Friday, February 8, 2008

More Politics

since the writing staff here at the wine wall is off this morning to a big history-making Obama rally (can't resist the hyperbole, given the hyperbolic nature of this political season), we can't resist the temptation to inject more analysis of the race into our normally food-centered blog.

If you don't read or watch David Brooks, you really should. He's outstanding. Try his column today, which compares the electorates of Clinton and Obama. I don't know how right he is, but the guy is incredibly incisive and insightful when it comes to America, in my humble and sometimes not so humble opinion.

But if you don't like to read, try watching him. I have developed something of a Friday night ritual. It involves adjusting the rabbit ears sometime after five o'clock so that our local pbs station comes in clear. First I watch Charlie Rose, who is someone I didn't discover until a few months ago and now am in love with. He is one of the most amazing interviewers of all time. Watch his finger movements. When he gesticulates, he means it. I have never seen a more careful gesticulator in my life. We have seen several awesome interviews this year, including the one with Bill Clinton. If you didn't see that you missed one of the greatest non-scripted meltdowns of all time. As far as I know, his interviews are filmed live. This year alone he has interviewed most of the candidates. Another great one is the John Edwards interview. That guy is just unflappable. I could watch his lips move and listen to his voice for eternity. Something about these people and their faces. I could read whole treatises on psychology and pathology into them.

But then the kicker is that at six o'clock the Jim Lehrer show comes on. If there's a chunkier news program out there, please let me know. (chunky is a word that my siblings and I invented growing up in the seventies and eighties. It means something like technical, and funny, a little geeky, and utterly entertaining. It's something of a putdown and a compliment all in one).

Jim Lehrer and his colleagues deliver the day's and the week's news in a professional fashion, culminating in a three way commentary with David Brooks, Mark Shields, and Jim Lehrer. It's simply outstanding. It's like a weekly soccer match for me, and I devolve into an emphatically working class when it comes on. If we have no plans later, which has become increasingly rare, I have been known to put on my pjs, housecoat, UGG slippers and hipster hat just to watch it, and take down a shocking number of beers. I am like the lowest common denominator of sports fan. The moron who shovels in chips and often quite bad cheap beer while staring mindlessly at a the screen. The stupid box it should be called. The difference is, instead of watching people bash heads on a football field (something I reserve for the fall only, when my Wolverines shine), I watch people talk about politics. The intelligence (or lack thereof) for both is exactly the same.

Last week we had plans. They involved going to a wonderful couple's home for a cocktail before going to a restaurant for dinner. At 6:25 my wife was tapping her feet at the door. I was drinking beer on the couch. Brooks and Shields hadn't come on yet. They had rearranged the show such that they were coming on much later. I had to be peeled from the television in order not to be late for our date. When we got to their house, they were watching reality tv on a flatscreen the size of our living room wall! I gritted my teeth and did not request that they change the channel. I couldn't do it.

So today (right now, in fact), I am going to change out of the aforementioned costume (Friday's my day off, all day, people), get on the bus that stops directly in front of our crappy apartment building (life's so good right now it's sickening and I often feel guilt), ride it directly to Key Arena (slap me), and wait in line all morning until Barack Obama takes the stage. I will shout and cry and cheer like the biggest moron in the arena. I will come back home and entertain myself until sometime after five o'clock. Tonight, we have no plans.

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