Monday, October 27, 2008

Dana Smith, Obama, McCain, Palin and me

Dana Smith gave me this sketch of Barack Obama on Friday night the group art show that featured his paintings, my sketches and bunch of really interesting other stuff in various media. As he gave me the sketch, he said, "Since you're the only person I know who has actually spoken to him ..."

The sketch came handsomely framed and wrapped in some nice-looking, thick brown paper that I didn't want to throw away. So I decided to draw on it. My family lives in the County, which is definitely in play in this election - Obama is winning the sign war in our neighborhood, but he is doing much better than any other Democrat on the ticket, and I agree with the judgment of the robocallers and direct mailers that some of my neighbors must be undecided.

No one in my house is, which is why I say: Keep those expensive direct mail pieces coming! Waste your money on me! I made this crude drawing from the latest money the McCain campaign wasted on me. The headline on this mail piece read, "Your Republican leadership team needs you." I agree they need something, but it ain't me, and they ain't mine.

The piece also has a rhetorical riff with claims like, "If Barack Obama were an athlete, you'd call him a rookie" and other comparisons meant to belittle his degree of experience. To which I add, "If the best the Republicans can do to oppose him is a geriatric former playboy who voted in lockstep with Bush and a VP candidate who couldn't ace a high school civics exam without a cheat sheet, you'd call Barack Obama your next president."

I am very appreciative of Dana's gift. Now that it is scanned, it will be hanging it in The Skuntry Museum, otherwise known as my basement. I feel a fall museum mixer coming on, as the temperatures plummet. See you there, Dana.

His generous gift reminded me of something I always enjoyed about being a gigging musician, and which I now miss badly - the culture swap, when two bands passing in the dark of the night on the road at some local gig trade CDs and T-shirts. I still listen to bands that never broke out of their local status and whose music I know only because we giggged in their town 15 years ago and I brought home a tape or CD and kept it safe all these years.

Which makes me wonder: Did I offer Dana anything in exchange? It's possible I didn't. I was pretty excited to be at my first-ever art show and for so many people I love and respect to have shown up and stayed all night. Let me know if I swapped you back, Dana - I should have and will if I didn't and you actually want any of my drawings!

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