Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Apocalypse? Wow!

Happy Ramadan, everybody!

On Friday, I wrote a little bit about Barack Obama and, in the interest of equal time, said I would post something about John McCain's nomination of Sarah Palin later. I figured I'd wait out the long weekend and let things settle down a little bit, but now it seems we're going to need a few more days, weeks, maybe months. We'll know by November 5, anyway. Unless it ends up in the Supreme Court, again.

Talk about dominating the news cycle. Palin's story is Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, and Nastia Liukin combined. Palin was all over the Internets all weekend long. Even the sports blogs were not immune as the kickoff of college football had to share time with Palin the basketball player, Palin the sports broadcaster and Palin the beauty queen, all of which engendered the quiet, observant and respectful commentary so synonymous with the blogosphere.

In fact, Palin's only competition was a story with a lot of similarities: Hurricane Gustav. Let's face it, the Palin Watch is a lot like a hurricane story. It forms at a distance, gathers strength, weakens, becomes more threatening as it approaches land and nobody knows what will happen until it happens. Meanwhile, we all prepare as we think we need to and the media whips everyone into a frenzy. Okay, so no one ordered an evacuation, and the political analysts aren't wearing rain gear on camera, but everybody talks about it, reports the slightest shred of news and/or speculation related to it, and compares it to past events of similar magnitude.

All of these stories end the same way though. Nobody has a definitive answer. Was Palin a good choice? They don't really know. Will the hurricane be Category 4? They don't know. Will there be something else to talk about a week from now? Of course. For instance, the NFL starts on Thursday.

None of this really matters, though, because the world is going to end in 2012, anyway. I learned this recently when I wrote an item for Fourth Place Medal about the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Many visitors to my story were very disappointed that it was not an analysis of the end of the world.

So, go ahead and vote however you want. None of these candidates will have a chance to serve a second term.

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