The Calm During the Storm
The opening events at the RNC in downtown Tampa are sadly postponed tomorrow, as the bands of Tropical Whatever Isaac are starting to lightly grace the bottom of the scrotal sac known as Tampa Bay, and I have one question: can Isaac make a bend to the right, and just kind of stall on top of us through Friday?
Sadly, that won’t happen. Isaac looks to be bending out to the Gulf, where it will undoubtedly gain power and speed before slamming into New Orleans, probably devastating whatever substitute barriers the Army Corps of Engineers hastily slapped together after Katrina, and have since long expired, while the Corps has been fucking around trying to figure out how to build a levy in the first place.
Meanwhile, what is essentially a pep rally for a joke candidate that no one wants to vote for will sally forth. At least there’s only four days of this nonsense instead of five. Nonetheless, these fuckers are ruining a perfectly good storm.
There is nothing more calming than driving through downtown Tampa just after a major storm. As if the quasi-metropolitan area wasn’t dismal enough, there is something strangely soothing about the desolation. It’s like being the one person who crawled out from the bunker unscathed, and this piece of shit little concrete playground is all yours. You can hydroplane your car sideways through five perfectly timed traffic lights of Florida Avenue, and no one but you would ever know it.
This time, however, is different. Every jackboot, every piece of riot gear, artillery, bulletproof, rubberized what-have-you is strapped, locked and loaded. Yes sir. Nothing says freedom and democracy like a demented political cotillion, enveloped in the folds of a police state. Like any terrorist would want to blow these dipshits up.
Oh, but there’s also the anarchists and protesters. Knuckleheads from all points America, who have travelled far and wide to Tampa, a city they would never ever otherwise arrive, in the tail end of August, when every morning feels like waking up in the crotch of a wino who pissed himself in a sauna. And they will be protesting, don’t doubt it. They’ll be there… at designated areas miles away from the RNC.
The sadder truth is, there’s not really a good reason why the protest areas are designated so far away. The Tampa Convention Center will be an opaque bubble, insulated in confetti and balloons, rhetoric and bullshit, stupid grins, hubris and all-out good-old-American fucking hatred. No one in that perfectly air-conditioned warehouse will ever know what is going on outside, and they won’t care, especially long after the last minority is sweeping away the last vestiges of confetti.
And when they’re not at the air-conditioned Convention Center, they’ll be shuttled in air-conditioning to the only thing Tampa is known for: hot strippers. I almost feel sorry for the poor little hussies. They’ll make their scratch, but only after being slathered first in spilled whiskey, Aramis-tainted sweat, drool, cigar ash and infertile jism. Warm beer breath. Deflated, old rubbery lips. The perspiration sliming its way through indomitable tufts of slick arm hair sticking out of gold watch bands. Yummy. Not that the naked little sluts haven’t experienced that before, per se. But the local ones cannot possibly prepare for the sheer numbers, the overwhelming arrogance, or the wreckless abandon that morally repressed lobbyists can churn months before an election.
After all, that is what this party for the Grand Ol’ Party is celebrating. Its own existence. It sure as hell isn’t because they really believe they’re going to win this election. Oh, sure, there will be a lot of dupes on the floor, applauding and laughing and announcing what the planet already knew months ago: who their candidate is for the election. No, this isn’t a campaign to “take back the country” (whatever the hell that means.) If it was, this group of white, religious greedheads wouldn’t have earnestly put their money on a fucking Mormon. Sure, he’s a corporate shill, a shell of a cipher who will unabashedly vomit what ever he’s been told to vomit, along with that Neanderthal fuckwit running mate of his. But he’s too nuts for the moderates, if there are any remaining, and too centrist for the nutjobs. He makes John Kerry look likable and earnest. He’s the kind of loser candidate that makes a true Republican pine for the days they threw away elections on the likes of Bob Dole. He’s running because he’s the only one dumb enough to bother, but not dumb enough to lose the primary.
He’s The Smiler. His pores naturally ooze starch and generic cologne and the air of cash. A firm handshake, with his eyes on the dice and his other hand in his pocket, which has its hole cut out. Don’t worry about the hole. The money will never fall through it. It all goes straight into the electronic vapor into an offshore account somewhere, where it builds interest, launders its way into some international “investments” and then makes its way into the campaign trail. The hole is simply in his pocket so he can jerk himself off with his free hand, while he thanks you and looks at your wife. That’s his way of crossing his fingers on any promises he made. Mitt Romney may be the first man in history to do something no one will ever know about: he may be the first to lose a presidential election and be richer than when he started.
But we’re getting way, way ahead of ourselves. First, this week. If Tampa’s main export weren’t ennui and malaise, the goddawful heat, hellacious weather, and seething hatred from both sides might culminate in something truly memorable and horrid. Unfortunately, it is Tampa. So we can only rely on the forecast: a calm during the storm. Then once it passes, lots and lots of wind.