By Ken DeLaat
In just over a week Election Day arrives and with it the end of the continual stream of political ads that have poured across my screen and infected the airwaves.
Here’s the thing. I really like TV a lot. I recall a few decades ago when it seemed like folks I knew were having conversations about TVing that went something like....
“Oh, we hardly watch it at all,” someone would say.
“We don’t even have one right now,” another would reply in that cooler than thou one-upmanship display that never ceases to puzzle me.
“Really?” I’d say. “Because I watch it all the time. All I can. In fact when cable came around it felt like I’d arrived in Nirvana. Australian Rules Football at 2:30am and old sit-coms 24/7? Are you kidding? Life is great, man, truly great.”
Ok, perhaps laid on a bit thick but, seriously, I not only watch it but truly revel in my viewing habits. Nowadays I hear people say there’s nothing on despite all the channels. I beg to disagree. Once you allow yourself beyond the boundaries of what you generally might watch (as well as the boundaries of good taste in some cases) there are tons of bizarre and outlandish shows that evidently appeal to a good sized crowd out there. Cruising through the channels one can find evidence of creatures that roam the wilderness, ghosts haunting various sites, and demon hunters who apparently refer their finds to the real life exorcism show. I try to catch them all.
Why? Because no matter how strange and whacked out these shows might be I find it intriguing that someone out there (possibly way out there), actually a lot of someones out there, are watching it and buying into it.
Which is likely why we are inundated with the poli-ads that tell the most outrageous and twisted half stories about the opposition while singing the praises of the heroes of the ads
Personally I am amazed at the number of people running for office who are going to, in one way or the other, doom the country or the state to apocalyptic disasters single handedly. These people must be evil incarnate to desire the death of the economy, the end of health care and the possible elimination of blue M&M’s. You can easily tell who the good person is because they appear in color while the evil wrongdoer opponent is generally in black and white and is frowning or has their mouth open.
But what’s surprising is that in half of the ads these same folks appear to be knights in shining armor ready to defend us against the threat of whatever might be fashionable to fear at the time. With some of each it would seem they might cancel each other out and muddy the waters when it comes to making a selection based on TV ads.
But nonetheless many of us must base our votes on these sales pitches since these crappy commercials cost a whole lot of money and there is not only no end in sight, they are more prolific than ever.
Political season for television is probably like Bike Week in Sturgis SD where more money comes to the area in a few weeks than makes its way into town the whole rest of the year.
Can you imagine what might be able to be done with that kind of cash in lieu of tossing it into cheesy, though obviously not so cheap, sales pitches aimed at getting you to buy by denigrating the competition?
But that won’t happen and we’re left to ponder why folks are willing to raise and spend a boatload of money, to get a seat at the table in Lansing or D.C. where the salary is but a fraction of what’s spent to capture it.
But that’s perhaps for another time.
Me? I just want a break from having to hit the mute button over and over and once we’re past November 6….
It’s smooth sailing until the next election cycle begins to ramp up.
Say, maybe mid-January or so?
“It is important to bear in mind that political campaigns are designed by the same people who sell toothpaste and cars.”-Noam Chomsky
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