I don’t really mind the all commercials; political ads provide a fascinating study in propaganda. The hilariously nutty way campaigns distort the truth in attack ads is so brazen and shameless that it’s actually entertaining.
The news coverage? That doesn’t really trouble me, either; just because there are 24-hour news channels doesn’t mean you’re supposed to watch them for 24-hours at a time. Turn it off if you don’t like it.
But what I’ve really had enough of is Facebook.
The best way to describe why I’m so annoyed is to to paraphrase Ebert’s Law, which goes, “A movie is not about what it is about. It is about how it is about it.”
As for Facebook and politics, this is not about what my friends think, it’s about how they think about what they think.
I don’t give a hoot if you support for Obama, Romney, or Gary Johnson… I respect your opinion, just spare me the overheated sound bite nonsense fed to you by Fox News or MSNBC. And if you’re posting something that implies those who support the other guy are stupid, maybe your “friends” won’t appreciate that.
If you’re really interested in what this stuff does to people, listen to This American Life’s recent show, Red State Blue State. Social media is bound to be the next thing that bitterly divides us.
So, what will people do after Election Day? My guess is they will spend the next four years complaining about whoever wins. And it will probably begin on Wednesday morning.
Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if we all voted for president this coming Tuesday instead of waiting until November. What else could possibly be said at this point?
After the conventions is when the race traditionally heats up; if that holds true, this election season will start glowing like Chernobyl and burn a hole right through the earth’s crust.
Watching the Republican National Convention, it was interesting that Mitt Romney didn’t once utter the word “Afghanistan.” Certainly Mitt Romney cares that we’re in Afghanistan; it’s incomprehensible that someone running for president is not concerned that we’re at war. But the truth is very simple: research told him not to bother.
Every idea in his speech, indeed his entire campaign, is informed by intense research to reveal what voters care about. None of this is random and none of it is based on what would seem to be logical priorities. If surveys and focus groups told the Republicans that America is very concerned about Afghanistan, then that would have been reflected in his speech. It’s as simple as that — and I hate to say this, but if you believe otherwise, you are deeply naive.
So, this shouldn’t be taken as proof that Mitt Romney is not interested in Afghanistan. Political communication is not about saying what you believe, but what you believe will get you elected. That’s nothing new — but it really makes you wonder what’s actually bouncing around in a candidate’s head, doesn’t it?
By the time you read this, these cookies will be on their way to Afghanistan.
I baked them on Memorial Day for my son Alex who is serving in an infantry company in the western part of the country, a place that appears to be mostly flat and brown. I’m also sending a bocce set.
It was great to see so many people lining the streets of Albany for the Memorial Day parade. I think the biggest cheer went up for the guys who’d served in Vietnam. It seems that their number is beginning to dwindle, like the Korea and World War II vets before them.
My father, just a teenager when he joined the Navy during WW II, taught me the importance of Memorial Day, that before the picnics and parties, first we remember. As citizens, that’s our responsibility.
I’d like to challenge all Americans to remember every day that we’re at war.
To most people the war is far off and abstract, something that doesn’t mean anything in their lives. That’s understandable — but to those who have an opinion on everything and complain endlessly about our country, I’d suggest you spend five minutes a day reading about Afghanistan. I won’t try to tell you what to think, just to think.
Dogs can not vote, but that doesn’t stop me from speculating about their politics.
I tend to think of our dogs as libertarians: they oppose any sort of regulation or interference in their personal business. They don’t want anything impinging on their freedom to be dogs, but like many libertarians, they are also full of contradictions. For example, the dogs tend to be in favor of programs that benefit them directly — handouts, if you will — which is just human nature. Or dog nature, I guess.
And I do know this about my dogs: they would never vote for Mitt Romney. Not after hearing the story of Romney strapping his dog to the roof of a car to make a 12 hour vacation trip, like Clark Griswold with an Irish Setter. Just Google Romney dog for the ugly details.
To my dogs this is a sort of a canine Chappaquiddick, absolute proof that Romney can not be trusted to serve.
Don’t get me started on the cats. They are all about receiving services while not contributing much to the household. Not to get into any tired old sterotypes, but they are clearly the entitlement class — and certainly Democrats.
Here’s former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke pounding a beer at a recent cricket match:
Hawke is something of a legend when it comes to drinking beer, and once held the world record for drinking a yard of ale — in eleven seconds.
This brings us to the Granite State of New Hampshire, where voters must ask themselves this question: do we want a leader who won’t drink even one beer, much less 2.5 pints of beer in eleven seconds?
Yes, that’s a terribly superficial and absurd way to judge Mitt Romney, whose Mormon beliefs forbid him from imbibing — but what about this campaign season has not been terribly superficial and absurd?
However, there is one thing that I can’t shut up about. For the last several weeks I’ve listened to talk radio hosts blather about New York’s push for same sex marriage. They claim that “conservatives” should be against allowing these couples to marry.
That couldn’t be more wrong. True conservatives are against government interference in out lives, and have disdain for laws that prohibit things like abortion, gun ownership, recreational drug use, and yes, same sex marriage. When did America get political conservatism get muddled up with social conservatism?
But hey, who cares what some idiot on talk radio thinks? It’s just interesting that the same people who want big government out of our lives want big government to decide who can have a family.
The politicians take this stuff seriously. Most of Romania has one foot in the 19th century and another in the 21st, with satellite dishes on the roof and outhouses in the backyard.Walk through a village in Transylvania and you’d believe there’s something to the witch thing.
Me? I’m not very superstitious, but if I were, this would have been a week full of mysterious signs.
First I found a man’s keys in the street. They had fallen through a hole in his pocket. Then there was the sad incident with the dog. And yesterday I came across a small flock of ducks in the Price Chopper parking lot. I herded them to a grassy area so they wouldn’t be run over. They promptly waddled back into the parking lot.
In earlier times, these unrelated events would have been seen as portents of… something. What does it all mean? I’d pay the Romanian witch tax to find out.
Once upon a time, shortly before election day, the marketing director of a local TV station went into the newsroom.
In his hand was the script for the election night promo — but this was no ordinary promo. Yes, it spoke of the TV station’s superior skill, experience, and prowess in providing election coverage, but it also told viewers they should get out and vote.
The eager young man brought his script to the veteran news anchor, a man known far and wide as the most seasoned and respected journalist on local television. He looked at the copy.
“I’m not reading this,” he grumbled. “If people are too stupid to vote without us telling them to do it, they shouldn’t be voting at all.”
In Pennsylvania, Democrat Senate candidate Joe Sestak likens the mess in Washington to dog poop:
Now that’s somebody I could really get behind — especially if it’s real dog poop in the bags.
This commercial says Sestak’s a guy who’s going to do something about all the sh*t going on in Washington. Nevermind that he spent the last four years serving in the House; that’s the sort of stuff that ruins a good metaphor.
Sestak’s spot may hit the mark, but I’ve gotta confess, one has to wonder about Belle. I don’t share my dog Maddy’s contempt for fluffy white pooches, but, well… it just may not send the right message.
This is not to say that your dog is a reflection on your character. Just because I wouldn’t want to be seen walking that thing around my neighborhood doesn’t make it bad.
And isn’t it unfair to judge a man by his dog? What are you going to do next, get down on Carl Paladino over his pit bull?