Category Archives: Supporters and Friends
I’ve seen a lot of “why I’m voting for _______” posts the last week, and I make a point to read them all. I encourage you to do the same. The lack of actual critical thought on display this election cycle is unseen in my lifetime, and we’ve only ourselves to blame.
The two unifying traits I see in all of them are as follows: 1 – Reckless adherence to fallacies and sweeping, uninformed generalizations couched in schoolyard character attacks, regardless of candidate. 2 – A hollow and apologetic tone for their own candidate that feels similar to an abused spouse explaining to a cop why it’s not their partner’s fault that they are abusive through a tear-stained black eye and bloody nose. A party-line Battered Spouse Syndrome that keeps the cycle of abuse active based on fear of the other side “winning.” Much like Battered Spouse Syndrome, the abusers are keeping their spouses in check by making them afraid of the world if they’re not protected by the abuser. Is that what we are? Is that what we deserve?
In a word, yes.
I finally came to that conclusion when I saw an almost uniform THIRD similarity in these posts; attention to the vice presidential candidate. This is the first time I can recall that BOTH parties’ supporters pay special attention to the vice presidential candidate as a mid-term successor to the president. It’s the first time I can recall in my lifetime that both party supporters have liberally used the phrase, “I think _____ will be a good president if something happens to _______.” Both parties have a suspicion and possibly hope that the law will step in and take away their abusive spouse. Before an election is held, we are uniformly whispering the word “impeachment” about our own candidates before we have cast a vote.
My God, what have we become?
I’m not interested in telling you who to vote for. I can write an extensive and 100% verifiable, fact-based post on why you should not vote for Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson, and Dr. Jill Stein. Hell, I can write you an extensive and 100% verifiable, fact-based post on why you should not vote for Simpson/Hemstead (which I’m sure will confuse and annoy the upwards of 7 people who have said they are voting for us this November – and I do love you vote-throwing people). I’m only interested in you getting help, like anyone suffering from Battered Spouse Syndrome.
Your actions are hurting you. Your actions are hurting us, the rest of your American family. If you continue to get your information exclusively from your abuser and your abuser’s like-minded friends, you will forever be stuck in a fear-based cycle of battery. I want so much more for you than that.
I would love to see you do the unthinkable. I would love to see you reach across the party line and have a conversation with a facebook friend on the other side. I do mean a conversation, not a shouting match of social media rhetoric, but an actual conversation. This isn’t to convince the other side to join yours, but to find out what you have in common. Support each other, because I promise you that they are as scared as you are. Find out how we can help each other rather than correct each other. Avoid using the following words and phrases: Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, your people, liberals, conservatives, Cheeto Jesus, Grandma Murder, or really any slur of any kind. They’re not clever and they don’t help. Try to see yourself from the other side. Or if that’s too hard then when you get stirred up and want to jump into the fracas against the “batshit crazy” supporters of your opponent, just repeat this line from Buffalo Springfield, “nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong.” A bit of a generalization of course, but perhaps it will give you a moment of perspective to change your tactic.
It’s not surprising our abusers have slowly and methodically driven a wedge of fear and distrust between us to keep us in line and to keep us subservient, our strength comes from our unity. Unfortunately, our unity was the first casualty of our apathy. The age of a great politician uniting us is gone, if it ever really existed. It’s up to us now. We’re grown ups. We need to set a better example. We need to be better Americans to Americans.
My fellow Americans, make no mistake, what is happening in our country right now is what we deserve. It’s what we’ve allowed by taking the easy path and by vilifying our neighbors. If we don’t start EARNING something better, we’ll be doomed to apologize for our abusers until there is no more humanity to beat out of us. And I think we can earn something better. And We will always be here, ready to listen, to commiserate, and maybe even try to help.
And to those seven who planned to cast their vote our direction: When the dust settles in mid-November and people on both sides of the parties are muttering their discontent, I want you to look them in the eyes and say, “Blame me, I voted Simpson/Hemstead.” And as always, we love you.
And as always, we love you all.
It’s a question I get a lot. I’m guessing it is because I have a relatively generic, not-unappealing face. Add to this that I’ve also had weight fluctuations in excess of 70 pounds, so my looks have been somewhat… flexible over the years. I tend to blend in to crowds easily. I’ve sometimes compared it to the quality that is described to Matt Damon in Ocean’s 11, “You have to be likable and instantly forgettable.”
I concede that this isn’t the best quality when one is running for high office, which might account for our 10 year campaign for political relevance that still only yields 50-80 hits a day.* But this quality does offer up a pretty great bounty when presented with the question, “Do you know who you look like?” I’m often quite surprised at some of the epiphanies folk’ll reach in this regard. Folk’ll have their opinions, and who am I to argue what pings a person? Basically each time I get a new person, I’m given more ammunition to believe I’m possibly the most generic person on the planet. The proverbial everyman, at least in terms of appearance. I might very well be Darkman.
This all comes back to the surface because someone who reads the blog came across the article about resembling Harvey Keitel and took umbrage at the thought. They actually wanted to debate me as to who I looked like, and felt I was out of my mind. I wasn’t sure the end game in this debate of personal perception, but I happily unpacked a number of people I’ve been compared to, both flattering and boggling. I figured it would validate my position of having no position in the matter. But sadly the opposite happened. By the end of this parade of characters my argumentative friend wished to debate all the options.
So I figured, what the hell. So I sat down with the ScienceWerks and had them make a quick graphic of some folk I’ve been compared to since I was sixteen. Keep in mind, I’m neither bragging nor lamenting any of these, nor am I taking ownership of any comparison. Each comparison was made in earnest, supported with descriptions, often fevered over fear of having insulted me, of features that sparked the resemblance. None of the comparisons were made based on clothing or costume to the best of my knowledge, and dealt exclusively with my physical appearance at some point in my life. It’s not comprehensive, but shows a pretty decent range.
What ScienceWerks concluded was that I match the basic phenotype for white male with dark hair. Possibly bearded, with an outside chance of a beak or a nose that might light Santa’s way.
So there you go. Who did I miss? Or better yet? Who do you look like? Can you beat the range of characters here?
*Vote Simpson/Hemstead realizes that Simpson’s generic look is not the sole reason behind their lack of political success. The reasons behind their fevered mediocrity are many, including but not limited to: lack of a campaign platform, lack of initiative, lack of capitalization on Hemstead’s stroke sympathy, wanton ignorance of important issues, lack of public speaking skills, outright refusal to speak in public, obsession with Muppets, “unsavory snarky attitude”, refusal to pander, awkward social skills, “hygiene”, occasional unexplained flatulence, overuse of the phrase “hug it out” in official speeches, obsession with the phrase “hopes and dreams”, infrequency of website update, honest garbage sold in online store, referring to opponents as “dirty hippies”, lack of funds to effectively compete in a plutocracy, inability to spell plutacra- plutocris- plootacr- plutocracy without looking it up online.
Less than 18 months ago, Hemstead was suffering the after-effects of a massive stroke. He couldn’t walk, he couldn’t move his left side, had trouble keeping up with the pace of conversation, and was unable to sit upright without assistance.
This photo was taken last week when he came to California to survey the Western White house, as well as the Western Brown house, the pink one, and also there was a very nice mauve one that tickled his fancy.
He’s leaner. He’s not meaner. He’s walking. He’s laughing. He’s proof that anything can be overcome.
Simpson/Hemstead owes a debt of thanks to his friends, family, the team of doctors and therapists who have had to endure pun after pun during therapy sessions. None of this would have been possible without you all.
Nor without the absolutely tireless determination of his lovely wife. Truly a special woman. She’s not only tolerated him this long, she’s tolerated me. She’s rolled with the punches and countered back hard. I’m proud to call her my friend.
Thank you all for your continued support. The fight isn’t over, and there’s still more heroics to be accomplished, but I know with wonderful supporters like you, Hemstead will prevail for he is the hero of the Simpson/Hemstead campaign:
When Jim was first afflicted, a small group of people who were amongst the first to know, bound together to buy Jim a new iPod. Music is Jim’s heartbeat, you see. Anyone who spends even a moment browsing his posts knows this; but what they probably don’t know is that Jim’s iPod was cracked and antiquated. Basically, Jim was going through ICU without his heartbeat. Jim would wake up sporadically and the first thing he’d ask is, “Where’s my iPod?” through the haze of his injury and fog of slumber.
Casey called and asked if there was something we could do about that. So we set up a donation site and it was sent to just a handful of people, mostly just mutual friends to see if we could raise the money to give him back his music. The plan was to run it in this small group for the first day and if we didn’t get there we’d open it up to the rest of Jim’s friends list.
You see, the news that Jim had a stroke was still something spoken of in hushed tones. He and his family were still grappling with the reality of this new normal and we were all somewhat concerned with Jim’s family being inundated with phone calls that simply didn’t have answers.
I set a nine day limit on the fund raiser figuring we’d probably, given the nature of Jim’s generous friends, raise the money within 3 or 4 days. I posted the fund raiser at 7pm on Sunday night. By 6am we were 90% to our goal and by 9am we were fully funded. In less than 14 hours, most of them the middle of the night, that small group had changed the course of Jim’s recovery. I was flabbergasted at the quick action and generosity. I still am. Tuesday the money cleared and I was able to pick up a new 64gig ipod. It could hold Jim’s entire music collection. Wednesday afternoon it arrived and Casey loaded it up for Jim.
Thursday morning Jim got his hands on it. The occupational therapist was ecstatic; a small hand-held touchscreen device with a built in speaker was the perfect therapy tool to help him with his spatial awareness and to get his affected left side working on precision tasks. We hadn’t really thought of it in that light, and we certainly didn’t buy it for that purpose, we just wanted Jim to have his goddamned Tool albums and Bill Hicks CDs so he wouldn’t be bored. Besides, Angry Birds Star Wars was coming out.
But no, now it was a tool for his recovery. A wonderfully happy accident.
Upon getting the iPod Jim said, “is this what I need to do to get a new iPod?” I asked his wife to relay to him that this “shit only works once, so don’t go having any more strokes and expecting an iPad or anything.”
The therapist put it to use right away. Directly into his left hand that ipod went. You want music, you do it with this hand. Jim wanted music.
He spent 5 minutes trying to operate the back of this slab of slate grey electronic sorcery at first; Casey said, “I think he has iPod muscle memory.”
Pretty quickly he got it worked out, turned the right direction and playing music through the external speaker. Keeping it on his left side helps his brain orient positionally. He knows where the iPod is, so his brain learns how to process the data coming in to both ears. It’s kind of like having Mike Patton helping Robocop aim when his targeting system is off.
While the doctors work to regulate his sleep cycle and weaning him off the meds to help with the swelling and blood pressure meds to get him out of ICU and into a standard hospital room, Jim has his music and his therapy tool. A gift from a collection of friends, with the spirit of his entire community of supporters.
I offer this story as much for the concept of a small act paying off in huge dividends as I offer it as an update for Jim. In the months coming there will probably be needs on behalf of the family. So many of you have asked how to help, and I know that the time will come and ask that right now to be patient. I’ll let you know more as I know more!!
It’s too hard to write out a long post with the phone so I’ll have top wait until i’mback in front of a computer. Everything moving forward, he’s starting therapy and his sister and niece are flying up today! Stay tuned!
Got an update from Jim’s wonderful wife.
Jim was in physical therapy today. He was able to find his midline while he was in an assisted sit on the edge of his bed.
What this means is, he was moved to the edge of the bed, and the therapist helped him sit up and asked him to find his midline. He was able to do that. That’s a GREAT step!
He’s showing some muscle tone and support on his affected side when in an assisted stand. That is also great news!
He’s not able to support his own weight yet and he has no mobility on his left hand side yet.
But no one is expecting miracles at this point. This is why we need everyone to keep checking in. Let jim know you’re in this with him for the long haul. We all know he can and will do it, it’ll just take time. Stick with him, folks!
Oh yeah, one more thing:
He’s got more sensation on his left side!!!
Not all sensation, but more. Little victories are huge victories!
that’s all for now folks. More later!!
On Friday, November 2nd, Jim experienced a stroke that has left him currently without the use of his left side. He was fortunate in that he began receiving treatment within the first hour of symptoms appearing, and he is at a stroke facility. Please know that Jim’s sense of humor is strongly in tact and it’s been reported to me that the slight slur in his speech is not different from Jim’s “three whiskey” dialect.
This is of course difficult news for the friends and supporters of Hemstead. I’ve gotten permission from his wife, the first lady of Hemstead, to post updates as to his condition through the website free from the faux political bullshit we usually entomb our rhetoric in. All of Jim’s posts will be tagged “Hemstead Update” so please find them through there. He will be checking the website hopefully as of next week as well, so please feel free to comment below and send him your thoughts and well-wishes. The family has asked to please not send anything to the hospital, therefore it will not be listed here, because he is currently in ICU and unable to have flowers and such in the room.
We receive updates from three sources currently with Jim and will combine all three into the most comprehensive updates we can as often as is possible. As we all know Jim is a huge (read: borderline clinical) fan of the Muppets. His father, who passed away when he was a teenager bought him his first muppet and they’ve been intertwined like the helix of DNA within Jim’s life ever since. Jim danced with his mother to the Rainbow Connection at his wedding in honor of his father. We went to Muppet Fest (the only one), watched the only live performance of the Muppet Show, and he even convinced Gonzo to paint his house. The Muppets, as most of you know, are surrogate fathers, aunts and uncles to Jim. I suggest you show your support by posting something Muppety on his Facebook wall.
And for god sake, if any of you are friends with any of the performers, Steve Whitmire, Dave Goelz, Bill Barretta, Kevin Clash, Karen Prell please send them my way.
A group of Jim’s friends, both online and fleshy, have banded together to buy him an iPod so that he will have music, Muppets and access to the internet, so we hope to be seeing updates from him soon.
Okay, now for the updates:
Jim was with his 3 children on Friday when he commented he couldn’t feel his left side. I’m still not sure who called 911, but the decision was apparently swift and he was taken to a nearby hospital that specializes in stroke treatment. The doctors reported a bleeder in the right side of his brain.
Jim has been in the ICU ever since, with an elevated blood pressure and on heavy medication to help his body reabsorb the blood sitting on his noodle. He was talking with Casey on Sunday, and has his sense of humor and all his faculties about him, but is currently under heavy sedation while they bring his blood pressure and some swelling down on his brain. They’re aggressively treating him with medication and sedation to try to avoid surgery to alleviate pressure.
Do know that when he is awake he is in good spirits other than being somewhat bored by the whole thing.
I will post more later, but this is a good start. please feel free to ask me any questions you have and I’ll get them answered as possible.
On behalf of Jim and his family, thank you for your overwhelming and continued concern and love.
And this is a serious problem since a good portion of our supporters live in Southern Southern California.
Currently 1.4 million people are without power, from the Mexican border to Laguna Beach, and as far east as Arizona. Can someone go make sure my Grandma has a flashlight? She’s 90. K Thanks.
Walking on the lot is always a fun experience. Having grown up with a deep-rooted love and passion for entertainment, it never stops being exciting to pass through the security gate and stand amid sound stages. As we’ve been on the same lot for a little more than 4 years now, we’ve gotten to know the staff our the humble, but active studio we inhabit.
This morning as I was coming to work I was passed in an electric cart by one of the janitorial staff whom I’ve not met, a hispanic woman in her mid-forties, and one of the groundsmen. He’s a jack of all trades sort that can be found riding scissor lifts, driving forklifts, or working security posts as the need needs. He’s a terrifying looking man, about 6 feet tall, round and powerful looking, shaved slick bald with a hot pink goatee, covered head to toe in ornate tattoos. He often times comes to work sporting fresh bandages on his head and knuckles, and his forehead has more puncture scars on it than I can count. It was a long while before we discovered he lived an alternate life as a hardcore wrestler, and that he was perhaps the sweetest man you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.
Anyway, the two of them were passing by on their way to points unknown. He said hi as usual and I said hi back.
The cart stopped a little bit ahead of me, at the women’s restroom across from our office that doubles as a janitorial supply closet. She hopped out and headed to the janitorial closet door and he stayed in the electric cart, looking over his shoulder at me with a smile. I waved and said, “have a great day”. He, big shit-eating grin in tact said, “She thinks you’re very handsome.” She covered her mouth in shock. I thought the poor thing was going to pass out from embarrassment right there. He laughed. I smiled politely and said, “She’s not wrong. And she has good taste.”
They both laughed and I continued on in to work, chuckling to myself. It reminded me why I love the lot we’re on, modest though it may be; there are no strangers here.
Anyway, this brings me to the moral of the story –
Vote Simpson/Hemstead: When you’re right, you’re right.
I present part two in our week-long study of Cuban Coffee… why it’s important that the espuma (I’m not making that word up) and coffee ratio be accurate.