Thursday, March 06, 2008

Muting the political rhetoric

Something has been lacking in my life lately and I now realize what it is: I have not seen a single televised political ad this year. Not one. This morning I heard an NPR report on a particularly nasty ad campaign, and I was suddenly struck by the dearth of political advertising in my life. We still have a television but it's no longer connected to any service provider and there's no signal out in our hollow, so the screen has gone black.

Am I missing anything exciting? From what I've read, the political rhetoric is no more rational this year than in any other year, but it's much less strident when I encounter it in print than when it assaults me in living color on the television screen. I have heard from some of the candidates. They call me on the phone. They don't listen very well, though--just keep nattering on regardless of any comments I may interject. What kind of relationship can we build based entirely on one-sided conversations?

I look out the window of my office and see posters of a particular candidate looking sincere and serene--but silent. The lack of political advertising in my life has muted the strident rhetoric--but after all the shouting is over, I'll be content to read all about it calmly, privately, and, best of all, silently.

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