Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Xanax, Please

I haven't been posting on political stuff lately for one primary reason: it's too damn depressing. Depressing to see the dire state of the political process in America. Depressing to watch someone I, a lifelong Democrat, almost voted for once turn from a "straight-talking maverick" into just another candidate acting like the ends justify the means. Depressing to see the shocking quantity of mouth breathing that passes for political discourse these days. Depressing to see America either not care or buy into the lies as if their next meal depended on it.

Much has been made of McCain's consultants brought on board to "right the ship." They are fingered as the Rovian proteges responsible for the recent negative barrage of campaigning. But here's the most depressing thing for me, a former political person myself: in all my graduate studies, in all of my practical experiences, there was never any disagreement on the one fundamental principle of being a political consultant: the candidate is in charge. You offer your expertise, you strongly, strongly advise the candidate on a variety of ways to campaign, fundraise, speak, whatever; some of them less than shiny and happy. But the final ethical responsibility lies with the candidate. As in, "I'm John McCain and I Approved This Message." You can pitch Willie Horton to the candidate, but unless THE CANDIDATE says he won't go there, the campaign goes there. The final, ethical responsibility for the conduct of the campaign always lies with the candidate.

Which is why I grew to despise Hillary during the primaries and why I am well on my way to loathing John McCain in the general. You can blame Howard Wolfson or Karl Rove or Mark Penn all you want. But when a campaign runs an ad that is borderline racist, when a campaign allows its surrogates to hold forth in deeply offensive ways, when a campaign resorts to innuendo and fear to drive voter participation in this democracy down, you don't have a rotten campaign. You have a rotten candidate.

A rotten candidate aided and abetted by none other than the MSM (mainstream media), who need a sideshow, some bread and circuses to keep the public (themselves?) titillated so they don't notice their abdication of professional responsibility and their disturbing coziness to the very people they purport to keep honest.

A rotten candidate aided and abetted, sadly, by us. The public. The ones who apparently can't keep our candidates as straight in our minds as the characters on The Hills. Who apparently missed the high school lesson on caveat emptor: buyer beware; that maybe we should assume someone is trying to sell us something (a product or a belief or an opinion or a candidate), and maybe we should therefore think critically about what we're being told. Or, we could just get back to watching So You Think You Can Dance.

Me, I've been depoliticizing my inner chi by watching "Randy Jackson Presents America's Best Dance Crew." Yes, for the dancing but mostly because simply repeating the title kills a full minute and harmlessly releases a hefty quantity of otherwise inchoate rage in the process. I mean, who besides Donald Trump and Aaron Spelling need their names above the title? There's a reason this is not called "E Presents Star Spangled Haggis's Best Blog Crew." Such magnanimity involves a great deal of humility and integrity and a firm sense of that which is appropriate.

And also because I am certain I'd be laughed at for the mere attempt.

5 comments:

Vigilante said...

Cheer up, E. We took Manny off your hands, didn't we?

St said...

I'm with ya. I can't stand to watch any of it. I feel like I should, but maybe I'll just check in periodically before the election.

Anonymous said...

Listen, E. Foget the cancelled TV series. Ignore the Netflix queue. Let McCain struggle in the spider web on his own. It's time to lose yourself in 'Mad Men' the AMC series. 13 season one episodes to catch up on (rent/buy DVD if you don't have on demand), and two new episodes have aired thus far in season two. The ad pitches add a great punch, the acting is superb, and the whole authentic '60s/noir aura is dazzling. Oh, and Jon Hamm is a total hottie McHotster.

St said...

Hmm, I've been hearing things about Mad Men as well. Mostly from friends who forget we don't have cable...

Xanax Prescription Medication said...

My name is Robert Kegan and i would like to show you my personal experience with Xanax.

I am 19 years old. Have been on Xanax for 60 days now. I have periodic panic attacks, particularly at social gatherings, riding in cars, and walking into rooms full of people (i.e. late to class). I felt that the medicine worked, but I felt that it created urges to take more than directed when the rebound anxiety hit, so I switched from alprazolam to clonazepam (Klonopin). I think xanax is great for airplanes and adjunctive treatment with ssri's, but by itself I don't think xanax has much too offer except as a short term treatment for panic attacks, klonopin is less sedating and seems to prevent future anxious episodes without causing cravings, and tolerance seems to build up much slower than xanax does.

I have experienced some of these side effects -
I sometimes felt invisible, like nobody could notice anything I was doing. Occasionally it would make me fall asleep if I had to stay in one spot for too long. After a fairly short period of time I would feel moderate rebound anxiety.

I hope this information will be useful to others,
Robert Kegan