1.31.2008

Madness of the TV deprived

Irregardless of which side I'm on (writers), this whole strike-so-no-new-programming-just-oodles-of-reality-tv is putting a real damper on my mission to completely veg out on the couch after a long day. While I'm finding myself oddly addicted to programming I had never in a million years imagined I'd enjoy (Project Runway), I also found the clicker finger stalling out somewhere in the 24-hour news network range of channels the last two nights.

Yes, this means I watched the debates.

Now, don't get me wrong. Deep down I'm a political junky. In fact, in other places on the web I even wax poetic on all sorts of political/news/social issue topics over at The Soccer Mom Vote . But debates? Really? It's rare that I sit still long enough to absorb anything relevant from them. I've never found them to be anything more than some verbose posturing by giant egos who have spent hours and hours of prep time being coached by the little people that live behind the scenes. Nothing new is ever said. A good debate, in my view, is a regurgitation of some decent sound bytes. (Lockbox? Read my lips? It's the economy stupid? Senator, you are no Jack Kennedy? Am I ringing any bells?)

Except that was all in the past. That was not in the era of the WGA strike. The lack of alternative programming means I've developed a new appreciation for the debates. No, I'm being serious. These things are the best reality TV show going.

Of course, if we're talking issues and reasons to vote for a person, I still can't tell you much more than sound bytes from any of the 6 people I saw on a dais the last two days. BUT, I can tell you lots of other things I learned from watching them fight it out amongst their respective parties.

For example:

- Did you know Ron Paul has ears like Ross Perot? Not only that, but he also has that same "eccentric little guy" thing in common with Mr. Independent.

- I'm not the only one that thinks Mike Huckabee bears at least a slight resemblance to Richard Nixon. (Go ahead. Google their names together and find more like me. It's down right spooky.)

- To be a (near) front runner in your party's race, you need to perfect the "Holier than thou but I'm still sincere" smirk. McCain, Romney, Clinton and Obama all have it. Don't believe me? Watch any of them when their opponent speaks. It's all Miss America smile while the eyes say "Oh give me a break."

- If you're in distant, distant third but refuse to give up, it's really cool to whine to the moderators "You know, I didn't come here to referee. I want questions too." Do that a few times. It amuses people like me sitting on the couch at home. I was waiting for Simon Cowell to roll one of the CNN folks out of the way so he could lay down some snark on Gov. Huckabee. Now that might have been fun.

- I heard that the senior (and I do mean senior) Senator from Massachusetts has compared Senator Obama to his late brother JFK. This came flying back to me around the same time I decided Gov Mike was channeling Nixon. "Oh! Can we do an two party debate right after the Super Bowl?!" I asked my husband. "I want to see if we can recreate 1960."

3 comments:

Carmi said...

The writers' strike kinda reminds me of a power failure. When the lights go off, we all head to the living room, light some candles in pretty little jars and sit around reading, telling stories and pretending like we're living as our great-grandparents did all those decades ago.

It's genteel on so many levels. It forces us to slow down and take a little more time to absorb and contemplate than we normally would. I'm so glad that you used this proverbial downtime to dig deeper into the primary race. I wonder if these observations would have bubbled up as richly if you hadn't gotten off the content Interstate.

As always, Sandy, you've made me think. Cool!

snowflake said...

Sandy, it is so true. I wonder if part of the fascination surrounding this presidential election year is because of the lack in other things to watch. Makes you wonder.... I think Huckabee looks like Nixon too and I would love to see that debate! :)

... Paige said...

About the smirks; imagine if you will-dododo- each contestant quickly fanning their face and saying "and world peace" *
Now that would be the ultimate in getting votes.

*my favorite reference to the movie Miss Congeniality