Watching a campaign-stop speech on C–SPAN…at 4AM…on MUTE…makes everyone, on stage and in the crowd, look like the worst goddamn criminals.
They have all either just recently committed the worst crime in some darkened passage of the Town Hall…committed it years and years ago and now carry that baggage everywhere they go in the form of the proud and pained veneers that have become their faces…or are just now thinking of committing violence because they suspect everyone else in the audience is on the verge of a similarly heinous act. And I’m telling you, THEY ARE! Just look at them! They may never actually get to it…but it is there…just below the surface.
Of course, the whole thing starts off well enough…for a moment. The dumb hick local politician stumbles around, learning to use the microphone for the first time…again.
With the sound off, I can’t help but imagine that he’s the shameful President and Founder of Masturbators of America… embarrassed…even though…he’s the President…and Founder. They are, all of them, horribly ashamed and uncertain whether their meeting is even necessary, but they want to belong to something and this is the only thing that they got going.
Goddamn it, man! Stand up for your cause and lead them to victory! Give them something to believe in! You got an American flag propped up behind you! Surely you can convince them that what they have gathered for is not only for the good of the nation, but is in fact its very foundation!
It is also only with the sound off, that you are forced to focus so intensely on the visuals that you can clearly identify and carefully count the old people having seizures in the audience. It happens. And there is NO stopping the show. It must go on! And everyone accepts this reality, only occasionally shuddering in fear when they happen to lock eyes with someone dying right next to them.
Then the candidate appears and you are instantly struck with a single thought, “They have the fattest ass of anyone…ever!” It doesn’t matter who it is…they always have the fattest ass of anyone…ever.
This is why podiums were invented.
In order to quickly distract us from his/her ass, the candidate immediately puts forth their best attempts at impersonating a leader, stomping around and gesticulating wildly as though they are trying to bless everyone in the room with holy water, but those goddamn bees keep getting in the way.
As this first assault reaches its climax and the audience gleefully applauds the final slaughtering of the bee queen, the scene too softly settles into something more like a cult gathering gone wrong. The cult leader (candidate) has been found out, questioned, or in some other way compromised and has ahead of them the very heavy task of admitting some wrong doing to appease their accusers while not shattering the worldviews of those who truly see them as the one true God
The once faithful shake in disbelief, fearing that this fracture of the ranks may put in peril the planned presentation of their life-sized statue made from dog food cans…and dog food.
And then suddenly, just as the tension seems greatest, everyone bursts out of their chairs and begins dancing to a song that no one hears, but that all can feel. It’s got a beat and you can dance to it…I imagine. The next thing you know, they are all shaking hands like madness and thinking how dumb they all must have seemed having nearly sacrificed their own candidate and themselves…what with their shared patient pursuit of an even greater bloodlust.
How anyone survives a night on C–SPAN is beyond me.