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Athens, Ohio, United States
"Art and love are the same thing. It's the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you."

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ohio: Life in the Center of the World

Many of my friends/colleagues/acquaintances/random-degenerates-on-the-street seem to be a little upset with the solicitors on every street corner, begging them on hand and knee to register to vote. I largely didn't mind them, mostly due to the fact that I am generally out of touch with the rest of humanity. Now, however, that these vote-registering dynamos have emptied the streets, making the environment suitable for human life again, I finally have something to say about their shenanigans. Excuse me while I step up onto the soapbox.

I declare...that I still have no problem with the voter registration crowd. And the reading audience lets out a collective groan. I don't actively campaign for the folks or necessarily support them and I can certainly understand the rest of Athens's issues with them. They were relentlessly annoying and not just one or a few, but all of them. They swallowed up members like a zombie horde; you could be chatting with an interesting human one day and then show up the next to find them prowling the street corners like a predator mindlessly chanting: "Didyouregistertovote?...inAthens?..Coolcoolcool..Didyouregistertovote?...inAthens?...youknowyouhavetoregisterinAthens...right?" And finally, you have to question the political motives of a group who, as far as I can tell, only attempts to register voters on public college campuses a.ka. Liberalville, U.S.A. I am sure you wouldn't find many "activists" in a retirement village, trying to get World War 2 vets and old-timers to register. But none of these things bother me. In spite of all the supposed injustices to humanity these men and women performed, at the end of the day they reminded me of something supremely important: I am the king.

That's right, I'm the king. Chances are the majority of people reading this are kings as well (or at least princes). What does it take to be the king? Well, friend, you have to be an Ohioan. Ohio is American royalty. Men and women have been coming from across the country for years to treat Ohioans like kings. Ohio is one of the few states in the Union where your voice still counts, your opinions still count and your vote still counts. Ohio is the very paradigm of this country and the vision the founding fathers had in mind when they made it. I know it, you know it and the good folks at and every other political organization knows it. That is why every four years, they will descend upon you like a horde of locusts. And that is why you shouldn't mind. 

The fact that all these men and women fawn over my vote tickles me to know end. And if it still bothers you, I suggest you try something. Two years from now as regional and national elections start up again, there will be people walking the streets again, begging for your vote. Instead of ignoring them or giving in to their demands, do this: ask that they take out your dry cleaning and create a human hammock for you to lie on as someone feeds you the freshest and finest grapes in all the land. If they care about their cause, they will do whatever you want them to (short of murder, probably) because you are the one calling the shots.

How did it come to be that Ohio holds this unique position amongst its neighbors and fellow states? Ohio is important because Ohio and the citizens that call it home are committed to the greatest American value: diversity. Ohio as a state is not content to be pigeonholed into one category. 

Ohio is metropolitan, suburban and rural. Ohio is a red state and a blue state. Ohio has hunters and animal rights activists. Ohio immigrants from Portugal to Taiwan. Ohio is for lovers and Ohio is for fighters. Ohio is for blue collar steel workers and for poets. In Ohio you can find tunnels of the former Underground railroad and old Confederate flags.

Now before I collect my check from the Ohio Tourism Board, let me say: Ohio is important but it isn't Utopia. All I am saying is that this is a state that no presidential can ever afford to not win over if they want to win the election. Ohio is one of the last states that can be viewed as an actual model of America, itself. New Engladers, Californians, Texans and every other state are too busy becoming a stereotypical model of themselves to bother voting against the pre-conceived notions that the rest of the country has of them. Ohio decides elections because we as citizens aren't partisan drones voting for the party our state supports. 

A month from now, we will go to the polls and decide an election, no questions asked. That is why Voter Registration Nazis harass you, that is why you see nothing but political slam ads on your television and that is why Barack Obama and John McCain will continue to spend the majority of their time, energy and money wooing the Ohio voter. We decide elections, Ohio.

And that is power befitting a king.


Anonymous said...

Yeah. It's good to remind those turn-coat Ohioans who claim we're "plain and boring," that in actuality we're royalty. Of course, it would be better if we were occasionally recognized for our high-born noblility when there wasn't and election happening, but who can really complain... Those peasants just don't understand.

Woozie said...

Ohio is plain and boring.

A.G.B said...

YOU'RE plain and boring!!!!! Burnnn.