My old neighbor Tim never used the 12 year old Nordic Trak he gave me when he left town six years ago. He got it from a friend who also never used it. Despite the extremely pessimistic bloodlines of the thing, I took it, and probably do use it 30 or so times a year when the weather is ridiculous, as it is this week, or I'm just too lazy to actually run.
In front of it is an old hand-me-down-television I got from my folks that is 13 inches, and is not digital which means it will stop working in February when the Feds, who can't even bailout old televisions properly, mandate the switch to digital television signals. I'm sure they will however spend the 850 billion dollar stimulus package the House voted for today and the additional 350 billion in TARP money released by the Congress with efficiency and thoughtfulness.
I used the Nordic Trak on Tuesday and was stuck watching Oprah because Judge Judy, who I prefer immensely because those scrapped off the heel people she yells at really make me feel remarkably better about my life, wasn't on. Anyway, Oprah had on Ron Howard via webcam (which was really weird) and they, of course, started talking about Barack Obama. And Oprah squealed like a 12 year old at an InSynch concert at the thought of the inauguration.
Now as I hope I have expressed so far in my time here, I have no particular predisposition towards or against either party because I dislike them both. But I have noticed that people who like Obama REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY like Obama. Like kids who have crushes in the 6th grade. Like my neighbors' dog who jumps on everyone he meets. Like the folks at All Things Considered who ran a piece, a serious piece, on Obama's official photographer.
Much as I believe the mainstream media's contention that it was objective and balanced throughout the campaign, I strongly suspect that perhaps all of this has gotten a little out of hand. And Sandy Grady's piece in McPaper this morning captured what I'd been trying to articulate for a while. It's one thing to vote for someone. It's another thing to be a fan of Obama like you are of Leonardo or George Clooney.
Celebrities do drugs, cheat on their spouses, have drunken auto accidents, and make really bad movies while we watch from afar. Politicians screw-up in big, messy, and expensive, often catastrophic ways that touch us directly. They start wars, wire tap their enemies, raise taxes, and do lot of other things that directly affect people negatively. They also do some good stuff, but this is not the Hills, or Ocean's Eleven, or OMG Brangelina are having TWINS!!!! This is serious business with incredibly important consequences and real life costs.
If we fall in love with them like we do Britney and Angelina we had better be prepared for an ugly let-down. The guy seems like a perfectly decent, smart, articulate person, who is now being asked to get us out of a nasty recession, resolve 67 tons of frustration by folks on the Hard Left, eliminate bigotry, negotiate world peace, and then star in a hit movie. Frankly, I'll be happy if he can just get me a converter box coupon for my old TV.