Sunday, June 01, 2008

I made more $ from Bill Clinton.

I have been working around town as a Busker, and like all of us who work the streets, finding places to play & make money is what it's all about. Since the Oregon primary is this Tuesday, we are currently being preyed upon by what passes for our Presidential choices these days. I thought I would go out and try to see how much I could make playing for the crowds of people trying to get in and gawk at the candidates.

The most that I got spanging was about $20 after an hour or so set up playing next to the line trying to get into Bill Clinton's speech at Lincoln High School in Portland, when he was in town campaigning for Hillary. I would have stayed longer, but the line was long and it hardly moved, so I didn't get that many people passing me by. Plus I felt a little sheepish that I had to be honest and tell people I registered as a Republican and vote for Ron Paul. Oregon doesn't (yet) have an open primary. I'll change back to Democrat after this Tuesday, and I'll vote for Ralph Nader in November. Yep, and this is the 3rd time I've voted for him.

Ron Paul hasn't campaigned in Oregon to my knowledge. And I wasn't able to get to any event by Hillary herself or John McCain. I did make it to 2 other events, however.

At Ralph Nader's rally, I barely made a buck in change. but I came away with a wealth of things to chew on, from Ralph himself. Form what I can remember at the moment:

*Obama was an advocate for the rights of Palestinians, and always said he would sit down and negotiate with his enemies. Then why did he criticize Jimmy Carter for his recent visit to the Middle East in which he met with Hamas?

*Hillary is a woman and has to appear "macho" to those who are skeptical of her ability to lead. As such, she never met a weapons system she doesn't like!

*She talked about retaliating against Iran if they attack Israel with a nuclear weapon. Ralph pointed out the "why" of Iran's aggression that we never consider: That the USA overthrew Iran's democratically elected Primie Minster in 1953, and recently of course, attacked Iraq unprovoked. Can we blame them for wanting to protect themselves?

I liked the way that Ralph spent awhile with a question & answer session at Benson High, trying to talk to people. One guy said "Mr. Nader, I'm for Obama, but I'm glad you are in the race." Ralph replied with an ironic gleam: "Hey that's fine, I'm just there trying to give people more choices. What you can do is have 2 buttons- one that says Obama & one that says Nader/Gonzales. Then tell people 'I'm for Obama but I want the Nader/Gonzales agenda."

He doesn't care if you vote for Obama! Where do all these people who accuse him of being a shill get off?

Then today, I went busking at the rally of America's Savior Messiah. OOPS- I meant to say Barrack Obama! If sizes of crowds have any indication, not only is it over for Hillary, But McCain doesn't stand a chance. The numbers of people streaming into his rally on the Portland Waterfront was staggering to say the least!

I set up and started singing a couple of blocks away from the rally. I was swallowed up by the masses, literally. I think I made about $4. There was several people on my block trying to score some money by selling Obama buttons & tee shirts they made themselves. The coolest one set up right next to me- some African American guys who wore dreadlocks, and had these Obama posters & stuff that had a "Reggae" feel to it. One of the guys was giving me a thumbs up & jamming out to the Johnny Cash songs I was singing. Some lady came over and tried to give me flack because apparently I was covering up the speech being given by Mr. Obama himself just about a 1/4 of a mile away. Actually I don't see how she could have heard anything from where we were, since all I could hear was his muffled voice and it came off as gibberish. I told her in a very impolite manner that she should move closer, and then proceeded to pepper my language with a few salty words as I retorted "OK is he god now? We have to hear his every word? Did he die for your sins?"

Fortunately, the Reggae dude sort of laughed off my comments while he was hearing the exchange nearby. That lifted the spirit of the moment. I was ready to split and find another place to play, but he said "Hey come on, how about some Dylan?" So I asked for a few bucks & he obliged me & so I did in return. I sang 2 Dylan songs & then moved along.

It didn't really matter where I positioned myself on what sidewalk, people were there for the rally and weren't really there to pay attention to anyone or anything that didn't have to do with their anointed hero.

Steve Novick, who is running for US Senate as a Democrat, has taken flack for
calling Obama a "special interest fraud" and saying that there's nothing to like about him. Steve is no taller then about 4 feet I think, and has one hook for an arm. I think if I had stayed Demo during the primary, I would've voted for him on the basis of his having a mind of his own.

Other than Steve, I should add that there were 2 other voices of reason in this sea of insanity today: A guy handing out fliers for Ron Paul (although it's too late to re-reigster) and another guy holding a sign that said "
AIPAC: The Enemy Within." Other than that, people seemed pretty much enamored with Mr. BO- for what I'm not exactly sure.