June 6 2012 09:59 AM

What I wouldn't give for a six-week election cycle

Aaryn Belfer

The closing of polling stations on Tuesday marked the end of election season and I, for one, could not be more overjoyed. I predicted the winners to be the zombies. The asshole zombies, that is. And I was right. Just look at them. And the losers? Well, that would be you and me.

What's that you say? This was just the primary? We still have another five months to go? Hooray for grown adults acting like fiendish, petulant 2-year-olds! Oh, America. I just want to grab you by your shoulders and shake some sense into you, you adorable lug. For all of your perks—mostly enjoyed by the 1 percent—you're choking the life out of me with your endless election season.

Between local and national political goings-on, I don't know how much more I can take. I'm sick to death of it all. So sick, in fact, that I find myself opting for the yellow journalism of Page Six and The Huffington Post, shamefully skipping past necessary, informative links in lieu of tawdry ones like a recent piece titled "Charlize Theron's Bra Exposed." It's true. I was enticed.

"You're better than this," the halo-adorned cherub whispered into my right ear. "Boobies!" shouted the squinty-eyed demon into my left.

Who doesn't want to see Charlize Theron's breasts?

I dispatched the little angel with a flick of my middle finger.

See, I'm no better than a salacious non-story aimed at the lowest common denominator. I have become the lowest common denominator. Well, OK, not completely. I still have a brain and all my teeth, and I have not shunned clothing for cowboy boots and steampunk goggles to become a permanent fixture on the music-festival circuit. I think I'd need a trust fund to live that kind of lifestyle; dropping out completely is not in my genes.

The truth is, I can sympathize with a woman whose black shirt didn't hold up against the glaring light of a flashbulb. Having had this happen myself, I can understand Theron's plight. If you set aside her bone structure, her talent and her money—and the fact that she wore a bra for the cameras when I didn't—we aren't all that different, Charlize and me.

The same cannot be said for the bratty, mouth-breathing Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Or the smarmy John Edwards. Or the Brothers Koch. Or any countless number of political players whose headlines only push me toward the relief provided in the Kardashianesque, where I feel I can better relate.

The local stuff is no better. How is it we had two gay Republicans running for mayor? In San Diego! How is that even possible?

Uh, God, blech! I'm sick of the door-knockers. I'm sick of the yard signs (I removed one from our front lawn, and two days later there was another one in its place. It's the zombie sign that Just. Won't. Die). I'm sick of the calls to my cell phone that's supposed to be on the Do Not Call My Cell Phone List. I'm sick of absurd headlines and duplicitous shenanigans to prevent people from voting, and I'd be sick of television commercials, too, were it not for my blessed DVR that I finally caved to several months back.

"Sorry. I can't donate to the candidate," I tell the phone solicitor. "My cable bill is killing me."

I'm sick of the relentless mailers that have accumulated in my recycling bin—except for those special ones I reserved as pooper-scoopers. There were so many last week that the rummaging homeless guy gave up trying to find glass and plastic bottles in there. He let the blue lid slam shut on the container and sighed. I looked at him and shrugged my shoulders apologetically as he wandered on down the road pulling his luggage cart.

Seriously, if I get one more piece of political spite mail, I'm going to reach into my chest, rip my heart out and eat it—raw and still pumping—in front of my child. Oh, wait. I already do every day.

Word to the undead: Motherhood is the original Zombie Apocalypse.

You know, it occurred to me over the past month—as I've scooped dog poop from my backyard onto images of Carl DeMaio's face, an act that has brought me an unhealthy degree of pleasure—that we here in America could take a few cues from the French.

Though they don't much pick up after their doggies, they don't have zombie attacks, either. And despite the rare mass murder here and there, they are so much more civilized.

While we have Disneyland architecture and pastries the size of baby hippos, they have centuries-old buildings and croissants that fit perfectly into the palm of your hand. They smoke and look damned glamorous doing it. They bring their dogs with them to restaurants. Air France serves in-flight meals. It's brilliant.

Also brilliant is their six-week election cycle. This year, their election season began on March 20, and by May 5, they'd elected a new president—a socialist, no less. Crêpes for everyone! Better still, campaigning in France ends at midnight the Friday before the election, which is held on a Sunday. You know, so all the citizens—who are automatically registered when they turn 18—can vote. Vive la France!

But not here. Here in America, we start our campaigns just as soon as an election is ended. And they go on and on, slowly building in a hysteric frenzy of smearing and spending and backbiting until we are all exhausted and desensitized and left with the sensation that we've just had monkey feces flung at us. Why draw it out? Quicker would be a lot less painful for everybody, and the winners and losers would be just the same.

C'est la vie. C'est la vie.

Email Aaryn Belfer. Aaryn blogs at aarynbelfer.com and you can follow her on Twitter @aarynb.


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  • The renowned Mexican black and white photographer presents an exhibition exploring the principal themes within three groups: "Bestiarium"," Fantastic Women" and "Silent Natures."
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  • So Say We All's monthly storytelling night features stories about those jobs we took because we had to take a job. Featured readers include Allison Gauss, Annmarie Houghtailing, Cecile Estelle, and more
  • Artists from the all-abstracts group show will talk about their work and techniques. Artists include Edwin Nutting, Danielle Nelisse, Leah Pantea, Lenore Simon, and more
See all events on Thursday, Apr 28