Last night was Tuesday, October 13th, if standards by which I am led to believe we gauge the passage if time are accurate. It held no special meaning. The Aztecs and Mayans, attached no end of the world prophecy to this day, and to the best of my knowledge Nostradamus gave no cryptic and elaborately bold prediction regarding this particular moment. The things that seem to have occurred that caused anyone to notice are, the Cubs clinched the NL West, the Red Wings played, and the Democrats held their first debate of the 2016 presidential election season.
I am in no way a baseball fan so I could not care less that the Cubs exist, let alone that they won some event. I would sooner watch the Westminster Dog Show contestants parade their obscenely dressed humans about an arena strewn with fake grass and broken dreams. But even this baseball thing, this contest to see how long these die hard fans can stare at this thing they call a sport in an effort to be the first one to spot some activity, any activity at all. Even this would be preferable to the democratic debate. Fortunately I had hockey to watch, even if it is only the third game in what will be an excruciatingly long regular season.
Unlike hockey a debate is a contest held with no purpose. It has no gauge by which to determine outcome and therefore no clear winner. There are no set goals for the contestants as a whole. In fact, each contestant has their own personal goals. The goals of each contestant are to be thwarted by a moderator. A moderator is a referee in debate parlance. The contestants attempt a stream of thought designed to express some policy, some deeply held belief, or possibly an anecdote about their impoverished and oppressed youth; this is the debate equivalent of offense. The other candidates attempt to either refute this train of thought through a sound opposing view or derail it with senseless diatribe. All the while the moderator interrupts the train of thought with comments like “you are out of time” and “really, you are out of time” and the more to the point “dammit Jim! You are out of (expletive here) time!!” This is the equivalent of defense. No score is kept, no trophies awarded, no tangible goal achieved. Afterward the talking heads of each party comment on the debates, in effect, they debate the debates, which also has no point, goals, or winners.
I avoid debates and the debating of debates as a rule. I consider myself an independent, which means I think the party system is useless and dysfunctional. It is my little protest which, like occupy wall street, garners no real attention and solves no real issues; unless you count as an issue that I previously had not learned to play the bongos along to John Lennon’s “Imagine.” Alas, I slog on in my independence by,avoiding any knowledge of, and interest in, the debating process. However, this year has been slightly different. This year we have Trump.
I tuned into the two republican debates held up to this point. I admit to doing so because Trump was going to be there. The train wreck was not going to be a random occurrence that I would most likely miss as accidents are not something you happen upon every day. These accidents, these train wrecks, were scheduled. I could make popcorn and get a rum and coke and watch.
The republican debates were not a disappointment. As I am new to the debate thing in general I was pleasantly surprised to see the candidates, these people espousing their desire to lead this nation, tear into one another like children in the back seat of a mini van on a 3 day trip. I was unpleasantly surprised to see, and hear, the candidates as they espoused views on science, and military tactics, and a veritable cornucopia of other topics, with about as much understanding of the topics discussed as Noah had of genetics and the need for a viable genetic population when rebuilding a species. But, I watched as candidate after candidate asserted there was no need for more than two of each species on the ark. They knew, they had seen a you tube video explaining this very thing. They had seen this video even though everyone on the planet had explained to them the video did not exist.
All of this drama and eloquence were on display at the republican debates as the best and the brightest of us debated our nations future. Unfortunately, the best and the brightest of us debated out nations future in our homes while watching the morons we have as candidates stumble over one another for 60 seconds of national air time. So I guess it can be said that at least the republican debates garnered ratings, and interest.
Last night’s democratic debate was clearly not about interest or ratings. Last night the democrats didn’t even gain my attention. The lot of them are boring with their policies, and high minded discourse. They will not even stoop to insulting one another. They need a good producer. I believe the old Jerry Springer show guy is available. Now that guy could spice up a show.
He could get Hilary to take a swing at Bernie as she spewed forth about Chelsea actually being Bernie and hers illegitimate love child. To which Bernie would explain that he actually loved Lincoln Chafee, his 2nd cousin on his mothers side, and with marriage equality the door was partially opened to their desired union; just got to get past the cousin issue. The remaining two candidates could play dueling banjos on a set designed to look like their battered porch as Burt Reynolds did a cameo in the foreground and Ned Beatty squealed like a pig in accompaniment to the music.
Too much? OK, maybe that is a little much. But at least the democrats could do something to make me care they exist. At this point I look at both sides of the aisle and can’t locate one viable human that I would want to run the country. Worse even, I cannot locate one that I can hold my nose and vote for. The parties are too polarized and at this point, they are too busy catering to respective bases that are equally polarized. To find a center by the time the general election begins will be difficult for most of them, impossible for others.
Oh, and what did I do last night? I watched the Detroit red Wings win their 3rd game of the season. There are 5,243 games to go this season but they are currently undefeated at 3-0. The teams skated about hitting one another and chasing a small rubber cylindrical object called a puck. They did so under the premise that they must place the small rubber cylindrical object into a net at the opponents end of the frozen ice surface. They must do this at a cost of life, limb, and property; both theirs and others. They did this to win this contest which, when done often enough, wins the division contest, which in turn affords the opportunity to win the conference title, which in turn allows them to play for the championship sanctioned and awarded by Lord Stanley. They do this because, unlike a debate, they have a clear goal.
Do we know much about Lord Stanley? Other than his love for large tacky knick knacks like cups with names on them, and his love of the one true sport, I know almost nothing about the man. But I do know, when you hold a sport, or a contest, there should be goals. Defined parameters which, when met at a greater frequency that the opposing contestants, indicate victory. Like a score. I do believe until Lord Stanley gets off his rear end and makes a new cup for party debate contests they will remain boring and pointless. Until then I will keep ignoring them as even Trump has lost his glow.