Friday, April 18, 2008

The Sound You Heard

On Keith Olbermann tonight, one of his guests said the sound we all heard last night during "The ABC Debate" was 50 million shoes hitting TV sets across America. I think that was a conservative estimate.

Watching this giant disney crapfest, full of crap questions, poised by crap journalists, droning on and on, I did not throw my shoes, but that was only because I wasn't wearing any. Numbed by the excruciating triviality of the questions, but determined to see it through to the bitter end, I adopted the classic "Scream" posture:


THE SCREAM (painted in 1893) by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, depicts an agonized figure derived from an actual moment in Munch's life when he experienced an intense sunset that "filled the sky with tongues of fire". He wrote in his diary that he "paused, feeling exhausted and had to lean on a fence, trembling with anxiety, as an infinite scream passed through nature". The bloody sky was probably the aftermath of the Krakatoa volcanic eruption in 1883 whose ejected ash turned the skies red in most of Europe and Asia. The person depicted is not screaming but protecting himself from the scream of nature. It is considered a reflex reaction typical of anyone struggling to keep out distressing noise.

I think "The Scream" really captures the frustration that anyone watching last night's debate hoping for some real discussion of real issues must have felt.

This debate really was the worst I have ever seen. Many online sources and blogs apparently agree. Enigma has put up excellent posts on the debate itself as well as contact information if you wish to express your opinion about the whole debacle.

I can only add my personal feelings of despair over the media wasting so much time & effort on crap questions, forcing the candidates to explain things they have already explained many times instead of addressing the very real & urgent issues that our next president will have to confront.

Where were the real questions? This was nothing more than a shim-sham show of shameful sad sycophantic suck-up shills!

ABC could've incorporated Robert Reich's recent blog about Obama and Bitterness and Old Politics into their debate questions. He points out, "we are heading into the worst economic crisis in a half century or more. Consumers are at the end of their ropes, fuel and food costs are skyrocketing, they can't go deeper into debt, they can't pay their bills." He also notes, "HRC and McCain seek to make political hay out of choices of words that can be spun cynically by mindless spinners of the old politics ... demagogues on the right and left continue to try to channel the cumulative frustrations of Americans into politics of resentment ... but 80% of Americans know the nation is on the wrong track. The old politics and the old media are irrelevant now."

As if to prove Mr. Reich's point, Charlie Gibson and George StephanopoulASS focused on meaningless tacky flag lapel pins!

Another real concern is our health care mess. If you watched the debate, you probably missed PBS's Frontline, Sick Around the World, detailing how five capitalist democracies have handled their health care. Click on the link to watch the full program, or view each country separately. Germany & Switzerland have systems that we could easily adopt here tomorrow. Taiwan's & Japan's systems would be more difficult, but are ones we could work toward. Great Britain's system has the longest history of providing health care as a basic right. One thing all these systems have in common is a national recognition that health care should be a non-profit enterprise.

Well, those are only two areas that ABC could've delved into. We all know there are many others, but most of the media seem to think we only care about crap. I wonder what Edvard Munch would've painted if he'd personally endured these debate questions. Instead of a bloody sky, I'm envisioning a cesspool sky (same agonized human, though).

22 comments:

DivaJood said...

Health care (or the inability to pay for same) in the USA is the leading cause of bankruptcy. But clearly, the wearing of a flag lapel pin is MUCH more important.

I didn't bother to turn it on, expecting this very travesty of thought.

D.K. Raed said...

Hi, Diva! The medical bankruptcy issue was asked of all 5 nations in the Frontline special. NONE of them had ever heard of such a case in their country! It would be a huge scandal, said Switzerland. Aaah yes, but here the scandal is who pins a flag on their lapel. SICK!

You really saved yourself some angst by not watching the debate. THE SCREAM position is not fun.

D.K. Raed said...

**********
News: DAVID BOREN, former Oklahoma governor and U. S. Senator, and former Georgia U. S. Senator SAM NUNN today endorsed Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination for president.
Both cited Obama's judgment and vision to be Commander in Chief and his ability to strengthen our national security. Nunn and Boren have accepted Senator Obama’s invitation to serve as advisers to his National Security Foreign Policy Team.

Also, today former Clinton Labor Secretary Reich (see link to his blog in my post) announced his endorsement for Obama.

These are powerful endorsements in the wake of the ABC Crap-Debate.
**********

Cart said...

"As if to prove Mr. Reich's point, Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoul..." I notice Mel Gibson didn't comment. We had leading health system before Howard and his immediate predecessor dismantled it.

D.K. Raed said...

Cart:
I *almost* think Mel Gibson could've asked better questions ... assuming he wasn't drinking that day.

Your health system was dismantled? For years, I've read online that Australia considers theirs "the best of both worlds, private & public"! But I DO note PBS did not feature you or Canada in their review of 5 capitalist healthcare systems.

enigma4ever said...

Wow..you nailed it.....the Scream Painting is perfect...and Keith saying that Shoes hitting the TV- dead right- I think I did say I threw Flip Flops ( I would have thrown worse- but I was still like an idiot trying to live blog it- like a trained monkey that has been fed Rotten Bananas - still hopeful that the next round will be LESS rotten...)

Diva was smart not to watch....

About the Damned Pins- Today there was Protest in Burbank- C&L posted about it- I am hoping that it gets some coverage....Giving the Pins out at the ABC studio...( pretty funny- you have to admit)....and Pointed...

Mel Gibson? hmmm Cart you always raise such good points.....I bet he is a Hillary Supporter...

Tina said...

Hubby looked at me halfway thru the ABCraptacular Debate and said: "WTF is next? Is Gibson gonna whip out a photo of Obama laughing it up with Hitler?"

In regard to Frontline, I loved the reactions of the people from the national healthcare countries when asked what they think of people in the US being denied care or dying unnecessarily from preventable diseases and illnesses. Damn straight healthcare is a human rights issue. Oy vey... if only we had such sense in this nation! Instead, we have vapid parrots spewing out wingnut talking points with crap like this: "Universal healthcare? *gasp!* How dare you, you Marx-lovin' freak? THAT is socialism!"
Yeah, well if that's socialism, then just go right ahead and toss in free higher education just for shits and giggles with that socialistic medicine and count me in while I shop for a Che beret!

Cart said...

Enigma, I've only ever seen Gibson in two films - Hamlet and Gallipoli. Apart from that he is just a hoon actor really.
I did see where he referred to Hilary as 'sugar tits' which makes you wonder what actors do between jobs.
But sadly we did have a good balanced system before governments here decided not to fund the public system.

enigma4ever said...

Oh dear...my comment just vanished..shoot and I don't remember what I said..


Cart:
I am not a Mel Fan..never was..sorry...Can we send too Crapass News Pundits down to you all- George Staphonolopolis and Charlie Gibson?
they will be real cheap soon...

Tina....good to see you...Your hubby is right- I mean the Frigging Weather Underground??? omg....

Cart said...

Fair crack of the whip enigma! We have just over 21 million population and we more moronic personalities pretending to understand the issues they comment on?
As it is we manage to send most of the dross to you guys, like Gibson et al.

D.K. Raed said...

Enigma:
I love your live debate blogging! I don't know how you do it, but don't stop! I can barely concentrate on the TV, plus eating my dinner, slurping my soda, plus worrying about the old dog tripping over everything while the fatter dog keeps begging for food, plus listening to husband swear at TV, plus wondering why the hell these things are even called debates, plus analyzing what is being said between the lines. To do all that PLUS live blog it is above & beyond! I hope you always find enough rotten bananas to enable you to keep covering them.

I saw about the flag pins being handed out at the ABC studio, not on TV though (of course not, what do I expect, any real news of a protest action?). I was thinking of a big rear-cam shot of Hillary & playing pin the flag lapel pin on the ass, blindfold optional. Too rude?

D.K. Raed said...

Tina:
Hey, great to see you out & about! I've been meaning to check your blog & see if you are back in action. Hope all is well, kids over flu, etc.

One of the many eye-opening things about that PBS Frontline was the stark contrast of how each of those capitalist countries (they went out of their way to point out they are in no way socialist countries) knows their health care system is so popular, no politician would DARE try to revert to anything so primitive as what we have here (which is basically, all you sick people are on your own, we can spend whatever it takes, loot the US treasury if necessary to fight an obscenely optional war, tax cuts for the wealthiest, etc, but to ensure our citizens receive even basic health care, we cannot spare a cent). I noted all except Britain do not really have much military expense.

Doctors did complain when profit incentive was removed & price controls instituted, but in Germany & Switzerland (maybe the others, too), doctors don't have to pay for their years in medical school -- it is funded by the state, so they don't begin life after graduation in huge debt. They may not get rich, but they are among their country's higher income earners.

The main thing was overcoming objections of private insurance companies. In Germany, they allow private insurance companies to sell supplemental policies. In Switzerland, they nationalized health insurance so the state dictates to them coverage & prices. They did all this in the 90's about the same time as Hillary was "working" on revamping our health care system.

enigma4ever said...

DK:
it is nice to see Tina isn't it...she has been on my mind...

the thing about the blogging- it's funny there is a rythym to them now- or I thought there was- this debate seemed very staged scripted- ie. the Nash McCabe Fucking Lapel Pin Crap- they had to have gotten her name from Hill- that was not some kind of freak accident....it was a set up and sadly the poor woman has a tragic tale- but no we all focused on her stupid pin question- because that was the agenda....there is a big difference from Agendas and Messege setting- that is what Rove does...

People were mad about NBC- I actually have to admit- their debates- questions were atleast asked...on Issues...

I also started the liveblogging a long time ago now- it was kind of like hearings on cspan just type what I hear and intersperse rude commentary..and then people can eat, walk dog- they can pick up where they left off....seemed so easy..

Who knew it would turn soooo rancid...oye...

what an insane week...

D.K. Raed said...

Cart:
I actually liked some of Mel's work. Braveheart, Gallipoli, Year of Living Dangerously, and one very early picture (I can't think of the title) where he played a slightly retarded young man who falls in love with & marries an older woman (Piper Laurie). All his Mad Maxx & Lethal action films & that Christpassiontorture movie are not my thing.

I think "sugar tits" was his drunken rantings to a policewoman when he was hauled in. I can't believe he would call Hillary that (gag)! That same drunken spree brought out his nazi father's legacy, too. After that, I really have no use for him. You can have him back (please).

Maybe re-funding the public part of your health care system is something Kev will be working on?

D.K. Raed said...

oops, Engima, you snuck in there! Yeah, that lapel pin thing had to be planted. If normal people were submitting questions (and I don't know that they were), that one would NEVER have been chosen by any sane moderator. The weatherman stuff was also fed to Georgie. Had to be. And how convenient that Hill knows all about it & even throws in serving on a board w/him, too. I was hoping Obama would've shot back, hey speaking of serving on boards, you served on Wal-Mart's, do you agree w/everything they do, every policy they have? But that's not his style. If it was, he also would've told Geo & Charlie to go ask Rev Wright directly if he loves this country (Fran pointed that out).

Tonight on Bill Maher, Jeremy Scahill showed some clips of his trip through the Pennsylvania countryside -- the smalltown, jobless, gun-loving, religious area. You wouldn't believe how many of those people were saying they're voting Obama. Big tatooed hardcore bikers & gun-toting farmers & former bush-voters now slinging burgers ... they want Obama. I just hope they get to the polls.

enigma4ever said...

Tonight- HUGE rally outside in Philly- photo on my blog- More than 35,000 showed up.....

thanks for sharing about Hill Maher...that is good news...

D.K. Raed said...

Enigma: I'm posting youtubes from Bill Maher now, especially the Jeremy Scahill segment.

oooh, a huge Philly rally, that is excellent. Nothing about THAT on the news, either ...

Cart said...

I'm not a b ig film fan. Funny you mention a Year of Living Dangerously, I was, in a former lifetime, friends with the author Chris Koch. But I never did see the film.

Kev's problem with our health system is finding enough trained people to fill all the gaps left now. Reducing pay to the level of take out attendants reduced the ranks somewhat.

D.K. Raed said...

Cart:
you missed out not seeing The Year of Living Dangerously in a theatre (but I bet the vid is cheap). It was beautifully filmed & acted. I think it was the first movie I ever saw Linda Hunt in (she played the small man). I recall the storyline being kind of confused, a good sign that the book they adapted it from was much more extensive. I should add it to my library list!

Your comment about lower salaries for health care workers in a state subsidized system was also brought up in the PBS Frontline special. There were complaints about that & how it forced them to see more patients than they would like. But then again, people in those countries actually go to doctors for any little thing (because it cost them little or nothing). Here they wait until they are very ill because seeing a doctor costs so much. Same with medicine. On the whole, we are less healthy (as measured in longevity & infant mortality) than those other countries, and they all smoke & drink like fiends. Hunh!

Fran said...

I for one have been sleepless for months, not having the answer to the flag lapel pin question. I was hoping some journalist would ask this question early in the debate so the topic can get all the time it deserves.
Whew! I can sleep now.

Detect a tinge of sarcasm here?

D.K. Raed said...

Fran: bwahahah! now *I* can sleep better, too, just knowing that topic can finally be put to bed!

TomCat said...

Worst moderated debate in US history.