I Don’t Know Why I Didn’t Think of This Sooner

Tonight, rather than tuning into the prime-time show I intended to watch at 8:00 (“Bones”) on time, I set the DVR and waited a half hour so that once I started watching, I could zoom past the commercials. This made me 20 minutes late for the next show I wanted to watch (“Major Crimes”) and 10 minutes late for my final show of the evening (“Castle”).

Leaving aside for the moment the fact that I just copped to watching three consecutive hours of television, I want to instead focus on what I didn’t watch: political commercials. No Obama digs at Romney. No Romney bashing Obama. No Maryland Question 7. No Kaine slams on Allen. No Allen counterattacks against Kaine. No random House races. I just watched the shows I wanted to see, and it was lovely – the most satisfying television watching experience I’ve had in months.

I know many people use their DVRs in this way routinely, but I generally do not. Under normal circumstances, commercials don’t bother me all that much, but I am so sick and tired of the relentless negativity of this year’s campaign – and the fact that it seems to have been going on forever. Now that I’ve remembered I have the technology to block out the noise, you can bet that my DVR is going to get a workout between now and November.

And if, by chance, you’re reading this as an undecided voter, all I can say is I hope you’re not depending on those ads for your decision-making process. Because really, they everyone running look pretty damn awful.

Pre-Dawn Rant

(I have no idea why, but I was wide awake at 5:30 this morning, and for some reason had this rant on my mind. I thought writing it down might help me get back to sleep; it didn’t, but I present it here, nevertheless, with only light editing.)

One of the things that drove me a little nuts during a large chunk of the Bush administration was the seemingly-constant refrain from the right that vocally disagreeing with the president during a time of war was inappropriate to the point of bordering on treason. Now, of course, there is a different person in the White House, but we’re still at war, and yet many of those same people are complaining as if their lives depend on it. To them, I have two things to say:

1. It doesn’t feel like treason, does it? It feels like you’re exercising a very important constitutional right, doesn’t it? Yeah. I thought so.

2. Keep it up. I don’t agree with you, and oftentimes think you’re plain-ass crazy, but we were right about the dissent thing. It is important, it is your right, and it is your duty.

And now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I have just one thing to add:

All this squawking about the President’s planned address to students? It’s just, well, childish. This is a pep talk, not a policy speech; the President of the United States is merely taking time out of his busy schedule to tell kids that education has value and that staying in school is important. This is, as far as I know, pretty much the same message most parents try to send, regardless of where they fall on the political spectrum. Hearing it from as many people as possible, including the President — the holder of an office they should respect, even when they (or you) don’t like the person in it — can’t hurt. It might, in fact, help.