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Sunday, 7 November, 2010 6:25 PM
Hall & Oates: Say It Isn't So, Eh?
Photo courtesy of Sowff Washington's cell phone
Hall & Oates performs at Caesars Windsor.
WINDSOR, Ont. -- After a long, hard-fought campaign to unseat incumbent Macomb County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Smith (a campaign in which Chad Selweski of The Macomb Daily seized upon my Plutonian drawings to mock my art and say I was not a "qualified, respectable" candidate, and that my candidacy, along with four other Republicans taking on an entrenched Democratic machine was "a joke")(and the frustration that The Macomb Daily is sitting on a press release about my recent Special Recognition Award from Upstream People Gallery for "Andy Monet," whose curator is an art professor from The University of Nebraska [http://www.upstreampeoplegallery.com/]), it was fun to beep my horn in The Detroit–Windsor Tunnel a few times and see Hall & Oates at Caesars Windsor with my g/f on Friday night, leaving our three cats at home to fend for themselves, hoping that lady repeat animal abuser from Sterling Heights who did not get any jail time was still laying low up in St. Clair County.
Daryl Hall still has his long blond hair and his voice is as poignant as ever. When he sings "Say It Isn't So," your heart feels all mushy. John Oates plays guitar with as much passion as anyone I have ever seen man (or woman) the ancient instrument, descended from the Roman cithara, and more. (Thanks, Wikipedia!)
They played their mega-hits like "Sara Smile," "One On One," "Maneater," "Rich Girl," "You Make My Dreams," "Family Man" and "Private Eyes." I can't remember if they sang "She's Gone." I must have been thinking about running into Chad in a dark alley......
By the way, I was a man about losing. I crashed Eric's victory party and said hi to the also-victorious Sheriff Hackel. Eric chivalrously pointed out the table at which some of the assistant prosecutors were chillin' on Planet Earth.....(alluding to one of my artworks if you look me up on Wikipedia, my bad) [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Wrathell], and I went over and said hi. One of them ran a thought by me: "Palin 2012?" I corrected him, facetiously, "Palin/Wrathell." Oh, I also told Eric that I have lampoons of both Obama and McCain on my website. Here is the direct link to them.....[http://ultra-renaissance.com/McNail.shtml]. I love Pluto and drawing Plutonians, to be sure, but I also do serious art on the Iraq war, 9/11, political satire, an award-winning homage to Andy Warhol, et cetera, and I wanted Eric to know that.
We brought our passports and our driver licenses and only had to stop to open our trunk on the way back to the USA. I guess I look pretty shady. I heard that Daryl Hall, being from near Philly, was supposed to sing the national anthem for Game 5 of this year's World Series, but he was sick. John Oates filled in.
Those guys are so cool. I remember listening to "Kiss On My List" back when I lived in L.A. in 1980-1981. It was such a beautiful song, and pierces my heart to this day, as does "Sara Smile." I took a year off after my freshman year at U of M and blossomed into a full-fledged artist in California. I will never stop being an artist, musician, writer, poet, and cartoonist, either. The Chad Selweskis and political sign-stealing pond scum of the world can try to stop me, can try to suppress and/or marginalize the exercise of our basic constitutional rights, but as long as I have a breath of life, I will not make their day and quit.
117,630 people in Macomb County said yes to my candidacy. Sure, I had signs stolen on Van Dyke, 14 Mile Road, and Groesbeck, to name a few streets. Sure, my art was mocked by a never-to-be-respected-until-he-apologizes columnist for a local newspaper that doubles as a fine fishwrap. But, like Hall & Oates, and The Rolling Stones, wild horses couldn't take me away from fighting for our rights. You can kick me, you can say if I run against Eric again, Chad, that my position (defending The First Amendment) was "soundly rejected by the voters," but you will be dead wrong.
The voters of Macomb County are not stupid. They love America. They do not want to see our rights eroded. When John Oates sang "the home of the brave" in Philly last month, those words meant something to me and the men and women and children of Macomb County. I didn't need to be "recruited" to run for office, Chad. Anyone the Party would have recruited to run against me in the primary would have been inferior to me, too, because I did not need to be recruited. I felt like I was drafted to defend The Bill of Rights. Have you ever stood up for anything, Chad? Or do you just like to put people down? I swore an oath to defend our U.S. Constitution, and I do not need your permission or blessing to do so. I will defend it for as long as I live. And if that Stalinesque loyalty oath to Eric's person is still in place in 2012, I put you and Eric on notice right now: I reserve the right to call him out on the carpet again and again and again.
By the way, if I do get elected in 2012, NASA's New Horizons probe to Pluto and its three moons will arrive during my tenure on Bastille Day 2015. You asked me, Chad, why I am "obsessed" with Pluto, the only planet America has not explored. Well, neither you nor I are shrinks. Why was Columbus "obsessed" with discovery? Don't you think that is a pretty big word for a fishwrap columnist to be using? Friedrich Nietzsche in "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" used the line "the bile of the newspapers." Bile being undigested waste. Next time I run, I hope you will not resort to undigested words like "obsession," "joke," "wacky" and dis"respectable." Your column of 10.26.08 was a disservice to the voters of Macomb County, Chad. Are you a closet plutocrat?
You are a "Democracy-eater." Dostoyevsky said in "Notes from the Underground" that the definition of man is that he has two legs and is ungrateful. The Macomb Daily is in existence because of the First Amendment. Yet, when I try to defend the First Amendment rights of the assistant prosecutors to uncensored "electoral speech," you mock my art and call my candidacy "a joke." I had to call your managing editor to print a correction, or people might have thought I believed there was life on Pluto. Nice hack job, Chad. Your mother must be very proud of her little boy for hanging out at a fishwrap press. To The Macomb Daily's credit, they corrected your willful misparaphrase of my words in a Wednesday edition (10.29.08), but your ignoble column was in a Sunday edition that was circulated free to every house in my subdivision.
Alexis de Tocqueville said in his classic book "Democracy In America" that robust elections are essential for a true and vibrant democracy, lest we go down the path of tyranny. I read the book, spurred on in part because Kurt Vonnegut in his last-ever novel, "A Man Without A Country," said anyone who hasn't done so is a twerp. Are you a twerp, Chad? Eric? By the way, I recommend the George Lawrence translation, and if you find that robust elections quote, please give me the page number. Anyone. It is hard to go back and try to find a needle in a haystack, as it were. I tried. I know the word "robust" is in the sentence.
It is my position that using one's power to restrict the field of your opponents is an abuse of power. Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe might think it is just peachy, but this is America. The Macomb Daily, The Free Press, and The Detroit News and other media outlets need to investigate this issue, not to mention The State Bar of Michigan. Do other elected officials in Macomb County also have a Stalinesque loyalty oath? What about other counties in Michigan, or anywhere in the USA for that matter? Carl Marlinga did not have it. Did Eric find it in a Cracker Jack box?
The press needs to be as concerned with the suppression of free speech as it is with the suppression of a free press, or it is ungrateful to the blood our veterans have shed to keep The First Amendment a living document.
It was so exhilarating to see Daryl Hall sing songs he must have sung thousands of times, but still with a big smile on his face, and his joy was infectious. The First Amendment needs to be as alive as when Daryl Hall sings "Sara Smile." Even though that song reminds him of a bitter, heart-rending breakup, he still sang it for a crowd that chanted its title. He was a man, and he sang it. If only we had more men in Macomb County like him.
Photo courtesy of Sowff Washington's cell phone
Hall & Oates had some cool '70s background projections.
Artwork courtesy of Mike Wrathell
Mike Wrathell's "Andy Monet" won a Special Recognition Award this month from Upstream People Gallery in Omaha, Nebraska.
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