I confess to watching a bit more news than usual since losing my wonderful wife. I thought I might share with you the remarkable things I learned today after ignoring the nonsense about the coming debate.
Early this morning I learned what the soup of the day was going to be for Congress. I thought that was a particularly interesting thing to know. Then I learned there have been six Presidents whose last names ended in a vowel (I think six was the right number), but only Obama’s ended in an “o.” that was kind of cool. Then I saw a report that in a poll that asked which Presidential candidate would be most likely to engage in bungee jumping, President Obama “won,” 60 percent to 30 percent (roughly). I filed that away as important information to remember when I entered the voting booth.
But in addition to these important news stories I really learned a lot about what is apparently called “Celebrity skin” and “nip slip,” concepts with which I was not familiar. Kim Kardashian, for example, went to lunch (maybe it was dinner) with someone while wearing a revealing bra and, more importantly, a see-through skirt. It really was a see-through outfit when viewed from behind. I learned that she apparently does not wear “undies” and that she has a quite handsome butt. Then there was a video of Jennifer Lopez at a concert in Italy during which she suffered a “nip slip,” revealing the edge of one of her nipples. That was quite exciting. Not to be outdone someone named Jenny Dewan was featured in a dress that exposed her side as completely bare, thus accenting what was said to be her incredible figure (that appears to be real). Miley Cyrus, apparently a teen age upcoming “star” was reported to be risking her own nip slip by wearing a revealing low-cut dress on the Jay Leno show (I think it was the Leno show). Kate Hudson was a “knockout” in a low-cut red dress, Katy Perry “turned heads in a sexy plunging dress, Jennifer Aniston was featured in a series of bikini photos, and someone named Taylor Momsen was shown completely nude in a movie called The Pretty Reckless. Pretty reckless indeed! Finally, if that was not enough for lascivious aged viewers there was a record of 61 celebrities “showing off their cleavage.” Wow! I haven’t had such thrills since I thumbed the Sears Roebuck and Montgomery Ward catalogues for the lingerie ads when I was a mere lad.
All of this coming after the recent scandal involving pictures of Kate Middleton topless (and maybe even bottomless) made me pause to wonder, what in the hell is going on with this obsession with lady body parts? I mean, like, has no one ever seen naked women before? Is there something really special about Kate Middleton’s breasts that make them worth the price of admission? What is there about celebrity skin that is so different from other women’s skin? Are there really significant differences in the female anatomy from one woman to another? Do those skimpy bikinis hide something that no one knows anything about? Having spent a good deal of time in cultures where women (and men) go topless (and almost bottomless, too) I confess I do not understand the concern we have here in the U.S. for ordinary human anatomy. It is, I believe, downright weird. But, then, I think most of American culture is downright weird, a culture of the absurd.
Nowhere does this seem more true than when it comes to our elections that have now reached the point of ridiculous non-stop speculation and entertainment rather than serious governing. I, like everyone else, will watch the spectacle tomorrow evening because, as is said, “it’s the only game in town.” Will Obama redeem himself? Will Romney continue to lie? Will form reign over substance? Will anyone get a bounce? Does anyone’s performance really matter? How many days of review will we have to endure? Who are you going to believe, your own eyes and ears, or the pundits? Is this really going to be the most important event in the history of our country? Will they even mention the truly important issues of the day like global warming, environmental degradation, universal health care, the Supreme Court? The charade continues, sit back, relax, enjoy the show, pretend it really matters, root for your champion, the Black Kenyan Socialist or the Great White Dope, but vote, voting is important (if they will let you or if the machine doesn’t mysteriously change it). Your vote cannot be bought , that privilege is reserved for Congresspersons. Whatever happens, prepare yourself for the 2016 campaign that is already starting.
Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.
John Kenneth Galbraith