because of course, runaway stomach flu today and yesterday.

Fuck this. I’m alive, dammit, but I’m not fucking happy about it.

Saleswanking 2019, and Writing 2020

Don’t worry, this will be brief, because there’s not a whole damn lot to talk about: I sold exactly 114 books in 2019, 91 of which were in person and a whopping 23 on Amazon. I had no new releases of any kind this year. I intended to spend most of the summer broadening the places where my books were available (I went off KDP forever ago, so I’ve been Amazon-exclusive with no real benefits for it since then) and working on a new novel (I have three in various stages of not-finished) but the Ongoing Medical Calamity derailed the fuck out of that. I’ve written some microfictions and maybe a couple of short stories this year over at Patreon and that’s it. I went to … three cons, I think? Four? Kokomo-Con, InConjunction, ConGlomeration, and Hall of Heroes con. So four. I know I canceled at least two because of the Calamity, and right now I’m only scheduled for one in 2020– Indy Popcon, which was one of the two I cancelled last summer.

I said this yesterday, and let me repeat it: there is no risk– none– of the blog going anywhere, because it’s too important to my ongoing mental health even before you get to the part where I like writing here. But for the first time in several years I’m thinking about deliberately hitting pause on calling myself an independent author for a while. I’ve mostly been ignoring my books on here except for the occasional Station Identification post on the weekends and the static links on the right; I may as well put them back on KDP if I’m not going to do the legwork necessary to have them available all over the place. I don’t write a lot of fiction any longer because with everything going on in my life I haven’t had the mental space for it, and I require an enormous amount of headspace to be able to write fiction. Nonfiction? Blog posts? Dead easy. But I don’t like writing fiction, and I never have– what I like is having written fiction, which is an amazing high that unfortunately requires me to spend hours pulling teeth first. I think about writing fiction all day, every day, I just don’t actually do it.

It might be time to put it away for a bit and not think about it at all. I’ll either get my mojo back, which would be good, or I won’t, which really won’t be any different from now except for the guilt. My family’s health situation isn’t getting better anytime soon– there is no silver lining to this cloud and no light at the end of the tunnel, and that’s not depression talking, it’s unfortunate and inevitable fact– so the only thing to do is decide what to do about it. I can make a serious effort to reprioritize my fiction, which means finding some other things to put away, or I can put it away. I just need to decide which one I’m going to do.

On Reading: 2019-2020

It does sort of fascinate me how since I haven’t had the mental energy to write fiction and don’t have the intestinal fortitude to write about politics this blog has spent 2019 morphing into a book review site. Not a bad thing, necessarily, but it’s interesting to see how the site changes as my priorities change.

You should friend or follow me on Goodreads, if you haven’t yet.

At any rate, pictures first! Here are the books I read this year:

Some statistics that I realize only matter to me (but it’s my blog, and if y’all haven’t realized I’m a numbers nerd by now…)

  • According to Goodreads, that’s 135 books for a total of 49,866 pages. This does have full page-count for some books I DNFed but does not count any of the comic books I read this year, which Goodreads would have allowed me to add had I liked. I probably bought at least a few hundred comics this year. Let’s say around 50K pages and leave it at that.
  • 56 of those books were by authors I hadn’t read anything by before this year.
  • Diversity check: I deliberately didn’t keep track of author stats this year because I wanted to see how I read if I didn’t pay attention to who I was reading all that much. About 61 books were by women– nearly half, which isn’t too bad– and at least 41 were by people of color. I feel like that could have been higher.
  • Why “about” and “at least”? Because for some of them it isn’t quite immediately clear how they identify and for a couple at least I may just be wrong. I remember spending some time thinking Hannu Rajaniemi was Indian; he is Finnish, which makes him literally as white as it is possible to be. 🙂
  • Interestingly, despite those numbers, 12 of the 15 slots in my Best Books list this year went to women or people of color. I did not set that up on purpose.
  • One major failure this year was that I wanted to do a lot more rereading, and … just didn’t. If I remember right, I wanted to reread at least 30 books this year and only made it to fifteen. I have to do better on this score next year; eventually my bookshelves are going to literally collapse on me if I don’t do something.

135 books is quite a lot, even by my standards, and I probably won’t make it to that number again next year. Two goals: nebulously, I want to reread more of my books (again!) and I am going to focus on reading books by women of color this year. I want to have read 52 of them by the end of the year– one for each week in the year, although I don’t promise to literally read one of them each week. I’m thinking about making a point to review each of them as I go along, too, or at least a reviewlet; we’ll see what I do about that. Also, this is 52 books, not 52 authors, so if I end up reading three N.K. Jemisin books all three of them count. Just FYI. Trans, genderqueer, and nonbinary authors will be considered on a case-by-case basis; I’m probably going to count anyone who doesn’t explicitly identify as male, but I’m going to continue to call the list “women of color” because “people who do not identify as male of color” seems a trifle too wordy.

First, though, I gotta finish this big-ass book about cancer I just picked up, because obviously we gotta end 2019 and begin 2020 on a positive note, right?