OK, now I’m numb. And I don’t mean comfortably…


Today, Jennifer Rubin said it’s OK not to watch the RNC. After all, most people aren’t:

And do not worry that you are missing out on what others are absorbing. “The first night of the Republican National Convention averaged 17 million viewers on Monday, a sharp drop of 26% from 2016,” the Los Angeles Times reported. “The audience figure from Nielsen was also below the opening night of last week’s Democratic National Convention, which averaged 19.7 million viewers” over the three major English language broadcast networks and three leading cable news channels.

Relatively few people, it turns out, want to subject themselves to monotonous speeches delivered at high decibels….

Nevertheless, not having read that, I tried again last night. And… I ended up with nothing to say. The only thing that really occurred to me would be to express distress at the way they keep repeating the same absurd lies, over and over: They’re socialists! They want to defund the police! They hate America! Yadda-yadda! (And I’m still puzzling over that one the McCloskeys — Mr. and Mrs. 2020 Republican — trotted out Monday night, that the Democrats would do away with suburbs…)

They just keep shouting those idiotic falsehoods, over and over.

But there was nothing new about that. I experienced the same all Monday night, as well. I think on Tuesday night I just reached the point of being numb. And not comfortably so.

Is that the point? Is that the strategy? Make everyone so numb they can’t think any more?

If so, it’s working. By the time Melania spoke, I was no longer forming impressions. I have nothing to say about anything she said. I did wonder briefly about what she was wearing — was it a dress? a coat? is there a message on the back of this one? — so apparently, the brain still retains the potential to be distracted by trivialities.

Don’t know if I’ll even try tonight. Or if so, I’ll just keep it on with the sound off and then turn it up to listen to Pence. I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever heard the man deliver a speech in the last four years, and he is (shudder) vice president, so I should probably check it out, right? (Please tell me I don’t have to.)

20 thoughts on “OK, now I’m numb. And I don’t mean comfortably…

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    Of course, I did have a few comments on Twitter last night. For instance, I see Bud strongly disapproved of the naturalization ceremony in the White House.

    I pretty much concurred with that last night, in my own way:

    Then, I added this in response to something someone else said:

  2. Brad Warthen Post author

    Oh, and as further evidence my numb brain could only focus on trivialities, I also Tweeted this:

    Anyone else notice that? It first hit me watching Nikki Haley — her hair just didn’t look real. I noticed that with several other dark-haired women. They didn’t look natural. Not that blonde women looked any better.

    Then I realized their skin didn’t look great, either. Which might have been a makeup thing, but I think it was the lighting.

    And I would have just chalked it up to what you get with a streamed convention — we’ve all seen a lot of bad video in recent months.

    But several times last week, with things streamed from people’s homes and other remote locations, I noticed how GOOD the lighting was, and commented on it to my wife. I’m not an expert, but I’ve spent enough time worrying over bad lighting of photos (especially when you’re trying to get them to reproduce in a newspaper, but in my post-career as well). And usually, I notice the BAD — backlit photos being my most frequent complaint (WHY do amateurs pose their subjects between themselves and the light source?).

    It’s unusual for the lighting to be so GOOD that I comment on it. But I did, several times last week. Which made me more likely to notice the bad this week. And the worst ones seem to be from the formal podium they have set up, rather than from someone’s den at home…

    This of course has zero bearing on the issue of whom to vote for. But I kept noticing it…

  3. bud

    While we’re talking about trivial matters all the speakers seemed stiff and unenthusiastic. Except for Trump Jrs girlfriend. Like they were filming a hostage video. And every speaker closed with the exact same phrase – God bless the United States of America. Were they required to say that in order to speak? It came across as a tik after hearing it for the tenth time. I guess they weren’t going after the atheist vote.

  4. Brad Warthen Post author

    I find myself wondering: Does anyone offer a service that will text you when the speaker you’re waiting for comes on — so you don’t have to watch all the other pooge?

    Probably not. Seems like a service like that would be wildly popular, and I would have heard of it.

    I’d start such a service myself and make a billion dollars, but it would mean I’d have to WATCH the whole thing…

  5. Randle

    I just watch the speeches I am interested in after the day’s events are over. They appear online pretty soon after the actual event. The best speech I’ve heard so far during this convention period was from Julia Jackson, mother of Jacob Blake. We should all have her compassion, courage and decency.

  6. Brad Warthen Post author

    Y’all, I followed Jennifer Rubin’s advice last night — I sat it out. A couple of times I saw things on Twitter that I responded to, but that was it.

    I had planned to tune in to Pence’s speech, but he came on earlier than expected. Assuming he wouldn’t be on until about 11, I went to take a shower, and when I came back into the room at 10:45, there he was. So I shrugged and went into the next room to read, but I caught a couple of snippets of what he said, and responded on Twitter.

    You know what was the most surprising thing I heard? When I first came in from my shower, I heard him introducing his mother, and noting that she was 87. I thought, What? His mother is younger than mine?

    I looked it up, and saw that this white-haired guy is six years younger than I am! I’d never have guessed it. I’ve just always assumed he was about Trump’s age, and he seemed even older. I had placed him as being more of my parents’ generation than mine…

    1. Barry

      We’ve watched Gomer Pyle at 9pm and Green Acres at 9:30pm on METV followed by Hogan’s Heroes at 10pm and 10:30pm this week as usual.

      My 12 year old enjoys watching with me. We watch them every weeknight. But I did mention the Republican political convention was on at the same time.

      My 12 year old is learning well mimicking me last night telling mom that we “weren’t watching the Republican hypocrites.”

      Very proud dad here.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Do you have an HD antenna, too?

        I get that station on the one I have downstairs. I ordered another such device for the second-hand HD set I just installed upstairs (my daughter who was moving gave it to me), and the antenna doesn’t work. At all. Everything else on the TV works — great streaming and so forth, beautiful picture — but not the antenna. Something to sort out…

        1. Barry

          I do on one tv in the bedroom. It was about $20 from Walmart.

          It works ok, not great. It does allow me to pull in MeTv.

          It I still have cable and watch MeTv about 70% of the time. I like the old shows. Really enjoy Adam 12 at 5pm and 5:30pm.

          1. Barry

            Btw- I like the shows and actors fine, but I really enjoy watching the furnishings, decor, clothing, etc.

            On Adam 12, I like watching the scenery as they drive around. Sometimes you can spot California landmarks as they were in the late 60s and early 70s.

        2. Leon

          There is no such thing as an HD antenna. If you have a 50 year old set of rabbit ears attached to an HD TV you will receive your programs in HD.

          1. bud

            Yep, no such thing. It’s just a marketing gimmick. Another reason why capitalism is not the panacea folks think it is.


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