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10 Oct 2016

28 days till the election.  It can't get here soon enough.

So yeah.  I watched the debate.  I also watched the pre-debate talking heads and remember when Brian Williams was interrupted and practically speechless when he went to a press conference Trump was holding with four Clinton accusers.  Really?  None of those women looked particularly happy to be there.  Then he arranged for them to sit in the front row of the VIP: section during the debate

With all that is going on in this country and in the world, this is what Trump wanted to focus on??  Well...yeah.  The first...what?...20 minutes?...was devoted to sex. Trump's sexual misadventures, Bill Clinton's sexual misadventures. I know it is all anybody is talking about, but THIS is the thing the candidates have to debate? Presidential historian Michael Beschloss said this might be the first presidential debate that parents would have to keep their kids from watching.

Trump was determined to dominate this debate and whenever Hillary spoke, he walked behind her and loomed over her, glowering, mic at his mouth ready to interrupt at a moment's notice.

He complained when the moderators "let" her extend her time by 10 seconds and then frequently extended his own time by 30 seconds or more and continued to interrupt her throughout the debate (though admittedly less than he did last time)  He also promised that if he is elected the first thing he will do is to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton and make sure she goes to prison.

In honesty, he was better prepared this time and I suspect if you are a Trump supporter you thought he "won" the debate, while Hillary supporters think she "won."  It was not as clear cut as it was the last time.

In the past, I have written here about the thing I have observed about men--how they unbutton their jackets when they sit and then button them when they stand up, how talk show hosts button and unbutton their jackets dozens of times during the course of a show.  Trump never buttoned his jacket and he just looked sloppy all night long as he paced around the stage.

I am reading a book about Eleanor Roosevelt right now and she wrote at one point when she was touring the mining towns of West Virginia (first ladies could do that in those days!  She even did it without Secret Service accompaniment) that standing and looking at the poverty and the terrible condition of the families just made her want to cry at the futility of it all (though she actually did quite a bit to alleviate the living conditions of many families).

In watching the debate that's how I felt -- helpless to do anything and feeling on the verge of tears.  I know people who refuse to watch for that reason, but I am unable to turn away.  I do it on compulsion, and always feel worse for it.  In parts of last night, I felt like I'd stumbled upon something very dirty and shameful.

28 days....28 days...28 days...

In other words, I took the day off from Atria again and spent the day at home.  I can't even think of what I did.  I didn't write any letters because it was Sunday and not a mail day.  I didn't work on pocket letters because I finished the last one I was working on on Saturday, on the theme "cute critters."

But I did spend a good portion of the day writing a review for the show we saw last week, Romeo and Juliet.  I had already written a review for the Enterprise, but also had to write one for the News and Review. I have learned, to my surprise, writing the short reviews for News and Review is actually more difficult than writing the longer review (250 vs. 750 words).  When it's a good show  it's fun to ramble on and on about all the good things about it.  But when you have to break that down to only 250 words, then you have to decide what to emphasize and what to ignore.  When it's a Shakespeare play, it is even more difficult because (a) I never studied Shakespeare and don't really like it--though I have gotten better over the past 15 years) and (b) my colleague, who reviews for the local public radio station and occasionally fills in for me when I am unable to do a show, is to Shakespeare when I am to Gilbert & Sullivan.  He loves it.  He travels anywhere he can get to see a show he knows inside out, but wants to see how this company does it in this production.  He told me after the show that it was surprising how much of the script they had cut to tighten things up.  Well, while I can practically recite any G&S show, I wouldn't know whether a script had been cut or not.  His radio review was very professorial and so I was intimidated from the get go, but I did get it written, for good or not.

I get paid more for the shorter reviews, which I initially though was weird, but having done it now for a year, I agree that they are worth more.

And I have to admit that even Shakespeare is a better thing to obsess about than Donald Trump.



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