I swear I am going to stay away from the programs and pundits but like peanuts it’s hard to stop once you start. The talking head shows have the same effect on me as being a spectator at a demolition derby or a train wreck, I know I should look away but I just can’t. I can imagine a self-help group in which I say “Hi, I am a political junkie” and the rest of the group nods knowingly. It would take more than twelve steps to make me a ‘recovering politiholic’ I’m afraid.
The trouble with having a modicum of intelligence and a background in history, political science, sociology, and religion is that too many connections spring to mind and prevent me from just swallowing the ‘red meat’ of one side or another. The literary term is intertextuality and I’ll give you an example.
Watch MSNBC and immediately thereafter switch to FOX. Alternate for 4 hours and you’ll understand why Pilate asked “What is truth?” Great line that, but he is also remembered for executing an innocent man to satisfy the mob. History notes that Pontius lost his bid for re-election after this gambit and was called home to Rome, much like a certain convicted felon senator might be. Oops, that’s Rome, not Nome but I digress.
Another example you say? William Shakespeare wrote a famous line that another William ( Faulkner) turned into a title for a book and another William (O’Reilly) lives out each night because his show, and his rival Keith Oberman’s, are both tales ‘told by an idiot, full of sound and fury and signifying nothing’. Of course those who do not share my addiction might justly point out that the line could be ammended to ‘a tale told TO an idiot’ but I probably wouldn’t hear them since I’d be too busy with my DVR and remote ensuring I didn’t miss a single fascinating moment of idiocy.