10 October 2008

Election Fever

I haven't yet been swept up in the election fever that is sweeping through my current adopted country, although I'm sure I will in time, given that I got pretty into the last US elections even from Nowheresville, so much so that I stayed up watching the BBC coverage until at least three a.m. on election night. I'm not sure whether it's a good thing or not that I'm skipping the country two days before the elections--I think part of the reason I enjoy election night is because of the dry, cynical coverage it gets in the UK but it would be pretty cool hanging out and doing whatever Americans do on election night (go to bars to watch the results come in, presumably).

There is no shortage of coverage on TV, anyway, not that I've been watching much--occasionally, I'll flip the TV on as background noise, forgetting that much of American TV is for people who have already lost their minds. Almost every ad break (which seem to take place every six minutes or so) contains at least one piece of political propaganda, all of which seem to be encouraging voters to do things like, "Vote no on prop 7." Fine, I guess, except they don't explain what prop 7 is--do they assume that everyone knows by heart exactly what a yes/no vote on each "prop" means or do they think that it's better that people don't know and that if they repeat the phrase "no on prop 7" approximately 11 times in a 30-second commercial, all the viewer will remember is "no on prop 7" and not what the bill means? 

The latter, I assume. Occasionally, the commercial will venture more information like, "Maybe you feel funny when you think about a same-sex couple marrying--and that's fine as you are entitled to your opinion but don't you think that other people should be able make their own minds up and that marriage for all should be allowed? Vote no on prop x, you bigoted piece of shit, or else!"

I can't decide which are worse--these pieces of political propaganda or the medical propaganda that make up about 30% of the other adverts ("Hey, you! Yes, you! Are you suicidal or depressed? Well, ask your doc for this great drug because science proves it can help! Yes, really! But there are a list of side effects that takes longer to read than the rest of the ad--oh, and you shouldn't take this wonder drug in the following 20-seconds worth of circumstances."). They both hurt my head.

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