(This is the last despondent political post of the year, I promise.)
Is it me, or has this been the longest presidential campaign season ever? Whatâ€™s worse, itâ€™s just the primaries! Weâ€™re only preparing for the real thing. Itâ€™s primer! The heavy white ugly gelatinous stuff you cover you house with before you paint. Sandpapering the deck before you stain it. Gesso! Itâ€™s all tedium.
If any good thing can be said about this primary season, it is that it has served to disillusion me to the whole process—like Dorothy unveiling â€œThe Wizardâ€. The process is broken. The American Pride-O-meter is starting to look like our automobileâ€™s fuel gauge. Families canâ€™t talk about American foreign policy without wanting to beat each other up; the presidency has never been spoken-of before with so much ridicule. We all have strong positions on specific matters, but none of it really leaves dinning room chatter, or blog posts—none of it is actually implemented. We can talk till weâ€™re blue in the face about how stupid the Iraq war is, but, weâ€™re still going to be in Iraq. Iâ€™m not an advocate for despondency—nor can that ever be a cure. But like any real problem, the first step—before any treatment can be prescribed–is admitting one has a problem.
The first problem is, of course, the media. The parade that has become the presidential primary campaign is nothing short of nauseating. It’s float after float, in a short repetitious route of the same few people. Hilliary, then Obama, then Hillary again, oh no, it’s that loony McCain, appearing on the cover of Time as some newfound hero. Then you read the article, and discover that you’ve discovered nothing new. We are guilted into being “informed” people, chasing an illusory high of current events—which is perhaps one of the most brilliant and subtle commercial techniques of all time. News is a product. We often equate reading a magazine, or the daily newspaper as something akin to eating our daily vegetables, or getting our daily dose of fiber. But really, this does not deserve a pat on the back. The more we consume it, the more we are hurting the process. It is a gossip triangle we can only get caught in — ultimately offering nothing of true value, other than consuming our time, and grasping our subliminal attention to the Ford Wrangler on the top of Mount Green-Room separating the 4-page story of Obama and his lifelong suspicious church-affair with Reverend Wright.
The news manufactures news. Don’t you ever find it suspicious that every day the daily newspaper is exactly the same size? That every week, Time magazine has a new “fascinating” cover article. I don’t know about you, but sometimes, an empty inbox is a happy inbox. It tells me: “nothing to see down here, best just go enjoy your life.”