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Party Politics

Saw this article about people signing petitions and having their political party changed without their knowledge, and it got me thinking about an old question of mine. Why are voters registered with a particular party?

I’ve never understood this, it seems ridiculous to me. Parties should be for candidates, not voters. If a voter wants to self-identify with a specific party, that’s fine and they’re free to do so, but including it in paperwork and restricting how you can vote based on it feels needlessly tribalistic to me. At the very least it chafes against my hatred of being labeled, but also it seems undemocratic to me, constraining your ability to vote as you please. Far better, to my mind, to abolish parties in voter registration and allow everyone to vote in a single primary of their choice.

If anyone can shed some light on why this is the way it is I’d very much appreciate it.

Since I’m speaking of parties, there’s another thing bothering me, and that’s that I’ve become a de facto democrat. I’m not registered with any party, (At least I don’t think so, after reading that article I want to double check) but in recent years the republican party has become so batshit that there’s really no chance I would ever vote for any of them. The system in this country is so geared towards two, and only two, parties that there’s no realistic chance for anyone who’s not a democrat or republican, and since the republican platforms all seem to boil down to “Fuck the poor, they deserve to suffer”, “Bitches ain’t shit”, and “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus” that leaves the democrats as my only option.

Frankly, I’m appalled at this state of affairs and would like it to change. But then there’s a lot I’d like to change, and I don’t see a clear path to any of it, so I guess I’m just whining.

No homo…phobes

Stumbled over this thing a couple days ago, and it has the sort of horrible fascination that people mean when they say something is like a train wreck.

No Homophobes dot com scans Twitter for phrases like “no homo”, “faggot”, “that’s so gay”, “dyke” and several variations. In an attempt to be a “social mirror”, it tallies them in those four basic categories and displays the tweets below the counts.

Reading the tweets is really depressing. I have to keep reminding myself that its parameters select for some of the worst, so as a mirror it’s a bit warped, but still…

“Faggot” is the most popular, seems to get around 25-30 thousand hits per day. But it’s the “no homo” one that really strikes me. I guess I don’t run in the right social circles to be familiar with this turn of phrase, but apparently there are people so staggeringly terrified of being perceived as gay that they feel a need to point out they aren’t any time they show the slightest affection or even so much as compliment someone of the same sex.

I actually saw someone append “no homo” to a tweet saying he missed his brother. What the fuck is wrong here?

The stated goal of this project is to display how common casual homophobia is in popular language, and in my case at least it’s succeeded extremely well. Of course, now I don’t want to live on this planet anymore, but I suppose that’s not too big a deal since I seem to find a new reason to feel like that every day.

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