Thursday, October 30, 2008

Glossy Ads and Pessimism

I opened my mailbox today at my temporary apartment and was overwhelmed by a deluge of glossy ads proclaiming that certain politicians would certainly make everyone instantly wealthy and their competitors were against children, puppies, and world peace.  Like most of you I'm kinda fried on politics right now.  But I'm a guy living alone who also happens to be a political junkie - so absent stories about my kids, I'm left to blog about the reality TV that is the 12 year-long presidential election that's about to end.  The "media" are helping us all make informed decisions by being perfectly impartial third-parties dedicated to providing absolutely untainted facts equally supporting both sides.  This was demonstrated while I was in the gym a couple days ago (true story) - I was kickin' it on the treadmill and I looked up at the big TVs in the room.  Here were the two "breaking news stories":

CNN - "Obama is surging in the polls and pulling ahead"

Fox - "McCain is surging in the polls and closing the gap"

I deeply appreciated the clarity from the talking heads. 

Since I voted yesterday via absentee ballot, I care somehow even less about what's being said on the tube.  (not that that'll stop me from watching)  Politics kicks up so much emotion and hipocracy - I'm guilty of both I'm sure.  It'll be quite interesting to see what 90% of voters have to do when there's no W in the White House to vilify.  It'll be a big shift for many people to not have someone to just be AGAINST - they'll have to be FOR something. 

For instance, I know many people who helped beat the drums FOR the war (or at least didn't oppose it in any way noticeable to themselves) and woke up one day totally AGAINST it and the once very-popular president.  It's hard to root for a losing team, especially in politics and college football.  So one way or another about half of us will be happy on Tues night and half will have a new somebody to be against.  I think we need more people who are optimistic about government, cuz based on like 98.5% of my conversations with folks about politics in the last three years, it's tough to get more pessimistic.  And I have yet to see pessimism really ever help people accomplish much.

Also, maybe someday I'll get something good in the mail.

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