Wednesday, August 27, 2008

SHUT UP! I'm Watching the Convention

As my friend OLDOLDLADY OF THE HILLS mentioned in her last post if you want to actually watch the convention then tune in to C-SPAN.

If you want to watch idiots entertaining morons while congratulating themselves on their coverage then watch the mainstream media. I especially love it when the trains at Union Station drown out MSNBC. Even inanimate objects have had enough.

I loved Hillary’s speech. It was exuberant and resilient. It was graceful and powerful. I have never been a Hillary fan but that doesn’t mean I don’t respect her intelligence and accomplishments. Subtlety and context keep getting pushed further down the line as we become more about sound bytes and snark, as we slide into a nation with the attention span of a gnat. Just because I have supported Barack from day one doesn’t mean I can’t see the value in others.

I’m troubled by but not surprised at the calls for the speakers to be nastier. After all this is entertainment right? This isn’t about catching a country before it implodes. This isn’t about making history. This isn’t about reminding Americans that we’re all one. Of course not! This is about snatching a moment worthy of YouTube. This is about coming up with a headline the NY Post can twist. Really! Where are our priorities?

The most telling comments on the disintegration of our national mind came when yet another roundtable discussed the “tone” Barack Obama wanted for the convention. They mocked his call to unite, they spit out the word “bipartisan” as though it should be bleeped. One asshat said this kind of tone was “good for governing” but “disastrous during an election”. WTF!? Isn’t an election about deciding who should govern? No wonder we’re shocked and disappointed by who we end up with! We didn’t let them speak genuinely and if they did we didn’t listen.

I love a good slogan as much as the next guy. Senator Bob Casey from PA got me and the crowd going with chants of “Four More Months-Four More Months”. The fact that he, as an opponent of abortion rights, was invited to speak when his father was banned 20 years ago wasn’t greeted as a sign of maturity and democracy – it was mocked.

I loved when Hillary referred to her supporters as “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuits” and was touched and relieved when she asked the very important question – “Were you in this for me or …” I watched the faces in the crowd and saw many light bulbs go off. That question came from a true statesperson, from someone who knows the bigger picture doesn’t need her face to be in it. The bigger picture needs us.

It was but moments after her speech and the news outlets already had body language experts analyzing Hillary to decide if she meant what she said. They had people on the convention floor looking for the one cynic, the one disgruntled supporter. One reporter cornered Spike Lee and tried and tried to make him angry, to make him say something they could elaborate on for hours. Good Lord if you can’t get Spike to spit out some angry words maybe you need to accept that there aren’t any.

So I’ll continue to tune into C-SPAN and I’ll continue to think about words all on my own, I can do that. I am a grown ass woman who doesn’t need anyone to explain things to her. I’ll drop by the other channels just to see what’s cooking. I’m not above needing to peek at a train wreck. Then I’ll go back to listening and thinking and believing that people might just mean what they say. I’m so grateful that there weren’t 24 hours news shows owned by giant corporations 232 years ago. “The best damn idea for a country” (to quote Craig Ferguson) would never have come to be.


Daryl said...

Once again I thank you for saying what I think/feel but eloquently .. sigh... I had been whining at Husband because I worry so that Hill's supporters are going to continue to be poor sports/bad losers and that they, ergo she, will be responsible for McBush and whoever he chooses to run with to succeed.

I wish the days of the backroom caucuses were still around so someone could have told her to STFU months ago ... and I was on her team until I saw how she listened to that ass of a consultant and began her dividing party speeches ..

HELLO .. all you Hillary supporters .. its NOT about HER ... its about US .. the US that is you and I and our kids AND the US that is this country which needs to shake off the nasty and get on with the UNIFYING ..

Thank you .. stepping off the soapbox and returning the forum to you, Dianne, see I told you I wasnt as good at this as you! ...


CG said...

I found this really informative. I am quite a fan of Hillary myself!

Mojo said...

Jai Bhagwan!
I think I love you.

kenju said...

"I have never been a Hillary fan but that doesn’t mean I don’t respect her intelligence and accomplishments." ME TOO!!

And thanks to you and Naomi, I watched on C-span last night. It was much better!

Shelly said...

I wasn't going to watch because I couldn't stand any more of the talking heads snarking...but I got company, was stuck in the the house, the TV was on, we wathed Hilary...and it was good - really good...amazing in fact. I loved the same line you loved, she drove it home. Good job Hil, and great post D!

Kerry said...

What I've watched, I've watched on PBS. I missed last night, though.

My mom was doing some door-to-door campaigning and a bunch of people told her that since Hilary isn't the candidate, they're just not voting. I hope they calm down and come to their senses by Election Day because that's just stupid and I want to smack the shit out of all of them.

Dianne said...

daryl - I can't quote Hillary exactly but I think she reached a lot of her hard headed supporters when she said "We simply can not have 4 more years of the last 8 years" - If people would listen to the words coming out of the mouth of the woman they adore they would just vote for Obama! He and Hillary have virtually the same policies and ideas. Oh I'm going to start ranting about race but I'll leave that for another post :)

cg - are they covering our conventions much on your side of the pond?

mojo - thank you! you shine a pretty bright light yourself.

kenju - every time I clicked over from C-SPAN to another channel it was as if thousands of droning bees had been released ;)

shelly - I'm glad you saw her speech. I had such a wave of respect and fondness for her roll over me. I also loved when she mentioned that her Mom was born before women could vote and now her daughter had voted for her in the primary. We should never forget - it was only 88 years ago. For that alone I tip my hat to Hillary.

kerry - I want to smack the shit out of them too!! I have to ask myself how much of this is race related and I don't like the answers I'm coming up with.

Bond said...

Excellently written....

Perfectly expressed...

Ivanhoe said...

Yup, same here. Not crazy about Hillary, but she did pretty good last night ;o)

Betty said...

I though Hillary made a great speech, too. I usually watch most of the convention on C-Span because the media types seem to think that we would rather hear THEIR voices than the voices of the various speakers who appear between the "big" speeches of the night. Arrogant jackasses.

Dianne said...

bond - thank you, I appreciate that!

ivanhoe - I can't imagine her making herself any clearer, just hope they all listen!

betty - arrogant jackasses!! exactly. I love when right after someone says something they jump in with "what he meant was ..." I know what he meant, he just said it. Shut up!!

Minnesotablue said...

I am a Obama supporter but I was proud of Hillary last night. I agree with you about the talking heads. The cable news channels are constantly showing them blathering and do not show the speakers! Cspan is the best!

bobbie said...

You tell 'em, girl. It's just more of the same with the networks. Don't know that anyone will ever be able to make them stop. I suppose not. They just have to stir up trouble if they can. And certain station owners or backers or whatever rub their hands in glee.

Raven said...

Well said as always. I've been watching on PBS but even they annoy me. The so-called "analysis" makes me very cranky. It's so distorted and everyone is so busy trying to make up stories that aren't there. I think the media really has done continual disservice to Hillary Clinton. Not that she is without flaws, but I think who you saw last night is who she is... passionate about doing what's right and changing some of the worst things about this country. I was impressed by Michele Obama the night before too. And I agree about the media's desire to have people fight dirty. I have to admit I just read some totally moronic stuff at AOL (I almost never read it and I have to avert my eyes from now on) that scares me about the future and the general IQ level of the American public, but... It bugs me that McCain's ads are pretty much pure lies and they run over and over and over in my neck of the woods. Sorry. I'm ranting and rambling both. Great post.

Jay said...

I have to say I do get a kick out of some of these lizard brain pundits sometimes. I find myself screaming "DID YOU LISTEN TO THE SAME SPEECH THAT I DID??" at the TV a lot. LOL

The important thing to remember is they always have an "if - then" analysis prewritten. That way they always have the negative reaction prepared no matter what happens.

CrystalChick said...

Really appreciate how wonderfully you put your thoughts out there.
I have to print out some of your posts and memorize them when dealing with a few people as I just don't say things quite so well.

My MIL cannot stand some of the horrors happening over the last 8 years and spits venom about everyone in this current admin but yet cannot seem to get on board with Barack Obama and dislikes Michelle so much I'm shocked. She was a Hillary Dem but even after her repeatedly asking for party support, my MIL is still probably not going to vote. I just don't get it. I want to shake the woman violently and tell her fine, don't vote for him for yourself if you have some issue but do it for your GRANDCHILDREN!!!

meno said...

I loved the line making fun of McCain; "There's no place like home, and home, and home..."

Good stuff from Hilary. Those rabid fand of hers are a drag though. Get over it.

Queen-Size funny bone said...

sisterhood of the travelling really got to lover her. she's got that same charm her husband has.

Queen-Size funny bone said...

sisterhood of the travelling really got to lover her. she's got that same charm her husband has.

Deborah Godin said...

Well said! What a cohesive essay, full of clarity and passion, better than most of the so-called pundits!

cherie said...

I wish I could say that I'm watching the convention, but alas no. I'm afraid that listening to all those people trying to tell us what they think that we want to hear, be it the talking heads or the politicians, makes my head explode.

If I really thought it would be substantive, it might be different. If the convention was about choosing the candidate, rather than the corination of the predetermined winner, there might be a reason to watch. Besides, I already know the speeches by heart. As it stands, it's just a glorified dog and pony show. (This applies just as much to the Republicans as the Democrats.)

Okay ... I'll get off MY soapbox now. LOL

gabrielle said...

Thank you for your thoughtful and impassioned post. I couldn’t agree more. It was hard to watch the Olympics because of the constant jingoistic prattle. So we resorted to muting the sound. Can’t really do that with the conventions. Thank goodness for C-SPAN and unfiltered footage.
Couldn’t help but notice that PBS coverage was sponsored by my friend and yours, Chevron who claims to be working for a cleaner world.
Some interesting omissions so far:
Jimmy Carter, one of the most authentic and underestimated political presences, was not allowed to speak. The puppeteers opted instead for a prescreened video and a 90 second hand wave. Jimmy and Rosyln actually live their beliefs-- from Habitat for Humanity to the Middle East. But then again that might be dangerous.
Every time someone ends a speech with the now obligatory god bless you I have to wonder if anyone sneezed in the room.
Dennis Kucinich was relegated to a sub-prime time speaking slot, and had a key line struck from his speech. The line that was removed read: "They’re asking for another four years — in a just world, they’d get 10 to 20." Must maintain our decorum. Can’t say anything that might be construed as contentious.
Representative Jim Leach, an Iowa Republican, has endorsed Barack Obama. When he spoke at the convention on Monday, he delivered a well crafted critique of his own party. “The party that once emphasized individual rights has gravitated in recent years toward regulating values. The party of military responsibility has taken us into a war with a country that did not attack us. The party that championed arms control had undermined international treaties from the nuclear test ban to global warming. The party that put the conservative into conservation has become anti environmentalist. And the party historically anchored in fiscal restraint has nearly doubled the national debt, squandering our precious resources in an undisciplined and unprecedented effort to finance a war with tax cuts." Pretty meaty stuff, considering the source. It wasn’t electrifying theatre, so MSM decided it didn’t merit any airtime.
In a national media environment where shock jocks dominate the airwaves, reality shows masquerade as entertainment and sex in the city’s message is fluff are us, is it any wonder that a certain coarseness has come to permeate our culture? Less than one-third of 13-year-olds are daily readers, a 14 percent decline from 20 years earlier. On average, Americans ages 15 to 24 spend almost two hours a day watching TV, and only seven minutes of their daily leisure time on reading.
We can no longer listen to each other without the volume cranked up. I’m afraid we are not just dumbed down but numbed down.

Robert M. Hutchins:
The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment.

Jeni said...

I had a really difficult time at the beginning of the year with the primaries, trying to decide who to support -Obama or Hilary. Either one would set a precedent for the country and I didn't want to make a decision based soley on the first black or the first woman candidate because that wasn't really a rational decision then. All I knew from the get-go though was it has to be someone who is strong enough to whip McCain! And I do think that person is Obama! I didn't watch the convention at all last night but I did see parts of Michele Obama's speech on Monday as well as the part with the children interrupting, trying to get their father's attention, etc. And the manner in which they both handled the children's exuberance to me, showed that regardless of their circumstances, money, education, etc., they came through as relatively down-to-earth, loving parents.
I am still really sick to death though of all the comments about both the Clintons -the derogatory stuff about them, now the Edwards family and pundits criticizing Elizabeth Edwards for not speaking out about her husband's infidelity. Why should she be expected to speak out to the public on that? If she wants to do so, fine and if not, that's fine too. Each one deals with their issues differently so leave the poor woman alone if that's how she wants to deal with their problems. Just so much crap ya know -and I know you know -because you addressed it beautifully in this post! Great job, Dianne. You should have been a political speechwriter!!!

Gattina said...

In Europe we watch this election battle like a circus show. It's hard to understand. For one thing everybody here agrees McCain would be a cathastrophe ! He should take his pension. He is too old and his ideas too. That would be as said above the continuation of Bush who has damaged the image of the USA so much in the whole world. I personally preferred Hillary but I like Obama too. I think he will blow in some fresh wind and turn the boat on the right way again.

Rambling Woods said...

To me it isn't about the next 4 years but about the Supreme Court for many years to come...

SnoopMurph said...

I did watch her speech and was very impressed. I don't weigh in on politics very often, but I thought it was great.

the walking man said...

Dianne you and i both know that the talking heads are one job that will never be outsourced to Tahiti of wherever so with that kind of job security why not stir the pot of opinion. Which one of them would not like to be known as the one who made the comment 'quoted round the world?"

Besides they all work for conglomerates run and owned by bushites.

Fuck'em I'll skip the speechifying and read the texts for myself.

Kimmie said...

Great post Dianne! You have a true gift of putting your posts together. I have been watching the convention also and I can't agree more with all that you have said here. Hillary gave a very moving speech and I do believe she opened alot of her supporters eyes when she asked the "Me" questions. It was a home run! I voted for Hillary, I think she would be a brilliant president. Who knows what will be in the future. Four years goes by in a blink. I am so proud to be a Democrat, and I will do as Hillary asked and vote for Obama in November!

Matt-Man said...

Very well done Dianne, but I have to agree with one of the asshats...

"One asshat said this kind of tone was “good for governing” but “disastrous during an election”."

I don't disagree with this empty talking head's point. CAse in point...

If I hear one more speaker talk about how they respect McCain being a war hero, I am going to throw up.

They need to attack Johnny Mac. Quit acquiescing to his gilded "war hero" status. He's a rigid, out of touch, malcontent who will have no qualms about expanding military action to "save us from the terrorists." He's a dangerous anachronism.

Hillary, however, gave one most fine speech, and yes, I too, am sick of this over analyzing by the networks. Cheers Di!!

Dianne said...

minnesota - I was very proud of Hillary as well!

bobbie - I keep thinking there has to be a special place in hell reserved for Rupert Murdoch and then I wonder if Walt Disney ever intended for his corp. to try and control the news. It's all very worrisome.

raven - I think the media's treatment of Hillary proves that sexism is alive and well in America and that, unlike other forms of bigotry, it's perfectly acceptable to spew it in the open. All the references to her being masculine, I saw one Fox asshat doing an imitation of her nagging Bill to take out the garbage!!

jay - I yell a lot too ;)
I'm definitely not above watching them, I'm just glad I know enough to not believe them. Far too many Americans get their opinions from these creatures.

Dianne said...

crystalchick - your MIL reminds me of some of my friends and neighbors - scary stuff! Can she explain why she can't vote for Obama, why she doesn't like Michele? that's how I try to reason with these folks, they have to give me a real, detailed reason. I'm becoming relentless lol but as you said, the world for our children and grandchildren depends on it!

meno - that is a great line! I think her "rabid fans" are being overstated and misrepresented by the media because they make a good story and they make women look crazy and bitchy which is a plus for the media.

queen size funny bone - that was a wonderful line!! she has a great sense of humor about herself which was never really shown in the coverage of her.

deborah - thank you! sometimes when the passion rules I worry that I'm not being clear so I really appreciate your comment

Dianne said...

cherie - I see you point but I'm actually getting a lot out of the convention and (gasp) I'm going to watch the Republicans too!!
I know more about Biden now from his speech. It was wonderful to hear Bill speak again. And I love the shots of and interviews with the delegates - the real folks on the floor.

oh gabrielle! you're wonderful!!
"numbed down" indeed. I took some hope from the delegates - they all appear so engaged and caring. if they can go back home and motivate their neighbors!! I try to do what I can at a local level although it does get exhausting.
thank you gabrielle for such an informative comment!

jeni - I don't know about political speech writing for me - it would have to be cable since asshat and WTF doesn't play well in Peoria LOL

gattina - I worry a lot about how we are perceived around the world. Bush has made us look like greedy, blood thirsty idiots!

rambling woods - the recent Supreme Court decision re gun ownership is one of the most horrifying examples of how screwed up that Court is.

snoop - I think just about everyone was impressed and I'm pleased for her - she deserved that moment

mark - wouldn't it be hilarious if we tuned into Fox one day and all the pundits were from India!!
I always read the text too, I miss some details when watching.

kimmie - make sure to tell all the Hillary supporters you know to do the same!! some of them need a voice of reason (yours) and need to be reminded what's at stake.

matt-man - I agree about attacking McCain's record and his policies and his general lack of ability to lead. I too am sick of prefacing everything with "while I respect his service ..." Of course I respect his service and if that is the ONLY qualification for President then I have a dozen buddies at the VFW who will make fine leaders. I'll gladly drive them down to the White House myself.

Linda Hillin said...

What a great post! Well said and I agree with you. I'm watching the convention on C-Span. I wish American would rise up against the media and say "No more."

gabrielle said...

“Obama and McCain have been running for office since I was 9 years old. I remember Eisenhower and then these 2 guys started” Lewis Black
I do think it’s obscene how much $ is being dumped into the campaigns. Hate to rain on the party, but millions of unregulated dollars are being funneled to the national party conventions through so-called nonpartisan host committees.
There will be more than 400 parties and other events at the Democratic and Republican conventions. Corporations and other special interests will contribute more than $100 million. Just a few of those involved: the Nuclear Energy Institute, Allstate, Wachovia, Union Pacific, ConocoPhillips, Molson Coors, AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, Qwest, Target, Staples, SEIU, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Diane Mandy said...

I agree with you 100 percent. Sadly, I am limited to watching the convention on CNN--they commentators are driving me nuts.

Matt-Man said...

I don't usually comment twice but you said something that hit home with me and I wish others would look at.

This "war hero" crap about numbnuts McCain is just that, crap.

If that was the qualification for Prez, Audie Murphy would have governed us through the 50's and instead of Harding and Taft we would have had President Alvin York. (Although that may have actually been better) Ai Yi Yi!! Cheers my friend!!

Daryl said...

You need to see this:

RiverPoet said...

Personally, I have been and continue to be a Hillary supporter. I cried after her speech. But I love that you can appreciate her speech, even though you didn't support her. I love that you can see through the media BS in which entertainment is more important than the message.

In fact, the convention coverage has been so bad on network television that hubby and I were wondering last night whether it would have been different if Russert had lived. Now it is just a train wreck.

Peace - D

Jackie said...

Argh my reply just disappeared into the ether - here it is again (sigh), as far as I remember it:

I loved what I heard of Hillary's speech. I would have been quite happy if she'd been the nominee (am also quite happy with Obama - though as I'm from the other side of the Pond who I'm happy with is neither here nor there, of course!). I think now that she's no longer in the race she's more free to be human/humorous/nice (ugh, don't you just hate that word, but you know what I mean!).

I don't think our election nonsense is going to take place for another couple of years, but already it's looking very unlikely that Labour will win again - and a Cameron premiership would be as disastrous as a McCain presidency, so I'm feeling very pessimistic about our near future. I really hope that at least on your side of the Pond there's room for hope, come November.

Dianne said...

linda - thanks so much for the visit. I am so angry with the lathargy of many Americans. Can't seem to rise up for anything.

gabrielle - Lewis Black is brillant. Campaign reform has far to go!

diane - Jon Stewart calls the CNN set-up at the convention the "floating situation room"

matt-man and daryl - you guys inspired my next post!! You both rock! and you were right there in line next to each other. kismet! karma!

riverpoet - Russert would have done what he could, I think Keith Olbermann tries but the problem is huge! system wide! and as long as Americans keep lapping it up no one is going to want to change. Did you see Russert's son? He's doing some youth voter spots. He looks so nervous and seems overwhelmed. I hope they didn't pressure him to be his Dad.

Jackie - another blogger, Raven, made a great point about Hillary. She will probably become the most powerful Senator, she will pick up where Ted Kennedy must stop - she will become the "Liberal Lioness of the Senate" and I will support her! I voted for her when I lived in NY. Considering how disastrous McCain is for the entire world I think you have a right to speak plus I love hearing from you :)

holly said...

i love that you "never been a Hillary fan but that doesn’t mean I don’t respect her intelligence and accomplishments." it seems to me that so many who support obama use the 'c' word for hilary. that's not very useful.

it IS about uniting america.

the big problem here is that the campaigning isn't geared towards people like you. it's geared towards people like my dad, who said "well bush is a born again christian, he gets my vote." way to use all three brain cells, dad (he and i are kind of not close...). too many people do not think. and so the thinking is done for them. frightens the bejezus out of me. but not as much as that video daryl put in comments (that's right, i was nosey, and now am sleeping with the light on...)

Dianne said...

holly - I feel the sexism heaped on Hillary was in many ways worse than the racism Obama faces. It still seems acceptble to make nagging wife jokes about her, to question her sexuality, to mock her pantsuits for god sake and I have always had a problem with that. Similar racial stereotypes would not have passed without a uproar.
Where they are able to f**k with Barack is his name. They are doing a great job of instilling the crazy fear of Muslims.
This country has so so far to go!

Lisa said...

Hi Di! I don't have time to read through all the comments right now so I can't comment intelligently on your post (I guess I must be one of those who needs others' thoughts to formulate my own. LOL!) But I wanted to tell you I was thinking of you yesterday as we were standing on the front line during the taping of "Hardball" at Union Station shouting "Obama! Obama! Obama!" in response to the protesters with the megaphone shouting,"911 was an inside job!" We were drowning everyone out, Chris Matthews and the guy with the megaphone. The protesters were right behind us and the guys next to me had had enough and were trying to rip the megaphone out of his hands. Another protester shoved Nicole aside as she forced her way to the front baricade and security threatened to have the protester arrested for assault. Ahh, it all brings back fond memories. LOL! And it was quite the experience for Nicole. :)

At any rate, Chris Matthews was terrific, taking the whole thing in stride, with grace and humor. You can tell he loves what he's doing. David Gregory, on the other hand, couldn't take the noise and moved "Race to the Whitehouse" elsewhere during the commercial break. By the way, Chris Matthews says Obama inspires him. :)

What a week!

Maithri said...

I love Barack Obama... the more i hear him speak...the more I love him ;) Its all that he stands for that moves me so deeply...and gives me hope.

Thank you my friend for all that you are,


Dianne said...

lisa - Nicole had her first demonstration experience!! And you were with her - so cool!

maithri - thank you as well. on Thursday night as Obama left the stage the look in his eyes was so wonderful. so much going on in there, feeling and thought and intelligence - haven't seen that in an American leader in a long time.

aoc gold said...

The Blossom


Merry, merry sparrow!

Under leaves so green,

A happy blossom

Sees you, swift as arrow,

Seek your cradle narrow

Near my bosom.


Pretty, pretty robin!

Under leaves so green,

A happy blossom

Hears you sobbing, sobbing,

Pretty, pretty, robin,

Near my bosom.

-----by maple story account