This past year has been … educational … I guess. I’ve learned a few things, found out that some things I thought were over were still alive and kicking, and, looking ahead to the rest of this year, realize that I’m not going to be able to avoid a lot of it. No, not just the politics, after all, I’m a political junkie, it’s all the other stuff going on in popular culture as well as the sideshows in politics.
Up until last year, I’d never heard of the Kardashians. I now realize how much happier I was then. Seriously, I have seen more “news” stories about them, and whether I wanted to or not – and I didn’t – I now know a lot about them. For the life of me, I’m unable to figure out why a group of over-privileged sisters whose main “talent” seems to be their ability to hook up with athletes is something that should be all over news sites.
The good thing about the Republican primary race is that it seems to have finally removed Sarah Palin from relevance. A few years too late, but still. That she was ever considered relevant to the Republican Party policy debates is an indicator of just how far the party has fallen in the past few years. What makes me dread the coming year is knowing how much she loves the spotlight, so I’m fairly certain she’ll do something outrageous to call attention to herself.
I said back in February that the Party of Lincoln is dead. That was because I was seeing a lot of racist “dog whistling” going on. Well, as another writer said this week, it’s no longer “dog whistles,” it’s outright air raid sirens. Between Ron Paul trying to “explain” past racist newsletters, Santorum giving “explanations” for statements, Newt and Rick Perry both having “slips,” it’s getting obvious even to the press. That’s just the top of the ticket, but a look around will show a lot of the local Party officials who are blatantly saying ignorant things. Then there is the resurgence of the birthers, and their goal post moving efforts to keep the President off the ballot, in some states backed by state legislators. Come on, you’re not fooling anyone anymore. Heck, even Michael Steele is getting a clue about it.
Watching the college “sports” scene is not something that makes me happy anymore. Yes, I realize I’ve become an old fogey, because I remember the days when players stayed in college for 4 years, colleges generally stayed in a single conference with traditional rivals, and going to a bowl game meant that your team actually had a good season. These days, it seems like athletes treat college as a quick stopping point before the pro’s instead of an opportunity for an education, and colleges are more interested in the business of sports than education.
I think there are people who need to take a pop test on civics. It’s an ever-growing list, though. The short one is anyone who writes opinion pieces for newspapers or major news outlets (broadcast and Internet). Then we should publish their scores, because honestly? I think most of them would fail it. At least this way we could all have a measure of just how much they’re talking out of their hats.