What washing machines and politics have in common

washer sog

Here is how the not-quite-right mind works (sort-a). 

One of my favorite laugh-out-loud movies is She Devil (Starring Roseanne Barr and Meryl Streep).  There’s a scene where the romance novelist writes a book with a horrendous chapter about laundry.   

One of my favorite bloggers is Skinny and Single https://skinnyandsingle.wordpress.com/2015/10/17/why-i-dont-vote/ (It takes a strong person to invite controversy). Her post “Why I don’t vote,” and my crappy washing machines inspired me to write about 2 things that frustrate the hell out of me:  Laundry and Politics.

Why did I choose to compare politics to laundry?  If you’re REALLY interested, read the paragraphs highlighted in boring brown.  If not, I’m giving you the option to skip the paragraphs so I don’t risk boring you to death about it (but you really do need to read what is highlighted in blue).

Recently, my perceptions of laundry have changed considerably.  My mother used to say, “It’s not the soap that cleans the clothes, it’s the water.”  I thought she was crazy, until I had the misfortune of purchasing 2 different GE incarnations. 

I owned a top loader with an infuser for 5 years and hated the machine from day one.  By the time it decided to die, I’d figured out a labor-intensive way to actually get the dirt out.

Sooo…I replaced it for a machine with one that had an agitator with 3.6 capacity.  On both machines, the rinse cycle was pitiful.  You have a HUGE tub that only fills up to ½ capacity. 

On both, the rinse cycle used very little water, leaving the clothes packed with nice smelling detergent.  But with the agitator, the rinse cycle “filled” to 3 inches of water and tore up some towels before I watched the entire cycle “work.”  When I confronted GE about why a 3.6 cu ft tub only filled to ½ capacity and then rinsed with 3 inches of water and demanded my money back, I was sent an email (and I quote):   “I regret to hear about the washer, there is no part that can change the water level. This is a federally mandated water saving issue, all brands have this now.”

Aware that I was never going to get my money back, my husband graciously looked into the guts of the machine and made a startling discovery.  The expensive infusing machine and the cheap agitator had identical parts.

That got me to thinking:  What do washers and politics have in common?

  1. There are Wash out, Clean up (rinse) and Spin cycles.
  2. How well they work greatly depends upon user perception.
  3. You’re asked your opinion about its effectiveness immediately after you’ve made your choice, before you have a chance to see it in action, and this information will be used to convince others to buy into it, ergo…
  4. We rarely pay attention to the mechanics of it until the dirt won’t come out.
  5. We think that replacing the machine every 4 years is going to change things.
  6. However, we don’t consider that the guts of the machines are all working the same, thanks to government regulations.
  7. Once we figure out how to open the lid and scrutinize each cycle, we’re appalled at how our ignorance has helped create a machine that will never allow us to clean up the mess.
  8. When those who manufacture the spin learn that people know how the machine works, they replace simplicity with high-tech sensors and spyware.

Someone suggested replacing the machine with a Speed Queen, but I don’t have the Constitution that allows for one.   Nor would I want to replace one terrible machine with another.  If government created a camel that worked like my washing machine, it would have humps on the bottom and the legs of a dachshund.    

There are times when we-the-people have to take things into our own hands, wring out the dirty laundry and work around restrictions that make about as much sense as blocking 6 lanes of traffic during rush hour in Los Angeles to save wear and tear on the roadways.

The 64 trillion dollar question is this:  When do we cut the wires, circumvent the programming, raise the levels to an acceptable high and find a way to make the machine workable?

Possibly when enough people’s lives have been torn up by it.