Monday, 12 April 2010

ELECTION MADNESS?


The election has just been called in the UK. Just like that, Gordon Brown has announced that in few weeks there will be a general election for a new Prime Minister. So that’s it? Seriously? Despite your dissatisfaction (England, I’m talking to you), your apathy, your absolute denial on the topic, I’m here to tell you that this country doesn’t realize how lucky it is.

In America there is no escape from the campaign madness that is the presidential election. It is an all pervasive media and societal blitz that runs into the streets like a reckless tsunami, taking down everything with it in its path. And this, mind you, lasts for a year. Yes an entire year of radio, print and televised commentary, supposition, analysis, polls, debates, comedy routines, you name it.

Cue theme song and trot out those celebrities, the freight train that was the election 2010 was simply unstoppable. The candidate’s wives were all gussied up, ready to stand behind their man and add their two-sense about why he was the perfect leader for our country. ‘He was a POW and survived my Ambien addiction, god damn it, he can lead this country!’ They hit the late shows, the cooking shows (let’s watch Palin rip the head off a live turkey and cook it for dinner), even the music shows weighed in, ‘check out Obama’s favourite rock videos’.

And no matter what camp you were in, you were in for the full onslaught. There is nothing more disconcerting than seeing Bruce Springsteen onstage clutching his guitar in mid-croon as Ashton Kutcher, befit with Kabbalah string, cry that he was ‘punk’d’ by the last administration, urging the young kiddies to get out there and vote. Even Brad Pitt toured the country begging college students to do the right thing - never did you see so many happy babies, and mothers for that matter, wanting a kiss.

Most people I talked to here won’t make up their mind about who to vote for until the day of. The day of! And where the heck is the vitriol on the part of the public for their chosen candidate? In the States tensions ran so high people would steal each other's lawn signs (okay, so we’re not a rational people) and fights would break out at the local Starbucks. (“Do you know that there Osama man is a terrorist.” – yes there were individuals THIS ignorant). I even heard one gem of a statistic that said that a higher number of Obama supporters order decaf, and desire the benefits of soy milk. Cause that's pertinent information to report in the news.

At least this year Charles and Maurice Saatchi are working on a slick and catchy slogan for David Cameron, making sure to lambaste Gordon Brown to the appropriate degree. And Gordie, seriously, how about bringing in a team of personality consultants? Don’t you know the number rule of campaigning is to flashy your pearly whites every time the camera is on you. Okay, so this is England. How about a new set of veneers to kick off the election season? Or maybe Sting and Elton John would collaborate on a zippy tune you could have your supporters sing at press conferences. Then again, I think part of the reason I live here is that Election Day will come and go, and I probably will be none the wiser. Ignorance is indeed bliss.



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