You may have thought the worst of Christmas was behind us: the incessant TV ads of actors singing and dancing through malls, brandishing shopping bags with their sponsors’ logos. And those strident price wars: 40% off! Buy two get five free! No, seven! That manic tone that reeks of desperation born of greed.
Let’s not forget the “high-end” of hype. A flood of ads appeared daily in the New York Times, offering jewelry, furs, handbags and wrist watches that cost more than the first house I bought!
Every fancy ad, of course, meant another page of so-called “news” to wrap around the real product. So we were being offered half a page on some conflict in Belarus or a study reporting that gingivitis was increasing in Papua New Guinea! Surely, December 26th should have marked the beginning of the end? Then ho? No!
We’re back to the political season and here come the sliver-heads. Tiny groups of self-righteous Iowans who want to sell you on the idea that they and they alone speak for America. If that were true, lots of us would be applying for visas to Canada!
The perverse thing about the Iowa Republicans is that by splitting into ever-smaller groups, they generate more and more attention. For this, we can blame cable news and the Scalia Court.
Cable news channels are like sharks — if they stop swimming, they die. Their favorite waters are natural disasters, like earthquakes, but those are hard to count on and bad for business. In recent years, their bread and butter (yes, I’ve dropped the shark metaphor) was national politics. Without it, cable news is likely to find itself trailing “Repo Man” in the ratings.
However, thanks to Scalia and his gang, the Pac-money spigot is now never turned off. There’s no election off-year anymore. Even before the Pacs start spending on candidates there is a creeping oil spill of “issue ads,” which will turn into a tsunami as the elections approach.
Which brings us to what really matters about the political season. It’s not just those crackpot theories about gays or “personhood” (whatever the hell that means.) The “person” who is elected president will probably nominate two or three Supreme Court justices who will serve for life. Do you really want more Scalias? If so, just relax and leave politics to sliverheads. They know what’s best for you, and you apparently don’t … ho ho ho!