Sunday, September 09, 2018

News Break

One of the best things about a two-week vacation with family on the opposite side of the continent is the distance it achieves from media events. I missed a lot of "sound and fury" but am none the worse for it. In fact, I'm quite relieved to have been able to ignore most news reports and enjoy my time away.

For example, take the week-long public lamentations over Senator John McCain. I left town just after the onetime war hero, longtime senator had passed away, and I was halfway through my vacation before he was finally laid to rest. Viewed fleetingly from an iPhone, all the honors and ceremonies seemed endless. Of course there was the inevitable flap over President Trump; why he had to be involved, I don't know. Grieving family members have every right to say whatever they wish; formally invited eulogists, less so. I thought that even the slightest allusion to the senator's differences with the current president drew the spotlight away from John McCain, where it rightfully belonged, and that the bitter remarks were beneath the dignity of the senator's funeral. (Of course, as my grandchildren might say of McCain, "He started it!" by publicly barring Trump from his funeral in advance. But still...)

During my second week off, the Senate hearings for future Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh took center stage--complete with histrionic theatrics. All the Democrat's dramatic efforts and interruptions failed to render their protests as entertaining as the movie Spartacus, but New Jersey's Cory Booker gave it a go. I only heard snippets, but Booker's "Spartacus moment" was memorable, if not for the reasons he had hoped.

To cap off my vacation, Barack Obama, of all people, decided to pop out of his blessedly quiet corner and vocally trash his successor, Donald Trump. I was especially glad to miss this news coverage. Do we really have to listen to him again? For eight years, untold millions of Americans suffered in silence along with me as Obama lectured, hectored, lied, divided, and condescended to us. Now he's back at it. Doesn't the country have enough on its plate? No, in Obama's mind--and in the adoring media's estimation--there's always room for more Obama.

So although I thoroughly enjoyed my long break from the news, I know I can't run away from the fact that the news is still broken. And even if I could flee, I know for sure I wouldn't be wearing a pair of Nikes.