Archive for Friday, September 12, 2008

Changing Lanes: Thankful conventions are done

September 12, 2008

Were Mark Cuban and Dirk Nowitzki at the Republican National Convention?

Oh, no not those Mavericks, as in the NBA's Dallas Mavericks owner and star player respectively.

The "mavericks" were presidential nominee John McCain and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

The word "maverick" has been used often during the McCain campaign, and it was used even more often when the RNC took center stage in Minnesota last week.

And now that he has a running mate, she also is being referred to as a maverick, with the idea that both haven't always voted along party lines and instead use a common-sense approach to all issues.

Of course "maverick" wasn't the only word repeated often in the last couple weeks.

During the Democratic National Convention, the previous week in Denver, "McSame" came from the mouths of many Democrats, attempting to paint McCain as an extension of the Bush administration.

And then there was CNN's analysis of Republican speeches. When discussing content of speeches, pundits liked to use the phrase "red meat" a lot.

What in the world was that all about?

I mean, it's a speech, not an entree at Outback Steakhouse.

And who could forget "change," the grandiose word in politics, the hope that everything will improve when Candidate X defeats Candidate Y and cleans things up in government with sweeping change.

As exciting as the conventions were to watch, it's hoped that we'll see nothing like that again in the next two months.

In all honesty, they were weeklong pep rallies for their followers. Sure, both were trying to reach out to voters who are riding the fence, but for those on either side of that fence, it was like a pregame gathering sponsored by your alma mater's alumni association - music blaring, big screen TVs and energetic speeches from some big names, both current and former, from your school.

However, now that the conventions have concluded, I hope some solid discussion on actual issues will come about.

After all, it's an election, not a pep rally.

vvv

Not to dwell too much on politics, but what was with that graphic on CNN allegedly measuring sound at the DNC? It was supposed to capture the loudness of the crowd during speeches. But it seemed nowhere consistent with the actual cheers produced at the convention. Don't get me wrong, CNN covered both conventions well, but that graphic didn't add anything to presenting the product.

If the sound catcher could have captured portions of the RNC when the media was discussed, I'm sure it would have been pretty high. Speakers mentioned members of the "elite media" and their attacks on Palin.

What exactly is the "elite media?" It sounds fancy. If membership comes with a complimentary meal at Pachamama's in Lawrence, I might have to join.

At least they didn't just blame "the media" and use a broad paintbrush to paint all members the same. I always laugh when I hear commentators, especially in sports, complain about "the media."

Guess what folks, if you're on ESPN, you're now part of the media. Yes, Bobby Knight, when you were offering analysis during basketball season, you were a member of a group that, most of the time, you despised.

vvv

Although politics has always fascinated me, I will change gears because Lord knows we will have even larger doses of it in the next couple months.

Last week's homecoming festivities - yes, not your normal late September or early October event - came before the first game of the football season.

There was a great mix of candidates this year, including twins, Jenna and Jamison Bloomer. Speaking of twos, a couple queen candidates had something else in common - their mothers work together.

Colby Bennett's mother, Tammy, works in the front office at Tonganoxie Elementary School, as does Megan Puhr's mother, Carlie.

When the king and queen candidates were announced, Megan Puhr was deemed this year's queen, while Ben Field was king. Last year's king and queen, Drew Scates and Shannon Carlin, as is tradition at THS, crowned this year's royalty.

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