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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!
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The Four-Hour Election

I’m confused.

Here I am, sitting in my house in the shadow of Boston, in the hub of New England, a region that has revolved around elections and politics and politicians for hundreds of years. And tonight is, apparently, one of the more important and hotly debated election nights in recent memory, with the balance of power in the American Congress hanging in the balance.

So why is it, then, that when the local FOX station had ten seconds to slip in a teaser spot for the important headlines of the day, did they go with:

News flash! K-Fed and Britney on the outs! Juicy details at eleven!

Now, don’t get me wrong. Personally, I’m just about exactly as concerned about the House of Representatives race in the 7th District in Indiana as I am about which skinny mullet-topped jackass is diddling Britney Spears this week. In other words, not concerned at all.

“Personally, I’m just about exactly as concerned about the House of Representatives race in the 7th District in Indiana as I am about which skinny mullet-topped jackass is diddling Britney Spears this week.”

But from just a novelty standpoint, don’t you have to lead with the political news? Major elections only roll around once every two years; between Spears and Federline, they ought to be good for a divorce once every two months, when they get their feet back under them. Just give them time.

Maybe it was my choice of program at the time — I was watching the Simpsons, and maybe the target demographic for that show is more likely to follow pop star gyrations than political posturing. Me, I’m a big Simpsons fan, and I’ve got little interest in either sort of dance. Then again, I can barely tie my own shoes, so maybe I’m not the best person to judge by.

And in the interest of ‘full disclosure’, I’ll admit that I do watch the coverage on election nights. Politics is not my bag, by any means, but it does make pretty good theater for four hours or so, every two years. Or better yet, a good circus. Between the wagging chins, the spinning pundits, and the huffing partisans, all that’s missing is a bag of peanuts and a steaming pile of elephant shit to make you think you’re under the big top.

Notice I didn’t say we were missing the clowns. In the political arena, we’re never missing the clowns.

So I’ll play along. I’ll pop a bag of microwave popcorn, curl up on the couch, and spend my four hours watching the experts wax poetic about turning points and majority rules and projected victories with only a fraction of the precincts reporting. Maybe I’ll even turn it into a drinking game — every time some yobbo invokes the mantra of ‘the voters have spoken‘, I’ll take a sip of beer. A couple of hours in, I should be incapable of making the distinction between ‘all of the voters’ and ‘at least fifty-one percent of the voters’, just like the politicos. I guess that’s one way to get my vote rocked — but I am not looking forward to the hangover.

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