My American Fellows

Danny O’Brien describes his reaction to the current showbiz extravaganza that is the Democratic National Convention. I don’t really like writing about politics here, because I’m too inarticulate (basically I’m a Euston Manifesto type of guy, with all the “yes, but how?” vagueness that entails). But as an Englishman now living in San Diego, I’m interested to read other “expats'” views. I agree with what he says about the pageantry. I do like a good show though, but only if the audience shut up long enough to let it happen.

I’ve become a fan of both The Daily Show and The Colbert Report (both of which pass for satire* in the US) but they are short programmes made a lot longer by the whooping and hollering that follow every punchline (that’s not to say that Radio 4’s much-more-restrained The News Quiz is any better – in fact the insufferable smugness of some of the panellists is worse). But I do find myself fast-forwarding through the atrocious rock-and-horn-section soundtrack (a Bob Mould tune played by They Might Be Giants, if you can imagine such a thing without weeping) and the five minutes of cheering before I find any satirical content. I say “pass for satire” – actually there’s often some really good and funny stuff on here, but too often they drift off into skits about the presenters themselves.

Back in the “real” world of political news, I still can’t understand the (apparently many) people who were supporters of Hillary Clinton, who since Clinton is out of the running are now “undecided” between Obama and the Republican McCain. I want to shake them by the shoulders and ask, are you a Democrat or not? Are you so opposed to Obama that you would rather have a Republican in office? It sounds very much like sulking to me – “Well, if I can’t have my candidate, then I’m taking my ball home, and crossing to the GOP”. Absolute fecking madness.

Most of the speeches at the DNC have ended with the orator say, “God bless you” or “God bless America” or some such. It got me thinking about whether the US would ever be able to accept a stated atheist as a President. Never mind the trouble they have with a black man, or a woman – imagine a leader would said they couldn’t say “God bless America” with a straight face because they don’t believe in an invisible superhero who lives in the sky?

Ah, politics and religion. Yet another excellent piece on Flesh is Grass about the debate between the militant secularists and the pro-faith left. I think I lean towards the Coates end of the argument. Lean, and mutter.

claimer: Flesh is Grass is one of my favourite blogs, and is written by one of my favourite people. I miss them.