Friday, September 2, 2011

one bank box of political contents (part three)

Finally, at the bottom of the box, we've got two totebags full of mementos and junk from the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The sister, PKD, and I arrived as delegates, but when our credentials were ruled invalid by the Contest Committee (a result of the previously mentioned statewide delegate fiasco), we received guest passes. I spent four days wandering the arena looking for Anderson Cooper and booing whenever someone said "Nevada." PKD shot video of the police state outside and got to drive a Lexus. The sister sampled from all the snack bars. We attended a few Ron Paul campaign events and visited the Mall of America.

The sister posted a fun and snarky photo account of our time in St. Paul. Disclaimer: I do NOT love John McCain. 

guests of fascists, anyway
Now, on to the remainder of the box contents, which include:

  • An official RNC frisbee.
  • Three official RNC DVDs, unopened, marked "Urgent information for Delegates and Alternates." Whoops.
  • Creepy end times propaganda.
  • Two pickle hats I acquired from a man wearing a pickle costume in the middle of the park near the convention center:
i have an extra one if you want to be twinsies
  • RP paraphernalia:
is it too late to put this on my car?
for the discerning party guest
conservatives: not great with puns
  • The sign we made when we discovered we were live on MSNBC:
i bet she still has us Tivo'd
  • Souvenirs from the Office of Blame, a booth I stumbled into while on the hunt for Anderson Cooper:

there was a phone for registering complaints. i was confused.
  • A card from Rayna, the supercool lady we met when we invaded rented most of her house for the weekend. We still keep in touch with her. She's the best Craigslist find ever:
hi rayna!
  • A BROCHURE FROM WHITE CASTLE! YUM! Oh, and the receipt. Proof we did, indeed, purchase the 30-count Crave Case:
see the sister's photos for a minute-by-minute
documentation of our WC adventure
don't judge. we'd do it again in a second.
and so would you.
  • Other schwag:
now there's a slogan i can support!
i thought we had a picture of PKD with this guy, but i can't find it

  • And the creepiest confetti I have ever seen:
At last this box is empty. From the piles and piles, I've saved only a short stack of informational materials and notes, which have found a home on the bookshelves near the textbooks. Time will tell if I need the information more than I need the space, and like many things in this experiment, I fully expect to find this stack once more, and whittle it even further into oblivion.

Before that happens, I wonder if I'll change my voter registration again...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

one bank box of political contents (part two)

Picking up mid-box where we left off, we have:

  • My 2008 State Convention badge:
where I learned all about the establishment

  • A letter from the Attorney General's office, refusing to review the events of that convention. Now that I'm halfway-ish through this box, I remember that I got involved in the party because I wanted Ron Paul to win the nomination, but I stayed involved because the party leadership displayed an alarming inability to function. Much has been said and written about those events, and by now most of the participants have moved on to other pursuits, but every once in a while I think about it and get crazy pissed!
  • A huge folder of material from the 2010 State Convention. Last year, leaders learned from their mistakes. Every participant had an opportunity to speak. Veterans and new members worked together. As a member of the platform committee, I was thisclose to updating the Social Issues plank to something inclusive and positive. The drafted plank — We acknowledge the value and inherent dignity of all human life and we support the rights of the individual. We oppose taxpayer-funded abortion and we support the State's right to define marriage. — passed out of committee but died on the floor. I was never more proud of my participation in the process than when I rose to the podium in defense of the draft. After its defeat (by a stunningly narrow margin), a handful of grateful and similarly minded individuals found me in the lobby to thank me for my efforts. It was one of my best days.
  • Sample ballots for the past few years. Did I think I would need to remind myself how I voted on certain things? To the trash pile!
  • Material from the Making of America seminars, brought to you by the National Center for Constitutional Studies. I think I learned some things about the Framers during those classes, but I'm suspicious of The 5000 Year Leap and the 28 Principles of Liberty. I rarely felt as alienated and offended by people's ignorant and intolerant expressions of their Christian faith as I did in the presence of some of these workshop participants. When J3SS came to the first seminar with me, she spent most of the afternoon swearing under her breath at the speaker. Now that was fun.
The whole thing is kind of cult-y, if you ask me.

  • Information about PACT, a well-meaning group of conservatives whose mission is to educate people about the constitution. During the time I was voluntold to help, we couldn't agree on how to mobilize. By the time the big-name local pundits arrived, I was ready to be done.
  • Instructions for being a precinct captain. I did not enjoy that assignment. It was hot, and boring, and entailed mostly knocking on doors and talking to strangers. I know my strengths better now, and the only note I need is this one: don't.
  • Notes from the Leadership Institute's Grassroots Campaign School. If you ever have the opportunity to attend one of their training courses, do it. Those folks are smart, funny, and full of practical information about running real campaigns. 
  • A program from the 2010 Lincoln Day Dinner, one of my favorite fundraisers. This particular event, it should be noted, coincided almost exactly with the day I quit smoking. Yay!
  • Notes from Nevada's Republican Assembly Caucus Campaign School 2010. A surprising set of circumstances led to my invitation to this candidate school, one of the most informative and interesting days I spent as an activist. Later that evening, as I was relating some of the tips I had gathered, I learned a valuable life lesson as well: if someone asks me to share some information I've just learned and then repeatedly and loudly interrupts me to tell me how stupid and wrong that information is, I will vow never to vote for him. (Or sleep with him. Ever. Again.)
  • My voter registration card. Should I keep this in my wallet?
  • The Governor's wooden egg, 2010 edition:
collector's item?

  • Speaking of collector's items, here's a Mike Montandon for Governor 2010 mint. Um. I don't think I need this anymore.
  • However, this incredibly cheap and tacky-looking Defeat Harry Reid pin is a keeper:
a gift from the state party. um, thanks?

  • I must've considered this box a safe place to hide things that reminded me of PKD during the period when I wanted him to die a horrible slow painful death, in public: I've discovered a bag of trinkets from the Scheels VIP Grand Opening Reception we attended together. I got to wear a fancy dress and ride the ferris wheel. Governor Gibbons wore jeans. Fun! Among the weird souvenirs, we have two dimes, a piece of three-year-old gum, hair clips, an LED cap light (you know, for hunting), and a map to all the free loot they were giving away that night. I'm not ashamed to admit: I ran in front of a middle-aged woman and dove into a barrel to nab the last pair of Lorpen Primaloft Hunting Socks. I love those socks so much; I still wear them all winter.
I can see the end! First, cleaning up this mess. Then, the 2008 Republican National Convention. Now, who needs file folders?

whatever didn't get shredded got tossed: cathartic!