September 24, 2003

By Michael Strickland

Survivor: Sacramento

In a week full of fall series and season premieres, I imagine no show garnered more viewers than tonight's debate probably did. I didn't see it myself, since I had to work, but from all reports, the sparks flew tonight in Sacramento. The debate's free-for-all format apparently created a spectacle more like "The Jerry Springer Show" meets "Survivor" than a serious, thoughtful consideration of political issues. God, I wish I'd seen it.

Here in California, we're seeing record numbers of people turning out to become registered voters. If all indications hold true, we may similarly see record numbers of voters at the polls. That's a great thing... though one wonders why people are really interested. Has the high visibility of candidates like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Larry Flynt created more awareness of the political process? Or is America's fascination with reality TV spilling over into the political arena? I have strong suspicions that it's the latter.

Comparisions of the recall election to a three-ring circus have long since become tired clichés, but not for lack of accuracy. The carnival atmosphere is undeniable. "I just realized that I have a perfect part for you in Terminator 4," Schwarzenegger said to Arianna Huffington in tonight's debate, prompting the moderator to complain that "this is not Comedy Central." No, but it could be.

If we're going to have an election worthy of "Fear Factor" or "Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire," let's go all out. It may be amusing to see Huffington spear Schwarzenegger with comments like "This is the way you treat women, we know that" when the action hero pissed her off. But can you imagine the entertainment value of a debate between candidates Gallagher and Gary Coleman? The comedian would probably end up smashing the former child star's head like a ripe watermelon. A debate a trois between porn peddler Larry Flynt, porn star Mary Carey and L.A. starlet Angelyne might prove more titillating than "Temptation Island." And a verbal sparring between Green Party candidate Peter Camejo and tie-dyed Independent Nathan Walton would be like watching Cheech and Chong's "Up in Smoke."

C'mon, this is a democratic process, let's give equal debate time to all the candidates. If not for Californians, then at least for Hollywood!


©2003 Michael Strickland ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

What is "The Daily Strick"?

I have long called myself a writer, but too often I don't do what a writer must do daily: write. So you, dear reader, are the beneficiary of my resolution to make a positive change in at least one area of my life. Every single day of this new year (almost), I will write something, anything, and post it here. It is my intention to use this daily exercise to jump-start my too-long-dormant creative energies, and perhaps generate some worthwhile material this year. Hopefully you will find at least an occasional amusement or insight in my daily musings.

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September Columns:

9/29: Open Season
9/28: Runaway Train
9/27: The Seven
9/25: Dreamscape
9/24: Survivor: Sacramento
9/23: What Am I Doing at Work?
9/21: San Diego Chokers
9/20: Farewell, Galileo
9/17: Anything Can Happen
9/16: Midnight Writing
9/15: Decline and Fall
9/14: Loyalty By Default
9/13: Debt Snowball
9/12: My Cup Runneth Over
9/11: Unforgettable Day
9/10: Fall Approaches
9/9: Total Recall
9/8: Legal Illegals
9/7: 116 More Days
Previous months in The Archive

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