And now that you've recovered from the shock, allow me to explain the earth-shattering revelation I just laid on your doorstep. Remember back to July when John Kerry stated in one of his public appearances that it was he, not George Bush, that better represented "conservative values"? Of course the statement sounded buffoonish at the time--maybe there are Democrats that could have pulled off that line, but Kerry is not one of them. But the genesis of those remarkable words probably shows the Kerry camp as having more insight than I, for one, have ever given them. The Kerryists might have finally began to understand that "conservative values" (whatever that means in the various pockets of America) were the values that were held by a majority of the population, both in number and in "geography". And they tried to make a play to the folks that held those values, knowing that their quest for the Oval Office could not weather the storm that would follow a surrendering of the "values debate." As it turned out, the Dems' play failed, and in the aftermath of the election we have heard a lot about the politics of "values"--surely, "values" define the changing face of the American voter at the start of the 21st century. That is a lesson that must be taken from the results of this election, right?. . .
With this as a backdrop, I find the recent posturing of the left to be totally mind-boggling. While some voices of reason creep through from time to time (calling for a re-alignment of Democratic values with those of the population en masse), most of the leftist stuff I read (and I get the Washington Post on the weekend!) is still very acidic and arrogant. Here's the reality of the situation: folks with truly "conservative values" do NOT enjoy being called morons; they do not like whining from those who have been dealt a defeat; and they do not like being told what they "should" think. If the left hopes to make inroads with conservative value-minded voters, they first need to learn how to address their target audience. Maybe this hasn't happened yet for a number of reasons (the election is still not even a month old, for crying out loud), but the truth of the matter is that for the Dems to re-establish themselves as a serious player on the national stage, they must eventually play to the growing (as evidenced in the results of the election) "middle"--and even to the right--of the political spectrum. Kerry, in an isolated case of understanding the electorate, digested this fact. If the rest of Kerry's party does not follow that lead, it may be a long time again until the GOP has a serious challenge to it's national authority.
Item #2 today: last night, on Desperate Housewives (yes, I watch it, and I'm not ashamed to admit it!), I think prime-time TV set a new low. At the end of the show, they actually SHOWED a murder--as in "the act", in it's entirety, right there on your screen. No symbology, no "left to your imagination"--it was spelled out, in big bold letters that even the youngest or oldest of viewers could understand. And as it was a strangulation, it was not the "cleanest" of murders--it was personal, emotional, and yes, very disturbing. Now most of the shows I watch (and I thought DW was one of them) are not violent at all. Heck, they're not even dramatic--I don't have the attention span for it. And while the premise of the entire show is fairly dark (the suicide of a beloved mother and wife on Wisteria Lane drives the neighborhood to introspection and curiousity), AND they broadcast last night as the final episode for one of the cast members, in a million years I didn't believe that they would actually SHOW the act that took away little Miss Not-gonna-work-here-anymore (props to Office Space). I don't care if the show advises of "Adult Content" as a little warning at the top of the show (and I'm not sure that they do--I'll give them the benefit of the doubt that at least somebody there at ABC had the good sense to put some sort of warning on the program)--that scene last night was overboard. It would have been worthy of an R rating in a movie, but last night it was brought to my living room at the not-unreasonably-late hour of 9:55 EST.
And yes, I do find it noteworthy that the murder scene was being "spliced" with a "sex" scene that did not raise my ire--but there was a huge difference. A) the not-offensive-to-me "sex" scene featured Teri Hatcher ; B) the "sex" scene did not show the "act" in it's entirety--in fact, it "showed" nothing more than a slightly more-physical-than-average (whatever that is) make-out session (I call it a "sex" scene simply because I have a feeling that that is the direction that the encounter was heading); and 3) there was a different, "softer" tone to the scene. The violent scene was a tone of anger and revenge; the sex scene was more stress-release and wanting. Oh, and 4) I was kidding about difference A), just for the record. Have I become desensitized to sexual exploits on network TV? Possibly. . .but here's the great truth: sex happens. Sex ,in fact, NEEDS to happen for the continuation OF everyday life! Murder, however, is something that societies go to great lengths in order to PREVENT it from being a part of everyday life. That portrayal last night. . .well, it showed poor taste.
Item #3: the other horrible sight I saw on TV last night, that being my beloved Broncos. You know, that game had all the classic signs of a B-man letdown: primetime (remember Cincy this year), a game that they should win against a physically stronger foe (remember Chicago last year), less-than-ideal weather (remember Indianapolis two years ago?)--but I still felt that THIS YEAR WILL BE DIFFERENT!!! Sadly, I was wrong. But I won't bore you with strictly Bronco-related ranting, I will simply share with you the following: I do not believe that there is such a thing as a "shut down" corner. And this is not a new revelation to me, born from the frustration of watching the presumptive "premier" corner in the game get burned on national TV for the second time this season; no, this is something that I have believed for a long time. You see, the perfect pattern, coupled with the perfect pass, will work against man-to-man coverage EVERY TIME! It may take a 1- in- a- million throw, but it will work. And these guys are pros, and they get paid to make the perfect pass coupled with the perfect pattern. And especially given the physical talents of the people running the patterns these days, combined with the rules taking physical contact options away from the defenders (by the way, I like it that way!)-- sometimes, it actually looks easy!. Champ Bailey may be a great physical talent who, either through positioning or amazing recovery skills, can be around the ball every time it arrives at it's target--but for all his talent, he is powerless to stop a connection that is totally in-sync. Now if the pass is off a bit, or if the pattern isn't run right, or whatever, then Bailey's amazing physical talents will help him make the play. And I'd much rather have the "idea" of a shutdown corner on one side of the ball than have to deal with the inconsistency of Deltha O'Neal, but there are limits to the success that one can have on "the corner." No one laughs more heartily than I when the talking heads on TV radiate about the value of a "shutdown" corner--of course, no one cries more painfully when said corner proves that I am right.