Aaron R. Davis
Well, here it is, another election cycle: that time every two years when the news media takes a break from important stories about what teenagers are doing too much of and how Jennifer Aniston feels about her divorce this year to give time over to a constant barrage of attack ads, defense ads, empty promises, wild claims, backbiting and terrible Saturday Night Live sketches that go nowhere. (Seriously, the humor value in Christine O’Donnell’s witchcraft-dabbling has been vastly overrated by Kristen Wiig. As has the humor value in playing the same socially-awkward character in literally every sketch, but that’s a whole other column.)
Now, I want to state right upfront that this is not a post about my political ideals. This is a pop culture website, not a political one, so I’m not here to tell you to vote or not to vote or who to vote for or anything like that. Because I’ve managed to tune out a lot of the content of what these people say, since they’re all really saying the same thing (a tornado of vagaries about giving tax breaks to corporations under the vague guise of job creation and digging my state further into its financial hole). No, for me the bigger issue is this: I just want to be left alone.
Please, politicians, leave me alone.
Stop bothering me.
Stop begging me to vote for you.
Yes, I understand the importance of voting. I understand the illusion we live under that our government is run by the people and for the people. I understand that I have to participate in democracy or it doesn’t work. I understand all of that.
But I still just need you people to shut up and let me go about living my life.
I saw one of the candidates here in Illinois on the news the other day, lying through his teeth about what he plans to do with this state. (You’re going to create jobs while lowering taxes, spending less, lowering the minimum wage and laying off more educators? Whatever, pal.) And there was a part of me that nearly snapped inside. I’m sick of hearing these people talk. I’m sick of the blah blah blah that comes with it all, people pretending to understand what my problems even are when a stunning number of people running in this state actually haven’t paid income taxes for the last couple of years. Don’t you dare tell me to live within my means as if I’m able to do anything else. Don’t you pretend you’re qualified to run my government when you don’t even pay your way in like the rest of us do.
I just want to hide under the covers and dream about Kristen Bell until today is over.
I’d try listening to the radio and relaxing with music, but that would be a fool’s errand. The idiot rhetoric has infected what’s left of the airwaves to the point where it sounds like every channel has changed its format to all political ads, all the time. Do you plan on interrupting your playlist to share a song or two this hour, or is this it?
I’d try sitting at home and reading, but my house is inundated with phone calls from people stumping for various candidates. I checked my voice mail last night, and in just one day — a Sunday — I had 12 phone calls telling me who I should vote for and why. One of them was even a recorded message from President Obama, who probably has better things to worry about than interrupting me when I’m trying to enjoy my new collection of Bob Montana’s Archie comic strips. At least, I hope he does.
One guy actually came to my apartment today. And you know what he did? He shook my hand, introduced himself, told me what he was running for, gave me a packet of information about his campaign goals and went on his way to knock on other doors. That’s it. No spiel, no serious talk through dead eyes, no promises that all contradict each other. Just a packet, a handshake and an introduction. And then I was free to enjoy the rest of my day.
And you know what? Even though he interrupted me while I was playing Kirby’s Epic Yarn, I think he deserves to win. He hassled me the least, and I really appreciate that kind of expediency. Good luck, sir. You really get what I want in a political candidate.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to spend the rest of the day hiding under the covers and dreaming about playing Kirby’s Epic Yarn with Kristen Bell. Because it’s the little things I live for, since we have no economy …
Oh, and I guess I should vote. Civic duty and all that.
But after that, well, let’s just say I never thought I’d be happy to hear the anchors on the news talking about how Jennifer Aniston is doing right now.
Aaron R. Davis lives in a cave at the bottom of the ocean with his eyes shut tight and his fingers in his ears. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.