Whenever I find myself daydreaming about the prospect of procreating, as if there is actually a woman in existence with a constitution strong enough to receive my demon-seed, I rarely think about how raising a child nowadays is such a herculean task. Even though I'm so selfish I've resorted to building a "glory hole" in my house for sexual encounters, I welcome any free time being eliminated from my already busy social calender - I mean, cutting down on reckless binge drinking and my penchant for penetrating strange women in the backseat of my muscle car will at least add a few days to my life. I'm not even worried about how I will pay for my child's college education, mostly because I'm a firm believer that things will naturally work themselves out. But if I do find myself seriously strapped for cash around the same time that my crumb snatcher reaches his/her senior year of High School, I'll gladly be willing to offer up my body for cash to lonely widows and other low self-esteem having women who haven't seen an erect penis since the final episode of "Everybody Loves Raymond" aired. The only thing that worries me about the prospect of raising a child, is whether or not I possess the god-given ability to effectively tell well intentioned lies for the good of my child. I mean, will the memories of me smoking joints with my junior high buddies and dropping acid that had me tripping for two straight days straight haunt my every thought as I tell my child to stay clear of street grade pharmaceuticals? I can bullshit with the best of them, but belting out passionate safe sex pleas to my offspring just seems to be wrong in a karma sense - especially considering instances where I washed my personal business in some strange woman's sink, or the time I had unsafe relations with a stripper whose vagina resembled a catchers mitt. But being that I've historically opted to land a well placed chop to the throat over garden variety diplomacy, my toughest task of all is going to be trying to sell my son or daughter on the concept of civil disobedience. Even though I want them to be able to defend themselves, its going to be difficult for me to navigate the turbulent waters of what is standard self defense and what's just gratuitous violence. Throat-chopping? Sure. Rendering someone unconscious via choke-holds? Case-by-case basis. The "smash a bottle over some bastards head just because he doesn't like rakim" technique? Not so much. Effective knee strikes? Most definitely. Turning innocent household items into lethal weapons? Shit no.
But the one lesson that I will have no trouble relaying to my child, knowing that someday they he or she will encounter a person who doesn't know what civil disobedience is and acts as if turning the other cheek is just an invitation to be hit on the other one - is to never fight in someone else's backyard. Take it from someone who knows, besides having to defend myself against easily attainable kitchen cutlery and spatula-wielding mothers who aren't trying to see their baby boy catch one hell of an ass-whipping, you have to deal someones homeboys whose main agenda is making sure that the ridges on the bottom of their Timberland boot are permanently tattooed on the back of your ass. Apparently, Barack Obama was never exposed to this utterly important piece of sage-like advice.
Last week, when I first found out that Barack Obama would be appearing with John McCain at Pastor Rick Warren's "Faith Forum" at Saddleback Church, I immediately thought that this would be a home-run for Obama. Outside of the fact that Obama and Warren were friendly,(the possibly of him being pelted with asinine Reverend Wright questions being slim to none) and unlike Democrats of years past, Obama just seems comfortable talking about faith and often incorporates bible scriptures in his stump speech. On the other hand, McCain seems as comfortable talking about his faith as Pat Buchanan would sound hosting a "Rock the Bells" concert - this very contrast is the main reason why I thought that Obama could win over some of those evangelical fence-sitters whose world view and political ideology isn't completely grounded in Roe v Wade. Anyway, they flipped a coin and Obama went first, Rick Warren swearing that John McCain was in a "cone of silence" so he couldn't hear the exact same questions that he was asking Barack Obama.(It turns out that McCain wasn't in a "cone of silence") Initially I thought that Obama was doing quite well, answering questions about what his greatest moral failure was and if he thought evil existed with a thoughtfulness that I figured America would want in a president. I didn't particularly mind it when Warren would occasionally give Obama the "hurry up" signal, echoing his earlier sentiment that he didn't want either candidate to start reciting their respective stump speeches. Then it was John McCain's turn.
Not only didn't McCain answer any of the questions specifically, he turned each question into an opportunity to both go on bluster-filled foreign policy rants that mirrored his stump speeches but he also recited heartfelt POW stories that didn't have a fucking thing to do with the question being asked. A tactic that the evangelical crowd in attendance absolutely at up. Obviously Mr. Warren didn't take it upon himself to give the Senior Senator from Arizona that same "wrap it up" signal that he gave to Barack. Obama was set up, caught slipping because he decided to challenge someone to a fight in their own backyard - and because I was wrong in my initial assessment, I'm still sporting some Timberland ridge on the back of my ass as well.
Now, while I do think that Obama's performance at Saddleback eased the concerns of many good natured americans who quietly wondered whether that email that they once received depicting him as a crypto-Muslim who wants to snack on white babies was true or not - that night also taught Obama an invaluable lesson. He can't out-Vietnam John McCain, if he wants to tell touching tales about his POW experience, he needs to tell his own story because that's what people are attracted to. How seeing his dear mother wither away from the effects of Ovarian cancer is what inspires him to see that every American receives the proper health care that they deserve. How the pain of not growing up with a father pushes him every day to make sure that single mothers have the tools they need to raise their children. Shit like that. I think he also realized that he can't get suckered into trying to disprove the "empty suit" narrative being pushed by the McCain camp, soaring rhetoric and impeccable oratory works and his republican rival is deathly afraid of that - in the age of the soundbite and the low information voter, be less Nas and more Jay-Z. Dumb it down, leave the specifics to Townhalls and proper debates.