I’ve got nothing of any use to say about the vice-presidential debate. I keep trying to generate a head of steam about it, but it’s a no go. Even the big post-debate talking point on the Kerry-Edwards side, in which Cheney’s snark comment about never having met Edwards before was countered with a picture of the two of them standing side by side, fills me with an overwhelming sense of not caring. These guys jab at each other for 90 minutes, and this is the big gaffe? Wake me when it’s November, people.
Don’t confuse my lack of excitement with apathy; you know I’m voting. And I cheerfully cede the point that some certain number of undecided voters may have gotten something out of the debates, and that the party faithful on both ends will use this as a fetish around which they will flagellate, as required by their faith. Good for them. But, being one of those super-committed but non-fanatical voters who needs no convincing at this point not to vote for Cheney’s boss, I approach all of these pre-vote preliminaries with a distinct lack of interest. Unless Dick and John pulled out knives and danced around slashing at each other just like those guys in the “Beat It” video, this show wasn’t meant for me.
I’ve also made the executive decision that I’m not going to bother viewing Presidential debates two and three. Living as we do in a media age, I fully expect that any particularly juicy slip, gaffe, zinger or (heaven forfend) substantive policy point will be exhaustively essayed, like highlights of a football game, and at the end I will have the transcripts, which I can read in a matter of ten minutes, thereby freeing up all that debate time to do something more useful with my life, like do math with Athena or taunt my cats with bacon. Mmmmm, bacon.
I really do wish I cared more about the debates; I feel like I should. But I gotta tell you, I’ve been racking my brain to imagine a scenario in which I don’t vote for Kerry, or even possibly where I might vote for Bush, and it’s just not happening. I have to get way out there — things like Kerry saying at the next debate that he plans to fill his administration’s highest positions with pederasts, koalas and Babylon 5 fans (or some unholy combination thereof) and then address the United Nations dressed only in yogurt and aluminum foil — before I begin to waver in my convictions. It’s just not likely.
That said, honestly, what do the debates hold for the likes of me? I’ve got science fiction movies to watch. I think on Thursday I’ll watch Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The 1956 version is 80 minutes long. Just long enough to avoid the debate. Coincidence? Yes. But a happy one. I’ll take it.