14 May 2008

If you want us, entertain us


And I forget
just what it takes
and yet I guess
it makes me smile
I found it hard
it's hard to find
Oh well, whatever, never mind

[…]

With the lights out
its less dangerous
here we are now
entertain us
I feel stupid
and contagious
here we are now
entertain us
-- “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Nirvana)



Your rulers are rebels,
companions of thieves;
they all love bribes
and chase after gifts.
– Isaiah 1.23
Laura Ingraham (14 May 2008, 3d Hour, KJCE-AM) objects to Presidential candidates appearing on shows like Saturday Night Live. To her it offends against the dignity of the office. One caller disagreed with her. Appearing on these sorts of shows is a good thing because it shows the candidates’ human side, it personalizes them. Conservatives come off as stuffy, you see, so appearing on shows like SNL will help make them not seem so stuffy.

Laura responded by asking if candidates should also do cooking segments with Rachel Ray. I was thinking more along the lines of, say, Survivor, Amazing Race, or even Hell’s Kitchen. But Rachel Ray works also.

So let’s see. People who might otherwise agree with conservativism won’t vote for a conservative because conservatives are stuffy. Or is it that people who otherwise disagree with conservative policies would be inclined to vote for a conservative because he’s human? I don’t know what kind of victory it would be when one has demonstrated one’s humanity not by acts of personal charity, magnanimity, bravery and the like, but by appearing on a television show – something the most selfish, ego-centric, and cowardly humans are always capable of doing, and do on a regular basis. I don’t see how that works out, logically. But then, cults of personality are never about logic.

They aren’t about policies or qualifications either. Now, we want our political leaders to entertain us – as if feeding us, clothing us, housing us, educating us, job-training us, rescuing us, and doctoring us just still isn’t enough.

If conservatives do come off as stuffy, perhaps it is not so much that conservatives themselves are the problem. The problem could very well be the vision of those who see conservatives as stuffy.

If the Prophet Isaiah were ministering today he might have written chapter one, verse twenty-three thusly:

Your rulers are rebels, companions of thieves;
they all love bribes and chase after gifts.
They are fools and minstrels,
buying your votes with table scraps,
and your affections with a joke and a tap dance.

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James Frank Solís
Former soldier (USA). Graduate-level educated. Married 26 years. Texas ex-patriate. Ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.
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