Watching the “debate”

I’m listening to the McCain-Obama debate while cleaning up the apartment and waiting for Sh. to get home from a trip. I tried the soft-drug option of just reading the media coverage afterwards but it wasn’t enough; it left me more curious about the actual debate. I mean, it would be a lot more interesting if they were holding an actual debate with each other as opposed to talking to their voting bases, but it’s still painfully compelling, as I and the rest of the planet sits around wondering about the nature of the next person to control the world’s largest collection of ways to blow ourselves up. Obviously I realize that the nature of the vast party machineries which these two men represent is even more significant, but as those are harder to judge at a glance I’m captivated by what these would-be figureheads have to say. As I sit and wonder at the choice of these particular soundbytes in order to guess, for example, which will be the next country to get bombed back to the stone age, I feel like some sort of latter-day Kremlinologist, attempting to read between the lines and make sense of this enigma. But perhaps not a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.

What I actually learnt from this exercise: Apparently veterans are a hot target demographic these days, and they’ve been moving to the Democrats. The key to winning debates is to wear many bracelets. McCain wants a new UN-like club, consisting of countries he likes (“democracies”), to beat up on countries whose leaders’ names he can’t pronounce. And judging from the pundits in the spin room, three day’s growth of facial hair now counts as a beard and is appropriate to wear with formal attire.