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.