The question should not be: Why is the Senate race in Washington so close? The question should be: Why is it so hard for rational (meaning distributional) positions to win voters? Think only of yesterday's sharp rate hike. The Fed Chair Jerome Powell is doing this to, according to the mainstream, cool inflation. But inflation is caused by corporate price gouging. This is as obvious as the day is the day and the night is the night. Indeed, oil corporations have made so much surplus cash from high gas prices that they are buying back their stock? You can read about this almost anywhere; even the conservative Financial Times has this headline: "Fed should make clear that rising profit margins are spurring inflation—Companies have taken advantage of circumstances to lift prices." This fact is not at all hidden, but it nevertheless has had nothing like a deep impact on American voters. Fighting inflation is about "pain" on workers. Despite this public announcement, election races are, on top of everything else, close.

Why? Because we live not in an economy (as classically understood) but a funny house, much like the one described by John Barth in a 1968 story (I visited this funny house as a boy, and it was my introduction to capitalism). This fact (the fantastic) has not been absorbed by the left. They still believe in the "real economy" and "Main Street." But there is little of the conventional economy that is real or as speculative as Wall Street. What is exceptional is not spectacle but faith in the rational.  

Yes, I'm pessimistic. Yes, I feel deeply that the world as it has been known by most humans alive today or lost to the past is in its final years, but you must still vote. And do so not with hope, but with the pride of an authentic aristocrat or samurai of old; do it out of sheer principle. You do not want to go down (no one does); but if you have to go down, this is the only and most honorable way to do so. Vote, vote, vote: "The Stranger's Endorsements for the November 8, 2022, General Election." 

Seattle Freeze? Seattle Times: "Amazon freezes corporate hiring." Seattle Times: "...Heavy rain, winds, freezing temps ahead."

As Starbucks closes troublesome stores, it's making the only thing that matters in a society chained to the fantastic (as fantastic as heaven) accumulation of value: big bucks (as fantastic as hell). The business story today is that the company's third-quarter earnings beat Wall Street's expectations. As a consequence, the value of its stock was rewarded with a 2.3 percent increase. Burn on you, Elon Musk, one of the most imaginary humans alive today. 

Nothing here at all. Just another car crashing into other cars. Insurance company into insurance companies. Debts into debts. And all the other cars (this time on I-5) got stuck with all of the other stuck cars for hours, for an eternity. No. Nothing can be done about this sort of waste of time and the human spirit, which is not like one of Plato's eternal forms (the ground of Christian metaphysics), but is seriously short-lived. Car culture has been axiomatized to that extent. Give it up (any weakly imaginary discourse) and let's talk about something that's utterly fantastic: crime. The mainstream media is all about that. Danny Westneat: "Democrats are conflicted on crime, and it shows."

This is the rational (weakly imaginary—there is never no imaginary, or ideology, or even myth) posed against the fantastic, and yet the GOP is running close races all over the place, including our state:

I wish it was not in a couple years. This fucking rich city can fix a whole bloody broken bridge in two years. But you need a couple of years to just do this? To put new and more meaningful signs on a small light-rail system? Wait. I'm talking rationally. I'm diluting the all-potent capitalist imaginary. I live in a society that is designed to be nothing but maddening to all forms of reason.   

Live from Trump Land: The investigation of a Centralia man who died of a drug overdose concluded with "four arrests, five firearms being seized, and more than 100 suspected fentanyl pills being recovered earlier this week." The man who died went around the sun 26 times.

Live also from Trump Land:

Six days after having his head cracked by a MAGA-mad man, Paul Pelosi, the husband of Nancy Pelosi, returned home, returned to the very place he was "beaten with a hammer."

So, Benjamin Netanyahu is really back—US and Brazil take note right now. They can come back, these sorts. New York Times reports: "He lost power in Israel a year ago under a cloud of corruption charges and political dysfunction. But on Thursday, Benjamin Netanyahu cemented his return to the prime minister’s post that he has held for longer than any other Israeli leader." Is this consistent with the capitalism of our times? What happened in China was a performance of the future? All of this yap about saving democracy is just too real to be meaningful to a culture whose most-popular car is the Ford F-Series.

Hillary Clinton getting some love from the left:

In 2015, the divine Erykah Badu dropped this masterpiece of soul, "Phone Down." Please, let's love these small moments. The world is grinding down. It will eventually stop, but not for life as a whole but for us and those beings too close to us.