So pretty much since mid-August, I have been on a political news binge. Every day I cruise through yahoo news in search of the latest form the campaign trail. I must admit that I was completely fascinated by the whole Sarah Palin thing. I still am. I was barely able to tear myself away from the VP debates in order to watch Oregon State lose to Utah a week after kicking the snot out of USC. I downloaded Barack Obama's plan for change so I could have a better understanding of what he was all about and I actually read about half of it before the details of health care put me to sleep. I have never done this before and am slightly proud to say that this is the most politically informed I have ever been. I still feel like I know next to nothing in the grand scheme of things but it's a good start. Here are some thoughts I have had during my time with the political IV stuck in my arm.
Fact Checking is Fun!
www.factcheck.org has been a wonderful find. I first checked it out after the RNC. Man, those guys (and girls) made up a whole lot of BS. It is really refreshing to have an unbiased group do a lot of hard work in giving us the facts and the truth. They cite all their sources and don't let anyone off the hook. I even read their analysis of Obama's acceptance speech. I was disappointed. I REALLY want that guy to just tell us the truth. He doesn't need to make stuff up about McCain or mislead us about what he is going to do. I think Obama can win big if he takes the moral high ground. He'll probably win big anyway but it would be more satisfying. Also, it was way fun to watch the ladies on "The View" just grill McCain and straight up call him a liar. WOW! I could definitely go for some more of that.
Venting to People Who Agree With You is Also Fun
Ok, I am a little ashamed about this one. I am all for people with differing opinions having civil conversations with each other and attempting to understand the other's point of view, but sometimes you just need someone who shares your pains and joys. I find that they are often difficult to find in certain communities that I am involved in. Thanks Trina!
Message Boards Will Make You Loose Faith in Humanity
If anyone has read any Op-Ed pieces recently, they will note the message board section underneath the article. They usually increase the length of the page you are visiting by a factor of ten and make it take forever to load. I keep telling myself not to read them but I just get sucked in. They are even on things like SNL Video Clips (which have been VERY funny lately. See Below). Anyway, I find that there are about two types of people on them: slightly smug people who tend to be liberal, and irate people who tend to be conservative. If you follow the conversation long enough (I have gone for like five pages worth of comments on some) you will see it quickly turn into name calling and bold assertions of absolute truth. I start to find myself empathizing with these anonymous posters and getting angry or defensive, as if they are personally attacking me. These post things are on just about every news and blog site now, including this one and they allow people to safely rip people new ones from the comfort of their own mothers' basements. Do they think they are going to change anyone's mind this way? Has anyone ever based a decision of even remote importance on the rantings of some unknown voice on the internet? I miss schoolyard fights.
Thank God for Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert
I don't think I can say enough about these people and their writers. They help me realize how ridiculous this whole thing is. And by whole thing I mean American culture as a whole. We are pretty dumb sometimes. If you don't watch The Daily Show or The Colbert Report, PLEASE go do it. I want to roll out of my chair when I watch these shows. and ironically enough, it often takes a fake news show to give you an accurate picture of what is really happening. So Jon and Stephen, I tip my hat to you. Keep up the good work.
I Need to Go Outside More
See heading above.