We invited Dan Boeckner -- currently of the band The Divine Fits and formerly a member of Wolf Parade -- to provide is take on the much-discussed VP debate. Here's what he had to say.
Martina Chavez Dan Boeckner, right, is a member of The Divine Fits. The band's debut, A Thing Called Divine Fits, is out now.
By Dan Boeckner
My name is Dan. I'm a relatively new arrival in The a United States of America. Seattle Weekly has asked me to contribute some thoughts on the Vice Presidential Debate, the results of which my new American friends assure me are OF UPMOST WEIGHT AND IMPORTANCE IN DETERMINING THE RESULTS OF YOUR UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. My friends have told me that when you appoint your new Prime Minister (or "Commander In Chief") that the carefully thought out, mature discussions on important issues by these "Vice Presidential" candidates will be foremost in the mind of the American ballot caster. I am honored. Thank you for allowing a new resident of the Province of California the opportunity to speak freely without the risk of extradition to the Alberta Tar Sands Gulag. It's a luxury we Citizens of the Democratic People's Republic Of Soviet Canukistan are rarely afforded.
Here, in roughly chronological order are my personal highlights of a titanic battle of political brinksmanship I'm calling Rand-bot vs the Laughing Interruptor:1. Paul Ryan's bizarre assertion that the current admins combination of targeted killing, Black Ops and drone warfare is somehow "projecting weakness abroad". Speaking for Canadians, we are terrified of you. You have killbots.
2. Paul Ryan's amazing, very scientific rebuttal to Bidens claim that sanctions are crippling the Iranian State (rial devalued 50% in the last month or so)..."They're spinning the centrifuges FASTER!" This was the first of several times I laughed so hard that I spat beer out of my mouth.
3. This began Paul Ryan's string of repeated jabs at Russia, which were pretty much (rightly) ignored by everyone. Russia! You guys won, right? Is he mad about Pussy Riot? Being such an advocate for women's rights in general and all... I mean, he's pretty clear about disliking the UN but...Russia?
4. Biden saying Bibi over and over and over again. It began to put me into a trance state.
5. Ryan claiming Israel and the US weren't "close enough". More beer out nose.
6. Ryan claiming that Iran (and not, hmmm...say...Pakistan) is the "worlds largest sponsor of terrorism". At this point Biden's jackal-like laughter had reached a psychedelic intensity.
7. Biden's laughing in general. He seemed genuinely amused and bewildered by an opponent that, to me, began to resemble Eddie Munster more and more with each passing second.
8. Ryan's saying that Romney is a "Car guy". Beer out nose. And then the story about the Nixons that Mitt would never tell himself of course...but that Rand Bot is more than happy to share.
8.5. Paul Ryan: "Specifics?! I'll give you specifics on our 5-point plan!" And then proceeds to provide no specifics. I DO like a good 5-point plan, though. That tested well with the demographic of me.
Full Disclosure: I hate Paul Ryan. I am a socialist.
9. This was followed by what can only be described as a "smirkfest". Both candidates using their powers of smirking to pummel the other into submission at what I'm sure is great risk to the longevity of their own facial musculature. Ryan, voted Biggest Brownnoser at his High School (a fact recently expunged from his Wikipedia profile) seems to have studied Romneys relentless smirking of last week and duplicated it to masterful perfection.
10. Paul Ryan actually starts throwing the words "special interest groups" around. More beer out nose.
11. Biden zings Ryan on Wisconsin accepting stimulus money. Score one for the Spendocrats!
12. Paul Ryan's entire take on Medicare and social security. It's hard to want to hear fiscal advice on a social safety net from a guy who once said that inner-city problems could be solved with "discipline".
13. Paul Ryan whining about cuts to the NAVY. Because when you're engaged in a nebulous, multi-front conflict with extremely mobile, irregular guerrilla units in mostly landlocked environments what you really need to do is dump money you don't have into giant expensive battleships.
14. "The unraveling of American foreign policy". Beer. Out. Nose.
15. Biden repeatedly yelling "Hear me!"
16. The words "reproductive rights". This was a not a highlight. Just a sad sad part of the evening. My friend is registering to vote for the first time purely based on Ryan and his party's stand on this.
17. The closing arguments. Biden goes for the jugular and mentions his MOM and DAD. Paul Ryan tries to be sincere and ends up just reminding me of the John Carpenter masterpiece They Live.
There it is. An epic battle between an experienced technocratic centrist and a guy who firmly believes in a Randian "hands off state" except when it comes to women's "reproductive rights", the self determination of the middle class, who you can marry etc etc etc etc. An epic battle will become totally meaningless by the time the next Prime Minesterial sorry...Presidential debate rolls around.
More baffling still is the response of the media to this...The LA Times called this bloodbath a "draw" because Paul Ryan "avoided serious blunders". Really? That's where the bar for a draw is set? That's like applauding a commercial pilot for landing a plane and not killing anyone.
All right. Thanks for having me. ????? ???????!