Before I dive right back in to discussing the Romney family, I want to assure the reader that I believe that as voters we are best served as a country by voting for the presidential candidate based on his policies and his promises on the campaign trail and not based on trivial noise like his favorite television show, favorite Lady Gaga outfit, or what a mindfuck his five adult sons are.
But that having been said, I wasn’t going to vote for Mitt Romney anyway. And I like writing about trivial noise much more than writing about serious things. So, ladies and gentlemen, it give me great pleasure to introduce to you… Matt, Josh, Ben, Craig and TAGG Romney!!!!! Over the last 5 years they’ve managed to drive me absolutely BONKERS… just by existing!!!! Yes!!!! I love it!!!!!!! No seriously… it’s awesome!!!!! Fffffshhhhhoohooooohhhhldlhhhhhhsdxxysyy!!!!!!!!!!
It was 2008 and it wasn’t long after I began scouring the internet to find answers about their dad Mitt Romney that I came upon their campaign blog entitled “Five Brothers” which they maintained right up to the moment that their dad announced he was suspending his campaign in order to defeat Al Qaeda. This blog had as profound an effect on me as any form of media has ever had, as I will explain thusly. I don’t remember what I was wearing when I learned who shot J.R. Ewing. I don’t remember what I was wearing when Geraldo Rivera unearthed Al Capone’s valuable spider web collection. I don’t remember what I was wearing when I watched my boys in Dishwalla accept the Grammy Award for “Counting Blue Cars” or what I was wearing when I when first typed www.fuckingmachines.com into my browser.
I do however remember exactly what I was wearing when I first came across the Five Brothers campaign blog. I was wearing a black and white argyle sweater from The Gap. Why do remember this? Because as I scrolled through the recent posts on the Five Brothers campaign blog and began to process what I was seeing… I involuntarily began to eat my sweater from The Gap. And I could not stop until it was entirely nestled inside of my colon.
I don’t know what was more unsettling that day… the taste and texture of cotton and rayon slowly fusing with my esophagus… or the realization that this was a gaggle of full-grown men, most with children of their own, essentially trying to out-“my dad is the greatest” each other on MY INTERNET, all while posting pictures of themselves wearing essentially the same outfit… light blue button-down collared shirt and some sort of sensible pantaloon shit going on.
As I continued eating my sweater, I scrolled through blog titles like “There is No One Else Like Him,” and “There is So Much Love in His Heart.” I saw picture after picture of Josh… wait, no Matt… wait… no that’s Josh… er… pretty sure that’s Josh… could be TAGG… anyway… picture after picture of them on the Iowa campaign trail posing with real Iowans. And they looked so happy to be there! I remember consuming the entire left sleeve of my sweater upon this realization. No human being in the history of human happiness has ever been happy to meet Iowans. And yet, here was Josh beaming like he had just been awarded the rights to develop an exclusive golf and tennis gated community in Scottsdale, Arizona.
I could go on, but you feel me. I could wax poetic for paragraphs, cite example after example, and metaphorically consume the entire men’s casual department at Macy’s. But I’ll just cut to the chase. These guys were weirder than their dad. I scoured the entire blog for one tiny glimmer of edge, one modest example of rapier wit… one distant realization from one of them that bad things happen. Something… anything… throw me one imperfect, slightly unpolished bone, TAGG!!!! Please, TAGG!!!
Nothing. It was the coldest moment of my life as experienced through media.
But Dick Valentine being Dick Valentine, you know Dick Valentine ain’t afraid of getting’ a little cold up in here, dawg. Shit, my band Electric Six is gonna be rocking Saskatchewan in a couple weeks. I get cold as heyeallllll, playah!!!!
I wanted to learn more. I needed to see more. I went to all their Myspace pages. When it came time to list their heroes most of them listed Martin Luther King and their dad Mitt Romney. Favorite music? Well, shit… if it isn’t Billy Joel and Elton John!!!! If you’re the youngest one, Craig, ain’t nothing wrong with mixing it up with a little White Stripes and The Shins… you know when you the young one you can get away with being a circle in squaresville, and you know that circle gonna branch out a little bit and be listenin’ to The Black Keys four years later… oh yes he is, oh bless dey precious heart.
(Note to Craig Romney: I saw the Black Keys at the 31stStreet Pub in Pittsburgh in 2003 when you were at BYU learning about spaceships.)
Now dear reader, I know what you’re thinking at this point. Valentine just hates rich kids or hates Republicans or hates Republican rich kids. Enter Meghan McCain.
Around the same time, John McCain’s youngest daughter Meghan had her own campaign blog and single handedly showed these Romney boys all about being a human being. She was self-effacing, John McCain-effacing, Cindy McCain-effacing… hell, even America-effacing at times. All while remaining positive and bouncy!!!! YAY!!!!!
She listened to Sleater-Kinney and Ladytron! Ladytron! I mean, if there’s anything the last couple weeks have shown us is that there ain’t no love from the Republican party for ladies… or for any of those fancy book-learnin’ robots.
But she was topical, funny, witty and sarcastic where the Romney boys were utterly lacking in all those areas. Hmmmm… both their dads were extremely rich, so what could be the reason for the difference of perspective? Temper, temper, Mr. Senator… heh, heh, heh.
And that’s where I’m going with all this. The New Colossus never referenced “your perfect, your untainted, your G-rated, your milkfaced, your witless.” The American story was not meant to be told through the 5th grade prose of a 33-year old Josh Romney. The American story was never intended to be cooked up in a second-hand Reagan sauce reduced of Mitt Romney’s cavernous love for his country as penned by his beloved son TAGG.
The American story was meant to be a little bit funny. A little bit rough around the edges. A little bit imperfect. Fired in the kiln of misery and crushing setbacks, to be displayed on the mantle over Joe Biden’s fireplace overlooking his bearskin rug.
I picture this story, this blog entry ending like the Shawshank Redempion. There I am, on the beach in Zihautanejo working on my boat. In the distance, I see Meghan McCain walking toward me. I say, “There’s my friend. I’d like to shake her hand.” I go to shake her hand. I say, “Notice how I got through that whole blog about the Romneys without once referencing Pleasantville.” She laughs. I could always make her laugh. I say, “God, it’s hot down here in Mexico. I’d really like a beer, you want a beer?” She nods. I put my arm around her and we walk.
Behind me my boat goes vertical and violently folds into threes, then sevens. The top is spinning on the table and the Japanese guy… he’s really old, like really really old. He got trapped down here when he died in the other level. He’s been down here for like 200 years while I only aged 5 minutes. But it’s cool, when he wakes up for real on the plane next to Cillian Murphy, he’s gonna give me a knowing look.
And then we’ll be back in the year 2012. And I’ll stop blogging about 2008 and get current…
Check out the first installment of Dick Valentine’s political blogs on Antiquiet.
Dick Valentine is a guest political blogger for Antiquiet. He is best known as the singer for the Detroit band Electric Six. Electric Six has 8 studio albums and they are recording and releasing their first live album later this year. Valentine is also self-releasing his first solo acoustic CD Destroy The Children this May.