Driving to work this morning, listening to Dave’s Morning Show, he played Kenny Loggin’s theme song from the movie, “Caddyshack” “I’m All Right“.

A portion of the lyrics harmonized with me (or was it me, harmonizing with the radio – doubtful):

I’m alright
Don’t nobody worry ’bout me
You got to gimme a fight
Why don’t you just let me be

Who do you want
Who you be today
And who is it really
Makin’ up your mind

The lyrics were more in support of the movie’s plot – a teenager trying to be a teenager, or trying to prepare himself for adulthood. Classic, coming-of-age movie. {“The most important decision you can make right now is what do you stand for, Danny? Goodness… or badness?”}

Thinking of goodness and badness (this is after the song ended, of course, but not before I had stopped speeding ahem, driving safely with my co-commuters), It occurred to me that since the beginning of this current presidential campaign last year, I have not come across any psychopathically deranged staunch supporter of the major candidates. This includes the primary failures contestants. In person. Any person. Everyone I’ve spoken with, only casually, because it seems no one can get more than two sentences into discussing the topic without ending in a quick shrug and saying, “we’re screwed”.

The only satisfaction we can get is by singing the refrain from Steve Miller Band’s, “Stuck In the Middle with You”.

Clowns to the left of me,
Joker’s to the right,
Here I am Stuck in the middle with you

Halfway through, and I haven’t even explained the title. Originally, I titled this ‘Placebo Election’, but on double-checking my terminology I found my title was actually pronouncing a positive outcome on the forthcoming sheeple-herding. Ninety-eight days {shudder} to go. For many people, they believe wholeheartedly, that their vote will matter. Even with the present exposés proving, and being admitted by some of the perpetrators, that the carny game is rigged. According to the link above, thirty-two percent of people believe in the placebo effect. One-third of the electorate. They even quote the Talmud, “Where there is hope, there is life.” To paraphrase, ‘Where there is hope, there is decent, responsible government”. (Ooh. I just burped up some breakfast. Damn jalapeños.)

Catching myself, I quickly investigated what the opposite term is. Nocebo. Logical, but jeez, it sounds lame. A nocebo is different than negative reinforcement; the first thing I thought of as a related idea. Where using a nocebo suggests taking something or action may cause a negative effect, negative reinforcement involves the removal of the aversive stimulus (as shown in the link). Thus, we have a nocebo election. We’re about to take an action – voting – that may cause a negative effect. Given the mass produced (allowed) choices, I suggest that the use of may is erroneous.

I’ve been aware for some time of the difference between the myth and reality of ‘anyone can become President of the United States’. I suppose there isn’t any myth – it’s just the process of getting there is complicated, involving money and connections. It is true that anyone can apply to be a candidate, if they meet some basic rules (shown at the link). Reading the list can be entertaining. But even the basic rules stated can be fudged. Receive or spend $5,000 on your candidacy? Sure. Let me set up my website and bill myself $5,000 for services rendered. That explains the really stupid names. Then there’s others that apply, just for the ‘bragging rights’ of saying “oh yeah, I was a formal candidate in that election”. Something that’ll show up in their obituary, probably.

Other posts I’ve made have harped the same theme. Elections don’t really matter. Historically, we really are no different than the last of the cave dwellers. From the earliest origins of organized civilization, some form of force has supported ‘leaders’. The baddest caveman was bested by a group of them; the group bested by bigger group(s); intelligent groups best stronger; connected groups best intelligence. All the time, the acquisition of property / money supports influence. Present day status encompasses all of these facets. Military, economy, society; the Great Game (Britishism), the Long Game (Chinese); no matter how you spin it, the individual is surpassed by the group.

A Nocebo Election, like the Kobayashi Maru, is – by design – a no-win scenario. Unless you change the rules.


Creepy similarity, isn’t it?