Thursday, July 7, 2011


As we enter the opening phases of another interminable election cycle, I find myself curiously –and refreshingly– detached from the impending chaos and lunacy. For the first time in my adult [caution: suspect adjective use] life, I am not fastened like a squid’s sucker to every single political column, article, forecast, diatribe, prognostication and poll (straw or otherwise) that I can find. To my surprise, a great sense of peace arises in my breast from not caring in the slightest which one of the Keystone Kandidates made a better impression on last Sunday’s assemblage of gun-waving yahoos at the annual mudsucker fry over in the key bellwether hamlet of Throwback Notch.

Still, this serenity of mine is a trifle worrisome. I mean, what’s happening to me? Have I started my final descent into that rheumy-eyed Happy Realm where all I care about is another bowl of applesauce and a new hearing aid?? Consternation! I mean, everyone knows that it’s vitally important to remain completely plugged in all the time to everything that’s happening everywhere... isn’t it? After all, one way another, these pols are going to be running the country –and by extension, our lives– for the foreseeable future, and if that isn’t a reason for panic, nothing is. How can I not be obsessed?

Well, I may have a hunch. Over the past several years, I have come to suspect that all of this manic election hoopla really doesn’t amount to much. Sure, it’s the most wastefully expensive yell-fest in human history, but so what? In my jaded view, our “political system” is so hopelessly bollixed up that the whole nominating process resembles some sort of through-the-looking-glass freak circus, and following every bump, grind, waffle and self-implosion isn’t nearly as entertaining as watching desperate contestants get catapulted into vats of syrupy goo on Wipe Out. I don’t know how many years I have left on this earth, but surely I can find something better to do with my time than worry about whether Mr. Flip-Flop, Lady Screech, or the Bug-eyed True Believer is ahead in the latest meaningless newspaper sampling.

And anyway, what I think is of no significance whatsoever. Nothing I do will affect the ultimate outcome. Admittedly I never miss a chance to vote (it’s my Good Citizen gene) but that doesn’t mean I’m kidding myself. After more than six decades, I have come to realize that nine times out of ten the majority will elect the Most Unqualified Idiot, so why work myself into an anguished lather? “BUT (S)HE WILL APPOINT A RIGHT/LEFT-WING MANIAC TO THE SUPREME COURT”, I hear you scream. Yeah, maybe so. And? It’s happened before, and we’re all still here. As my daughter has observed on occasion: “Just chill.”

In any case, there is one tremendous additional benefit to be had by ignoring the political silly season: not having to listen to television pundits. To my way of thinking, few things –with the possible exceptions of junk hamburgers and insurance company executives– have done more to debase the quality of life in America than television pundits. I know, I know, the Almighty created all living things, including parasites, and I humbly accept that She had Her reasons; but seriously, even for a lower life form, the television pundit is so utterly lacking in worth that it truly boggles the mind.  

When my mind is boggled, it compensates in peculiar ways. Herewith an example:

The Pompous Political Pundit Show

Another dull Sunday... rainy and cold,
sitting around and beginning to mold.
Turn on the boob tube, hey, whattaya know?
It's the Pompous Political Pundit Show!

These pundits are usually good for some laughs:
the ill-informed statements, the blunders, the gaffes,
delivered with such a self-worshipping glow
on the Pompous Political Pundit Show.

One is a geek, and the other's a blonde;
smugly convinced that they've got us all conned.
Never make sense but they spin and they snow
on the Pompous Political Pundit Show.

Eager by turns to go out on a limb,
making predictions that simply sound dim.
Somehow I doubt that they'll ever eat crow
on the Pompous Political Pundit Show.

Hurling such rot from the left and the right,
ego-crazed bullies who just want to fight.
Being a jackass will get you a go
on the Pompous Political Pundit Show.

Yelled interruptions too garbled to follow,
twisted statistics a dolt wouldn't swallow,
shouting out facts that you know aren't so,
on the Pompous Political Pundit Show.

Clearly they don't believe viewers can think.
That's why they waste so much airtime (and ink).
I'm feeling ill. For the Maalox I go,
from the Pompous Political Pundit Show.

Enjoy the show... or not. I’ve got a good book to write.

Until next we meet,
Be at peace.
Lannie Woulff

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