I've decided that I have to stop succumbing to the addictive horrorfest that is the US election season. I've always been interested in the US elections, ever since living in Wash DC as a small child. Early memories include my father ringing my mother to collect him because his bus home had been stopped by demonstrations - when we picked him up he was crying because making his way through the melee, he'd caught some tear gas; buying patisserie from a bakery in the Watergate complex and not quite understanding why the place was in the news all the time; and being fascinated by the name Spiro Agnew because I thought he was something to do with making those Spirograph drawings where you pin one wheel down on a piece of paper and then build up cogs around it to create mesmerising even spiral patterns.
But this time, I really don't think I can stomach any more. While I am pro-Obama (surprise surprise, what liberal European isn't?), I don't think he's going to be any panacea. He gives me the impression of being as bright as Bill Clinton, but not as savvy, nor as slippery. I don't know whether that makes him better or worse, but I do know I really really do not want the McCain/Palin ticket anywhere near the White House. But what's the point of following this whole jamboree at all? This is something I can do absolutely nothing about.
It seems very unfair that the rest of the world that we have absolutely no say in elections that will influence the direction of our world for the next four years...although perhaps from the tumultuous events of the last few weeks, perhaps we have seen the beginning of the end for US hegemony. I'm hesitant but we're looking at a resurgent Russia and a commercially powerful China. Both may yet catch cold, but Russia, as McCain says, is awash with 'petro-dollars' and lo, he sees in Putin's eyes the old message: K-G-B. Does this mean Putin has three eyes? I'm digressing - back to the point that perhaps the reason that the US election is so addictive is our very powerlessness in the face of the mighty US electorate - most of which won't vote. Although this year, they might.
Perhaps it is this total lack of control/direct participation that makes the elections such a compelling car-crash. And which turns me into Mrs Ranty McRant of Rantby, Rantshire, Great Ranting, of the Rantiverse. How do I rant? Let me count the ways - actually, I won't, but suffice to say that while I wasn't wild about Reagan, I never ever came close to obsessing as I currently do about the awfulness of the prospect of McCain/Palin. And really, I have better things to do with my time. So just one last look at my favourite sites over the past few weeks. Adieu, Huffington Post, farewell, Salon.com, hasta la vista to the NY Times and the Wall Street Journal. My ranting days are over. There shall be no more cakes and ale. Yeah right.