The Life in My Years

An anthology of life

Warning: Contents of this post rated R.

“Ever heard of rekall? They sell those fake memories,” Said Douglas Quaid, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, in the 1990 movie, Total Recall.
In a touch of irony, thirteen years later, Schwarzenegger would be elected Governor of California in a recall election that ousted Governor Gray Davis.

There are times when this Californian feels like he’s being pretty cheeky, in chiding other states for being over the top nutty. And this is one of those times.

The State of California has long been the target of jokes from the other 49, and I can’t deny that the Golden State has produced its share, maybe more than its share, of quirkiness. And if you want to jump from eccentricities to outright abominations, it was California that jump started Dick Nixon and Ronald Reagan, eventually unleashing those Frankensteins on the nation and the world.

As election years go, 2021 is rather bland, which, after 2020, should be a blessing to anyone of sane mind. But, California just couldn’t help itself and decided to add some spice by holding a special election to recall Governor Gavin Newsom.

Newsom, a Democrat, has been a burr under the GOP saddle ever since he served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in the late 1990’s. Since then, the Republicans’ irritation level has risen in direct proportion to Newsom’s rise to power. California, however, is deep blue, and the notion of recalling Newsom and replacing him with a Republican has held about as much popular allure as the sport of curling holds in the hot, arid reaches of southwest Texas.

Still, recalling Newsom has been a GOP mission almost since the day he took up residence in the governor’s mansion back in January of 2019. Every once in a while you could walk past a table outside of a mall and see some lonely folks sitting at a table set with pens full of ink and petitions bereft of signatures.

It was COVID, and the governor’s handling of the crisis that added just enough kindling to restart the recall flame. Newsom has had some coronavirus stumbles and I haven’t always been happy with his performance but in the end he’s apparently seen the state through the worst of it.

Not only is the state set to reopen on June 15th, there are scientists (real ones, not Googly ones) who are predicting that by that date California will have achieved herd immunity. That is not a small deal, whether you believe scientists, or the YouTube preacher who invokes god’s will, or the guy down the street who believes that the virus is a Soros plot. It doesn’t matter what you personally believe about the virus, it’s what the people in charge believe, that’s going to affect your day to day life, and in California, under Newsom, day to day life is fast tracking back to normal.

California is just about to cross the finish line far in front of the other 49 states and most of the world, but that’s of no consequence to either the troupe of candidates pouring from the recall clown car, or the petitioners who engineered that car.

This campaign is quintessential California politics.  Put in simple terms, a shit show.

As of a week ago, 23 hopefuls had announced their intention to run for governor. They include; 2 pastors, an insurance agent, a couple of business owners and a handful of former mayors and legislators.

The most serious challenger seems to be businessman John Cox, who ran against Newsom in the last gubernatorial election and got waxed – 62% to 38%.

Whatever Cox’s strategy was back in 2018, it was clearly a failure. This time around, Cox is branding himself as “the beast,” in contrast to Newsom who the challenger has dubbed, “a pretty boy.”

It’s part of the P.T. Barnum/snake oil peddler/carnival barker, campaign strategy; one that involves a living, breathing 1000 pound, Kodiak bear, named Tag, as his chief surrogate. He could’ve done worse; he could’ve hired Kaleigh McEnany.


Beastly change. It’s that bully, tough guy, business guy notion that you can run a state like a corporation. America signed up for that crapola in 2016 and look where it got us.

Cox’s website includes a list of “solutions” for the state’s problems, but the problem is that he doesn’t really include solutions, only problems.

Politics aside there’s just a certain amount of douchebaggery in using a noble wild animal as a political prop. To compound his douchery, Cox was seen feeding the bear Oreo cookies during a campaign stop.

Cox’s initial problem won’t be Newsom though, it’s going to be distinguishing himself from THE big name candidate, former Olympian and current crackpot Caitlyn Jenner.

Jenner is a profile in contradiction. On the one hand she’s a well known trans woman and on the other she’s been an ardent Trump supporter. She recently had a pleasant one on one with Sean Hannity, the Fox News host, who in private conversation would probably tell his bigoted buddies that he’d really like to see Jenner shipped off to a gulag, but is perfectly willing to promote her if it’ll help shed California of a Democratic Governor.

In contrast to Cox’s “beastly” strategy, Ms. Jenner is calling herself a “compassionate disrupter.”

“Disrupter” has become something of a political buzzword. Gut the whole place, clear out the furniture, knock down the walls, tear up the foundation and start from the ground up. Get out the wrecking ball even if the structure is basically sound and maybe just needs a fresh coat of paint.

Part of Trump’s appeal was that he was a “disrupter.” He “shook things up,” say the Trumpers. Yeah, well, I shook up a 2 liter bottle of Coke once and ended up with soda all over the place. Sometimes shaking things up just leaves you with a big sticky mess.

During her interview with Hannity, Jenner revealed her epiphany moment, when she realized just how bad things are in California. 

“My friends are leaving California,” she lamented. “My (airplane) hangar, the guy across … he was packing his (airplane) hangar, I said, where you going? He says, I’m moving to Sedona, Arizona. I can’t take it here anymore. I can’t walk down the streets and see the homeless. I don’t want to leave. Either I stay and fight, or I get out of here.”

Oh, well, cry me a river. Two airplane hangar neighbors bemoaning the fact that they have to “see the homeless.” I say good riddance, and as for the beautiful place that is Sedona, it will be worse off for having an airplane owning, Marie Antoinette.

Both Cox and Jenner are leading with the argument that Newsom has botched the COVID response, which, given the impending herd immunity is like getting into the ring with Tyson and leading with your chin. Frankly I hope they stick with that strategy till the fall election, because it’s going to be an old, moldy and irrelevant issue in about a month from now.

You could make a case that some of the folks running to replace Newsom are actually qualified to lead the world’s fifth largest economy. The remainder are a bunch of boobs looking for a few minutes of fame.

Did somebody say boobs?

Enter Mary Carey, whose stock in trade is, well, screwing. Not in the political sense, mind you. Mary is a porn star.

This is her second run in a recall election; the first was in 2003, when then Governor, Gray Davis, was shown the door. Mary was one of a mere 135 hopefuls in that election which was won by Arnold Schwarzenegger, who became popularly known as, the “governator.”

In that election Mary pledged to make lap dances tax deductible.
“Dear, I’ll be back in a few hours. I’m going to the strip club.”
“Yeah, I’m going to buy a few lap dances.”
“You’re gonna what?”
“Buy some lap dances. We can write them off on our taxes.”
“Oh, okay. Have fun then. Oh, and make sure you keep the receipts!”

Ms. Carey’s new campaign website is up and promises, right on the homepage, with some not so subtle innuendo, “CALIFORNIA’S GOVERNOR NEWCOM IS GOING DOWN!!!!”

The site is chock full of promotional items. For instance, for a mere $120.00 (+ $7.00 shipping) you can get a poster of Mary in a piece of red, white and blue fabric that’s alleged to be a swimsuit.

The poster makes clear two things; that the swimsuit is made of very stout material and that in at least one respect Mary is the front runner.  The poster also makes two other things perfectly clear. 

If a hundred and twenty bones puts a strain on the checkbook, there’s a variety of other campaign merchandise available at  more affordable prices; caps, aprons, mugs and assorted apparel in a variety of styles and colors.

There’s even a Mary Carey face covering, adorned with the photo of Mary in her Old Glory swimsuit. It’s the perfect gift for the man or woman who has harbored that secret fantasy of having a porn star as, well, a face covering.

The website is long on stuff and photos but short on actual policy. I know this because I slowly, very slowly, combed through each and every page looking for her positions on the issues. She has a lot of really great positions but none that have anything to do with politics.

She does include a catchy little slogan at the bottom of her homepage, “Finally a politician you want to be screwed by!!!”

Up to this point, this piece has been heavy on criticism with a few attempts at light humor. I had no qualms about roasting John Cox and Caitlyn Jenner but I did have second thoughts about poking fun at Mary Carey.

But what the hell, Mary is being tongue in cheek (to be clear, her own tongue – her own cheek), with her run and so I figure she’s made herself fair fodder.

Here’s the deal though. If I had a choice of sitting down and having coffee with Cox, Jenner, or Mary, I’d choose Mary and not for the reason one might think.

Cox?  A hackneyed business guy, looking like a carny huckster, who points out problems without offering solutions, and uses a wild animal as a cheap prop and has no problem feeding the animal junk food.

Jenner? A reality TV star, with no political experience, who gained much of her fame by associating herself professionally with her shallow, dysfunctional, self-absorbed clan. A trans woman who shed her self-respect by backing Donald Trump, a man who would be perfectly happy to see Jenner and those like her dead or exiled.

Cox and Jenner seem about as amiable as a rattlesnake, as compassionate as Stephen Miller and as trustworthy as a 3 card monte dealer. .

Mary Carey? Politically she’s probably no less qualified than the others and she certainly seems more genuine. I’ve had two women friends who were in the sex business and if Ms. Carey is anything like them, then she’s a nice, decent, human being. Despite what one might say, those two women friends were respectable, more so than most of today’s politicians. Their profession might have been screwing but they were at least honest and up front about it, which is more than can be said for a lot of business guys and politicos.

Aristotle said that “nature abhors a vacuum,” and so California has done its due diligence and is filling the void with some good old fashioned California political tom foolery. So to the other 49 states, you’re welcome.

14 thoughts on “Ever heard of recall?

  1. David says:

    Very nice writing. I really enjoyed this.

    1. Paulie says:

      Thanks David,
      Cali politics provides lots of comic material.

  2. mistermuse says:

    Mary Carey, quite contrary,
    How does your campaign grow?
    With sex to sell and boobs so swell,
    Who could ask for anything more?

    1. Paulie says:

      Thank you for visiting and for your poetic response.
      Now we in Cali, and the nation, can only hope for poetic justice in the recall and the retention of Newsom.

  3. You’ve left me laughing again. I can only wonder what you’d do with the boobs in North Dakota – the politicians, I mean.

    1. Paulie says:

      Thank you Martin. Two thoughts on North Dakota:
      I can only handle the boobs within my reach.
      I hope Trey Lance is as advertised.
      Thanks again for visiting.

      1. He’s that good. I’m now an NDSU fan AND a 49ers fan. 😀

  4. mavimet says:

    I love the way you look at things. We get a lot of American news here in Canada – but you say it far better than anyone else.

    1. Paulie says:

      One has to find the humor in it to keep from losing sanity.

  5. eden baylee says:

    Hi Paul,

    You do realize that any post that starts with: [Warning: Contents of this post rated R] is an invitation to read immediately! 😂

    I find it bizarre that a politician is elected to serve a term but can be ousted mid-term. Add to that, it doesn’t take much to initiate the removal process, so … seems inevitable the contenders are going to be an odd mix.

    That’s just my polite way of saying this is some weird fuckery!

    I’m with you, the sanest person in the bunch is Mary Carey. No pretense with that girl, and she’s enterprising and imaginative. She has a way with words too—big points for that!

    Regardless of all the crazy that’s about to descend on your state, I’m so happy to know you’re set to reopen based on science. Any good news about herd immunity is positive for those of us awaiting the same thing. Seriously happy for your state, and we all need to take notice.


    1. Paulie says:

      Hi Eden,
      The idea of a recall isn’t necessarily a bad thing if initiated for the right reasons, such as gross incompetence or malfeasance. And the fact that it’s a popular device rather than one that’s initiated and carried out by a legislature can be a good thing (how well did the Trump trials go?).

      That it is initiated by the people is a double edged sword. A governor can be recalled for damn near anything. A petition could be started simply because Newsom with his slick suits and equally slick hair resembles (basketball coach) Pat Riley.

      Newsom may rub Republicans the wrong way but he hasn’t been corrupt nor has he shown any incompetence. The recall petition, which requires a number of signatures equalling 12% of the total vote in the previous election, has been floating around for years. It gained momentum with the pandemic, even though the pandemic isn’t even mentioned in the petition. The real push came after Newsom was outed, maskless, at a party with a bunch of swells at a posh restaurant back in November.

      There haven’t been that many successful recalls since the process started but as politics becomes whackier and conspiracy theories and other bullshit become “reality” we’ll be seeing more attempts.

      As I recall (heh, heh) you aren’t too happy with Doug Ford. Wouldn’t you like to be able to trade in your Ford for something more reliable – like a Mercedes?

      I don’t expect that the recall will succeed but if I wake up one morning and find that Jenner is the new governor, well, I hope you have a spare bedroom.

      1. eden baylee says:


        Paul, I’d trade in Ford for an electric scooter if it’d run properly! Since I know you and Cora have both had 2 shots, you’re more than welcome here as long as our borders open up. Bring your herd immunity with you! 😂🤣😁

  6. annecreates says:

    Wow. And I thought Virginia was getting crazy! We’ve got a QAnon believer who participated in the January 6th insurrection that will likely get the Republican nomination for governor. God help us…

    1. Paulie says:

      Hello Anne,
      Let’s hope that reasoned heads prevail in both of our states. I’d say all 50 states but that would be asking for a miracle.
      Thank you for visiting and commenting.

Would love to hear from you

%d bloggers like this: