My Decision to Run for Office in Order to Track Down Videos From My Past

by Emily Butler


I am running for Town Selectman because I care about this community, because I can envision a more perfect future for the inhabitants of this regain, and because I can’t find any videos of myself from college. I was a fun-loving, sociable person in my early twenties, but you wouldn’t know that from my current digital footprint, which is mostly just pictures of my cats.

I attended university at a time of constantly shifting technologies. People were just starting to obtain smartphones. Occasionally, photos and videos were uploaded to Facebook, but just as often they were not duplicated or shared at all. The only way to prove that I once made out with that really hot girl from the first floor of my freshman dorm, or to showcase how good I used to be at blowing perfect smoke rings, would be to run for political office.

If I do win, though, please keep in mind that I fully intend to build a gazebo in the town common.

People often say that whatever you’ve put online is “never really gone.” But that has never helped me to locate my Myspace, or LiveJournal, or find proof that I used to be able to do a minute long keg stand. A minute long!

An acquaintance from sophomore year can’t be bothered to respond to my Facebook message inquiring about her footage of the excellent freestyle rap I made up while stoned at a frat house. But once she finds out about my mission to increase tourism to her town via a thorough five step plan, my moment of genius will be preserved for generations to come.

I am confident that soon after my ad about family values airs, the video of me doing body shots off of a stranger’s stomach will finally be digitized and uploaded to the cloud. Perhaps someone will even track down that high school video where I draw all over my friend Steve while he's passed out. That one has sentimental value. I miss you Steve!

Don’t listen to the latest advice about external hardware versus cloud storage. The only sure-fire way to know that your media with be preserved is to run for political office.

I care about documenting my life in a permanent way and having an indelible impact on those around me. I want to be remembered for generations to come. Whether that means becoming Town Selectman, or finding a more youthful photo of myself for my Tinder profile, is ultimately up to you, the voters.

I majored in political science and I have a strong track record of community organizing. And while I have never been a great dancer, I have crowd surfed a number of times, and would love for that footage to go viral.

I hope you will consider voting for me for Town Selectman, and/or contacting my opponent’s press team with documentation of my checkered past. I swear I had excellent hair back then. Thank you for your time. 


Emily F. Butler is a comedian and musician. Her work has appeared in Halfway Down the Stairs, Moonglasses, Cliterature Journal, Bone Parade, and The Wire's Dream. She was a finalist for the Adelaide Voices Literary Award Contest 2018. Her chapbook, Self Talk, is forthcoming from Plan B Press. You can find her comedy and music on Youtube under, and follow her on Twitter @EBetcetera