We're all a little stressed out about the election tomorrow, so I thought I'd share a dumb political idea we can all agree is silly: Cascadia.
Cascadia is an imaginary country consisting of Washington, Oregon, and the half of California which doesn't suck. The idea -- and there are honest to God intellectuals who've signed onto this over the years -- is that those 2.5 states will secede, and be freed forever from the shackles of Idiot America. Part of this makes sense; there are some dumbdumbs in America. The notion that people in the Northwest are magically smarter feels like a bit of a stretch to me.
Exactly, how, would this work? Where's the capitol? Each of the three major metropolitan regions assume they're far hipper than any other city in the world. (A rather charming feature of the Twin Cities is your self-depreciation.)
Also, outside of those three cities (and Eugene, which is basically the People's Republic Of Weedistan), there are some wildly differing political opinions. In Southeast Oregon, you can take over a forest ranger building with assault rifles and threaten to kill anybody who interferes, then a jury of locals will let you off. Seattle and the SF Bay have tons of brown people. Portland does not.
Sacramento's economy is based entirely on bribery. Northern California and Southern Oregon have economies based entirely on drug growers in the hills who show up in town once a year to buy supplies. Always in cash. If you pull over in the woods to go pee there, within 30 seconds you will hear the racking of a shotgun pointed at your head and a paranoid voice asking "whaddya doing here?"
Plus, and this may seem like a small obstacle by comparison, um, the United States is not in the habit of letting states secede. It's been tried, it didn't go well.
Finally, most original conceptions of Cascadia included British Columbia, or at least Vancouver. I feel this offer must be rescinded.
Their basketball team, Vancouver Grizzlies, used to provide a needed service to the world. Every NBAer looked forward to road trips in Vancouver, because of its vibrant sex industry.
Professional athletes get to callously break every promise made to their life partners and best friends. It's what athletes do. Yes, the thought of Roy Smalley's hair being involved in any sort of erotic act is repugnant, but the idea of fidelity is repulsive to athletes. To each their own.
Vancouver forfeited their NBA team. Now 435 highly paid, highly hormonal young men have to visit Memphis instead. Where your best chance for side nookie involves being an Elvis imitator.
Yes, I know, Vancouver still has a hockey team. This doesn't count. They're all Canadian, who are too clean-minded for infidelity. Have you folks seen Samantha Bee's TV show? She never uses language stronger than "oofta." It's a Canadian thing.
Hence, Vancouver, you are hereby uninvited from Cascadia. Minnesota, Ontario, and Quebec, that's a separate conversation. Only one regional identity mania at a time.
(Except if Texas wants to secede, I am fine with this.)
So, anyhoo. Mascots!
Lou Seal -- San Francisco Giants
Arrested Development fans will love the name. And Lou is a pretty good
Kids seem to like it. Anyone who's visited Fisherman's Wharf will remember the seals, which are quite unbothered by humans. Lou Seal was also in a TV series called "Behind The Mask" you can watch on Hulu, if you have the Hulu. I don't have the Hulu. That title is shared by a Nigerian film, a product of "Nollywood." I didn't know that name for the Nigerian film industry existed. Now I do.
- Advantages -- Eats human hands.
- Disadvantages: Those real seals on the wharf sure act like they want to eat human hands. Think the donkeys in Custer State Park, but meaner and smellier.
Stomper -- Oakland A's
Stomper is supposed to resemble an elephant, harkening back to when Giants manager John McGraw said the Philadelphia team would prove to be a "white elephant." (Their current home certainly at times can smell like a zoo.) Over at Athletics Nation, D.L. Nelson has a rundown of the elephant's place in A's history, with some interesting info on mascots in general. Apparently, mascots are very good for business, having more brand recognition than players. The comments section has this charming photo of Stomper assaulted by what appears to be a pubic louse.
- Advantages: Historical tie to team
- Disadvantages: Resembles less a cuddly elephant like Babar or Dumbo, and rather the common house mouse. The kind that crawled in your basement to escape the cold, and now you have a nest of blind, mewling mouse babies. You can't kill mouse babies! So now you have to buy a cat.
Mariner Moose -- Seattle Mariners
And here we can alleviate election fatigue, just a bit. The moose, in fact, was Ken Griffey Jr.'s vice-presidential choice in 1996. Clinton was their campaign manager. (A different Clinton.) I'd vote for that ticket.
The Moose used to roller-skate behind an ATV, but broke its ankles in an accident, which you can find to see if you wish. I have a sense of decency.
- Advantages: Moose was probably inspired by Northern Exposure, filmed near Seattle yet set in Alaska. As our less cowbell has observed, there are no brown bears in Minnesota, while there are about 3000 moose in Washington. So it's kinda local.
- Disadvantages: If they were going to base the mascot on a iconic TV show filmed in Washington, it should have been a Log Lady.
And remember, folks ... Vote!