MAYBE you're old enough, or--ten thousand times worse--Kraftwerk fan enough to remember "Popcorn", the global instrumental sensation that forever tainted its distant cousin, Music. I had--this is no lie--a college roommate who not only owned the 45--this would be a year after the goddam thing had assaulted millions of innocent bystanders--but played it. Repeatedly. Right up to the day he disappeared. He was a bellwether, that boy.
Anyway, enough nostalgia. If you recall "Popcorn", try this: halve the tempo, modernize the instrumentation by ~ 8 years, or roughly the point where Disco was making even Disco fanatics uncomfortable, push the result through a dime-sized speaker with the frequency response of a pay phone, and crank the volume to 11. You have now experienced my Vet's hold music.
And this is not the way to start off a day which you know is going to involve looking at endless recapitulations of the same four off-off year elections as told by people who could no more resist the urge to consider What This Means for the next episode of actual elections than they could pass a free buffet.
And sure, I know, there's also the now-obligatory This Doesn't Mean Shit Counter Gambit, and the Reverse Yes, But, Corzine Actually Lost For Blah Blah Blah Routine--everywhere but Slate, of course, which naturally plays the Contortionist routine straight--"Obama's Awful Night!"--but they're just drops in the drool bucket. It's like being an actual fan of a sport--let's call it, oh, Professional Football--and being forced, just for that reason, to view endless loving sideline camera caresses of Brett Far-vuh-ruh.
The presumption--maybe I'm just naive--is that the people covering professional football are there, at least in part, because they love the game, not because they thought it was more exciting to shill than deodorant. Presumably most people covering politics would have some interest in issues. People with a genuine interest in something might spend an inordinate amount of time masticating its trivia, its effluvia, and the cotton-candy of its rumor mill, but they are likely to do so in their free time. That this is not true of our political punditocracy tells you all you need to know. They are not talking about what they give the impression of talking about, and they're not talking to the people who'd have an interest in that if, indeed, they were. In real life this is called "lying", and it's generally frowned upon outside of commerce. And religion, where that's a distinction.
Four fucking elections, none of which means anything to as much as 1% of the populace, and a desperate attempt to make any and all of them into something which does. Bloomberg hurt by spending, overturning term limits! (Ouch!) House Democrats May Be Reluctant to Back Health Care With 2010 Elections Looming! (Yeah, it's no time to start doing anything popular. By the way, what's the Senate's excuse?) Republicans have the more energized constituency heading into next year's midterm elections! (You say "energized", I say "certifiable".) Maine Rejects Same-Sex Marriage, Extends Medical Marihuana! (Jacob Weisberg goes 0-2: Strikeout, reaches base on an error). Is any of this supposed to mean something tomorrow? (Okay, aside from the Maine business, which sucks, especially if you'd always dreamed of a June wedding with everyone in white except the black flies. It's a fucking slog, Weisberg! Sign up or piss off!)
And: Wishard Hospital wins bond issue in landslide, while school districts go 1-1 with one tie (Libertarians Lose! Then Win! Then Lose again. Or Something!) The Racist Beacon, in a rare moment of wisdom, had just taken the whole thing off the front page by noon.