Today is another election day here in California. By my (admittedly unofficial) count, it is the 6,586th election we have had in California since the turn of the century.
For whatever reason, out here on the Left Coast, we have pretty much perfected the perpetual election cycle, which, as you know spawns a flurry of campaign ads, which this year seem to have been dominated by our Democratic Gubernatorial1 candidates flinging huge bags of shit at each other. On camera. Like monkeys. Dumb monkeys. Meanwhile, Arnold just sits back somewhere smoking a huge stogie and laughing.
While the commercials — most of which I make blipvert by at tivo speed — are as annoying as ever, they are nothing compared to the insidious monster that has infiltrated my phone in ever growing numbers: the robo-call.
For the lucky lucky few who have no idea what I’m talking about, these are pre-recorded phone calls that are robotically automated so that the only humans involved are the ones actually receiving the calls.
We need to stop these, and I have a plan.
Now obviously, if I was getting calls from actual robots — Cylons!! — that would be fine. But I’m not. I’m getting calls from politicians and celebrities! Worse than Cylons2 . Much much worse. At least Cylons have a belief system.
You know what I’m talking about:
Hi, I’m [Name of celeb or politico] and I’m representing [name of organization or politico], and I really want your vote because [half-truth] and [half-lie].
It’s especially frustrating, because you don’t even get to register any type of protest with an actual human being, because the celebrity or politico isn’t really there, having recorded the message while sipping mint juleps on the beach while their lackies are answering all of the robo-calls that squeak through to their secret numbers.
So, I have a special message for every single politicial consultant who thinks that this is a good idea. Please come in real close . . .
PISS OFF!!! STOP CALLING ME ALREADY!!!
I actually got one from Jerry Brown, or should I say “Jerry Brown,” which started something like, “I know that you are sick of all of these phone calls, but …” As if his was more special than all of the other ones. Bollocks. So, “Jerry,” this is what I’m going to do: I’m not going to vote for you. I was going to, because you always seem more interesting at a distance, but not now.3 Just because you called me.
And that’s what I’m going to do in November, and I urge every single citizen in our great land to do the same. Keep a tally of who calls you, and vote against those people or propositions.
It might seem counterintuitive (and is there anything more annoying than getting a phone call telling you to do something you had already planned to do??), and you might end up voting against your own interests, but if every single voter did it; that would be the end of the robotic phone spam.
It would be the perfect grass-roots voter revolt — turning their mindless voter-turnout methodology against them. By the time they realized what was going on, it would be too late: they sure as hell aren’t going to get those celebrities and politicians to espouse the other side just to screw up my plan. They wouldn’t know what hit them. We could stop this in its tracks!!
Who’s with me?
1 BTW, did you know that the Latin root of gubernatorial is gubernÃ„Âtor? You’d think, considering who California’s Governor is, I would have found that out sooner.
2 Because I can work Battlestar Galactica into just about any context.
3 I voted for Jerry Brown for President in the 1992 Democratic Primary but couldn’t bring myself to vote for him as Mayor when I was living in Oakland. This despite the fact that I used to see him jogging around Lake Merritt in the early morning without a huge entourage, which I thought was kinda cool. But in Oakland, he always seemed like a cult leader or something.