Listening to: “Freddie Freeloader” – Miles Davis

I never thought the day would come when I’d say this, but: I’ve become a political junkie. But I’ve always hated politics. What is wrong with me? I’ve been asking myself this question in between sessions of checking the polls, watching clips from the Rachel Maddow Show, witnessing Sarah Palin fuck up again and again and again, and looking at photos of Obama being gosh dern cute. (I know, I’m a filthy, filthy liberal aren’t I? Oh yeah, baby, you liiike it.)

But why is this my new form of online procrastination? What happened to photos of narwhales, minimalist webcomics, obscure music blogs and anonymous people’s impotent rage? Why do I care so goddamn much about this goddamn fucking election?

There’s probably a longer answer, but the short answer is that Barack Obama is the first politician in years that hasn’t struck me as a total dickbag. ((It helps, of course, that the competition is sooo dickbaggy.)) In fact, I really think I like him. He’s actually an inspiring, intelligent-seeming guy who actually makes me feel kind of good about America–not what it is now, lord knows–but what it could be. Like when he says stuff like this. He really does work as if he lived in the early days of a better nation (That’s an Alasdair Gray quote, by the way, swiped off the side of the Scottish Parliament building in Edinburgh).

All this keeping up with the news has even made me try to, well, keep up with the news. I started puttering around some major news sources’ homepages to see who thought what was important. A snapshot of some pages’ headlines, around midnight EST:

The NY Times is all about how a circus ringmaster is retiring. The BBC wants us to know that Communism is trendy again. The Guardian’s on about a PM embezzling from the Russian government. The Washington Post talks about some botched federal contracts. The Boston Globe’s top coverage is the Secretary General of the UN’s speech at Harvard. The LA Times highlights a piece about the President of France’s crisis-handling capabilities. The Times of India has what should arguably be everyone’s headline — the launch of India’s first moon mission. Al Jazeera, oddly enough, centerpieces Obama leaving the campaign trail. The Wall Street Journal highlights his edge in the polls over McCain. USA Today offers a dreaded trend piece about US travelers abroad getting grilled on politics. Le Monde in France spotlights a doctor shortage. The China Daily’s top story is Bush’s talks with President Hu. The Chicago Tribune talks about sadistic local cops. South Africa’s News 24 covers a fatal plane crash.

Moral of the story(s)? No two agendas are alike. Obviously, papers are more localcentric. But even take a look at the American papers alone, and you see a very different set of priorities.

—–DRAMATIC BREAK——

OK, I just watched the Palin-Drew Griffin interview on CNN, and I’m too mad to write anything more that’s even remotely coherent. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more useless journalist than Griffin. They might as well’ve let a Teletubbie interview her. She twisted Joe Biden’s words so viciously, and dodged questions, and Griffin nodded and smiled, and she lied and lied and–OH GOD I HATE HER. I have to go stick my head in a tub of ice cubes now.

Hey y’all. Welcome to the other side of yesterday. Also known as: today.

So how about those New Hampshire debates? Saturday night found me huddled around my friend’s TV with at least 20 other people and at least 5 times as many beers, jeering at Huckabee and groaning at Hillary. Let me first say that I HATE politics. Violently so. I only pay attention when I absolutely have to, and a presidential election counts as having to. Dammit.

We made a little drinking game out of the Democrats’ debate. One swig for every time anyone said the word “change,” two swigs for “hope.” It was beyond absurd how many times they said “change.” Here’s the debate, in summation:

OBAMA: I would just like to say that I like change. Change change change.

HILLARY: Yeah, but you don’t like change half as much as I do.

EDWARDS: Bitch, please. I am for hardcore the changiest!

HILLARY: Oh yeah? Where does it say changiest on your record? Cause my record says it at least 4 jillion, if not 5 jillion, times.

HILLARY Unfolds a long ream of paper. Cut to CHELSEA in the audience, smiling angelically. Cut to RICHARDSON, on the verge of tears.

RICHARDSON: Can you guys shut up?

OBAMA: Hush, fat man in the corner. I need to further tell you how changey I am. Once, I changed this one thing SO HARD, it cried.

HILLARY: Oh really, Barack? Cause I could have sworn you changed your opinion on change. How can someone who keeps changing his mind be truly committed to change?

EDWARDS: That’s wicked petty, Hil. Petty, and anti-changey.

HILLARY: Oh, so now you’re taking his side?

EDWARDS: Hey, I’m just standing up for middle-class America.

OBAMA: (singing) Screw the middle classes! I will never accept them! My father’s other family were middle class, and we were kept out of sight, hidden from view, at his funeral…

HILLARY: This display of Lloyd-Webberizing is utterly uncalled for, Barack.

OBAMA: Only people who, like me, believe in change, can really understand Evita on a deeper level. Eva Paron? Changey! Barack Obama? Changey! (Bangs fists on podium) I think I’ve made my point.

RICHARDSON: Could we maybe, um, talk about the economy or something?

EDWARDS: Did anyone just hear a whisper on the wind?

HILLARY: Don’t be foolish, John. We’re indoors. Besides, we’re deviating from the subject at hand—that I, Hillary Clinton, am the changiest. For example—

She begins reading from the ream of paper, but is cut off by OBAMA and EDWARDS singing and dancing to David Bowie’s “Changes.” HILLARY joins in, but repeatedly and purposely stomps on OBAMA’s feet. RICHARDSON sighs heavily and buries his head in his hands.

BLACKOUT.

For a much more relevant take on the debates, check out Chris Faraone’s awesome coverage on the Weekly Dig‘s blog.

Oh, and one more thing: is it just me, or does Ron Paul look like Ian McKellen’s soulless evil twin? Check it out. Here’s Sir Ian:

And here’s Ron:

Those eyes. So black. *Shudders*