by Mike Calvo
A lot of people think that just because I was born in the San Francisco Bay Area to two politically-active Marxist parents, that I might have some extreme political ideas. Are you kidding me? I’m just a normal guy who likes football, a cold beer, and who believes all resources and industries should be nationalized so wealth can be redistributed through a powerful centralized state agency.
It’s August, and you know what that means, right? Exactly — preseason football. I can’t wait until next weekend when the 49ers take on the Vikings. I’m going to the game with a few of my buddies from the office. We’re gonna get to Candlestick Park really early for a legendary tailgate party. We’ll bust out the grill and cook up some steaks and bratwursts. I’m bringing three coolers of beer, so we’ll be plenty boozed up by the time the gates open.
As I’m standing in line with my buddies, we’ll be checking out ladies and giving each other high-fives. Then suddenly I’ll say, “hey dudes, isn’t it about time the proletariat stops getting screwed by the capitalist overlords?” I might even explain how the only way to avoid major periods of recession and inflation is to have a central planning committee take over the banking sector and put a stop to speculation.
I can’t wait to see how Phil Dawson, the new kicker, handles himself. It can be hellishly windy in the ‘Stick, but he played for the Browns last year, and it’s windy in Cleveland too. I hope we’ll do alright without Michael Crabtree, our best receiver. He’s out for surgery on his Achilles tendon. We’re going to need some luck with our offense. The Vikings’ defense is tough, so we’re going to have a play short and tight game.
Since I can handle my booze, I’m usually one of the drivers. If Rich and Terry don’t need to get back to their families, I take them against their will across the Bay Bridge, so I can use it as a metaphor for the impending doom. I’ll remind my buddies that the Bay Bridge collapsed in the 1989 earthquake, just as our capitalist system is going to collapse when the next economic earthquake hits the USA. My buddies will start sending text messages to their wives saying I’ve lost my mind — which is how it appears to them, since they’ve been brainwashed by the neoliberal late-capitalist propaganda machine known as television.
If there are any beers left, we all pop open a cold one while I find a place for us to park in East Oakland, an economically depressed area that’s a perfect background to my lesson. I’ll go on about how the Niners are cursed because we had too many good quarterbacks, and we’ll wax nostalgic about the great Joe Montana and Steve Young. Man, those were the days. I’ll explain that the only way for us to escape cycles of wealth and poverty is to put an enlightened group of intellectuals in charge. Kind of like the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee, but for the economy.
I might have Terry and Rich get out of the car and talk to people, as part of a consciousness-raising lesson. Or not. Maybe we’ll have another beer and talk about the Vikings defense.