I'm driving to San Francisco and my mind starts going. I look at all the SUVs on the road next to me, driven by timid housewives, all alone in these huge vehicles. A lot of them have "W" stickers on the back window. The meaning of the "W" eluded me for a few minutes and then it clicked. The "W" is a campaign sticker for George W. Bush.

I start thinking about Bush and the presidental election next week. I think about the myriad of lies, blatant lies told without a flinch of guilt or "family values" or morality these politicos crow so loud about. And worse than the lies, the fact that people accept them without a second thought. It reminds me of a quote from a writer whose name I forgot, which went something like, "You can scoop up shit, plop it into a cone, and, as long as you call it 'ice cream' there are people who will line up to eat it." Actually, that is a bit wordier than the original quote but you get the drift. People enjoy getting reamed. They make a science of bending over and begging for anything - a broom, a frog, a tractor, a hamburger, anything - to be shoved up their asses. Spead the cheeks and start shoving. Just on the basis of pride, Bush should have been run out of office as soon as the first lies regarding this Iraq fuck-mess started burbling up.

But today, while scandal expands regarding secret no-bid contracts between the government and the Vice President's old company, the loss of tons of high explosives due to military brass & administration neglect, and the military's fudging of the death count, while all this and more stink the politic up, these are not the scandals that the mass of America care about. What concerns most people, what is fodder for water cooler chit chat is kid-pop singer Ashlee Simpson's lip-synching fuck up on Saturday Night Live. For those of you not in the pop culture know, young Ashlee started her second song of her SNL debut and whoops, what came over the speaker was the song she did in her first set! "My gosh," Middle America screamed, "hunt down and destroy her!" Actually, they didn't say that. But according to one survey, 75% of all American believed that the terrorist Ashlee be banned from ever performing again.

I start to weigh Ashlee's lie against Bush's and everything starts to spin. Then the Small Faces' "Tin Soldier" comes blasting over the speakers. I turn it up louder knowing that I am the only person cruising down a California freeway deafening myself with this perfect noise. Thousands more, still angry at lass Ashlee, are "rockin' out" to her newest CD. "Tin Soldier" is such a perfect song, so so perfect. Forget Ashlee vs. Bush. How 'bout Ashlee vs. the Small Faces? Further proof that Americans love a good reaming is the fact that not only have more people in the US heard Ashlee than the Small Faces, but more have heard of Ashlee than the Small Faces. This is astounding! Shocking! Shocking! And shocking!

I mock, but I am also serious. And before you scowl away, thinking I've gone all political on your ass. I haven't. The above is about common sense, dignity, and critical thinking. Actually, I am quite embarrassed to even think of the above as critical thinking. Really, these are just mind farts that ooze out while I am fighting traffic between Sacramento and San Francisco. I might as well be thinking about what brand of toilet paper feels softest against my sphincter - that is how easy these thoughts come. But present them to my fellow Americans and you'd think I have challenged them to a calculus contest. Listen, I am no brainiac. I can put my words into writing. I can come up with a funny line from time to time. I can read the paper and think for myself. But this is not delving into the mysteries of the universe and coming up with quantum something or another.

Arrrggggghhhhh...I used to think that things would be different if I moved to Europe. I mean, the Euro conribution to rock and roll is pretty lame when compared to that of America. But balance that with philosophy and not having to worry about growing old hungry and homeless. People there are actually smart. They wear berets and hang out in cafes, talking about Sartre and Foucault. They laugh at America for fretting about whether our leaders are getting an extra slice of pussy-pie. That's where I want to be. But then I realize that smart is as smart does and Europe has pretty much propped up the Catholic Church for a couple thousand years and it is not like millions of Germans didn't vibe with the Hitler. Are the tribal concerns of Serbs, Slavs, Croatians, and Bosnians really the common sense thinking I'm looking for? And who do the Italians love more? Madonna or the Small Faces?

If I get off the continent and ditch the Euro-centrism, the same thing applies to every other country in the world. It is quite apparent that I am trapped in a world of mediocrity.

I recently bought the record collection of a dead acquaintance. He was one of those "I'm not a nazi but I am into my Viking roots" types. His solution to the mediocrity problem was to embrace the elitist-fascist music underground. His record/CD collection reflected that. For a couple weeks, I've plowed through this "smart guy" fascist music - Boyd Rice, Blood Axis, Death in June - and so much of it is just pretention piled on posturing disguised as style. It thinks it is smart but it is a bunch of Little Men shaking thier fists at the sky.

I dig through the rest of the collection and it is comical and sad. There are dozens of Viking war metal CDs. Viking war metal? Even writing it is absurd. Lots of horror costume punk & goth. Sure, some classics like The Misfits "Walk Among Us," but also grade school crap like "Famous Monsters." Scold me for being a snot, but to be 35 and walking to the record store counter gleeful that you have a copy of the Misfits "American Psycho" with poster(!). Fuck.

And not one Small Faces record in the thousands of records & CDs that the dead guy left.

Postscript: Ahhh, who the fuck am I kidding. Last week I took glee in watching some chump in Dolores Park wave around a sword, while togged in black Kung Fu pants and nothing else. Then I giggled at the hipster babe down the hill, hoola-hooping to techno music. I just spent the last ten minutes singing songs about her dog taking a shit to the tunes of "Disco Inferno" and "Macho Man." And some dude I know offered me a month long job managing a bookstore in Chile. I love this fucking absurd life - idiots and all.