Before we begin with this week’s edition of The Friday Five I would like to say that I would really like to be able to buy and play Hellboy for the PlayStation. It has been released in Europe, two years ago if memory serves, and while there’s long been a rumor of a North American release, Hellboy has yet to surface on this side of the pond. I realize the game could be total crap, but I want Hellboy!
1. Did you vote in your last elections?
No, because I wasn’t eligible due to the recentness of my move to North Carolina. If I could have registered I would have, but I couldn’t so I didn’t.
2. Do you know who your elected representatives are?
I know my Senators are Jesse Helms (the retiring fascist bigot) and John Edwards (the shining hope of the Democratic Party). My Representative? Not sure. Governor? Not sure.
Give me time. I just moved to North Carolina.
3. Have you ever contacted an elected representative? If so, what was it about?
Yes, I have. And a funny tale it is, too.
I used to work for Payless ShoeSource. Payless sold at the time (and probably still sells) almost nothing but imported shoes from China, and the trade relationship between China and the US needed to be hammered out on a yearly basis until China was granted Most Favored Nation trading status. And each spring, when China’s trade status came up for a vote in Congress Payless would send out to each store a packet containing stamps, envelopes, and form letters for each employee asking them to write to their elected representatives in Washington and tell them how important it was for our country and our feet for trade with China to be unimpeded.
The first few years I didn’t bother. I didn’t see the point. Trade with China wasn’t going to be stopped; it was too important to the economy, and the whole issue was being used to score political points more than anything else.
One year I decided I would write. And I would write what I felt.
So, three letters were sent. One to my Representative (whose name I have forgotten), and two to my Senators, John Warner and Chuck Robb. China has a history of being a brutal and oppresive regime, and furthering our trade with China only rewards the Chinese leadership for being inhumane to their citizens, I wrote.
No, it wasn’t the letter Payless’s management wanted me to write. But I couldn’t have written the letter they wanted me to write.
4. Have you ever participated in a demonstration?
If leading a student walk-out in high school counts, then yes. If not, then no.
The students, by the way, were protesting a potential teacher’s strike in West Virginia. No, we accomplished absolutely nothing; the teachers still went out on strike.
5. Have you ever volunteered in an election? What was the result?
I haven’t volunteered in an election. Maybe I should.