Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Where Have You Gone, Diane Linkletter?

Having ditched the Bircher gig, I can now enjoy most evenings at home, a Rockwellian domestic scene with Lynchian mood lighting set to an early Scorsese pace. Or maybe some deep Ashby focus with a Von Sternberg score and Sturges slapstick thrown in for laughs. Depends on the night, mood, bank balance, and mental temperature.

Last night, it was naked Dali and Buñuel, with televised faces melting and bubbling, "experts" shrieking their predictions, shouting their "analysis," emitting some of the most horrific subhuman noises outside of Gitmo. Thank Shiva that the majority of Americans don't watch the cable news nets, because if they did, I suspect daily life would be much more dangerous and unhinged. People would take numbers to shoot up fast food joints, while absinthe would enjoy a spike in popularity, consumers openly guzzling the trip syrup in midday, stumbling around strip malls and crashing their SUVs and Hummers into lightposts or driving blindly off bridges. Anything to smother the hideous sounds of what is bizarrely called The American News Media.

Makes you appreciate "reality" TV, yes?

Watching the primary returns on CNN, Fox and MSNBC, you could immediately see how dead the American political system truly is. Well, dead for the average person, not for those who own and run the machine. For those in charge, this is a sweet moment in time. They pretty much have the rest of us subdued and gagged, allowing us enough mobility to touch a screen or jot on a paper ballot -- that is, if you can find one. In Ohio, land of the lost vote, some 21 precincts were short of paper ballots, with only 10 of those kept open after the polls closed. End result: 5 extra votes were cast. Huzzah. Cue the star spangled confetti.

Of the three major channels, MSNBC has to be the worst. Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann and Tim Russert taken all at once is too much for the sober mind to process, their pale, sagging faces morphing into a single yammering unit. Toss in Stepford Anchor Norah O'Donnell and the mummified remains of Tom Brokaw, and who needs hallucinogens? Granted, MSNBC is bad acid, cut with the cheapest crank, but you'll experience insane images and sounds not found at its competitors, especially Fox News, which looks like something they pipe into solitary cells in federal prisons.

As for Hillary remaining in the race . . . is anyone honestly surprised? Even had she lost Ohio and Texas, Hillary would've found some reason to keep her dreadful campaign rolling, as the Clintons are experts in buying time until they can kill off their political opponents. As it stands, Hillary is still a mathematical long shot to snag the Dem nomination. But never underestimate that gang around her, nor the mule elites who still support her campaign. They will pull out all the stops over the next few weeks, sliming and slandering Saint Obama using anything they can seize. With the Clintons, there is no barrel bottom. Only victory or a cozy career with lucrative speaking fees. Either way, Hill and Bill will remain in the hi-def picture, reptilian eyes cutting through their human visage.