Hello and welcome to Hoopla!
A while back, a 3-set anthology of Beatles songs was released that purported to contain their greatest hits, divided by musical period. I was disappointed to find, after I bought it, that these were largely "never before released" versions of their greatest hits... like the recording of "Strawberry Fields" where John Lennon starts coughing at one point, or the mix of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" where a helicopter happened to pass by while they were recording and it makes a sort of helicopter-y noise in the background. Or the early version of "Yellow Submarine" that doesn't have any instruments. And the submarine was only a canoe.
Watching the second presidential debate last night, I had much the same feeling. It was like a greatest hits anthology only less polished than the original versions. There was more stammering and mixing up of words. But, ultimately, it was just the two candidates repeating what they perceive to be their best lines, which we have already heard a bazillion times before.
The only thing I really learned from that hour and a half of my life, which would have been better spent playing with my cat or reading comics, is that McCain needs to stop saying "My friends..." so much. It's become annoying. He needs a new line. I don't know what it should be... maybe if he really needs to preface each and every sentence, he could vary it with a few other lines, like "Guys and gals..." or "My fellow mavericks..." or "Chimichanga - Watch me Now!!!"
And, for god's sake, next time don't forget to oil his joints before the debate.
Neither candidate impressed me, though. and Tom Brokaw simply sucked. You mean to tell me that of the twenty bazillion questions that were sent to him, those were the most original and provocative that he could find?
"My question for the senators is... this financial crisis... it's really bad. So, what are you going to actually do, if you are president, to deal with it?"
"My friends... my opponent wants to tax you. To tax you!!! And he told Palestine that he was going to bomb it. You don't do that, my friends. You simply don't."
"I... I just have to quick respond to what Senator McCain has said. I do not want to tax you. In fact, I want to give tax cuts to 95% of the middle class."
[One of these days, he really does need to tell us what that other 5% did to piss him off so much.]
"Our next question comes from aisle J... and it is... What will YOU do about the financial crisis, in the first two years of your presidency, if you are elected president?"
"My friends, I'll tell you what I won't do. I won't raise taxes on the working poor, like this one wants to. And here's his dark secret... here's what Senator Obama hasn't told you... he hates the U.S. economy and everyone in it. But, my friends, the American worker is the best damn worker in the world. The best exporter, the best importer... I love you guys. I really do. You're the best. I don't care what Obama says..."
"That... that just isn't true. Listen... my tax cut is going to HELP 95% of the middle class and small businesses. It looks to me like the wheels just fell off the Straight Talk Express at a busy intersection... and that intersection is today's financial crisis, which was caused by the Bush Administration, which starts with B which rhymes with P and that stands for McCain!!! Because Senator McCain has voted with President Bush 90% of the time. And he actually voted AGAINST investments in solar energy and wind power 26 times."
"My friends, that just isn't true. Barack Obama is like a jellyfish that you can't quite keep in an aquarium because it keeps slithering up the sides and threatening to bomb Pakistan and have dinner with terrorists with NO PRECONDITIONS. You don't do that. You don't do that. You don't have dinner with known terrorists who have called Israel a STINKING CORPSE. You simply don't do that, my friends."
"Okay, okay... settle down fellows. I'm going to use up a few precious minutes good-naturedly chiding you for going over the allotted time. I mean, I'm trying to do a good job here. I am. And I'm following the rules that you gave me. So, please, don't go over the allotted time. You're just making my job that much harder. And you make me feel sad inside. And now I'm going to ask this question, which came from the internet... "About this here financial crisis, what are YOU going to do about it if YOU are elected president?"
Who knew democracy could be this banal?