Like most of you all, I need a break from politics. It seems to pervade every aspect of the media universe. Even the places where we used to get some escape and relief are now infused with political controversy: sports and comedy. One can hardly watch a football game without discussing the politics of National Anthem positioning of players. Skits on Saturday Night Live are not only funny, they now become part of the political football to kick around on talk shows and Twitter.
I suppose that you could argue that the involvement of professional athletes in the political process and exercising their free speech rights is positive, but the expression of their politics within the context of a game is not. It seems like a violation of one of the few places of relief from the media-political complex. Politics is no longer an uplifting exercise of democracy, it has become a divisive, inescapable exercise in stress. The 16 month long media campaign has become exhausting and legislating the limiting of political campaigns from fund-raising onward ala European style gets my support.
One of the more obvious and destructive aspects of the 16 month long media-political campaign is that as we all getting fatigued and disinterested in coverage, they seem to ramp up the rhetoric and create more controversy. Tired of e-mails? How about Foundation controversies? Tired of racist, misogynistic rhetoric? How about sexual predator controversy?
It’s like the devolution of horror films from the old Bella Lugosi movies which created a slow build-up of fearful reactions through suspense to the modern era horror films which use gruesome special effects rather than a storyline to induce a reaction. You start to watch video these days with an expectation that at any moment some terrifying “breaking news” controversy is going to pop out and grab you in a way that even Trump finds shocking.
Maybe soon we will all be babbling, thumb-sucking adults next to our children who are watching re-runs of Sponge Bob shows just to get relief.