McAdams On: Absurdity, Politics and Weather
HURM: I can’t get going on a
topic today because everything seems so absurd to me right now. Sometimes, I
just look at the headlines and watch the news and think, “you have to
be kidding me.”
Like this one: “Time Warner Cable Subscribers in Texas May Miss the
Super Bowl.” It’s about a retrans dispute in Corpus
Christi. Oh the humanity. Where else could it be easier to receive an
over-the-air TV signal than in Texas? What could possibly get in the way of the
signal--seagulls? Perhaps there is an inalienable right to TV distribution
methods. Maybe it’s in that amendment about the right to exercise
one’s religion. I am from Nebraska and I can tell you right now that
football is a religion there and if you don’t think so you can just
move right along after you buy the house a round and tip the barkeep real well.
Being a vegetarian non-football fan native of the state afforded me the
protected status of “oddity,” because we are, at heart, a
tolerant if somewhat largish people.
Here’s a rather more serious headline that almost shakes me from my
general state of indifference: “Will Blue Laws Make for a Melancholy
Super Bowl Sunday?” This piece is about Indiana’s ban on
the sale of alcohol on Sundays. I thought prohibition went away in the 1970s.
This is clearly a violation of that amendment about free expression and must be
stopped immediately. A person clearly needs fortification to spend several
hours outside in nothing but Carhartts and body paint on a fine February day in
Agricultural Zone 5. I am baffled this is not a point of great presidential
debate. Speaking of which...
No, I can’t watch them--debates. I can’t take them
seriously, and they just make me feel, if not mad, than icky. And kind of sad.
Especially now that Roseanne’s in the race. Why can’t it be
Shaun White, or Carey Hart. Now there’s a candidate. An Irish-Italian-Swedish-Polish
moto-X racer married to a rock star. I would vote for Carey because A)
it’s high time we had a president with a really cool first name, and
B) Pink would be First Lady.
Some folks might take offense that I don’t take politics more seriously,
but the truth is, if I did, I’d be angry all the time. I grew up in
one of the most political households in the aforementioned state, and I know
from careful observation that taking politics to heart can cause
one’s head to explode. We take the actions of politicians so
personally that we can no longer discuss them civilly. But that’s not
a problem for me, because I can’t discuss them seriously. I watched
these people very closely from a front-row seat in Washington for seven years,
and I can tell you unequivocally--they do not have your interest at heart.
Unless you write a check the size of New Jersey.
Speaking of checks the size of New Jersey, here’s another major
breaking story: “Pop Superstar Reportedly Offered $100 Million a Year
to Become ‘X Factor’ Judge.” I don’t
even know how to respond to that. Who deserves $100 million a year?
“X Factor” judges, what do they do, raise the dead? Cure
cancer-afflicted children? Teach school?
Not here in Southern California, at least, where it turns out that school
boards systematically hire and defend perverts. This is one of those stories I
wish I’d never seen nor heard about because it makes me think fondly
of butcher knives. I simply cannot become too involved in the news so that I
don’t get too angry, disgusted, bewildered or homicidal.
Maybe I’m not alone, and maybe that’s why weather reporting
never dies. First of all, it actually means something to everyone, and the
pictures are always affecting. Today, for example, we have “Major
Snowstorm Targets Denver Area,” like major snowstorms do every
February in Denver. There’s an odd comfort in the images of a city
lying beneath an eight-inch blanket of snow, just like last year and the year
before. It makes sense, and we know that folks who live in Denver can deal.
We’re glad for them that they can, and glad for ourselves we
don’t have to.
That’s worth taking to heart.