I had this great idea, back when I got my first unsolicted campaign mailer in May. I thought, hey, wouldn’t it be funny to hang on to all of the junk mail and show how big the stack got? It would be like high school, when I got enough college brochures to fill a large box. (That was a hell of an ego-booster, by the way. Harvard wants me to apply? So does Akron College? Sweet! After we all got accepted into our various colleges, my friends and I went to the beach and had a brochure bonfire. Fire good.)

My desk became clogged with the damn things, and Anne decided that it would be in the best interests of our marriage to clear out the office of any and all extraneous crap. The junk mailers were the first things to go when I upended my desk into a trashcan. I was sick of seeing them, sick of their claims and counterclaims, and, most of all, sick of giving them more mindshare than they deserved.

So, who wins? Who cares? Another bunch of assholes will be in the city council and school board. Woo-hoo! Santa Monica’s not about to dig itself out of its development backlog, the traffic will only get worse, and the parks will still smell of urine and bums. Third Street will look more and more like every other mall in America, Montana will get so expensive that stores will only exist for brand visibility, and the abandoned house on the corner will still be abandoned. The real power is with the city manager and the city attorney, and they’re not going to get bounced out any time soon. SMRR and the Chamber of Commerce are both too funded and powerful to give up their antagonistic relationship, and all of the city’s neighborhood nag groups will only get more entrenched and uptight and high on the little whiffs of power they get from their patron factions.

If I could become benevolent dictator of California, just for a little bit, I’d make laws saying that your political group’s real purpose must be reflected in your name. You can’t be Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights; you’re now Santa Monicans for Cheap Rent. You’re no longer Santa Monicans for Change; you’re Owned by the Beachfront Hotels. Or, better yet, you’re all Annoying Assholes Who Waste Paper, Time and Bandwidth.

I’ll be so glad when this election is over.