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Charlie Hatton
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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

The Political Reprocess

(It’s sciencin’ time! Secondhand SCIENCEin’ time, that is.

This week, we’re chatting about something big. Really, really big. It’s not as big as space, but it is trying to listen to all of space, so that counts for something. Check out the Very Large Array, and try — just try — not to make a “girthy” joke. [Spoiler alert: I couldn’t. It’s hard!])

I’m not particularly interested in politics. Half an episode of The West Wing every four years, and I’m pretty well set.

But in the days before a big election — which these days, apparently means “fourteen freaking months before” — it’s hard to avoid the coverage. Snippy tweets. Unfortunate ad libs. Feuds to rival those between rappers who live on opposite coasts.

It’s exhausting. It’s like watching Big Brother, without the possibility that Carly Fiorina and Marco Rubio are going to sneak off for seven minutes of heaven in a cameraless closet.

That’s not a possibility, right? For the love of god, please tell me it’s not.

Anyway, nothing I’ve seen these yapjaws do lately has made me any more interested in whatever it is they’re saying. Not the debates. Not the talk show sit-downs. Not the stump speech pander-fests analyzed to death on the news networks. It’s all words. The same old words. And mostly, they all sound — and basically, look — alike.

“If I wanted to watch a bunch of mostly-old, mostly-white mostly-men bitch about each others’ opinions, I’d hang out in the locker room at the YMCA.”

The relative sameness of appearance doesn’t help, either. If I wanted to watch a bunch of mostly-old, mostly-white mostly-men bitch about each others’ opinions, I’d hang out in the locker room at the YMCA. Or a family reunion. It’s basically Team Clintonians vs. The Bushish Boys. Same as it nearly-ever was.

But I’ve been thinking about this problem. How can a candidate set him- or herself apart? How can they make themselves look different from the others? And how can they make the rest of us care any tiny little bit about them? I have a few ideas:

Dancing with the Shills

Every candidate wants TV time, so why not sign up for that dancing show people seem to like? The old people can do the Waltz or the Minuet or other dances from their 18th century childhoods, and then their campaign managers can talk to the camera about how their candidate broke his or her hip the least when they fell.

Special Highlight: Bernie Sanders rocking the Charleston. Bernie-3 skidoo!

Political Poetry Slam

Any suited-up jackhole can give the usual talking points in a campaign speech. Family values, safety nets, something-something taxes, blah blah. Why not spice things up by converting that fluff into angry poems, and reciting them in the basement of some neighborhood shithole bar? You might not reach many people at once, but your street cred would be through the roof. The crumbling, moldy coffeehouse roof.

Special Highlight: Mike Huckabee awkwardly and repeatedly rhyming “Roe vs. Wade” with “end of days”.

Enter the Octagenarian Octagon

I’m just saying: the UFC is very popular these days. Candidates want to reach the people. If a couple of the older ones dressed up in their best athletic trusses and hopped into the ring to wrassle each other, their poll numbers would shoot up faster than their pacemakered heartrates. And they could debate all they like at the weigh-ins. It’s win-win.

Special Highlight: Chris Christie decked out in a referee uniform to rival his softball togs. Ronda Rousey, he ain’t.

Candidate Can Cook

Everybody loves cooking shows. I can’t even make Kool-Aid and I watch, like, nine of the things myself. Any candidate who could boil water and put together any recipe that didn’t include caviar or duck pate would have a huge delicious leg up with millions of viewer-voters. And it’s not like it’s hard. If Guy Fieri can do it, a soggy sweatsock could handle the job.

Special Highlight: Lindsey Graham Cracker Pie Crust. “It’s plenty sweet, but it’s gonna crumble right in your hands.”

The American Stream

What do the kids watch these days? Debates? Round-the-clock news channels? Post-Stewart Daily Show bits? Hardly. All the hot shows are streamed on YouTube and Twitch and Insta-something-I-don’t-know-because-I’m-an-old. That’s where the action is. Some candidate ought to get into, I don’t know, Call of Duty streaming and spew their political stuff between the gibs.

Special Highlight: Lincoln Chafee apologizing personally to every 14-year-old CoD scrub he manages to kill.

Talladega Talkin’ Points

Let’s face it: NASCAR is king. I don’t personally get what all the turning left is about, but people sure as hell dig it. Surely one of these wordbags can drive a stick, and could get out there on the track and become a personal hero to millions of fans. They wouldn’t be any good, but they’d be out there and that’s all that matters. They could even put stickers for all of their SuperPAC donors on their cars. Whoo-ee.

Special Highlight: Donald Trump winning a race in his solid-gold toupeed Chevy, because he paid off all the other drivers to idle in low gear behind him.

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