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Why canít the candidates be more entertaining?

Editorial #5: So You Want to Be the Ruler of the Free World. So, the first of the presidential debates was this Tuesday. As interested as I was, I did not break my vow not to watch TV, but I have read the transcript. And I must say, while this presidential race may be the most hotly contested race since Kennedy vs. Nixon in 1960, it is the political equivalent of watching paint dry. None of the major candidates have provided enough entertainment to get me to care more about this election than I do about homework.

Gore is wooden: the type of wooden that you could etch countless layers of graffiti into him and it would never make him more interesting. Iíve seen him speak in person. He makes the same tired jokes about how dull he is, and then goes right on being dull. Heís smart; he remembers his dates, places, people and events, but the end result of that erudition is to make listening to him like having a lecture with a particularly condescending professor in a class you have no interest in. Calling him ďroboticĒ has become something of a cliche; itís never the less true.

While George ďDubyaĒ Bush is the most entertaining candidate, itís for all the wrong reasons. Weíre laughing at him, not with him. Bush mispronounces and misuses words my little brother knew how to pronounce, spell and define five years ago. Oh, so heís dyslexic? Iím so sorry. That excuses all reference to ďtacularĒ weapons, ďsubliminableĒ advertising, and his complete obliviousness to the existence of other nations. His Texasí chief of staff Clay Johnson told reporters that Bushís attention span is somewhere in the vicinity of fifteen minutes (about that of an ordinary college student...however, there are very few college students worthy of being the leader of the free world). Texas is now in the bottom five in terms of environmental spending, education, child support and social services. And Dubya pledges to do as good of a job for the nation as heís done for his state. Still, for all his glaring problems, heís still the most entertaining candidate out there, and Iím sure heíd make a very entertaining president. Just look at that dopey grin and listen to the eighth grade education: isnít this the man you want on permanent press conference for four to eight more years?

Nader is the only candidate running actually worth the effort of voting for (unfortunately, thatís somewhere on par with being the valedictorian of summer school). He owns stock, but he uses his ownership in companies to try to influence them to make moral and environmental decisions. He speaks with conviction and confidence. The problem is, he makes my first period class seem like a carnival. Heís dry. Heís boring. While heís got the potential to do a better job as president than anyone in the past 20 years, watching him speak makes me feel like Alex in "A Clockwork Orange," horrified, strapped to a chair and unable to look away.

Iím really past the point where I want my presidents to be moral people. Iím hoping to flee the country after I graduate anyway. I just want a president who is moderately entertaining. If he has active extramarital affairs, Iíll be entertained. If he cracks an occasional joke, great. If he has a decent social agenda that creates universal health care and attempts to limit corruption while trying to enhance our basic human liberties, all the better. But I stopped expecting it sometime around grammar school.

Iím the arts and entertainment editor. Really, all I ask for is some good drama. I donít like black and white in my stories; I want as much gray area as possible; the gray area is where the interesting events happen. Because politics isnít about making our lives any better. Itís about a couple of power-hungry people getting into positions of abuse and robbing us blind. All I ask is they entertain us in the meantime.

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