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Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Madness Continues

It's over for now. We are safe for at least a year, I hope. Election Day was Tuesday, and even before Wednesday, my life had changed. I noticed as I was watching television Tuesday evening that it was radically different from the night before. Yes, I realize that the programs on the Tuesday night schedule are different from the programs on Monday or Wednesday nights. I'm talking about the commercial breaks. What a joy to be rid of the ghastly campaign commercials! Trent and I have been talking recently about how vile campaign commercials have become in the last dozen or more years. I remember the days when a candidate for public office would be featured in a commercial that told you about the issues the candidate felt were important. "This is me; these are the things I believe in. If you believe in them too, please vote for me this November."

As the King sang in The King and I, "world have changed a lot." Every time you turn on the television in the campaign season, it's another episode of the blame game. Instead of hearing, "Hi, I'm Jane Jones, and I want to improve your life by being your Senator. I believe we should raise the minimum wage to stimulate the economy. I also believe in x, y, and z. I'd appreciate your vote this November." Instead, the commercials are something like this: "Joan Johnson voted for higher taxes. Joan Johnson thinks old people should make less money. Joan Johnson hates you. Vote for Jane Jones."

And it's not just the tv ads. Every day in the last few weeks leading up to the election, our mailbox was stuffed with full-color political ads printed on thick, glossy (read: expensive) paper. Most days there were two or three from the same candidate. And not just on that day, either. Every single day, there were multiple mailers from the same candidates, all in the same spiteful vein as the television commercials. All I could think when I saw all of these mailers was how much money was spent on them, and where else it might have been used. Well, that and how quickly I could get rid of them.

As I said, it's over for a while. There will be another election in two years, and it will also be preceded by primaries and ads and related madness. I sit down and turn on the telly, glad that I won't have commercials making me lose my mind for a while. Wait, what's that? A Christmas commercial?! It's only the beginning of November, for crying out loud! Halloween was just a few days ago! Don't we still have a couple of holidays before Santa season? My calendar still says that we have Veterans' Day and that other one, what's it called? Oh, right, Thanksgiving. For a moment I feel like I have made the proverbial jump from the frying pan into the fire. I look for something to watch and discover that a certain cable network began their thirty-day Christmas movie marathon on Halloween night. That means Christmas will be over and done before December first. Oh, well, the red decorations everyone has up will tie in marvelously with the Christmas Eve I Love Valentine's Day marathon! 

p.s. I am not a Christmas-hating curmudgeon (the human equivalent of Grumpy Cat). I'd just really like to enjoy the November holidays first. I worry that keeping the music and movies going for two months will make people bored with, or much worse, sick and tired of, Christmas before it even arrives. And I love Christmas too much for that. As far as political advertising, I'm sure I'll be complaining about the name-calling again when the time comes.