Seattle, Washington A Deaf Dog and a Dreamy Democrat

I generally don’t talk about my political views here anymore, for fear of alienating people who don’t agree with me. The dancing video is one of those things that is somehow monumentally non-divisive. No one is against it. The only people who are offended, to my knowledge, are the ones who are pissed I didn’t dance in front of their house.

It’s an odd situation for me to be in, cause I tend to be a fairly divisive person. I have opinions I feel strongly about and I enjoy a good debate. So I get emails from a lot of people who probably couldn’t stand being in a room with me, and yet they’ve somehow decided I should be Godfather to their children.

This used to be a place where I felt comfortable airing divisive opinions, and today I’m going to do that.

I don’t know how to pronounce Daily Kos, much less what it is, but I just read this letter on the site from Barack Obama and I was fairly moved.

First off: what fanciful work of never-in-a-million-years, liberal-wet-dream science-fiction did this guy leap out of? His father was a Kenyan goat herder, his mother is part Cherokee Indian, he was president of the Harvard Law Review, and he can use the term “facile equivalence” in a sentence.

Where do I sign?

It’s almost suspicious. You couldn’t make a guy like that up. I wouldn’t be surprised if, beneath those Oxford shirts, his heaving, multi-cultural man-chest is actually star-spangled.

But he doesn’t just look good on paper. The guy actually WRITES good on paper too.

Listen:

“Fighting on behalf of the poor and the vulnerable is not the same as fighting for homophobia and Halliburton. But to the degree that we brook no dissent within the Democratic Party, and demand fealty to the one, ‘true’ progressive vision for the country, we risk the very thoughtfulness and openness to new ideas that are required to move this country forward. When we lash out at those who share our fundamental values because they have not met the criteria of every single item on our progressive ‘checklist,’ then we are essentially preventing them from thinking in new ways about problems.”

It gets better:

"Whenever we exaggerate or demonize, or oversimplify or overstate our case, we lose. Whenever we dumb down the political debate, we lose. A polarized electorate that is turned off of politics, and easily dismisses both parties because of the nasty, dishonest tone of the debate, works perfectly well for those who seek to chip away at the very idea of government."

Can I get a witness!:

“The most powerful voices of change in the country, from Lincoln to King, have been those who can speak with the utmost conviction about the great issues of the day without ever belittling those who opposed them.”

God dammit, that’s some smart talking. And I couldn’t agree more. Granted, there’s nothing in those quotes of the “great issues” he’s referring to and what his convictions are, but he does touch on them elsewhere in the letter and he has been fairly transparent with his views.

But to get back to his point: It’s not a battle against Conservatism. It’s a battle against ignorance and stupidity – and I’m not suggesting they’re one in the same. The way we lose is by using the same tactics. The Democrats have got to leave Tom DeLay alone and not try to score points at his expense. You don’t win by dismantling your opponent. That behavior is precisely what sickens people about politics and makes them switch off – like I have for the most part and like any sane, non-masochistic person is inclined to do in an election year.

Enough with the character assassination. Let’s get back to some good old idea assassination.

For a long time I’ve felt like politics has descended into a quagmire that it’s impossible to get out of. And I know I’m not alone on that. But historically, I think it’s seemed that way before, and what gets us out of it, to continue the trite metaphor, is people who rise above. We need an articulate, intelligent, inspiring figure. I personally don’t care if it’s a womanizer, inveterate gambler, lesbian dominatrix, or recidivist panty-sniffer. I would not, however, be able to tolerate a noisy eater, mouth-breather, close-talker, or ice-chewer.

Anyway, I’m sold on Obama. I think we should just go ahead, repeal the Twenty-Second Amendment, and make him President For Life. And let’s hurry up about it, cause this is the kind of guy who tends to get assassinated before he can do anything really useful.

Plus he’s, like, totally gorgeous.

Obama

…in case you’ve never seen him before, guess which one he isn’t.

My mom’s dog is an 11-year-old Collie named Hattie. She’s the one on the right in the dancing video. Collies generally don’t live very long, so she’s near the end. She had to ride cross-country earlier this year when my mom moved here from Connecticut, and she lost her hearing in the process. She’s been deaf for about six months and is clearly miserable about it.

…I should stop now and point out that this story has a happy ending…

Whenever I go to visit, Hattie comes running over and makes it very clear she wants her ears rubbed. I’m the only person who ever does it, and she practically collapses on the floor in ecstasy. I recently noticed there’s a squishy sound inside her ears when I shift them around. I suggested to my mom that she take Hattie to the vet and find out if there’s any kind of blockage in there.

Turns out there is. She has an infection. The vet had just assumed it was old age and didn’t check it out. There was loads of crap in there, and today it all got taken out. My theory is the reason she wanted her ears rubbed so much is because it opened the canals a little bit and depressurized her sinuses.

Hattie is on medication now, and the expectation is she’ll be able to hear her name called again soon. For whatever time she’s got left, she will hopefully be a fully functioning dog.

So the moral to that story is that I’m pretty much the greatest person ever.

20 Responses to Seattle, Washington A Deaf Dog and a Dreamy Democrat

  1. erik

    matt,

    lol.

    p.s. you created a picture of a jaundice-colored goo being squeezed out of the ears of Hattie, filling me with a sense of relief, thank you.

  2. Rich Rossi

    My,

    This is a story of the day unlike any other I have heard! I’ve read you being political, but I haven’t got you figured out by a long shot.

    I’m very glad to hear that Hattie is on the mend :).

    I found your comment of “President for life” to be an interesting one. I’m all for finding one good person and giving him ultimate rule. I wonder what that makes me? (us??) Radicals? One theme that I wish were legitimate, but I find hard to believe, is the theme of people sacrificing for the greater good. I just haven’t seen people vote in favor of it. Just today someone was saying to me “I don’t like Bush, he just hasn’t done anything for me.” (disheartening, I know..)

    I’ve purposely been biting my tongue about the whole Ellen thing. I don’t think you were a monkey for the show, but I wish she would have at least sat down and talked to you a bit. Like you say “So I get emails from a lot of people who probably couldnt stand being in a room with me, and yet theyve somehow decided I should be Godfather to their children.”

    The real Matt is brilliant, the Matt from the Ellen show has self confidence enough that he doesn’t mind people giggling a bit when he dances..stop. Noble really, in that you are making people happy, just disappointing in all that was missed.

  3. Rachel

    I definitely saw you on the Ellen Degeneres Show and had to make you a part of my life. Carry on dancing, brother.
    Slash, I NEED one of your sister’s rings. I’m convinced no outfit would be complete without one… As of now all my outfits are incomplete.

  4. grudge girl

    WORD! I am at this very moment pregnant with 10,000 of Barack Obama’s love children, and I’ve never even met him! The man is THAT prolific.

    So… not only are you hilarious, a gifted dancer, well-traveled, an amusing and skilled writer, and politically exactly right, but you also SAVE DOGS FROM PAIN AND SUFFERING?

    I nominate you, sir, for Obama’s VP.

  5. Holli

    I find your ideas and thoughts quite interesting. Talking about politics, I have a 14 year old mind other wise I’m a mature adult. I am free to listen anyone who spews on about a subject that doesn’t interest me. Every side should have a right to be heard. I find your fame quite amusing, while I find your site quite intelligent … I hope to hear more from you and your point of views. I also visited your girlfriends site. Very nice indeed.

    You’re right about one thing though. There are a lot of wacko’s in this world. It takes all kinds to make it though. Take care.

  6. Lori and Jennifer

    Hi Matt:

    We looked at your website, and thought to ourselves that you are very good looking, (we kind-of think you look like Pacey from Dawson’s Creek) and thats a GOOD thing! When are you going to be dancing through Niagara Falls Canada? Let us know! Bye for now!

  7. Rich Rossi

    Too bad they screwed it up. :/

    “His real claim to 15 minutes was his appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres talk show on October 10, 2005.”
    What about ifilm? (360,000 views…)
    link to ifilm.com
    What about MSN? Sloppy…

  8. Michelle

    you are so right on…i have a huge political crush on barack obama and am all for making him president for life. the highlight of farm aid for me this year was when he came on stage and introduced wilco.

  9. Tyler

    Anybody have an uploaded copy of Matt on Ellen? If you do, email me ([email protected]), I’d love to see that.

    Keep dancing Matt, you da man!

  10. Emily

    I saw you on Ellen and thought it’d be cool to check your site out.
    It’s a creative idea and i like it.

  11. kyle Jones

    ah to be compared to the likes of Tycho Brahe, the man with the metal nose and a midget sidekick

  12. Victoria

    You rock Matt! I just want to say that the way you do your thing is speaking to me! We should all laugh in the face of what we’re expected to do and become what we are…individuals, and you’re our poster child now!hehehe Sure others similar have come and gone and shall come again, but you’re the one that spoke to me, so that makes you cooler! If you ever go everywhere and decide you absolutely must visit the place in the world that is far and beyond all others when it comes to being boring, stop by Thomasville NC! My husband and I’d love to hang and pick your brain!

  13. Jenara

    p.s. come to okotoks light up! you can dance on the hay rides while sipping some hot chocolate!

  14. Cara Forshaw

    ha there IS reason to dance in Canada…I think you want to dance in the praries…ohhhh sounds appealing doesn’t it?
    Love Cara

  15. Sean

    I must admit that you have made my day!! How the hell you came up with the idea to dance around the world is fascinating! I think that you should try and get back to Australia! I lived in Queensland for 3 years and it would be good to see it again, especially with your happy mug dancing in front of it!
    Keep on dancin!

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