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The Electical Spectacle

(Apologies to anyone who noticed the lack of posts in the latter half of the week; life's been a bit hectic for the past few days. Backfilling to catch up beginning in 3... 2... 1...)

So there was a fair kerfuffle earlier this week, what with the elections and all. I haven't said much about it, as usual -- but there's a very good reason for that. It's not that I'm holding back, or being coy or practicing a more-literal-than-usual form of "political correctness".

(Me, PC? Please. A trip through the archives should replace that notion with a fair sense of horror and righteous indignation.)

The truth is, I'm just not all that interested. Call me cynical or disenfranchised, if you like. But it's really pretty simple: I don't trust anyone with strong convictions about what's right for other people. That pretty much takes politics -- and religion, and most forms of talk radio -- off the table.

"The results could go either way, your favorite proposition could pass, some wingnut in a tutu running on a glue-huffing platform can tell himself 'this could be my year'."

(It also makes it tricky to talk to certain extended family members. I try to spend as much of my holiday visits with a mouthful of mashed potatoes, for just that reason.)

So I don't follow politics, particularly. No talking heads, no spin doctors, as little loud opinionated bickering as humanly possible. I've long said that if religion is the opiate of the masses, then politics is the bongwater.

But I do tune in on election night. Because that's a good time.

See, before the votes are tallied, it's possible for anyone to be right. Or at least plausible. Marginally sane, if you like. The results could go either way, your favorite proposition could pass, some wingnut in a tutu running on a glue-huffing platform can tell himself "this could be my year".

For me, anything said by anyone in this period is meaningless. It's like two football teams yapping at each other from the sidelines before a game. Or more appropriately, two high school debate teams putting voodoo hexes on each other before a big match. It's irrelevant.

What's fun -- for me, anyway -- is to watch what the pundits and wags do after the results are in. In sports, they'd all shake hands and head to the locker room. In debate, they... well, I don't know. Bump pocket protectors and share juice boxes? Something.

But in politics, when the game is over and the talking points talked out? They keep talking. It's fascinating to see two people, sitting side-by-side in different-primary-colored ties or blouses, get exactly the same information and spin it in completely different directions. "The voters are saying this!" "No, the voters are saying THAT" "THE VOTERS ALL WANT TO SNIFF ELMER'S!!"

I don't enjoy it for the politics, so much as for the sociology of it all. But I watch. For hours on end, long after my wife -- who votes, and cares, and only wants to know what the final results are -- goes to bed, I watch, hooked on the surreal drama of it all.

And then I get over it, emphatically, for exactly four years. It's like gorging on marshmallow Peeps once every fourth Easter, and being disgusted to even look at one for the next forty-eight months.

So I suppose what I'm saying is: Tuesday night was interesting, but now I'm just trying not to puke proverbial Peeps all over the place. I'm sure by 2016, I'll be ready for more. For one night, at least.

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