Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Talk, Talk, Talk, Talk, Talk

To spend two solid nights flipping between coverage of the US Open and the Democratic National Convention is to spend two solid nights watching a little bit of action and listening to a whole lot of commentary. Prime time early round matches tend to the boring, pitting top players against unheralded qualifiers, so I'm used to opinion trumping actual tennis during the first week of a Grand Slam event. It's been a while since I've watched more than a few minutes of a party convention, though, so I'm not used to half an hour of speechifying surrounded by what feels like hours of punditry.

In the hours leading up to Hillary's speech last night very little happened other than incessant discussion of what she "needed to accomplish" with said speech. I saw the last quarter of Casey's address and most of Warner's keynote, and am not surprised that most of the delegates who were actually in the hall were more interested in dancing, jumping up and down, and hugging each other than they were in listening. Both speeches were simultaneously vague and redundant: time for change, Democrats are great, let's create "green collar" jobs, let's all vote for Barak Obama. What else is there to say, given the fact that the platform was drafted before the convention, given the fact that the covention's outcome, a nominee for President and Vice President, has been predetermined?

The only intrigue, the only plot point, was what Hillary would say, and how effectively she'd say it, and even the first half of this "plot" was something manufactured so that the pundits would have something to talk about for the four hours leading up to her address. Of course she was going to support Obama and exhort her supporters to do the same. Of course she was going to emphasize "unity." Politically, what other options did she have? But just as she emphasized the need for the party to keep going, the pundits needed something to keep them going, hence the hours of idle speculation that led nowhere.

I suppose her address could have been as much of a letdown as Venus Williams' first round opponent, although given the fact that she followed a series of benign speeches given by mediocre public speakers she was able to shine with relative ease. It wasn't just that her text was very well-written, or that she's just more dynamic than Mark Warner, it's that the entirety of the proceedings that led up to her address were just plain boring. Halfway through her address I found myself feeling happy for Pat Buchannan, et. al.: finally, something real for them to talk about.

Perhaps tonight will provide more entertainment the whole way through. Roddick takes on Santoro over at the Open, while Bill Clinton takes on Bill Clinton in Denver. The trick to making it though, I think, is the mute button.

1 comment:

J. SPIKE ROGAN said...

Casey had two great lines he gave in that Monotone voice. "Four more months" and "He's not a maverick he's a sidekick"

The Young Turks are doing video from Radio Row behind the scenes and they are next to Bidens luxuray box.