It’s election 2016, and I am sitting on the toilet at my girlfriend’s house with iPhone in hand, nervously tracking early returns on NBC’s election night webpage. My free-flowing crap stream turns to constipation as my sphincter tightens watching the votes roll in in favor of Donald Trump. I don’t panic, though, remembering early returns showed Mitt Romney defeating Barack Obama in 2012 before Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin showed up and carried Obama past Romney.
However, I cannot shake the uneasiness bubbling up in my stomach as I watch the map turn horrifying shades of red. My stomach feels like I have been on a three-day binge of nothing but Taco Bell and Jägermeister.
By the time Trump takes Ohio, I am more despondent than Fox Mulder discovering aliens don’t exist, and that his sister ran off with the circus. Winning a presidential election without Ohio is nearly as impossible as the 1998 New York Yankees rallying back from a three-game deficit against the Murderers’ Row squad or the 2015-16 Cleveland Cavaliers digging themselves out of a three-game hole against the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls.
It’s not so much I’m worried about Trump. I’ve been around long enough and lived through enough effed-up administrations to know one man or woman can tear down what we’ve built. I’m afraid because of what Trump’s election symbolizes: the descent of America into what Mike Judge and Etan Cohen predicted it would be in “Idiocracy” just 490 years earlier. P.S. The president in “Idiocracy,” played brilliantly by Terry Crews, is a former professional wrestler. Isn’t it ironic we elected a man who is in the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame? Don’t you think?
I walk over to my vinyl collection and grab Misty’s excellent 2015 offering, “I Love You Honeybear,” off the shelf and put it on. I drop the needle in the exact spot, and the opening piano notes of “Bored in the USA” trickle out the speaker.
Listening to Misty sing, “They gave me a useless education / A subprime loan / On a craftsman home / Keep my prescriptions filled / Now I can’t get off / But I can kind of deal,” over top of a laugh track, makes me feel better instantly. It’s in this moment I realize I’ve been taking the night too seriously, and that America has long taken the plunge into “Idiocracy” and has survived thus far.
Nearly everything predicted in “Idiocracy” has come true, and then some. In the movie, the English language has become so coarsened, there are curses on billboards; the ones for 2016’s MTV Movie Awards read F-uck the Tux. Hardees commercials have become nothing more than overly-sexualized 45-second bits and mothers complain about their children having to learn a foreign language in school because we speak “American,” not English, in this country. And presidential elections have become nothing more than “Yo Mama” jokes, but not as eloquently put.
The only bright spot to be found is there are smart people out there like Misty to lampoon our society’s situation and make songs that will hopefully inspire us to change it before it’s too late. Misty has commented “Bored in the USA” was about assuring the American public the country would never devolve into idiocracy because people were too smart. Unfortunately, Misty’s words proved wrong, but at least we’ve still got people like him to call out the bullshit in our ways.
And that my friends, is how I learned to stop worrying and love the funny.