Politics, Tivo, and commericals

From the “Things That Just Aren’t Right” department, I have to nominate regular folks asking presidential and vice presidential candidates at rallies for autographs. The people who are no longer happy with just a handshake or a hello, but now needy of the unreadable signature/scribble on a napkin bit. Isn’t there something a tad bit weird about this? I mean, we’re not dealing with Sheryl Crow or Tiger Woods here. Yet more proof, one might guess, that this whole quasi-insane celebrity worship thing that has loads of people in this country in its grip is not weakening in the slightest. But, really, autographs? Completely out of place in this century.

If you’re watching television, and you’re still not watching through the protective filter known as the Tivo/DVR unit, you are, quite simply, crazy. Crazy from all them goddang commercials! These gizmos have made the move, like cell phones and digital cameras, into the “gotta have it” zone. Another way to tell that Tivo/DVRs have truly arrived is to ask the question, “Can I imagine going back to a life without this thing?” In the case of the Tivo/DVR, the answer is a very emphatic, almost violent “Noooooo!!!!!!!”

OK, here’s the script for my new fantasy Democrat TV spot, to run the last week before November 4th. It begins with a somber, yet friendly, anonymous male voice—“Let’s take a look at the last 16 years of the American presidency, which can be conveniently sliced into the 8 Clinton years and the 8 Bush years. From ’92 through ’00, the country was in a bit of a boom, there were no major wars (yes, a couple of skirmishes, but nothing to threaten the national image OR the treasury), and damn, there was an actual sighting of one of the rarest creatures of the accounting universe, the federal budget SURPLUS. Two of those suckers, as a matter of fact, in ’98 and ’99, totalling about 350 billion dollars.

“Compare that to the Bush Era. You know all the fuck-ups. Bungled war. Bungled hurricane. Monster deficits. And now, to finish with a mighty flourish, the Bush Administration has had to scramble into super-ultra-mega c.y.a. mode to handle the hottest potato EVER—The Repair of the American Economy, which unfortunately just sorta up and died on us. And you’re still saying that you’re undecided? Hello? What? You kiddin’ me? Lights on? Anybody home? I mean, what exactly is it gonna take for you to finally get off the frickin’ fence and put the reject on these bumbling Republican fear-mongers?

“I’m Barack Obama, and I approved this message.”