A few mental jottings from the past several days…
Like many I’d suppose, I watched the first presidential debate last Friday with some eager anticipation. Of what, I’m not quite sure. Short of one of the candidates spontaneously combusting on the stage of the Ole Miss. on live TV in front of millions of people — it doesn’t matter which, although the narratives would have been strikingly different (now there’s something amusing to mull over in your infinite spare time) — the possibility of anything in the least bit exciting or memorable occurring, let alone even the faint glimmer of something substantive foreign policy-wise deviating from the present misguided course of action arising out of the event, was remote to say the least.
Experience over the past thirty years has demonstrated that we can expect little to nothing but groaning disappointment and/or shoe-hurling frustration to come from these painfully staged, artfully contrived so-called “debates.” In a sense, they’re really a microcosm of what’s wrong with American “democracy” today. That’s an intriguing subject deserving of much greater elaboration than time allows just at the moment, but seeing as there will be a handful more of these wonderful, mega-hyped, once-in-a-lifetime, historic, game-show format “debates” to come before the Big Day on November 4 when the election is stolen again, we can get back to that at a more opportune time.
Truth be told, I fell asleep during the last half hour of the debate. Did I miss anything? Well you tell me. I suspect it’s rather doubtful, although CNN looped it relentlessly throughout the night, so I could perhaps have picked up the delicate nuances of semantic parsing by all concerned, examined the minutiae of body language, looked more deeply into the hidden meanings to be derived from the perceived and/or imagined “attitudes” of the candidates, and so on. That is, of course, had I actually given a shit. Which brings me to this…
The most insightful commentary on the “debate” in my opinion wasn’t to be found on the cable news networks with their assembled teams of best political “experts” judiciously sifting through the mysterious entrails of live audience reaction with microscopic precision (when they weren’t making shit up on the fly, that is), nor was it from the completely insane ramblings of the addlepated pundit corps reeling in confusion from the hactacular “spin wars” waged by hordes of greasy, bilge-spewing sycophants lying ferociously through their teeth on behalf of each side. No. It was from this irreverent little pop-stand on HBO:
Chalk it up to my current distemper maybe, but the general tenor of analytical opinion offered up with relative candor on Real Time (never was the name so apt) rang true to me. Unsurprisingly, Ralph Nader said it best when considering the “Who won, who lost” dynamic of the judgment calls that inevitably follow on the heels of these silly charades. “Militarism won. Nuclear power won. Boondoggle missile defense won. Bloated military budget won. Corporate crime won. Bailing out Wall Street crooks won. Peace advocates lost. Georgia (in USA) lost…” Well, you get the idea.
So, why do I mention this four days late after the fact? It seems to me that this is the kind of critical, no-nonsense, no-bullshit standard that we should be applying to these pathetic so-called debates. Quite honestly, I was massively disappointed on the whole by the reaction of “progressive” and “Liberal” bloggers (I didn’t bother to check out the Blithering Retards. Sorry… time and mental health constraints, you know.) who, generally speaking, seemed quite content to blithely suck up the corporate media spin and score the event on the basis of which candidate best conned the rubes or in accordance with a no-risk matrix of who “won” by appearing to be the most “presidential” or not making a major gaffe. That just really makes my heart sink. It’s so contemptible. Have we really stooped so low? God help us all if we’re really THAT fucking dumb.