Just Vote, Yaar

October 9, 2004

Yipee. Welcome to the Hyphen Blog. A wonderful world of Asian American quirk from the editors/staff of Hyphen.

I was in a bad-ass (or maybe ass-bad would be more accurate) mood on Friday. I was moping in my room watching The Gilmore Girls on DVD under my down comforter, trying to drown out the debate from the living room of my apartment. Isn't that sad? Even with Yoko Ono interrupting my regularly scheduled MTV programming to tell me that this is the most important election of my life, I still could not drag myself out of bed to watch two candidates who are barely any different battle it out on national television. Sigh. I know I'm just being a pessimist, but as a Green Party member and a proud Nader 2000 voter, Kerry just doesn't do it for me. In fact, voting for Kerry is going to make me feel downright dirty.

I went to see writer/anti-globalization leader Arundhati Roy speak in front of a crowd of adoring fans in Berkeley back in August -- and I'm not a huge fan of the charming Miss Roy myself, but that's a whole other entry -- but she did say some stuff about the election that really stuck with me. Writer Sandip Roy-Chowdhury (a Hyphen Advisory Board member) got her to talk about it when he interviewed her for India Currents and KALW's Up Front. In answer to a question about distinguishing between American people and the American government, Arundhati said:

"Look at the clash between Bush and Kerry. Kerry has said he supports the war, Kerry said he would support the war even if he knew WMDs were not to be found, Kerry just wants UN cover. Which means Indians and Pakistanis will go to Iraq and die instead. And French and Germans and Russians can share in the spoils of Iraq. This is a difficult question the anti-war movement has to ask itself. If it openly campaigns for Kerry, is it openly supporting soft-imperialism -- killing me softly?"

Something to think about. Nice one, Arundhati. Now, was it really that necessary to wear a snug-fitting, white tank top in the poster for your speech?

But anyway, whine whine whine, I guess that's not really the point about this upcoming election. Dirty or not, I still want to vote for Kerry and maybe I'll even go join South Asians for Kerry on Sunday in San Francisco for a phone banking for swing states event in order to feel better about myself. I do have to give props to South Asians for Kerry -- this organization is breaking down the boundaries between Indians and Pakistanis and forming a progressive coalition that's been making some serious waves. Plus they have cool t-shirts that say "Just Vote, yaar." Nice.

-N. Banerjee