The frost retreats, fleeing from the sunlight
Barren branches burgeon with budding leaves
Thawing ice where the weeping willow grieves
Nature rekindles the annual fight
The mercury climbs to dizzying heights
Creatures cluster in the shade’s slight reprieve
While we enjoy a holiday too brief
And gather to grill sizzling delights
Green gives way to riotous reds and golds
We celebrate the harvest and the earth
Sweater weather, festivals, and pumpkins
Jingle bells ring and wrapping paper folds
New year malaise follows the old year’s mirth
One cycle ends and another begins
The time is 5:30am, and I am awake. Because I am awake long before I need to be, I make a cup of tea and decide to watch the US vice presidential debate on YouTube. I would have been watching the debate the day after it aired regardless, because these days I tend to go down with the sun. But even if I had wanted to stay up late last night and watch the debate live, I would have been legally unable to.
Hello, I’m a resident of the UK and I don’t have a TV Licence.
When I first came to England from the US back in 2007 as an exchange student, I thought the lack of TV advertising was amazing. One of the modules the American exchange students took was meant to be a class examining the cultural differences between the United States and the United Kingdom as we experienced them. What it became was a weekly support group for us to lament the things we missed from our homeland. One thing someone mentioned was the ads. They missed the constant interruptions in even half hour slots. ‘When am I supposed to go to the bathroom?’ …
Just shy of twenty-five years ago, The Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror VI aired. The Halloween special featured several short horror parodies, including one called “Attack of the 50-Foot Eyesores”. In this segment, a freak lightning storm causes giant advertising mascots to come to life. They start wreaking havoc on Springfield, terrorising the residents until Lisa comes up with a plan to starve the mascots of the attention that powers them. As residents stop paying attention to the mascots, they fall, one by one, powerless and inert.
Now, I could go for the low-hanging fruit and say that nothing the Simpsons churns out in a couple weeks for the 31st(!) Treehouse of Horror special could compare to what went down in the first presidential debate of 2020. But that goes without saying. Instead, I want to talk about how the 1995 special’s advice to ‘just don’t look’ is probably our best bet at handling the rest of the presidential debates, both this year and in the future. …