Code, nerd culture and humor from Greg Knauss.

At some point, someone put me on a Democratic Party of the San Fernando Valley mailing list, and so I occasionally get over-earnest messages about the various ways that the Bush Administration is bringing about the end of the world or how all that is good and right and just comes directly from the legacy and/or genetic material of Thomas Jefferson, Franklin Roosevelt and Bill Clinton. Y’know, stuff I pretty much agree with.

But the e-mail that was headed by the subject line above neatly encapsulates not only what I find hateful about the Democratic Party of the San Fernando Valley and the Democratic Party in general, but all of politics — left, right top and bottom: This obsessive need to be associated with anything that might remotely have some positive spin with your audience.

The Democratic Party of the San Fernando Valley Salutes Pretty Much Anybody Who is Already a Democrat. The President Stands in Front of a Background With a Repeating Pattern Made Up of Smiley Faces. Gay, Religious, Black, Gun-Owning Vet is Trampled to Death by Politicians Trying to Get Their Picture Taken With Her.

I wish I could get my cable company to pander to me like a political party.

So salute away, DPSFV! Let’s see if you can name-check the other hundred and fifty million people in the country in your next e-mail. I’m sure Tom Hayden appreciates the attention.

But if you’re actually interested in getting me to vote for you or think like you or care about your existence in any way other than vague annoyance that you’ve put me on your mailing list without my permission, how about you do something — anything — other than pander to what you think I want to hear? Please? Just once? The politics of emotional affirmation is for simpletons and morons.

Which means that they’re going to get saluted next, doesn’t it?

Hi there! My name's GREG KNAUSS and I like to make things.

Some of those things are software (like Romantimatic and Buzz Clock), Web sites (like the Webby-nominated Metababy and The American People) and stories (for Web sites like Suck and Fray, print magazines like Worth and Macworld, and books like "Things I Learned About My Dad" and "Rainy Day Fun and Games for Toddler and Total Bastard").

My e-mail address is I'd love to hear from you!

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